Liberal Arts Honors logo
Liberal Arts Honors

LAH 103H • The Ideas Of Civic Engagement

30205 • Musick, Marc
Meets M 4:00PM-5:00PM GAR 0.102
show description

LAH 103H continues the work LAH 102H, “The Idea of the Liberal Arts.”  Like LAH 102H, LAH 103H introduces Liberal Arts Honor freshmen to the resources of the University, their history and how to make best use of them.  It also provides guidance on internships, scholarships, and career paths, and in the belief that to those to whom much has been given, much is required, it encourages LAH students to prepare for a lifetime of civic engagement and public service.  Toward this latter goal, all students will propose a way or ways to become involved in the volunteer community of Austin.

LAH 112H • The Nature Of Inquiry

30220 • Pikus, Monique
Meets W 2:00PM-3:00PM CAL 100
show description

Humans have an innate desire to investigate and to understand the unknown. Yet, we all differ in how we seek that understanding. So, how can we have confidence in the new knowledge that other people produce? Confidence is generated by the systematic use of research methods appropriate to the area of discovery. In this course, we will explore these different ways of knowing through examining the research methodologies used across disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts. LAH 112H: The Nature of Inquiry is designed for Liberal Arts Honors students in the spring semester of their sophomore year to gain an overview of the different types of research that can be done in Liberal Arts. The course will consist of guest lecturers, in-class exercises, brief required readings, and writing assignments.


LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30215 • Lang, Elon
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM SZB 286
show description

“Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major ideas and texts.  It uses role playing to replicate the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance.  During this semester, students will play three games:  “Democracy at the Threshold:  Athens in 403 B.C.”; “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-li Emperor, 1587 A.D.”; and “Rousseau, Burke, and the Revolution in France, 1791.”  Students will be assigned different roles—Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective— exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death.  Students will determine, however, on their own how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas, for example The Republic and the speeches of Pericles in the “Democracy in the Threshold” game. 

            For the first few session of each game, we will provide guidance on the issues and historical context on which the game will turn.  Early in the third session of each game, the class will break into factions, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives.  By the fourth or fifth session, the class will again meet as one.  Students in their roles will run the class.  We will serve as the Game Masters, intruding to resolve technical issues concerning the operation of the game or in other rare circumstances. 

            The heart of each game is persuasion.  For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents.  Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better.  You have two ways of expressing your views:  orally and in writing.  Both will be graded.

LAH 305 • Reacting To The Past

30210 • Casey, Julie
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SZB 380
show description

“Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major philosophical ideas and texts. Because ‘compulsory learning never sticks in the mind,’ as Plato noted, this course introduces these major philosophical concepts with role-playing games, letting the students re-create the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance.  During this semester, students will play three role-playing games:  “Democracy at the Threshold:  Athens in 403 B.C.;” “Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wan-li Emperor, 1587 A.D.;” and “Rousseau, Burke, and the Revolution in France, 1791.” 

In these games, students will be assigned different character roles, including some prominent historical figures and some fictional characters typical of their age and social positions, all derived from the historical setting. Each role is defined largely by its game objective, which corresponds to a political position in a country during a time of crisis.  In the course of the semester, each student will play three or more roles, so the student who begins the semester as a radical may end it as a conservative. Students must determine on their own how best to achieve their victory objectives, drawing upon the course texts for intellectual guidance, as well as strategic advice from the instructor, the preceptor, and each other.     

LAH 350 • After Beloved/Beyonce

30229 • Pinto, Samantha
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 204
(also listed as E 376M)
show description

E 376M  l  After Beloved/After Beyoncé: HONORS


Instructor:  Pinto, S

Unique #:  35644

Semester:  Spring 2020

Cross-listings:  LAH 350


Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


After Beloved/After Beyoncé will explore what happens in African American literature and popular culture after watershed texts appear and seemingly change the landscape for authors, artists and critics. First, we will look at literary & cultural responses to Toni Morrison's Beloved, including Edward P Jones’s novel The Known World, Natasha Trethewey's poetry collections Native Guardand Belloqc's Ophelia, the film version of Morrison's novel (starring Oprah) and its controversies, Steve McQueen’s film 12 years a Slaveand its debates, Mat Johnson's comedic neo-neo-slave narrative Pym, and Colson Whitehead's recent The Underground Railroad. Next, we will explore Lemonade's release and subsequent reception, and consider the production and reception of black popular culture after this critical moment, including Barry Jenkins's film Moonlight, Morgan Parker's critically lauded poetry collection There are More Beautiful Things than Beyoncé, Podcast phenomena such as "Two Dope Queens" and "The Read," and Tressie McMillan Cottom's book of personal essays entitled Thick.  We will end with Morrison's Norton lecture book of essays, The Origin of Others, her full-length original work published in the post-Lemonadeera.


