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Liberal Arts Honors

LAH 103H • The Ideas Of Civic Engagement

29080 • Carver, Larry D
Meets M 400pm-530pm WEL 2.246
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HMN 116 continues the work LAH 102H, “The Idea of the Liberal Arts.”  Like LAH 102H, HMN 116 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 350 • Amer Lit/Cult Of Late 1960s

Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CRD 007B
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Todd Gitlin, respected sociologist and writer, summarized the decade of the 1960s as “Years of Hope, Days of Rage.”  In this course we will explore this hope/rage dichotomy and examine the late 1960s U.S. cultural and social milieu through the prism of American literature, film and popular music produced primarily in 1967, 1968 and 1969.  The course will analyze subjects that polarized Americans in the late 60s and will consider how, despite the lapse of nearly 50 years, our society continues with the struggle to reconcile many of these same issues today.

We will read a wide range of literature published in the late 60s including new journalism, essays, novels, autobiographies, short stories, drama and poetry.  Throughout the semester we will screen a variety of Hollywood produced movies, in addition to watching shorter documentary films produced in 1968-69 by the Newsreel Film Collective.  Two weeks of the semester will be devoted to listening critically to popular music of the era, which will be complemented by our entire class group’s attendance at the Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” : 50th Anniversary Tour concert at The Long Center in Austin on Sunday, February 21, 2016.  One class meeting will feature a guest speaker who is a nationally recognized authority on the 60s decade, and another class meeting will include a visit to a campus museum to view late 1960s archival material. 

The course will cover the following topics—the counterculture, the Vietnam War, youth protest, racism in the South, and the Black Power/Black Arts Movement.


Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test   (1968)  ISBN-10: 031242759X, ISBN-13: 978-0-312-42759-7

Robert Stone, Dog Soldiers   (1974)                               ISBN-10: 0395860253, ISBN-13: 978-0395860250

Norman Mailer, Miami and the Siege of Chicago (1968) ISBN-10: 1590172965, ISBN-13: 978-1590172964

Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi   (1968)   ISBN-10:  0440314887, ISBN-13:  978-0-440-31488-2

Eldridge Cleaver, Soul On Ice   (1968)                            ISBN-10:  038533379X, ISBN-13:  978-0-385-33379-5 

In addition, there is a coursepack of required materials including new journalism by Gay Talese, Joan Didion and Michael Kerr; essays by Todd Gitlin, Robert Sklar, Andrew Kopkind, Joan Didion, Reebee Garofalo, Dave Marsh, Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Larry Neal;  fiction by Saul Bellow; poetry by Amiri Baraka and Don L. Lee; and dramatic plays by Jimmy Garrett and Sonia Sanchez. 


Alice’s Restaurant  (1969), Platoon  (1986), The Graduate (1967), In the Heat of the Night  (1967),

Medium Cool  (1969)


1.  Group presentation/group direction of a class discussion on one of the screened films – 10%

2.  Three 2-3 page response papers on three of the screened course films – 15% 

3.  Class attendance, careful preparation of each class meeting’s reading assignments, attendance at four evening film screenings on campus, attendance at the February 21, 2016 Arlo Guthrie concert and active participation in the class discussions – 20%

4.  Mid-course paper assignment of 6-7 pages – 25%

5.  Final paper assignment of 8-10 pages – 30%

Instructor: Marshall P. Gorges






LAH 350 • Boundaries & Dilemmas: Honors

29100 • Ekland-Olson, Sheldon
Meets TTH 800am-930am CLA 0.120
(also listed as SOC 352D)
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This is a advanced research course designed to explore policy issues linked to universal moral imperatives, violation of these imperatives, and perhaps most interestingly how we justify such violation. The objective is to help students develop research skills in a topic of significant policy importance.  In some ways, this course is an advanced, research oriented follow-up to Life and Death Decisions, offered at the lower division.  This lower division course, while helpful, is not a prerequisite.


Two imperatives will be chosen for attention:

1)           Life is sacred and should be protected.

2)           Suffering, once detected should be alleviated.


The class will be spent exploring how exclusionary boundaries and moral dilemmas play a central role in the justification of violations.


As time permits, five specific topics will be explored:

1)           Eugenics and mandated sterilization

2)           Abortion

3)            Neonatal care

4)           Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide

5)           War


The class will be spent exploring how exclusionary boundaries and moral dilemmas play a central role in collective justification  of violations of these universal imperatives.  Attention will focus on the important role a sense of injustice and implied assessments of legitimacy play in guiding social change.  Finally, we will focus on how scientific knowledge and associated technological advances stimulate the evolution of moral systems.


Required Texts:

There is no assigned text.  Readings from numerous sources such as Edmond Cahn's  The Sense of Injustice; Edwin Black's War Against the Weak; Helga Kuhe and Peter Singer's Should the Baby Live?; and Wesley Smith's Culture of Death.  Will be assigned.


Grading Policy:

The class will be broken into smaller groups.  Each group will choose (or be given) a specific topic, such as physician assisted suicide, neonatal care, or war. As a group you will be asked to develop a set of ideas consistent with the general framework developed in the early sessions of class.  Individually, you will be asked to write a 16-20 page paper on your chosen topic. This paper will be handed in for initial grading and editorial comment. Your grade on the initial draft will constitute 40% of your grade. The paper will be handed back to you for revision. You will be asked to hand in the revised version at the end of class. This final version of the paper will be graded and will also constitute 40% of your grade.


The remaining 20% of your grade will come from class participation. In addition to in-class discussions, throughout the semester you will be discuss, via Discussion Board, various assigned topics throughout the semester.


LAH 350 • Complex Emergen Human Act

29105 • Newberg, Paula
Meets M 330pm-630pm CBA 4.338
(also listed as GOV 379S)
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Climate change.  Conflicts.  Coups d’etat.  Displacement.  Ethnic cleansing. Floods.  Genocide.  Pandemics. Refugees.  Rights violations.  War crimes.

When these phenomena occur together, in varying combinations, they comprise complex emergencies –- overlapping, intersecting processes that can overwhelm a government and possibly an entire country, create and deepen humanitarian disasters, interrupt economic development, and lead to foreign policy crises.  (Think, for example, of the crisis in Syria today, Ebola in west Africa, or Nepal’s most recent earthquake.)  The causes of these crises are many, ranging from political extremism, poverty, resource scarcity and weak states to inadequate governance and diplomatic failures. 

We will spend the semester investigating complex emergencies and the ways that states, societies and international humanitarian actors respond to them.  Along the way, we will explore competing philosophies of humanitarian response (including neutrality and impartiality), international humanitarian law, thorny problems that arise when humanitarians meet difficult political actors, efforts to use international human rights law to resolve seemingly intractable problems, and ways the international community responds to (and sometimes does not) - and tries to solve (and often does not) -- these emergencies. 

We will study recent and contemporary cases (from different regions), and seminar members will also explore elements of emergencies in their essays.

Readings and reference materials

Source material for this subject is voluminous, varied and invariably interesting.  We will use David Keen’s Complex Emergencies ({Polity Press 2008) to help anchor our early class discussions and debates.  It will be available for purchase before the term begins.  For those who are interested, two additional volumes will be available for purchase:  Elizabeth Ferris’s, The Politics of Protection (Brookings Institution 2011); and Didier Fassin and Mariella Pandolfi’s edited collection, Contemporary States of Emergency (Zone Books 2013).  

Much of our reading (and viewing) will be based around current and historical news reports, articles, participant testimonies, websites, videos, blog sites and case studies.  The library will also maintain a collection of relevant volumes on reserve.

