I first encountered the Weekly World News (WWN) in the mid 90s. A black and white supermarket tabloid that specialized in fictional stories about aliens and cryptid sightings, the WWN seemed humorous and probably satirical. A friend used to joke that each issue contained one real news item and we just had to figure out […]
Many Texans learned a new word this year: quorum. And, no, it’s not the collective noun for a group of opossums. A quorum is the minimum number of assembly members that must be present in order to conduct business. For the Texas House of Representatives, that minimum is two-thirds of its members. Earlier this summer, […]
March marked the one-year anniversary of the WHO declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic, and to say that it’s been a rough year would be an understatement. Whether we’ve lost loved ones, jobs, or simply the ability to distinguish between Sundays and Mondays, everyone is struggling under the weight of a constantly shifting “new normal.” As […]
Literature and life guide Peter LaSalle’s latest collection of travel essays, The World is a Book, Indeed.
Randy and Mary Diehl, 2020 Pro Bene Meritis award recipients, share a dedication for championing education and a joy for lifelong learning.
Michael Stoff, a 2020 Pro Bene Meritis award recipient, teaches his students to approach history with respect, empathy and context.
Jacqueline Jones, a 2020 Pro Bene Meritis award recipient, discusses why it’s essential to learn the history behind today’s headlines.
Like all human endeavors, technology is at its core still social, argues Sarah Brayne in her new book Predict and Surveil: Data, Discretion, and the Future of Policing.
Sometimes we fall in love when we least expect it. Arriving at The University of Texas at Austin as a mathematically inclined freshman, Heather Rice had no intention of learning Russian. Now a lecturer in Slavic and Eurasian Studies at UT Austin, she’s spent the past two decades studying and teaching the language and culture […]
H.W. Brands hopes his latest book, Haiku History: The American Saga Three Lines at a Time, won’t be a page turner.
In 2014, Maro Youssef arrived in Tunisia just one day before the country passed a constitution that is among the most progressive in the world. She was serving as a foreign affairs analyst at the American embassy in Tunisia. The post was a culmination of eight years of work with the U.S. Department of State. […]
UT Austin student researchers delve into the state of democracy in Ukraine, and the role of youth political engagement and social media.
In her award-winning book, The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages, Geraldine Heng argues that race did exist even if the language of the time had yet to capture the phenomenon.
In the Grimms version of Snow White, our heroine is awoken from her bewitched slumber not by a handsome prince’s kiss, but when the jostling of a clumsy servant dislodges a chunk of poisoned apple from her throat. But fairy tales change over time and most of us first encountered a version that omitted this […]
J. Thomas “Tom” Ward Photography by Brian Birzer Education: B.A. Government ’54, The University of Texas at Austin; and M.S. Educational Administration, University of Southern California Hometown: Austin, Texas Tom Ward is a retired foreign service officer formerly with the U.S. Agency for International Development, based in Washington, D.C. After serving in the U.S. Army, […]
Brian P. Levack Photography by Brian Birzer Education: B.A. History ’65, Fordham University; and Ph.D. History ’70, Yale University Hometown: New York, New York Brian P. Levack is the John E. Green Regents Professor Emeritus in History at UT Austin, where he has taught for nearly 50 years while earning distinguished teaching awards. During his […]
The Pro Bene Meritis award is the highest honor bestowed by the College of Liberal Arts. Since 1984, the annual award has been given to alumni, faculty members and friends of the college who are committed to the liberal arts, have made outstanding contributions in professional or philanthropic pursuits or have participated in service related to the college. […]
Mehdi Haghshenas’ signature course “What We See, What We Believe” focuses on critical analysis of media, but he begins the class with a meditation. For three minutes we all close our eyes and slowly breathe in and out. When the meditation is over, Haghshenas says quietly, “You are in the now.” And he’s not wrong. […]
Edward Carey’s office is filled with fanciful artwork, including several large drawings of the gloomy-eyed characters who inhabit his books. But the item that immediately catches my eye is a bowl of small, cylindrical objects that at first glance appears to be an ashtray overflowing with cigarette butts. These, it turns out, are pencils, worn […]
Learning history requires more than just being able to recall the dates when battles were fought or naming all 45 U.S. presidents. “History as I teach it,” explains Erika Bsumek, “is structured around what is happening at a given moment and why it’s happening. I try to get the students to think about relationships between […]
Historical research can be exhausting work. Hours spent sifting through archives in search of elusive details from the past may yield nothing, but it may lead to an extraordinary discovery. “It can be mind-numbing,” says Steven Hoelscher. “And, of course, you don’t always find what you’re looking for and sometimes you don’t even know what […]
When pressed to summarize the path of his wide spanning career, Paul Adams offers one word, “discourse.” Adams, a professor at UT Austin’s Department of Geography and the Environment, is interested in how people discuss often contentious subjects and what makes these communications more or less successful. As a geographer of media and communication, Adams […]
Rikke Cortsen is occasionally surprised to remember that not everyone she meets is an avid reader of comic books. She’s been reading comics of one sort or another since her childhood in Denmark, as evidenced by the hundreds of colorful volumes lining her office bookshelves. “Working in comics you always run into the discussion of […]
It might not seem like it when you’ve forgotten your email password for the third time in as many days, but your brain is capable of amazing things. It can instantly process the intricate sensory inputs needed to understand the world while simultaneously conducting motor neurons to navigate these landscapes. It can read complex emotions […]
With all the events going on around town this month, it’s easy to forget that we have several excellent art galleries right on campus. Luckily, I’m here to remind you about two shows currently on display at the Art Galleries at Black Studies (AGBS) and the Benson Latin American Collection which spotlight both diverse artists […]