Assignments will include creating a secondary source and social media critical timeline for the two watershed texts, lead off response questions & facilitation for one week of the class, a research project, and an abstract, annotated bibliography, outline, and paper based on student interest in the texts or themes of the course.

LAH 350 • Data Analytics, Contemp Soc

30235 • Freels, Jeffrey
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 210
show description

Investigation of the influence of data analytics in contemporary society. Explores how data is generated and presented in popular, scholarly, and other forms of media. A component of the class involves individual research on a chosen topic and presentation of findings via an oral presentation, video, or other medium. This course is appropriate for students with little to no background in statistics and/or data analysis.

Students will select a topic area to explore for the semester. The only criterion for determining the topic area is that it has to involve a field in which data is regularly reported in various media (e.g., popular, scholarly, trade, or professional). Students will report on how data is generated, reported, and acted upon in that field through a synthesis paper and an oral or audio-visual presentation to the class.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define analytics and describe its impact on society
  • Interpret basic statistical data
  • Identify opportunities, challenges, and risks in the use of analytics in society
  • Evaluate analytics-centered source material in the student’s chosen topic area
  • Effectively communicate how data analytics are used and reported on in the student’s chosen topic area

LAH 350 • Decolonizatn Of Brit Empire

30304 • Louis, William
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM HRC 3.212
GCIIWr (also listed as HIS 350L)
show description

The British Empire at the end of World War II still extended over one fourth of the world and represented a complex, worldwide system.  The seminar will focus on the era of decolonization.   

This seminar is designed as a reading and research course in modern British history—and in the history of Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.  It is also a class in professional writing.  It includes a cartographical component in which students are required to master the geography of the British Empire.        
The main requirement of the course is a research paper focusing on one of the three components of British decolonization: the decisions made in Britain itself; the international influence of the United States and the United Nations in the context of the Cold War; and the initiatives by nationalists in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.  The paper in its final form will be about 6,000 words or 20 double-spaced pages including notes.  

The writing component will be fulfilled in three ways.  First, critiques of books, approximately one a week (or comparable assignments), each less than 350 words or one page.  Second, a draft of the research paper.  The critiques and draft will be circulated to all members of the class who will make annotations on style as well as substance.  The third stage is for each writer to take note of the comments offered by others and to rewrite the research paper for final submission.

The principal primary source on which the papers will be based is the extraordinary archival collection in British Documents on the End of Empire (BDEEP).  The class sessions will be enriched by a film series produced by Granada Television entitled ‘End of Empire’.

In a general way, the seminar upholds the principles of the Modern History Faculty at Oxford—to enhance (1) intellectual curiosity; (2) conceptual clarity; (3) intellectual flexibility; (4) accuracy and attention to detail; (5) critical engagement; (6) capacity for hard work; (7) enthusiasm for history, literature, and politics; and (8) historical imagination and understanding, that is, the possession of appropriate historical knowledge and the capacity to deploy it.

Required Reading — John Darwin, Britain and Decolonisation; W. David McIntyre,  Decolonization, 1946-1997; Geoffrey Best, Churchill; Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, Oh! Jerusalem; David Carlton, Suez Crisis; and Caroline Elkins, Imperial Reckoning.    

Grades are determined by attendance and participation in discussion (25%); weekly critiques (25%) and the quality of the final research paper (50%).  Final grades include plusses and minuses. This course carries the flags for Writing, Global Cultures, and Independent Inquiry.

LAH 350 • Ethical Issues/Med/Society

30245 • Brown, Virginia
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM RLP 2.606
show description

This course takes a critical approach in understanding, analyzing, and evaluating health and health care in the 21st century.  Students will develop an understanding of 1.) the social factors at play in relation to disease and illness, 2.) the rise of the medical industrial complex, 3.) while learning how issues of power underlie ethical dilemmas in both medicine and society.  Students will be introduced to the theory and application of Principalism in order to develop a foundation in ethical reasoning. Through course readings, interactive lectures, special guest lectures, and case analysis, students will be able to recognize and develop a response to ethical issues confronting individuals, communities and clinicians alike. 