 Prerequisites for enrolling

This seminar is intended for upper division students. Previous experience in this field is not required; all seminar members should have completed University prerequisites in Government and History.  

 Course requirements

Our seminar will be successful if everyone attends every class, prepares carefully, and participates actively.   The subject is constantly changing, and our collaborative work will help to further our collective understanding of the problem of complex emergencies.

Written work will be graded on the basis of clarity, structure organization, quality of argument, familiarity with class material, and improvement as we all become more comfortable with the subject.

 Clearly drafted memoranda responding to each week's readings will be due by 9 AM each Monday (posted on Canvas); everyone is expected to review all of these short memos before class.  (This requirement counts toward class participation.)

 Three carefully crafted papers (approximately 2500 words in length) will be assigned during the semester. (50% of the course grade)

 Seminar members are expected to participate actively in every class session, lead class discussions as designated (including reporting on written assignments), and work together as needed to further our collective conversation.  (50% of the course grade.)

 I will expect seminar members to meet with me individually during the course of the semester to discuss classroom and written assignments.

 Honor code and academic integrity 

 The core values of the University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the University is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community.  Should you have any questions regarding University policies concerning academic integrity, please visit the website of the Office of the Dean of Students:


 The University provides, on request, appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.  Students for whom such services are needed should contact  -- at the beginning of the semester -- the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities.  (512-471-6259:

 Religious holidays

The University requires students to notify instructors at least fourteen days prior to a pending absence due to religious observance.  If you must miss a class, an assignment or a project in order to observe a religious holiday, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.

Emergency evacuation policy 

The Office of Campus Safety and Security (512-471-5767:  ( recommends the following safety practices: When a fire alarm is activated, please evacuate the building, assemble outside and follow instructions from the faculty; do not re-enter the building until instructed by the Austin Fire Department, the UT /Austin Police Department or the Fire Prevention Services office.  Please familiarize yourself with the closest exit doors in the building.   Should you need assistance for possible evacuation, please inform me during the first week of class.








LAH 350 • Drama In The Archives

29110 • Lang, Elon
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm CLA 0.122
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Have you ever wondered how a play or film might have turned out differently? The production of a dramatic performance is by nature ephemeral and fleeting—years of planning and preparation can culminate in just a couple hours of activity and observation shared between a group of actors and their audience. Even when the dramatic performance results in a film that can be preserved and replayed for years, its production process is by nature hidden from the audience’s view.  It does not, however, disappear—it leaves significant traces in the form of scripts, drafts, notes, drawings, photos, playbills, reviews, correspondence, recordings, costumes, criticism, editions, and more. For some of the greatest dramatists and filmmakers in history, tracing such material leads to our very own Harry Ransom Center on the UT campus. 

In this class, students will explore the related questions: What can we learn about a piece of drama from its archival record? What do archival materials reveal to have changed in the course of a drama’s development and then over time in its production history? To address these questions, students will read and view representative samples from the Ransom Center’s strong holdings in modern and contemporary Anglophone drama, plus some Shakespeare. (Of Shakespeare’s plays, we might include the different published versions of King Lear in the first seventeenth-century editions of the text; Modern/Contemporary works might include those of Arthur Miller, David Mamet, Tennessee Williams, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, Tom Stoppard, David O. Selznick, and Robert DeNiro.) While learning archival research methods, students will train their analytical senses to notice plays’ character development ambiguities and implicit nuances of plot and cultural commentary—many of which can manifest variously in performances. Then, they will explore what further complexities can be introduced into the interpretation of selected dramas by examining records of playwrights, actors, producers, costume companies, designers, film directors, etc. in the archives at the Ransom Center.


Beyond gaining familiarity with several significant examples of Anglophone drama and the cultural contexts in which their creators were situated, students will learn about the impact the study of textual variation, publication history, production history, and archival research can have on literary, theater, or film history arguments. Students will work to sharpen their analytical writing and scholarly research skills through several targeted close reading exercises involving descriptions and comparisons of primary sources and surveys of published secondary critical and historical research material. Students will gain skills in the study of Shakespeare and modern/contemporary English-language playwrights, screenwriters, actors, and participants in productions. They will also gain familiarity with how to go about pursuing archival research through practical examples presented in class and at the HRC, and through an independent final research project focused on an item or small group of items held there. 

Assignments and Grading: 

Class participation, regular meetings with instructor, presentation of work to class                       10%

Essay #1: Comparative close reading of two versions of a Shakespeare text                                15%

Essay #2: Study of an historical production (or film) of a Shakespeare play                                 15%

Essay #3: Response to a scholarly essay on a modern/contemporary play/film                             15%

Essay #4: Analysis of potential vs. made choices in a performance or production                          15%

Research Project:                                                                                                                    30%

Discovery and description of an item or set of items in the HRC that allow you to make a claim about the interpretation of a work in the context of its production and/or documentary history. Plus a thorough explanation of that claim and why it is significant for the analysis of the work, its dramatists, actors, and history.

Class Format and Selected Readings:

For roughly the first 4 weeks of the course, students will become oriented toward scholarly research in the Harry Ransom Center and University Libraries, while reading examples of archival research and essays on topics related to archival research practices and goals in theater, literature, and film. During this time, the first subject we’ll analyze from an archival perspective will be Shakespeare, since his works transcend boundaries between humanities disciplines. Students will become familiar with the range of materials the HRC houses pertaining to Shakespeare and all sorts of drama by viewing examples of varying seventeenth-century printed editions of plays like King Lear, costume designs from productions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (largely in the Simmons Collection of Costume and Production Design), and adaptations by other writers (both published, like Stoppard’s Shakespeare in Love, and unpublished like an adaptation of Macbeth rewritten by T.H. White). The first two essays will be due during this section of the class. 

In the next 6-8 weeks of the course, readings will be drawn from the works of modern and contemporary dramatists who are featured prominently in HRC collections that reveal the variable creative processes that have informed a work’s composition and history of performance. Each 3-4 class periods, the class will read one play, learn about the author and its production history, and peruse materials at the Ransom Center related to that play that have been selected by the instructor. During this portion of the class, students will sign up to develop and present their third and fourth essays on two of the plays during the weeks in which they will be studied.

During the final 3-5 weeks of the course, students will develop and write their final research projects. Full class meetings will be reduced to once-per-week or fewer to allow students more time to work in the HRC and set up meetings with the instructor. 

Readings and viewings of modern/contemporary works may be drawn from:

David Mamet, e.g. Oleanna, which underwent significant changes after its initial performances to make its social criticism more ambiguous)

Arthur Miller, e.g. The Crucible, Death of a Salesman

Tennessee Williams, e.g. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Glass Menagerie, Streetcar Named Desire (which all started off with really terrible titles)

Samuel Beckett, e.g. Waiting for Godot

Tom Stoppard, e.g. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

G.B. Shaw, e.g. Pygmalion

Robert DeNiro, e.g. A Bronx Tale, Goodfellas, The Deer Hunter


Essays/Chapters in:

Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage

Performing Shakespeare’s Tragedies Today

Research Methods in Theatre and Performance, ed. Baz Kershaw, 2011

Understanding Archives and Manuscripts, by James M. O’Toole and Richard J. Cox, 2006

Documentation, Disappearance, and the Representation of Live Performance, by Matthew Reason, 2006


Online resources:

 HRC sites:


 Archival Research Methods:


Course Description

by Elon Lang

Lecturer in HMN / LAH / CTI

Project Archivist at HRC


Possible Course Numbers w/ cross listing:

LAH 350

HMN 350


Independent Inquiry







LAH 350 • Epics And Influences

29113 • Woods, Marjorie Curry
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm CAL 221
(also listed as E 350E)
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E 350E  l  Epics and Influences-HONORS

Instructor:  Woods, M

Unique #:  34625

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors; Liberal Arts Honors

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: This course looks at the history of the classical tradition through influential verse narratives of the ancient and late antique periods. The specific works have been chosen because of their impact on artistic treatments of love, war, power, and gender in literature and other arts. The Honors version of the course will concentrate on critical approaches to these texts and the evolution of interpretation during different periods of the western tradition. The major focus of a student’s research project could be the influence of one of the texts on a later work or works, such as a novel, lyric poetry, opera, or film.

