College of Liberal Arts

Not Even Past

The History Department at UT Austin is providing a new informative, interactive history web site of benefit to the general public. Not Even Past features current historical writing for history buffs who want reading recommendations and short, interesting, digestible stories.  The website offers a meaningful, dynamic, and ongoing conversation about History in the form of text, audio, and video histories on subjects that span the globe. The site is designed for anyone who is interested in history, from an avid reader of history to a historical film aficionado.

Inspired by a quote from Southern novelist William Faulkner, "The past is never dead. It's not even past," the content and "picks" are written by the department's 60-person faculty with additional input from the graduate students. Not Even Past is rich with book and film recommendations, video interviews, podcasts, online commentary, and even free, online virtual classes every semester for registered users. You can learn from exceptional faculty and dialog with other history aficionados and Texas Exes, enrolled globally. Not Even Past (NEP) also differs from other History department sites in its stylish visual design and its cutting-edge user-friendly functionality.

The website has six major components:

This section will focus on a recent book by a UT faculty member. For instance, find out about how Jacqueline Jones’ showcases “Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War," including a short video interview with the author; a text discussion of the book; a live chat with the author; an on-going book club discussion; suggestions for related reading; and a podcast of an excerpt from the book.

Learn what the department’s exceptional historians and their graduate students are reading, and which books and history films they recommend. Scan written and video reviews of books by category: Featured Reads, United States, Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Transnational. With one click, add your comments, or instantly order books/films that you want. The home page links to book recommendations chosen by our faculty and graduate students and one featured video book discussion; such as a video of George Forgie discussing books on the Civil War. The home page also features links to discussions of current and classic historical films. For instance, Frank Guridy discusses two films about Cuba, and Madeline Hsu writes about Wayne Wang’s Chan is Missing.

Discover fascinating, little-known, or rarely-viewed images and texts from collections at UT Austin and around the world. Learn what each of these jewels teaches us about history.  In the premiere issue, Erika Bsumek writes about a Navajo rug in our Fine Arts library collection; and Martha Newman writes about work and religion in 12-century France.  David Crew will contribute a piece of wedding photographs taken in Jewish ghettos under Nazi rule.

Beef up your podcast library with special global interviews and excerpts from campus history conferences and classes. Enjoy daily history FACT CHECKS and myth busting. Learn more Texas history. Access NEP for stories from Texas’ past: oral histories, photo essays, and great books. This section will feature oral histories and interviews and will link to all our podcasts. Listen to oral histories from recent India and Pakistan and an article on LBJ’s Vietnam policy, with audio of his phone conversations.

Texas history of all kinds.  Includes an excerpt from Emilio Zamora’s new book on Mexican-Americans in Texas during WWII, and a photo essay by Bob Abzug on Jewish cemeteries and synagogues in Texas.

In addition to extensive comment and history chat areas throughout Not Even Past, take any of the three virtual courses offered each semester (no tests!). Learn from outstanding award-winning faculty and share your thoughts and questions with other history buffs and Texas Exes enrolled globally.  Register on the site to be eligible for free autographed books by UT Austin History faculty. A scrolling ticker across the home page will post daily twitter feed updates and a feature we call “The Fact Checker” which will offer links to short articles correcting historical myths and common historical misconceptions.

Take a peak now:

Key People:

Joan Neuberger, Editor,  Professor, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts

George Christian, Assistant Editor, Features Editor, Adjunct Professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts 

by Emily Cicchini