LAH 350 • Gender Equality/World Devel

30250 • Hunter, Wendy
Meets M 2:00PM-5:00PM RLP 0.108
show description

This course will examine the causes and consequences of gender equality and inequality in the world. We will begin by taking stock of gender equality (identifying where the most and least progress has occurred), and then proceed to analyze the causal links between women’s empowerment and development.  Women will be seen as key decision-makers in their households, as well as important agents of development in their countries. In regions where women have advanced the most, what have been the conditions and policies that have supported their rise, and how has women’s empowerment contributed to household and national development? In regions where women have advanced the least, why have such strong gender inequalities persisted, and how has household and national progress been impeded as a result? In the latter (suboptimal) scenario, what can be done about the existing state of affairs? We will examine an array of policy options and innovations that have been designed and implemented to lift the prospects of women in the Global South, and also consider the domestic and international support for such policies.  The reforms under analysis aim to lift the human capital and welfare of women (e.g. education and health services), as well as make women more competitive in the labor market and powerful in institutions of governance.  We will examine reforms that affect women over the course of the life cycle: childhood, the reproductive years, and old age.  A key theme will be that effective policies take into account specific gender considerations.  Focusing on the Global South, we will draw on examples from various countries.

LAH 350 • Hist/Mem Yugoslavia:hon-Se Eur

30254 • Neuburger, Mary
GC (also listed as REE 335)
show description
This Maymester provides an in-depth exploration of the variety of political entities and cultural groups that have inhabited, interacted, coexisted, and/or engaged in conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Through lectures and discussions, readings, films, and an in-country portion in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina students will learn about the complex history of the region and how it is remembered (or forgotten) in three of the seven successor states of the former Yugoslavia. Before visiting the region, students will be introduced to its history and culture in a one-credit spring course, taught by Dr. Mary Neuburger, with guest lectures by Dr. Vladislav Beronja, Dr. Masa Kolanovic (who will co-leading the overseas portion of the course) and others. The in-country portion of the course will include lectures, guided tours, cultural events, meetings with local students, museum visits, and other sites in major cities like Ljubljana, Zagreb, and Sarajevo. We will also visit smaller cities along the amazing Croatia coast (Pula, Zadar, Sibenik, Dubrovnik) and in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Pocitel, Travnik, Mostar). The trip will also include a visit to the stunning Plitvicka Jezera and Kornati National Parks, where students will see some of the unique natural features of the region. The study tour will bring students to a variety of sites that are important for understanding the rich (and at times brutal) history of the area, which continues to color (and haunt) the present. This includes the layered legacies of the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires and the Venetian Republic, as well as the two incarnations of Yugoslavia (Monarchist and Socialist). We will also delve into the events and collective memories of World War I (which began in Sarajevo), World War II, and the recent wars that followed the collapse of socialist Yugoslavia and resulted in genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s. Students will participate in various onsite tasks: such as independent cultural scavenger hunts and social media journaling using a shared platform (such as Slack). Together we will document and analyze the disparate cultures and visible layers of the past through monuments, museum artifacts, and the arts--to be shared and discussed on and offline.

LAH 350 • Hitler/Nazism/World War II-Hon

30255 • Crew, David
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ 2.122
EGC (also listed as HIS 376G)
show description

How was an obscure, unemployed Austrian, who never rose above the rank of corporal in the German army, able to become the leader of a mass political movement which overthrew the most democratic political system Germany had ever known? Why did Germany begin the most devastating and brutal war in world history just two decades after having lost the First World War? Why did the Nazi state systematically murder 6 million Jews? How did the implementation of Nazi plans for a “racial empire” affect the lives of millions of Europeans during the Second World War? And what is the legacy of the Third Reich, for Germany today? These are the primary questions addressed by this course.

Required Readings:

Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

David F. Crew, Hitler and the Nazis. A History in Documents (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005)[also available on-line at the PCL as an e-book]

  1. Noakes and G. Pridham(editors), Nazism. A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts, 1919-1945 (University of Exeter Press Edition: Volumes 2 &3)

Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz

We are also going to be working with the images at these two web-sites: and

A distinctive feature of this course is the fact that we will be working extensively with original documents, in translation. This will give you a more direct and immediate connection to the past, will allow you to experience, at first hand, the language and ideas of the period. It will also allow you to engage directly in the process of interpretation. Rather than simply ingesting the arguments of historians who write about the Nazi period, you will have the opportunity to analyze the "raw materials" with which historians themselves work.

Your general participation in class discussions (i.e. attendance + involvement) counts for 20% of the overall grade. There will be a take-home mid-term document essay (5-6 pages, 20% of the final grade).There is no final exam per se but you will have a Power Point assignment based upon the documents we have read and discussed in class(5-6 pages, 20% of the final grade). You will also be asked to write one short essay on any one of the books by Remarque or Levi (4-5 pages, 20% of final grade). Finally, you will be asked to write two brief (2-3 page) analyses of the visual evidence(photographs, propaganda, election posters, etc.) discussed in class and/or those that are available on the web-sites listed above. Each of these two assignments is worth 10% of the final grade. I will be using the full range of +/- grades. 