Required Texts: The primary texts will include the Iliad of Homer; Virgil’s Aeneid; selections from Ovid’s Metamorphoses;the Achilleid of Statius; and the anonymous Apollonius of Tyre. Other required readings will be drawn from modern studies like David M. Halperin’s “Heroes and their Pals” and P. J. Heslin’s Transvestite Achilles, earlier reworkings of these texts such as the classical abbridgement known as the “Latin Homer” (Ilias latina) and medieval Latin love lyrics, and modern interpretations in other media (e.g., Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and the film of Troy). The scope and focus of this secondary material will be shaped in part by the interests of the students in the class. ALL REQUIRED READINGS WILL BE IN ENGLISH.

Requirements & Grading: The first written assignment (4-5 pages) will be a description of two versions, editions, or translations of one of these works based on the holdings in the Harry Ransom Center. A secondary option would be an analysis of a two related scholarly articles on one of the required texts. Most students will be looking at texts that they have not read yet, and the purpose of the requirement is to learn technical vocabulary and the varieties of scholarly discourse and analysis. These papers will be peer reviewed and then revised. Each student will then write a research paper of 10-15 pages whose topic will have been worked out both in class and with the instructor individually (as will have been the case with the first paper as well). This paper will be submitted twice, first to be read in small peer groups as well as by the professor and then after further substantial revision. The third assignment will be an annotated bibliography (4-5 pages) presented to the class based on the research materials consulted for the longer paper.

Attendance and participation in class discussion are required. Each student will make an ungraded oral presentation with a one-page handout including discussion questions on the assigned reading for at least one class, and a final short presentation on the research project with the annotated bibliography.

Class attendance, discussion, and presentations: 40%; written work: 60%.

LAH 350 • Fathers And Sons

29115 • Isenberg, Steven L
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CRD 007B
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We will explore the burdens and blessings, affections and alienation of the father-son relationship through the novels, memoirs, autobiographies and a play by American, British and Russian writers.

Their works show the ways and means of sons seeking to achieve their course and identity, and the centrality of influence and legacy of their fathers. In doing so, matters of married life, family structure and generational dynamics, religious belief, politics, sexuality, professional careers, and education all come to the fore.  As of course does rivalry and struggle.

 At the center of our readings, from childhood to the death of the father, are some of the strongest forces that shape lives and destinies, and reveal the deepest emotions. These memories, deliberations, testimony and imaginings, have given us compelling literature.


Grading Policy: There will four six to eight page essays required, which will comprise 80% of the class grade. 20% will take into account class participation. There will be no final exam.



Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

Gosse, Father and Son

Ackerley, My Father, and Myself

Roth, Patrimony

Blake Morrison, And When Did You Last See Your Father

Miller, Death of A Salesman

Tobias Wolff, A Boy's Life

Martin Amis, Experience

Christopher Buckley, Losing Mum and Pup

Alexander Waugh, Fathers and Sons




LAH 350 • Hollywood Babylon

29123 • Bennett, Chad
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 210
(also listed as E 344L)
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E 344L  l  Hollywood Babylon-HONORS

Instructor:  Bennett, C

Unique #:  34580

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors; Liberal Arts Honors

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: Dream factory or nightmare? Promised land or wasteland? In this course we will examine Hollywood’s symbolic role in American culture, considering the many complex and often contradictory ways the film capital has been constructed and understood. What can these competing representations of Hollywood tell us about twentieth-century America and its ideals, practices, and concerns? What do we find if we approach Hollywood as a vibrant cultural site to which America has repeatedly turned to work out its most conflicted ideas about art and commerce, class, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, ethics, politics, style? Posing these questions of numerous representations of Hollywood—primarily in films and novels, but also in stories, essays, poems, paintings, photographs, songs, and fan magazines—we will trace America’s fraught relationship to Hollywood as it develops over the twentieth century, and explore the formal genre of the Hollywood story.

In addition to the requirements listed below, this honors version of the topic will require students to engage regularly, in class and in writing, with critical, historical, and theoretical materials that will contextualize our readings of the primary texts; and to take formal responsibility for introducing, framing, and guiding the seminar’s discussion of a particular text and/or topic.

Texts: In addition to Kenneth Anger’s gossipy Hollywood counter-history, Hollywood Babylon, texts may include novels by F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Love of the Last Tycoon), Nathanael West (The Day of the Locust), and Gore Vidal (Myra Breckinridge); the films A Star is Born (dir. George Cukor), Barton Fink (by Joel and Ethan Coen), L.A. Confidential (dir. Curtis Hanson), Sunset Blvd. (dir. Billy Wilder), and Mulholland Dr. (dir. David Lynch); and artwork by Joseph Cornell, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, and Cindy Sherman (The Complete Untitled Film Stills). The course packet will include several additional readings, including critical and theoretical essays.

Requirements & Grading: Final grades will be based on participation (both in class, in formal class presentations, and in weekly discussion board posts) (30%), one five-page essay (30%), and one eight- to ten-page essay (40%). Attendance is mandatory; more than three absences may result in a reduction of the final grade.

LAH 350 • Human Place In Nature

29125 • TURNER, MATT
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CLA 0.108
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The Human Place in Nature Liberal Arts Honors 350 (29125), Spring 2016

MWF 10:00-11:00 a.m., CLA 0.108

Dr. Matt W. Turner

Office: GSB 5.176N Hours: MWF 11:00-12:00 and by appt.


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.  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--Biblical expulsion from paradise and redemption, the puritanical fear of wilderness, the rise of the sublime in the 18th century, Transcendentalist self-rediscovery, and the American frontier--still influence our views today.  As a counterpoint, we will look beyond these traditions at Native American writings, and toward the end of the course we will grapple with the unsettling proposition that nature no longer 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.


