College of Liberal Arts

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Eric Tang

Great professors in the College of Liberal Arts do more than teach. They inspire—through their research and through their work in the classroom and in our communities.

That is why Eric Tang, an assistant professor in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department and the Center for Asian American Studies, was one of five College of Liberal Arts professors nominated by alumni and selected by Alcalde magazine to be a part of the 2016 Texas 10, an annual list that recognizes the most inspiring professors on campus.

His current research focuses on the past and present of racial segregation in Austin, Texas, paying particular attention to gentrification-driven displacements of the city’s longstanding African-American residents.  

In a new report by the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis (IUPRA), Tang and geography Ph.D. candidate Bisola Falola suggest that gentrification of historic African-American neighborhoods may have pushed these residents out of the city and into the suburbs. According to the survey, 56 percent of all respondents left Austin due to unaffordable housing, or heightened costs of living, and 24 percent left Austin to seek out better schools.

The survey builds on a 2014 IUPRA study, which revealed a rapid 5.4 percent decline in African-American residents from 2000 to 2010 while the total population grew by 20.4 percent. During this time, Austin was the only major growing city in the country to see an absolute numerical decline in African-Americans, researchers said.

“The socioeconomic pressures and inequalities that respondents noted are certainly not unique to African-Americans, but serve as powerful indicators of growing economic and racial segregation across the entire metro area,” Tang said. “Therefore any effort to make the city more affordable, to help longstanding residents stay in their beloved neighborhoods and to make public education more equitable will benefit all communities that are struggling to make it in Austin.”

Top photo by Matt Wright-Steel, courtesy of The Alcalde

The College of Liberal Arts has more than 500 faculty members who are rigorous teachers and creative researchers who advance knowledge in the humanities and social sciences while preparing the next generation of thoughtful citizens and leaders. To learn more about our faculty, please visit the departmental directories listed below:

African & African Diaspora Studies and English professor Lisa B. Thompson discusses her research funded by the Humanities Research Award.
Jacqueline Woolley
Psychology chair Jacqueline Woolley was one of five liberal arts faculty members named to The Alcalde's annual Texas 10 list of inspiring professors.

Harel Shapira

Sociology's Harel Shapira was awarded a Carnegie Fellowship for research on U.S. gun culture.

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