LAH 350 • Hlth/Hlth Care/Humanities

30260 • Barrish, Phillip
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CBA 4.340
show description

Exploring and cultivating relationships among health, health care, and the humanities has become an exciting area of research both nationally and, increasingly, on the UT campus. Humanities approaches have been shedding new light, for instance, on health inequities, including the lived experience of them, their historical and current causes, and strategies for addressing them; on shifting and contested definitions of health, as well as of ability and disability, both within the U.S. and cross-culturally; and on the role of narrative and other representational forms both in experiences of illness and as a mode of healing.

Though primarily taught by Professor Barrish, the proposed honors course will take advantage of the interdisciplinary collaborations and momentum that have been developing at UT around the Health Humanities—a more capacious term than the Medical Humanities—by including guest seminar leaders from across campus. The broadly interdisciplinary nature of the field makes it an excellent fit for LAH’s bright, ambitious students.

The course will be divided into the following four units:

Narratives and Narrative Medicine  Narrative Medicine is a cutting-edge field within medical education, as well as in the health humanities more generally. See, for instance, the M.S. Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, which seeks to “imbue patient care and professional education with the skills and values of narrative understanding” in order to “strengthen the overarching goals of medicine, public health, and social justice.” But even beyond the practice of Narrative Medicine, narrative has a rich role to play both in conveying and in helping to shape the ways people experience illness and healing.

Cultures and Histories of Health and Medicine This unit considers some of the historical, social, political, economic and cultural dimensions of medicine and health, primarily but not exclusively in the West.

Health Disparities and Structural Competence. This unit will introduce students to local and global health disparities based on social, political, and economic inequalities, and help students to develop what has become known as “structural competence” (a companion to the more familiar and institutionalized “cultural competence”). Readings will include selections by anthropologists and sociologists such as Paul Farmer, Seth Holmes, Helena Hanson, and Jonathan Metzl.

Disability Studies   Closely tied to disabilities-related activism, disability studies explores social constructions, cultural representations, and lived experiences of ability and disability. Readings would be drawn from leading theorists and scholars in the field such as, for instance, Leonard Davis, Eli Clare, and UT’s own new senior faculty member Alison Kafer.


LAH 350 • Human Place In Nature

30310 • Turner, Matt
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM RLP 0.120
show description

When people go "out into nature," and especially when they are confronted with exceptional views of landscape or wilderness, something seems to change within them.  Some begin to speak of insignificance and mortality, others timelessness and eternity.  Some yearn for solitude and reflection, others vigorous recreation.  Some sense the mysterious and the sacred, others find their inspiration for creativity.  Many speak happily of freedom, having found release from crowded, stressful cities and an overly materialistic culture.  Others speak sadly and desperately of vanishing species, ecosystems, and a world out of control.  Some choose words of disgust and fear.  Few seem completely indifferent to nature, even if by nature they mean the decorative shrubbery in their yard.

The heart of this course is an exploration of these perceptions and attitudes through the nature writing of the United States, which some critics hail as our "most distinctive contribution to the world's literature."  Henry David Thoreau’s insights on the deliberate life in his cabin retreat, John Muir’s ecstatic mountain proclamations, and Aldo Leopold’s re-visioning of wilderness have become practically canonical reading for nature enthusiasts.  Many others, like Rachel Carson and Edward Abbey, have become well-loved clarion calls for environmental change.  And writers like Annie Dillard take nature observation to a profound spiritual level of meaning and identity.

What we think nature is, and the extent to which we include ourselves in it, is inevitably shaped by our cultural history.  Like all students of the humanities, we will want to understand and question the preconceptions these authors bring to their writing.  Many of these ideas--the Biblical command for human dominion over nature, the expulsion from paradise and redemption, the puritanical fear of wilderness, the rise of the sublime in the 18th century, the Romantic Revolution, Transcendentalist self-rediscovery, and the American frontier--still influence our views today.  As counterpoint and critique, we will look beyond these traditions at Native American, Latino, and African American writings, and at the end of the course we will grapple with the unsettling proposition that in the Age of Humans--the so-called Anthropocene-- nature no longer even exists.

How we make sense of nature and how we understand our place in it have broad implications.  Environmental policies, urban planning, land use, law, and ethics are obvious contenders, but more broadly the questions raised here help us to define our place in the universe and inform us on how we should be living on Earth.