Full-Length Books  (available at UT Coop):

Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)

Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac (1949)

Edward Abbey,  Desert Solitaire (1968)

Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974)

Selections, Chapters, Articles  (available as Course Packet at UT Copy Center, McCombs School of Business, GSB 3.136 ….or on Canvas)

Bible – Genesis Roderick Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind (1967)

William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647

William Wordsworth, selected poems (1807)

Percy B. Shelley , “Mont Blanc” (1817)

Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful (1757)

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nature” (1836)

Henry David Thoreau,  “Walking” (1863), The Maine Woods, “Ktaadn” (1864)

John Muir,  My First Summer in the Sierra (1911); “Wild Wood,”  “God’s First Temples", “A Wind-Storm in the Forests,” “Hetch Hetchy Valley”

John Burroughs, “The Art of Seeing Things” (1908)

Frederick Jackson Turner, “On the Significance of the Frontier in American History” (1893)

Luther Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle (1933)

Leslie Marmon Silko, “Landscape, History, and the Pueblo Imagination” (1986)

Rachel Carson, The Edge of the Sea (1955) and Silent Spring (1962)

Bill McKibben, “The End of Nature” (1989)William Cronon, “The Trouble with Wilderness” (1995)

Stephen Harrigan, “The Soul of Treaty Oak” (1989)

Movies: Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time (2011) (in class) Into the Wild (2007) (out-of-class, date TBD)


  • 14 weekly journal entries (via Canvas), min. 700 words each – drop two lowest scores (30%)
  • 2 Quizzes (30%)
  • Final “exam” consisting of one last journal entry (min 1500 words) about the most meaningful thing to you in the course (20%)
  • Attendance and class participation, including leading class discussion twice (20%)


LAH 350 • James Joyce

29130 • Friedman, Alan W
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 310
(also listed as E 349S)
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E 349S  l  4-James Joyce-HONORS

Instructor:  Friedman, A

Unique #:  34610

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors; Liberal Arts Honors

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: James Joyce, whom many consider the greatest Modernist writer, was an Irish emigrant who seemed incapable of truly separating himself from his native land since it obsessed him in many ways and was the only subject of his writings.  We will read, discuss, and write about most of what Joyce produced in order to attempt an understanding of how his mind worked, what he accomplished in his writings, and his relationship to his contemporaries, Irish politics and culture, and Modernism.


We will read Dubliners, Exiles, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, some of his non-fiction prose, and, if we have time, excerpts from Finnegans Wake.

Class will consist primarily of student introductions and detailed discussion of the assigned readings rather than lectures.  As you read, please mark particularly striking passages, write down questions and insights they raise for you, and bring them to class.  I expect you to have something in writing to offer for discussion every day.

Requirements & Grading:

            (1) Two short essays (3-4pp., 750-1000 words each, based on oral presentations); due one week after your class presentation.

            (2) Revisions: essays that receive a grade of B+ or lower are to be rewritten in a way that responds substantively to the criticism it receives.  Revisions (with originals) are due a week after essays are returned to you.  If a revision shows SIGNIFICANT improvement in both thought and writing, it too will receive a grade, and both grades will count.  You will not receive a lower grade for a revision, but you will not receive one at all for a revision that merely makes editorial alterations.

             (3) Each student is responsible for orally introducing two reading assignments and initiating discussion.  Introductions should last 5-10 minutes and present an idea or approach with some detailed evidence.  Avoid summary, abstract and general assertions, biography, autobiography, anything that shifts focus away from the text.

            (4) Ten brief, focused response papers of 1-2 pp. (250-500 words) on readings you don’t introduce.

            In addition, you are required to write an even briefer comment, question, or response to every reading assignment when you don’t otherwise have a writing assignment due.  These can be as short as 2 or 3 sentences.  They are intended to insure that you always have something to say in class; they will not be graded but I will note whether or not you submit them. 

            (5) Term paper of 8-10pp. (2000-2500 words) on a mutually agreed upon topic derived from the work of the course; presented in class during the last week, with one-page abstract or outline (copies for everyone); final version due when final exam is scheduled.

Grading Policy: two seminar essays (15% each); average of reading responses (10%); term paper (40%); quality and quantity of class participation (including attendance, being on time, oral introductions, brief comments) count for the rest (20%).  Students who sit passively and silently through the course can expect to do poorly.  Grades will be as earned (including plus/minus): no curve.

LAH 350 • Mythologies Of Rape

29135 • Hubbard, Thomas K
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WAG 112
(also listed as C C 348)
show description

This course attempts to inform modern legal and policy discussions concerning rape by exploring its conceptual genealogy not only in English Common Law, but through art, literature, and legend dating back to classical times. In Sir Matthew Hale’s famous dictum, no crime is so easily alleged or more difficult to prove. How can jurisprudential systems adequately protect the rights of the victim while granting due process and presumption of innocence to the accused? Why are juries traditionally so skeptical of rape claims? What special challenges are presented in combatting organized rape of civilian population in situations of war? To what extent is underage sex legitimately defined as “statutory rape”? What are the conditions that perpetuate prison rape? Why do men rape women (and other men)?

In tracing this conceptual history, we shall examine rape as a literary and mythological topos from the Trojan War (a founding myth of Hellenic identity) to the rape of the Sabine Women and the rape of Lucretia (founding myths of Roman independence) to modern mythologies of race and gender vulnerability in films such as D. W. Griffiths’ Birth of a Nation and the Nazi-produced Jud Süss. How have these politicized invocations of rape conditioned popular and elite assumptions that complicate the process of finding justice? How have contemporary feminism and global human rights agendas shaped our understanding and treatment of rape? The course aims to contextualize the legal issues surrounding rape in broader dimensions of social construction and gender performance. It is designed to fulfill both the Writing Flag and Ethics & Leadership Flag.

LAH 350 • Paper Chase: Law Schl, Life

29140 • LEVY, MARK A
Meets TTH 800am-930am CLA 0.122
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 caselaw, 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. 

“The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience.  The felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories, institutions of public policy, avowed or unconscious, even the prejudices which judges share with their fellow-men, have had a good deal more to do than the syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be governed.  The law embodies the story of a nation’s development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics.  In order to know what it is, we must know what it has been, and what it tends to become.” 

–Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. The Common Law, p. 1.


Course Bibliography: 

Various legal opinions by Judges Learned Hand, Richard Posner, Oliver Wendell Holmes, etc., and Lord Alfred Denning.

(all or a portion of the following texts)

Arthur Miller: The Crucible

Franz Kafka: The Trial

John Nichols: The Milagro Beanfield War

Sophocles: The Oedipus Plays

Edward Larson: Summer for the Gods 

Selections from “The Paper Chase,” “Law & Order,” “A Civil Action,” “Philadelphia,” and “My Cousin Vinny”

Assignments and Grading Policy:

Students will be graded on a combination of written work product (85%) and classroom participation (15%). Students will write three one-page case briefs (15%) and two four-page papers, developing a single topic (30%). Students will receive grades for each four-page paper based on a final product, to be submitted after at least one round of revisions offered by the professor and student peer review. In place of a final exam, students will submit a 6-8 page paper developing the same topic or on a separate subject (40%).

Guest Lecturers: 

Professors Carma Gorman (the influence of the law on industrial design), Lucille Wood (disability law), and Philip Durst (employment law); and attorneys Paul Coggins (Locke, Lord in Dallas; criminal law); Kayna Stavast and Will Shieber (antitrust law).

Instructor: Mark A. Levy, J.D.


Cell: (512) 560-0676

University Policy: 

The University of Texas at Austin provides, upon request, appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TT.




LAH 350 • Pope Francis's Cath Church-Ita

29145 • Theriault, Sean
(also listed as GOV 379S, T C 357)
show description

Students may only enroll in this course if accepted into the 2016 Maymester Program: 

Pope Francis’s Catholic Church: The Making of the Modern Papacy 

Course offered in Rome, Italy May 24-June 21, 2016

This program offers the unique opportunity to explore first-hand the history and politics of papal succession and church policy in Rome, Italy. Specifically, we will concentrate on Pope Francis, the Holy See, the Vatican, and the world that it serves. The course will introduce, describe, and analyze how the Church makes its decisions and why. In addition to a regular classroom schedule, we will visit the great churches of Rome, meet with the Princes of the Church, and observe the church's far-reaching influence. By the end of the course, students will have developed an understanding of the church as a historical, religious, and political organization. Local program staff in Rome will organize orientation and housing and support students throughout the program's duration.