LAH 350 • Interpreting Black Rage

30265 • Jones, Brandon
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM RLP 0.108
show description

The story of Black people in the United States has been one of struggle and resilience. James Baldwin once said: "To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time." This rage is evident in the writings of Baldwin or the films of present-day visionaries like Spike Lee. Expressions of rage can be heard in the vocals Nina Simone and in the fiery lyrics of Tupac Shakur. This state of rage also has manifested itself in the form of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, March on Washington, the Black Power Movement, and Black Lives Matter. Yet the question still remains, to some, "why are Black people so mad?" To answer this question, we will examine the residual effects of slavery and its impact on race relations in the U.S. We will also conduct a multimodal exploration of literature, music, and film that convey the sense of rage described by Baldwin. Lastly, we will critique and evaluate expressions of rage in contexts such as politics, media, and the academy.

LAH 350 • Lit/Cul Mem/Amer Civ War-Hon

30330 • Hutchison, Coleman
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM PAR 210
Wr (also listed as E 350R)
show description

E 350R l 3-Literature, Cultural Memory, and the American Civil War-HONORS


Instructor:  Hutchison, C

Unique #:  35550

Semester:  Spring 2020

Cross-lists:  LAH 350.32


Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description: In the 150+ years since the defeat of the Confederate States of America, more than 60,000 books and pamphlets about the American Civil War have been published.  (To put this staggering figure in context, that is a publication rate of nearly one book per day every day since the cessation of hostilities.)  For many, this persistent interest in the war speaks to the continued relevance of the issues raised by, and addressed in, America’s “great internecine conflict”:  slavery, race, regional identity, political sovereignty, federalism, &c.  Several cultural historians have gone so far as to suggest that the Civil War is still being fought—not on the battlefields of Chickamauga, Manassas, or Antietam, but on the battlefield of American cultural memory.  This course will consider the American Civil War (1861-1865) not in terms of its military or political history but in relation to the ways literary and cultural texts have remembered and rewritten it.  Our discussion will focus on five periods of American cultural memory:  the immediate postwar period, the 1890s, 1930s, 1960s, and the very recent past. How did subsequent generations narrate the causes and effects of the war?  How do contemporary events affect the way a given generation reads and rewrites the war?  What agendas are being brought to bear on representations of this fierce and bloody conflict?


Required Texts: Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage and Other Stories(Penguin [1895]), ISBN: 978-0143039358; William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!(Vintage [1936]), ISBN: 978-0679732181; Victor Fleming, David O. Selznick, et al, Gone with the Wind (MGM, 1939); Robert Penn Warren, The Legacy of the Civil War(Bison/Nebraska [1961]), ISBN: 978-0803298019; Kevin Willmott, CSA: The Confederate States of America(IFC, 2004); Natasha Trethewey, Native Guard(Houghton Mifflin, 2006), ISBN: 978-0618872657.


In addition, there is a course packet of required primary and secondary materials, including poetry by Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Frances E.W. Harper, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Robert Penn Warren, Robert Lowell, and Derek Walcott; short fiction by Silas Weir Mitchell, Flannery O’Connor, and George Saunders; essays by Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington; and songs by Bob Dylan and The Band.


All books are available at the Co-Op, 2246 Guadalupe.


Requirements & Grading: Students will be evaluated on the basis of two short essays (3-4 pages), in-class participation, and a final research project.


Essays: 40%; Participation (i.e., attendance, in-class and electronic discussion): 20%; Final research project: 40%.

LAH 350 • Love/Betrayal In Troy

30269 • Scala, Elizabeth
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 305
(also listed as E 350E)
show description

E 350E l  Love and Betrayal in Troy: HONORS


Instructor: Scala, E

Unique: 35545

Semester:Spring 2020

Cross-lists: LAH 350


Prerequisite: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description: The story of Troy and its epic destruction was the most important story in Classical literature and provided the basis for the founding of Rome and the European nations that emerged from Rome’s fall.  This course examines some of the major texts of the Medieval and Early Modern periods that depend upon and restyle that narrative to new purposes, including Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, and Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage. Beginning with the Classical tradition itself, and principally Vergil’s Aeneid, we will look to the ways the fall of Troy, and the infamous doomed romances at its core, provide the groundwork of English literary history and its representation of the demands of heroic duty, erotic compulsion, and human subjectivity.  Such concerns will take us out of the realm of specific retellings of the Troy story or its immediate aftermath to its further uses in Medieval and Renaissance literary culture more generally.


Readings Likely Include:  Homer, The Iliad; Vergil, The Aeneid; Ovid, The Heroides(selections); Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde; Chaucer, The Legend of Good Women(selections); Henryson, The Testament of Cresseid; Lydgate, Troy Book; Marlowe, Dido, Queen of Carthage; Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida; Greenlaw, A Double Sorrow.