For more information visit:

LAH 350 • Psych/Relig In Mod Amer Cul

29150 • Abzug, Robert H.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm HRC 2.214
(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. 

Readings (Viewings, Listenings) (examples open to revision):

Sigmund Freud, selections on religion (pdfs accessed through Canvas)

Jessica Grogan, Encountering America: Humanistic Psychology, Sixties Culture, and the   Shaping of the Modern Self

William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience

Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul 

Rollo May,Psychology and the Human Dilemma

Various examples from music, art, and drama illustrating themes in the course.


Perfect Attendance at Seminar and timely completion of reading assignments 

Active Participation in Seminar

Weekly Ungraded Responses to Readings (300 words) (critiqued for content/style) 

Term report presented to class and as 15 page paper on topic chosen by student in conjunction with and approved by professor


Class Participation, Including Oral Reports and Reading Discussions (40%)

On Time Completion of All Responses to Weekly Readings (20%)

Graded Oral Report and 15-page term paper (40%)


Office Hours: TTH 3:30-5:00PM GAR 3.310 or by appt.






LAH 350 • Race And Medicine In Amer Life

29155 • Hoberman, John
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GAR 1.134
show description

This course examines the relationship between African Americans and the American medical profession from the era of plantation slavery to the present day. The course divides the history of this relationship into several periods: the era of plantation medicine during the antebellum period; the formation and propagation of ideas about African American health following Emancipation; the practice of segregated medicine up until the 1960’s; interactions between black physicians and the American Medical Association prior to and during the Civil Rights era; and the period from the 1960’s to the present. The course examines the persistence of medical racism in American medicine up to the present day.

The course is built around two major themes: the history and dynamics of the estrangement of African Americans from the white medical establishment, and how racial folklore has influenced the diagnosis and treatment of black patients. Many inaccurate accounts of “racial” differences in anatomy, physiology, psychology, and immunity to disease persisted in the medical, psychiatric, and anthropological literatures for much or all of the twentieth century. Most of this history has remained unknown to successive generations of American physicians. We will examine the copious evidence of racially differential treatment and diagnosis that has appeared in medical literature over the past 25 years. We will then examine how white physicians have reacted to these findings and have talked among themselves and with others about physician behaviors they cannot explain because they do not think historically about race and medicine. Required reading:

John Hoberman, Black & Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012). 

John Hoberman, “Examining Tuskegee,” Social Science and Modern Society 46 (November/December 2009).

John Hoberman, “Medical Racism and the Rhetoric of Exculpation: How Do Physicians Think About Race?” New Literary History 38 (Summer 2007): 505-525.

John Hoberman, "The Primitive Pelvis: The Role of Racial Folklore in Obstetrics and Gynecology During the Twentieth Century," in Body Parts: Critical Explorations in Corporeality, Christopher E. Forth and Ivan Crozier, eds. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2005): 85-104.

William W. Dressler, “Health in the African American Community: Accounting for Health Inequalities,” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 7 (1993): 325-345. 

Ford Fessenden, “A Difference of Life & Death,” Newsday [Long Island, New

York] (November 29, 1998): A4-A6, A55-A57.

Newton G. Osborne and Marvin D. Feit, "The Use of Race in Medical

Research," JAMA 267 (January 8, 1992): 275-279. 

Ritchie Witzig, "The Medicalization of Race: Legitimization of a Flawed Social

Construct," Annals of Internal Medicine 125 (1996): 675-679. 

Stephen B. Thomas, "The Color Line: Race Matters in the Elimination of Health Disparities," American Journal of Public Health 91 (July 2001): 1046-1048 

Michelle D. Holmes, David Hodges, John Rich, “Racial Inequalities in the Use of Procedures for Ischemic Heart Disease,” JAMA (June 9, 1989): 3242-3243.

H. Jack Geiger, “Race and Health Care,” NEJM 335 (September 12, 1996): 815-81

Peter B. Bach et al., “Racial Differences in the Treatment of Early-Stage Lung Cancer,” NEJM 341 (October 14, 1999): 1198-1205.

Charles F. Whitten, "Sickle-Cell Programming – An Imperiled Promise," NEJM 288 (February 8, 1973): 318-319.

Doris Y. Wilkinson, "For Whose Benefit? Politics and Sickle Cell," The Black Scholar (May 1974): 26-31

William F. Mengert, "Racial Contrasts in Obstetrics and Gynecology," Journal of the National Medical Association (November 1966): 413-415

Stanley M. Garn, Nathan J. Smith, and Diane C. Clark, "Lifelong Differences in Hemoglobin Levels Between Blacks and Whites," Journal of the National Medical Association 67 (1975): 91-96



3 two-hour take-home examinations

1 five-page paper

12-15-page paper

attendance (absences require medical documentation)
















LAH 350 • Reading The Moderns

29160 • Staley, Thomas F
Meets MW 200pm-330pm HRC 2.214
show description


Course Description and Objectives:

This course will examine five works by modern authors, Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier, James Joyce’s Ulysses, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. We will read closely and look widely at this quintet of works, comparing the various expressions of these strains of modernism. The course will make strong use of primary materials in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center.

Texts/Film List:

The Good Soldier, Ulysses, Wasteland, The Great Gatsby, The End of the Affair, (possibly The Power and the Glory). 

Course Requirements:

All exams will be essays 1 paper , 10-12 pages

Class attendance and participation 50%

Writing 50%


LAH 350 • Regime Persp On Amer Politics

29165 • Tulis, Jeffrey
Meets TH 330pm-630pm GAR 1.134
(also listed as CTI 335, GOV 379S)
show description

GOV 379S   Regime Perspectives on American Politics

Spring 2016

Jeffrey K. Tulis


This is a seminar on American politics and culture.   Two purposes govern the selection of texts for the course and guide our discussion of them.  All of our texts attempt to look at American politics as a whole.  Most books and courses on America look at only a part, such as the Presidency, or elections, or popular culture.  Here we attempt to think about how the parts of America fit together.  Even when these texts speak about a part, for example an institution such as the presidency or the Congress, they present the topic from a vantage point on the whole polity.   To see the polity as a whole also means that we will have to revisit and rethink aspects of our political life that we take for granted – that we don’t examine because those parts have become so natural or familiar to us.  Seeing the polity whole enables us to render the familiar unfamiliar, to make what we take for granted strange and new.


To see the polity as a whole requires that we get some distance from our subject, much as to see the planet earth as a whole requires one to look at it from outer space.  Just as it is difficult to get visual perspective on a place living within it, it is difficult to understand the promise or pathologies of a regime from within.  To get critical distance from our politics, we will closely study three sets of texts that look at American politics from a distance.   The first part of the course will recover the perspective of the founding debate between Federalists and Anti-federalists.   This fundamental debate reveals what is a stake in the basic architecture of the American regime.  The second part of the course is a close study of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.  Regarded by many as the best book ever written on democracy and the best book written on America, Tocqueville sees our polity whole because he looks at it from the vantage point of Europe, in general, and France, in particular.  In the third part of the seminar we think about American politics from the perspective of thoughtful commentators who feel only nominally included in the polity.   Half in and half out, these extraordinary black American writers reveal fissures and fault lines in the American regime.  We end the class with a discussion of America’s place in the world today – examining a speech by a writer who articulately raises challenges to our self-understanding that are inarticulately expressed today in rage and ranting from enemies of the United States.




Three take home analytic essays, chosen from a list of topics I provide, each weighted 25% of the course grade.  Late essays will not be accepted, except with a doctor’s excuse or a Dean’s excuse for family emergency.


OR as an option: you may write the two short essays (both together weighted 25%) and do a longer 15 page paper on a topic of your choice in consultation with me (weighted 50% of your course grade).   Government honors students who are thinking of doing an honors thesis next year may prefer this option to begin to develop research and writing skills for longer work.  Students who prefer this option will need to designate their preferred third short essay and have discussed with me a topic for their long paper by March 30. 



The Federalist

Selected Anti-Federalist writings

Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Essays, speeches and articles by Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington, James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison

LAH 350 • Sicily: Myth/Reality/Mafia

29170 • Bini, Daniela
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm 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, Giordana, Crialese, Amenta.


Verga, Giovanni: “The She-wolf,” “Rosso Malpelo,” “The Stuff”

Pirandello, Luigi: “The Other Son,” “Moon Sickness,” The Horse in the Moon,” “Requiem,” “The Jar”

Tomasi di Lampedusa, Giuseppe: The Leopard & Luchino Visconti’s film

Brancati, Vitaliano: Don Giovanni in Sicily

Maraini, Dacia: Bagheria

Sciascia, Leonardo. The Day of the Owl


Amenta, Marco: The Sicilian Girl

Pietro Germi: Seduced and Abandoned

Torre, Roberta: Angela

Crialese, Manuele: Respiro

Pif, La mafia uccide solo d’estate

On Blackboard: Power points of Greek temples in Agrigento, Segesta, Senilunte; of Sicilian Baroque Architecture; of paintings by Antonello da Messina and Renato Guttuso with relative texts.

Grades: Midterm Exam 30%; Final Exam 40%; research paper 20%; Class Participation 10%



LAH 350 • Twisted Literature

29175 • Cohen, Matt
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CAL 323
(also listed as E 350M)
show description

E 350M  l  Twisted Literature-HONORS

Instructor:  Cohen, M

Unique #:  34630

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors; Liberal Arts Honors

Computer Instruction:  No

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

Description: Varieties of Vileness in Three Genres --

This honors course will explore the sick and the wrong in literature from the Greeks (The Oresteia) to contemporary America (The America Play; Rolling the R's). By "sick and wrong," I believe I mean literary works whose formal experiments are--hideously, elegantly, or both--spliced with a tremendous sensitivity to the cultural chalkboard-scratchings and itch-makings of their readers. These books make you think about why you're here and why you do what you do and like what you like (and whether maybe you like or detest other things than you thought you did). They give you ideas; and they make you, or at least made me, rethink what writing has been and might be about. Was it Kenneth Burke who said that literature is equipment for living? This is equipment for rethinking what he meant by "living."

That said, while folks tend to think of evil and good as eternal and transcendent, it turns out human beings can’t always agree on what’s vile and what’s not. Turn to different epochs, places, and even literary genres, and what’s vile becomes salutary, what seems good turns sour, and desire seems to face seven directions at once. What to make of this, or perhaps even merely how to talk about it, will be one of our golden, twisted threads for the semester.

Tentative Readings: In addition to the works mentioned above, Huysmans's Against the Grain (À rebours); Norris’s McTeague; a little Poe and Christina Rossetti; the Story of Tobit from the Apocrypha; The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius; and The Unabomber Manifesto are all fair game. Charles Baudelaire, William Shakespeare, Bruce Springsteen, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ana Maria Matute, and Laurence Sterne may also be accomplices.

Requirements and Grading: This course is flagged for writing; a 10-page research/interpretive paper will be due at the end of the semester, and we will be writing towards it, doing peer reviews and revisions, the whole time. Weekly written responses, thematic stabs, revisions, and the final essay will constitute half the course grade.

LAH 350 • War Writing

29180 • Isenberg, Steven L
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CRD 007A
show description

We will read exemplary works of recollection, imagining and reportage that come of the experience of war. The experience, the idiom, the emotions and art that come from crucible of battle stand uniquely in their claim on readers. The commonalities of war and the shapes of particular ones come together in these portraits of war's realities and toll, its horror and suffering, the honor and courage of its combatants and the psychological forces that leave their mark on the memory of individuals and a nation.

Readings will begin with the Great War whose centenary is being marked over the next few years, and will go on to the Spanish Civil War, World War II, Vietnam and Iraq.

Grading Policy: There will be four essays of 6-8 pages accounting for 80% of the grade; the other 20% will be based on class participation.


All Quiet on the Western Front, Eric Remarque

Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, Siegfried Sassoon

Goodbye to All That, Robert Graves

Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell

Alamein to Zem Zem, Keith Douglas

The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer

The Hunters, James Salter

If I Die in a Combat Zone, Tim O'Brien

Dispatches, Michael Herr

The Good Soldiers, David Finkel

Deployment, Phil Klay


LAH 350 • Weaponry Of Words

Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WEL 4.224
(also listed as T C 325)
show description

“A good traveler leaves no tracks. Good speech lacks fault-­‐finding.”

  • Lao Tzu

“To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but that an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.”

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“The pillars of a great speech are: clarity, brevity, levity and charity.”

  • Ted Sorensen

Today, social media dominates the landscape of communication. This relatively new apparatus creates truncated messages aimed at grabbing the short attention spans of distracted users. Public speaking – articulating ideas through the spoken word in a powerful way – is a lost art.

This course examines the tradition of public speaking. We will literally start at Genesis (“Let there be light.”) and trek the landscape of rhetoric through antiquity into the 21st century. How have humans harnessed the sentiment of their time by leveraging the use of words to compel others to act? What makes a narrative resonate with the listener? Why do certain phrases stick in the collective psyche of society? From Lou Gehrig (“Today I am the luckiest man alive.”) to Jesse Jackson (“I am somebody.”), history’s best orators have wielded the

spoken word with precision and poise. The ability to craft a stirring message is an essential trait for leadership.

Assignments and Grading Policy:

Grades will be based on the following: (1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the class; (2) timely submission of all work; (3) construction and delivery of a speech.

Final grades will be calculated using the following formula: (1) short  (double-­‐spaced/3-­‐4 pages) response papers – 35%, (2) final assignment – construction and delivery of a speech - 35%, and (3) class participation and attendance - 30%. There will not be a final. 


Daron K. Roberts


Cell:(617) 308-6913


LAH 350 • Defense Policy

29190 • Dorn, Edwin
Meets W 200pm-500pm SRH 3.221
show description

                  The course will follow a logical progression from the articulation of national security strategy through decisions about DoD organization and resources.  Because most students are not familiar with the military, the seminar will begin with an overview of military terms and organizing principles.  Students will be introduced to essential policy documents such as Title X of the US Code and the National Security Strategy.

                  The Defense Department, like all organizations, must succeed at several key things: it must decide on its basic purposes or policies, obtain the resources (money, people, equipment and information) needed to carry out those purposes, and hire or develop good leaders. These six topics – policy, personnel, acquisition, budget, intelligence and leadership – will be the “meat” of the course.  We will devote one or two sessions to each of the following topics:


  1. Background.  Overview of DoD; the difference between war fighters and resource providers; the roles of the key leaders such as the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the combatant commanders.
  2. Purposes: What are we defending ourselves against (or fighting for)?
    1. National Security Strategy.  Who writes it, what influences it.
    2. National Defense Strategy. Threat-based versus capability-based approaches.
  3. People: recruiting, training and rewarding the Force.
    1. From conscription to the all-volunteer force.
    2. Who should serve, and who shouldn’t?
    3. Pay and benefits.
  4. Things: acquisition and logistics.
    1. Figuring out what to buy and how to buy.
    2. Maintaining the industrial base.
  5. Money: The Defense budget.
    1. Defense Planning Guidance.
    2. Budget trends.
  6. Information: command, control, communications, intelligence.
    1. Internal communications and coordination
    2. Public information
    3. Intelligence.
  7. Leadership:  developing the officer corps.
  8. Thinking About The Future: anticipating threats, defining roles and missions.