Requirements & Grading: Two short writing projects (one of which will be the subject of a presentation): 25% each; a final research essay (including an annotated bibliography) 40%; continuous class preparation and attendance 10%.

LAH 350 • Neglected Middle Class

30270 • Dickerson, Mechele
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM RLP 2.606
show description

Middle-income families are no longer the majority of American households. The course will explain how a steady succession of laws and policies (including labor and employment, consumer lending, financial services, housing, and tax) have created enormous income and wealth inequality gaps between the country’s richest households and everyone else.

This course will consider the ways state and federal laws and policies have been and in the future can be used to help poor and middle-income Americans who aspire to become and remain “middle class.”  By the end of the course, students will be expected to propose concrete (not aspirational) solutions to combat the problems America’s middle class faces in housing and financial services markets, public school education, college, and the workforce. 

LAH 350 • Paper Chase: Lw Sch/Life Lw

30315 • Levy, Mark
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM RLP 2.606
show description

For generations, every first-year law student has been taught to “think like a lawyer.” By examining the fundamental elements of the law as contoured by seminal case law, law students not only learn the basic tenets of legal theory, but also begin to internalize how the law touches all aspects of our society. The law does not simply provide for an outcome in a specific lawsuit, it provides our language for understanding culture, history, government, and business, just as mythology shapes the language of literature or the Bible or Koran shape the language of religion. 

In this course, we will explore the liberal arts through the lens of the first-year law school experience and the first-year law school experience through the lens of the liberal arts. We will read literature that melds the reality of imprisonment with the fantasy of kangaroo courts. We will watch how the law is presented for public consumption to analyze if it still resembles its blackletter origin. We will examine how legal decisions affect economic markets, from the micro to the macro. And we will learn how lawyers apply these principles in daily practice. 


LAH 350 • Philanthropy/Nonprofit Orgs

30275 • Paxton, Pamela
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM RLP 0.108
show description

Fulfills LAH Scholars experiential learning credential.

Charitable giving in the United States topped 370 billion dollars in 2016, and over 70% of those dollars came from individual giving. Is this money well spent? Unfortunately, only some charities are effective. This course will cover the scope and diversity of the nonprofit sector, as well as individual patterns of giving and volunteering.  A significant portion of the course will focus on providing students with the tools and skills to evaluate charitable programs for effectiveness using social scientific techniques.

Based on their own evaluations, students will have the opportunity to distribute significant funds, at least $25,000 (provided through The Philanthropy Lab and individual donors), to charitable organizations. Students will be placed into groups that will do extensive research on a category of nonprofits, ultimately deciding which charities will receive funds through discussion and debate.

Consent of instructor required. Email

LAH 350 • Pope Francis's Cath Church-Ita

30280 • Theriault, Sean
IIWr (also listed as GOV 379S, T C 358)
show description

Maymester Program - Application Deadline November 15, 2019

More information here!

LAH 350 • Psych/Relig In Mod Amer Cul

30306 • Abzug, Robert
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 228
(also listed as J S 364)
show description

American religious culture is not only exceptional for its vigor but also for an increasingly creative fostering of spiritual experimentation and pluralism. It has been especially unusual in the role that psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic ideas have played in modern American spiritual quests. This seminar explores the historical, religious, and psychotherapeutic manifestations of the “search for meaning” in modern American culture. We will begin in the 19th century with spiritualism and other alternative religious paths, and quickly move to the 20th century and the uneasy and sometimes hostile interactions between formal religion, psychotherapies, and everyday experiences of illumination and transcendence. Our explorations will take us through theology, psychological theory, literature, music, politics, and art. For their term reports, students may write on topics of their choice on any aspect of the intersection of psychology and religion.

LAH 350 • Reacting/Revoltn Ideas: Hon

30285 • Mayhew, Linda
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CBA 4.340
EGCWr (also listed as REE 335)
show description

“Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major philosophical ideas and texts.  It uses role-playing to replicate the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance.  During this semester, students will play two games: “Literary Journals, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy in St. Petersburg, 1877;” “The New is Strong: the Hundred Days Reforms in China, 1898;” and “Mexico in Revolution, 1912-1920.”

Students will be assigned different roles, including some prominent historical figures and some fictional characters typical of their age and social positions, all derived from the historical setting. Each role is defined largely by its game objective, which corresponds to a political position in a country during a time of crisis. In the course of the semester, each student will play three or more roles, so the student who begins the semester as a radical may end it as an arch-conservative. Students will determine on their own how best to attain their goals, though they will receive intellectual guidance from important texts in the history of ideas.  