Texts and Works:

  • Amos A. Jordan, Willliam J. Taylor, Jr. and Michael J. Mazarr, American National Security (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009). Buy.
  • Lawrence J. Korb, et al, Building a Military for the 21st Century, E-res
  • Barbara A. Bicksler, Curtis L. Gilroy and John T. Warner, eds., The All-Volunteer Force: Thirty Years of Service (Dulles, VA, Brassey’s, 2004).  Copies on reserve in the Benson Latin American Collection. SRH 1.108

Grading Policy:

Students will be expected to contribute to class discussions, to write a short paper describing their interests in defense issues (i.e., why they are taking the class), to review a book about an issue they choose, and to take a mid-term and a final examination.

  1. Class attendance and participation – 10%
  2. Short paper – 10%
  3. Mid-term examination – 20%
  4. Book review and discussion – 30%
  5. Final examination – 30%







LAH 350 • Tech Change & Financial Crisis

29195 • Galbraith, James
Meets W 300pm-600pm CRD 007B
(also listed as T C 357)
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.


LAH 350 • Documentary Film & Inquiry

29200 • Ainslie, Ricardo
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm SZB 439B
show description

The primary thesis that organizes this course is that qualitative approaches to inquiry, including ethnography, interviewing, and narrative description, are unique methodologies that help us examine and understand the meaning of social incidents and controversies, cultural transformations, and other questions of interest. Documentary projects will be the vehicle for exploring these methodological issues over the course of the semester. We will also learn about the elements that make documentaries effective as a means for communicating ideas and issues.  

Students will develop and carry out 20-minute documentary video projects around topics that they select. In the process, they will learn about interviewing, filming with video cameras, lighting, and sound, in addition to learning the basic elements of editing. The projects will be selected from idea proposals that students submit. Working collaboratively in teams of 2-3 students, your team will conceive of the project, research it, film interviews related to it, and edit your material into the 20-minute documentary. Your instructor will provide ongoing consultation on your project and the documentaries will be screened at the end of the semester.

No previous experience with documentary work is required.


LAH 350 • Getting It In Writing

29210 • Mackintosh, Prudence
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CLA 0.124
show description

“I’m in the service industry. I want to be sure you have what you need. It’s the same when I write. I want to be sure the reader has what he needs.”

--Danielle Hamilton, chef of Prune restaurant in New York and author of current best seller BLOOD, BONES & BUTTER, The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

You will write one brief (3-4 page) paper each week with occasional timeouts for rewriting. Anticipate ten papers. Finding the pleasure and power in writing well with humanity and warmth is a major focus of this class.  We will practice writing simple, honest, uncluttered prose on topics that you actually care about.  I will be meeting some deadlines for my own work along with you.

Learning to write fluidly, organize intelligently and edit carefully are life-enhancing skills. From the various readings, you will see how sharp observation and occasionally dialogue are as important to the non-fiction writer as they are to the novelist. Since writing is a performing art, you should expect to read some of your papers aloud in class and have them projected on the blackboard. We will establish a supportive atmosphere of respect from the beginning.

Readings: In addition to the book ON WRITING WELL by William Zinsser, you will have brief readings to accompany the early writing assignments.

Ignore them at your peril. Reading capable non-fiction writers will upgrade your sensibilities, improve your vocabulary and equip you with interesting ideas for your own writing. Class members will lead discussion on some of the readings.

Grading: I regret that this is a University fact of life. I only hope that writing to my standards will assist you in developing your own. Grades will be based on the ten papers (80%). The remainder of your grade (20%) will come from your presence, your questions and your contributions to the class.

There is no final exam.

I want your papers in both hard copy (stapled and page numbered) and electronic document form. Be sure to put your name, LAH 350, the date and the topic in the top left hand corner.


Office: 318 Parlin Hall


LAH 350 • In Search Of Meaning

29215 • Adams, Michael W
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CBA 4.340
(also listed as HMN 350)
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This is a course that asks a lot of questions. And it questions all the answers. Ifyou are uncomfortable being asked questions (about your beliefs, your personal meaning) and reluctant to ask the tough questions of others, this may not be the course for you. 

We will begin by establishing (as best as history tells us) how what we recognize as western reality came into existence, how the foundation was laid and when. The concepts will include: monotheism; original sin; heaven; hell; salvation, etc. After we establish how and when these and a host of other foundational features came into existence and created what we call judeo-Christian  reality, we will contrast the reality created therein with other realities- Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam.

The we turn back to the West and explore writer and philosophers who reject the institutionally handed down judeo-Christian  reality, and try to put something in its place (Humanism, Deism,   Transcendentalism, Existentialism, Nihilism, Eurekans crystal worshippers, etc.) or find a kind of consolation in atheism or, and often most ignored, a noble kind of Aesthetic Humanism. This journey will lead us to what Pars Lagerkvist called the central question of the modern mind-How do we find meani ng in a meaningless world? We will spend some special time exploring your answers to this question. And, to be fair, at the end of the semester I'll give you my answer (which is the right answer, of course - hint: to err is human, to forgive, canine). AND I'll let you interrogate me, as I will have interrogated you during the semester. 

Texts and Works: (assigned readings from)

The Old Testament (selections); Plato, Crito. Phaedo; India's "Vedic Hymns," "The kena-Upanishad" and "The Mahabharata" or the Bhagavad Gita; Cicero, "The Offices"; Lucreti us, "The Nature of Things"; the Gnostic texts (selections), The New Testament (selections), the "Nicaean Creed"; St. Augusti ne's City of God (selections); the Koran (selections); Erasmus, "The Praise of Folly", Pico della Mirandola "Of the Dignity of Man"; Nicolaus Copernicus, "The Revolutions of Heavenly Bodies"; Bruno, "Of the Infinite Universe and Innumerable Worlds"; Sir Francis Bacon, "Novum Organum:, Martin Luther, "Table Talk"; Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason"; selections from Locke, d'Holbach, Dickinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Anne Sexton, Edna St. Vincent Millaly; Herman Hesse, Siddhartha; Flannery O'Connor; selected stories; Dostoevsky's "Grand Inquisitor"; Pars Lagervist, Barabbas; Camus, The Stranger; Sartre, No Exit; Nathaniel West, Miss Lonelyhearts; Denis Johnson, Jesus' Son; Raymond Carver, selected stories; Don Delillo, White Noise.

Requirements and Grading Policy

Five analytical essays (4-8 pages) 75%

Quizzes 15%

Discussion 10%

Attendance required. Five point deduction from final average for every unexcused absence. Five point deduction from final average for three or more times late to class

LAH 350 • Technologies Of The Book

29220 • Winship, Michael B
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm HRC 2.212
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The book was the most important medium for the communication and preservation of written human culture for the past millennium. This course will examine the technologies that enabled this remarkably persistent and flexible object and explore its impact on society, with particular attention paid to the printed book that has flourished since the mid-fifteenth century. Technology will be understood in its broadest sense: attention will be paid not only to the technologies of production and manufacture, but also those that enabled the creation of texts by authors and their distribution and reception. Finally, the course will consider the future of the book in today’s society, which is in the midst of the digital revolution.