For the first few sessions of each game, we will explore the philosophical issues and historical context on which the game will turn.  After these introductory studies for the game, the class will break into factions, as students with similar roles join forces to accomplish their objectives. Then, as debates begin, the class will again meet as one.  Students in their roles will run the meetings.  The instructor will serve as the Game Master, intruding only to resolve technical issues concerning the operation of the game or in other rare circumstances. The student preceptor, a former ‘Reacting’ student, will provide assistance and advice on sources and strategy.

The heart of each game is persuasion.  For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents.  Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives; the more you draw upon these texts and the more research you do to support your argument, the better.  You have two ways of expressing your views:  orally and in writing.  Both will be graded.

Note about role-playing:  For the most part, roles will be drawn randomly in class.  Role sheets contain historically accurate perspectives and philosophies.  In some cases, you will be asked to argue a perspective that you disagree with.  Also, ideas about race, gender, or religion in games may differ radically from what we consider acceptable. Including these challenging and difficult ideas has a purpose.  Our job as students is to place these ideas in a historical context so we can analyze them and understand the worldview of a time, place, and culture.  We have these discussions in character so the entire class understands your arguments are those of a historical figure, not your own personal views.  If you do have any concerns about your role sheet - philosophical, political, or anything else - please let me know right away so we can discuss your options.



To ensure that everyone stays in character when game-playing, you are expected to refer to each other using your character’s names.  Name tags are provided to make this easier. If you need to break from character, you must first preface your comment with “I need a 2020 moment.”  Students who violate these rules will be placed “in jail” for 15 minutes, losing their ability to debate and vote.


This course carries three flags: Ethics and Leadership, Global Culture, and Writing.

Ethics and Leadership courses are designed to equip you with skills that are necessary for making ethical decisions in your adult and professional life. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline. In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing. Your graded assignments will take all of these elements into consideration.


LAH 350 • Sicily: Myth/Reality/Mafia

30320 • Carter, Daniela
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM HRH 2.112
show description

At the cross of the Mediterranean, placed at the most strategic location, Sicily has been the coveted island of Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spaniards. These diverse civilizations contributed to the creation of a Sicilian culture that is unique in its richness and complexity. The course will briefly survey the artistic traces left by those civilizations placing them in dialogue with the present Sicilian reality they contributed to create. From the Greek temples of Agrigento and Segesta through the Byzantine mosaics of Palermo and Cefalù, the baroque Spanish churches, to the lush colors of Guttuso’s paintings, the course will try to tie together the visual images of Sicily with its literary and filmic expressions.  Major historical and social phenomena such as Mafia, Italian unification, sexual mores will be discussed through the texts of Verga, Pirandello, Sciascia, Tomasi di Lampedusa, and films by Petri, Visconti, Germi, Taviani brothers, Giordana, Crialese, Amenta.

LAH 350 • Tech Change & Financ Crisis

30300 • Galbraith, James
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM CRD 007A
(also listed as T C 358)
show description

This is a class about the modern economic world: a world of change and  instability, of bubble and bust, euphoria and depression.  It is a world  driven by technology on one side and finance on the other -- and  increasingly aware of the larger geophysical environment.   Economics -- as a broad subject -- has not done a very good job of coping  with this world.  But some economists and other observers have, and here we  focus on the Keynesian, institutionalist and structuralist traditions,  mainly in 20th century economics. We will pick a number of major texts, and  a few minor ones, read them, and try to relate them to the issues of our  time.   This class is a seminar. It is not a lecture course. You are expected to  read material fully in advance. Come well prepared to discuss it and to  answer my questions.  Some of the readings are long. Search for the  important parts, skim the rest, but don’t forget to slow down and enjoy  some of the digressions.


Texts and Works:

Veblen:  Theory of Business Enterprise, or possibly Theory of the Leisure Class.

Imperial Germany. Schumpeter:  Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

Keynes:  Economic Consequences of the Peace, Essays in Persuasion, General Theory

Ayres: Theory of Economic Progress

Galbraith:  The New Industrial State. Galbraith (fils):  The Predator State


Grading Policy:

The course will require detailed attention to readings, including notes that I will review on a weekly basis, and two papers, one short and one longer. Grading will be based

25% on notes

25% on class discussion

15% on the short paper

35% on the final paper.

About the Professor:

James K. Galbraith holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations and a professorship of Government at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin. He holds degrees from Harvard and Yale (Ph.D. in economics, 1981).

He studied as a Marshall Scholar at King's College, Cambridge in 1974-1975, and then served in several positions on the staff of the U.S. Congress, including executive director of the Joint Economic Committee. He directed the LBJ School's Ph.D. Program in Public Policy from 1995 to 1997. He directs the University of Texas Inequality Project, an informal research group based at the LBJ School.

Galbraith's new book is Inequality and Instability: A Study of the World Economy Just Before the Great Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2012). Previous books include The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too (Free Press, 2008), Created Unequal: The Crisis in American Pay (Free Press, 1998) and Balancing Acts: Technology, Finance and the American Future (Basic Books, 1989). Inequality and Industrial Change: A Global View (Cambridge University Press, 2001), is co-edited with Maureen Berner. He has co-authored two textbooks, The Economic Problem with the late Robert L. Heilbroner andMacroeconomics with William Darity, Jr. He is a managing editor of Structural Change and Economic Dynamics.

Galbraith is a member of the Lincean Academy, the oldest honorary scientific society in the world. He is a senior scholar of the Levy Economics Institute and chair of the Board of Economists for Peace and Security, a global professional network. He writes frequently for policy magazines and the general press.

LAH 350 • Theater In Austin

30294 • Arjomand, Minou
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CAL 323
CD (also listed as E 350V)
show description

E 350V l Theater in Austin: HONORS


Instructor:Arjomand, M

Unique: 35555

Semester:Spring 2020

Cross-lists: LAH 350


Prerequisite: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description: Over the course of the semester, students will learn about the major genres and styles of contemporary theater, dance, and performance art by exploring the diverse theater and performance scene in Austin.  During the first half of the semester, we will study works by local playwrights and artists and—when possible—meet them in person.  The second half of the semester will be devoted to attending and writing about the international Fusebox Festival, based in Austin.  As their culminating project, students will work independently to create a portfolio of reviews of festival performances.


Readings: Course readings will depend on theater programming, but will likely include works by: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Annie Baker, Kirk Lynn, Lisa B. Thompson, the Rude Mechs, and the Latino Comedy Project as well as the Fusebox Festival’s online publication and podcast “Written and Spoken.”


Requirements & Grading: 20% class participation; 25% weekly discussion board postings (c. 200-250 words); 15% group presentation; 40% final portfolio (c. 10 pages).

LAH 350 • Treasure Hunt Archival Rsch

30325 • Lang, Elon
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CAL 221
CDIIWr (also listed as HMN 350)
show description

Fulfills LAH Scholars experiential learning credential.

Have you ever wondered how letters, pictures, records, and other texts recovered from the past can change the telling of history? Have you ever wondered how a book, poem, play or film might have turned out differently? Have you ever wondered who or what gets left out of the stories we learn about the past? These are questions that humanities researchers can address by studying the materials preserved in archives and special collections around the world and that scholars from around the world come to study at the renowned archives at the University of Texas at Austin. As Prof. Tom Staley, former director of the Harry Ransom Center, writes, the mission of archives is to “attempt to create some order among the random remnants of history - the poetic fragment, the unfinished drawing, the unpublished novel, even the masterpiece; it is an attempt to bring the pieces of our human story together.”* In this course, students will discover, explore, and promote some islands of order that emerge from the vast cultural and historical collections at archives on the UT-Austin campus including the Ransom Center, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, and the LLILAS Benson Latin American Collection. In the process, students will learn essential skills for pursuing original research projects in humanities disciplines and learn how to apply these skills to bring public attention to hidden histories and marginalized voices in our culture.

This course is designed to provide any student with (or approaching) upper-division standing the opportunity to refine his or her analytical writing skills while learning to research and interpret unique, rare, and valuable primary source materials using UT’s world-class historical and cultural archives. Students who are thinking about developing a senior thesis project in a humanities discipline—especially those who seek to discover a research topic and learn applied research methods—should find this course very useful.

Students will develop archival research skills and multimodal writing skills through several guided research, analysis, and digital publication exercises led by the instructor, the Head of Information Literacy Services at UT Libraries (Elise Nacca), and other expert staff at on-campus libraries and archives. Students will then develop their own capstone research projects around lesser-used materials in archival collections on campus that provide windows into marginalized conversations in humanities and cultural studies: e.g. those involving African American, LGBTQ, women, Mexican-American/Latin-American, first nation, etc. voices.

LAH 358Q • Supervised Research

(also listed as HMN 358Q, WGS 358Q)
show description

Supervised Research. Individual instruction. Prerequisite: A
University grade point average of at least 3.50 and consent of the
liberal arts honors program adviser. Only one LAH 358Q may be applied towards college honors. Course may be repeated.

LAH 679TA • Honors Thesis

(also listed as LAH 679TB)
show description

Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts. Supervised research, reading, and writing of a substantial paper on an interdepartmental subject.

LAH 679TB • Honors Thesis

IIWr (also listed as LAH 679TA)
show description

Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts. Supervised research, reading, and writing of a substantial paper on an interdepartmental subject.