Texts/Film List:

Our text will be Philip Gaskell’s New Introduction to Bibliography, supplemented by the articles on the history of the book that are reprinted in The Book History Reader, edited by David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery (F&M), or will be available through eReserves (ERes). Students will also be assigned several dvds and videos that demonstrate various book-making technologies. The course will meet regularly in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in order to draw on its remarkable resources. Students will also participate in a printing laboratory, where they will set and print a brief text by hand.

Course Requirements:

Students will produce two brief response papers (4 pages each) and a final research paper (8 Pages). Grades will be based on the two response papers (20% each), the final research paper (40%) and class participation (20%). Attendance in class is required and students missing 3 or more classes will have their grades lowered. As an upper-division course with a substantial writing component, students will be expected to come to classes fully prepared and to consult with the instructor during the semester on how to improve their writing skills. 

LAH 350 • History At Play

29225 • Casey, Julie C
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WAG 308
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Welcome to “History at Play II,” the upper-division version of “Reacting to the Past.” This is an interactive, interdisciplinary seminar that explores major ideas in political philosophy and the historical context in which those ideas gained significance. This course engages students in the religious, political, and cultural debates surrounding two events that have profoundly shaped the history of the world: England’s break with the Catholic Church in 1536 during the reign of Henry VIII, and India’s independence from Britain in 1947 and subsequent partitioning of the country into India and Pakistan. To explore these ideas and events, students assume the identities and perspectives of political and religious leaders of the historical setting and take part in elaborate role-playing games. For each game, the students will read widely and deeply in key texts to inform their assigned character’s perspectives and strategies. Then, in character, they re-enact the historical conflict, debating the pros and cons of some fundamental questions: how can different religious and social groups cohere as a single nation? How can the rights of vulnerable minorities be protected from the potential tyranny of the majority? How do religious beliefs influence politics, leadership, and identity? In the course of the semester, each student will play two roles, one for each game. Not only does this give the students a chance to immerse themselves in the social and cultural aspects of different historical periods and countries, it also allows them to experience different political orientations: the student who begins the semester as a conservative English parliamentarian may end it as a radical Muslim. Students must determine on their own how best to achieve their victory objectives, drawing upon the course texts for intellectual guidance, as well as consulting the instructor, the preceptor, and each other.

Texts/Film List:  

Henry VIII Game:

  1. D.G. Newcombe, Henry VIII and the English Reformation (Routledge, 1995)
  2. Thomas More, Utopia Penguin Classic 2012 edition
  3. Desiderius Erasmus, The Education of the Christian Prince (Cambridge, 1997) Blue cover (Cambridge series on political thought)
  4. Niccolo Machiavelli, Selected Political Writings (Hackett, 1994)
  5. J. Patrick Coby, Henry VIII and The Reformation Parliament (Pearson, 2006, with 2012 addendum). This is the Student Game Book – purchase course packet at Jenn’s copies, 22nd and Guadalupe.
  6. Bible – any version 

India Game

  1. Ainslie Embree and Mark Carnes, Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945 (This is the Student Game Book: purchase course packet at Jenn’s Copies, 22nd and Guadalupe)
  2. Hay, Stephen, Ed. Sources of Indian Tradition, volume 2 (Columbia U.P., second edition).


Course Requirements: Your course grade will be based on the following:

(1) Written Work (60%). You’ll be required to write five persuasive essays totaling about twenty pages (about 4 pages each), submitted throughout each game as described in your assigned character role sheet. Three of these will be written in the Henry VIII game, and two will be written in the India game. The writing process: drafting and revising. Because you are writing from the perspective of your assigned historical character, whose ideas you may not necessarily espouse personally, your essays may present a challenge. I can advise you on how to approach your assigned topic and can look over drafts/outlines (send them to me 24 hours in advance of the 8 pm submission deadline so that you have time to revise them based on my feedback). The preceptor is also available to give you feedback and advice as you write. Submitting papers: All papers will be submitted electronically. Your papers are to be emailed to the professor and to the entire class at 8:00 pm the night before you are scheduled to speak on your assigned topic. This rather unusual submission process gives students time to read each other’s arguments in preparation for debate, to develop counter-arguments, prepare questions, and gather relevant research. There is a penalty for late papers. If you miss the 8pm deadline but submit it before midnight, your paper will be docked a half letter grade. If you submit it the next day, your paper is docked a full letter grade. **Be aware of the possibility for technical difficulties and don’t wait until the last second to send it in. You get a grace period on your first late paper; after that, penalties will apply. Grading: I will grade your papers electronically using MS Word’s editing features, and I will return them to you via email on a rolling basis. The paper will be assigned a letter grade with a plus/minus, so that an A is 4.0, an A minus is 3.67, a B+ is 3.33, a B is 3.0, a B- is 2.67 and so forth. (2) Speeches & Debate (10%) Another goal of this course is for you to become comfortable with and skilled at speaking in front of groups, which is best done through practice. You will be expected to give at least three speeches from the podium, in character, during the course of the semester. You should endeavor to be convincing, engaging, and informative. You are also expected to make substantive contributions to the debates during the game, incorporating the course texts and speaking in character. (3) Class Participation (30%). You will be expected to speak regularly in class, commenting on the readings and adding your own perspective to the conversation. Your participation grade is based on

  •   regular and prompt class attendance,
  •   careful preparation of the readings,
  •   historically-accurate portrayal of your role (including costumes),
  •   active participation in pre-game sessions and in the games            themselves,
  •  and maintaining prompt and professional communication via group email

There may also occasionally be quizzes over the readings, which will factor into your participation grade. The preceptor and I will keep track each day of who is in attendance, who speaks and how involved each person is in the discussions/debates. There is also a victory bonuses awarded to the winner(s) of each game, which boosts the final participation grade up by half a letter grade. NOTE: While you may not be able to lead class discussion or give speeches every day, you can find other ways to stay involved and show your high level of participation, such as circulating an e-mail to your peers (cc. the instructor & preceptor) with your thoughts regarding the substance of the class discussion or the readings; volunteering to coordinate a small group meeting outside of class, or taking the lead on a group project (notify the instructor or preceptor that you are doing this); doing extra research on a topic and sharing it with the class via e-mail or distributing a hard copy in class; meeting with the instructor before/after class regarding the substance of the class discussions. These types of activities will show that you are engaged intellectually in the course and that you willingly contribute your ideas to the mix.

Expectations for Communication: Absences and Participation

You are expected to refer to the syllabus regularly for the reading and game schedule and to stay in close communication with your instructor, your preceptor, and your peers during the entire course. This means checking your e-mail daily for updated assignments and any announcements, responding promptly and professionally as needed, and being willing to talk with and meet outside of class with your peers for group strategy. This is one indication of your participation and dedication to this course, and it will impact your participation grade. Absences in this course are rare. If you are absent, your vote will not count, and your voice will not be heard; you can potentially alter the game dramatically and negatively. However, if you know you in advance that you must be absent or late to class, you must notify the instructor via e-mail (or text) BEFORE the class, if at all possible. It is your responsibility to find out what you’ve missed, and what you can do to catch up. I am very open and available to talking with you at any point in the course. My cell phone number is at the top of the syllabus – feel free to call or text me if you need a quick answer to a question, a bit of advice, or some guidance. I check e-mail numerous times a day, and will gladly help you in any way I can. And of course, I am available to meet with you in person both before and after class and during office hours.






LAH 358Q • Supervised Research

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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

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