Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
lahonors masthead
Larry D. Carver, Director CLA 2.104, Mailcode G6210, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3458

Course Descriptions

LAH 103H • The Ideas Of Civic Engagement

29465 • Carver, Larry D
Meets M 400pm-530pm WEL 2.246
show description

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
show description


PREREQUISITES: Upper-division standing and a grade point average of at least 3.50.



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.  Several class meetings will be devoted to listening critically to popular music of the era.  Guest speakers will include nationally recognized authorities on the 60s decade and well-known creative personalities from the period. 

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

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


Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test   (1968)

Robert Stone, Dog Soldiers   (1974)

Norman Mailer, Miami and the Siege of Chicago (1968)

Eldridge Cleaver, Soul On Ice   (1968)

Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi   (1968)

In addition, there is a coursepack of required materials including new journalism by Joan Didion and Michael Kerr; essays by 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. 


Easy Rider  (1969), The Graduate  (1967), Platoon  (1986), Medium Cool  (1969),

In the Heat of the Night  (1967) 


1.  Class attendance, careful preparation of each day’s reading assignments, attendance at film screenings and active participation in the class discussions – 20%

2.  Six two-page response papers on the screened films and the music featured in class – 25%

3.  Mid-course paper assignment of 4-5 pages – 25%

4.  Final paper assignment of 6-8 pages – 30%  



LAH 350 • Arthur-Elizabeth:leadership

29484 • Lang, Elon
Meets MWF 900am-1000am BEN 1.102
show description


Arthur to Elizabeth: Ideals of Leadership, Lessons from the Literature of the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance

What makes a good leader? How bold, just, violent, charismatic, intelligent, ruthless, loyal, kind, patient are good leaders thought to be? And what were those characteristics in a time of social and political upheaval in England and Western Europe in the period encompassing the Black Plague, the usurpation of King Richard II by King Henry IV, the Wars of the Roses, the Reformation, and the Golden Age of Elizabeth? In this class we will examine literature that contemplates these questions and we will consider what poets and writers thought they could do to influence the leaders of their societies towards good conduct. Using both idealizations of fictional leaders like those described in the tales of King Arthur’s court and idealizations of real monarchs like Henry V and Elizabeth I, authors produced works that were intended to advise their noble audiences—gently—on how to be good rulers. In doing so, these authors also modeled the duties of good citizens. The popularity of these texts suggests that their civic-minded themes allowed their writers to enjoy a rare ability to traverse certain boundaries of class andstation in order to gain attention for their ideas in the very practical context of making a living in a dangerous world of patronage and allegiances.

We’ll use examples of popular poetry and drama of the 14th through 16th centuries, as well as works of philosophy and theology that circulated in this time period, to try to grasp the mutually perceived obligations between rulers and their subjects. In turn, we will examine how these worksmight help us understand the historical trajectory of events and rulers of this period along with the significance of the literature they read and helped produce. Through close reading and analysis, students will explore the ways ideals of leadership are reflected in late medieval and early modern literature, they will work to cultivate their understanding of the aesthetic trajectory of this time period, and they will refine their close reading and analytical writing skills.

LAH 350 • Boccaccio And Shakespeare

29485 • Rebhorn, Wayne A
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CAL 323
(also listed as E 349S)
show description

This course focuses on the comic achievements of two of most important authors who wrote during the European Renaissance. In his Decameron Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) invented the modern short story collection in the West and defined Italian prose for later writers, while through his poems and plays Shakespeare (1564-1616) offered models for everyone who came after him (in England and, eventually, all over Europe). In both cases, we will be focusing primarily on the comic works of these two writers, works that present us with a Renaissance that is quite different from what the very name of the period might suggest. Typically, the period is defined as the rebirth (“renaissance” in French) of antiquity, with the stress being placed on its imitation of canonical ancient texts and on the employment of classical models from what might be called the “high” periods of ancient Greece (5th and 6th centuries BCE) and ancient Rome (the age of Augustus).  Instead, we will be looking at the Renaissance in terms of its employment and adaptation of the folk traditions of the Middle Ages, traditions which were in some ways quite anti-classical and which stressed the “low” genres of comedy, farce, and satire, as well as “low” characters such as tricksters, fools, and clowns. We will read some theoretical materials by literary critics, such as Mikhail Bakhtin and Peter Stallybrass and Allon White, at the start of the course, after which we will divide it into two halves. During the first half, we will read a generous selection from the one hundred stories in Boccaccio's Decameron. Almost all of these will be comic tales, some of them quite genuine masterpieces. The second half of the course will be focused on plays by Shakespeare, including one of the two he adapted (through intermediaries) from stories by Boccaccio, All's Well That Ends Well, as well as some of his greatest comic creations: Love's Labor's LostA Midsummer Night's DreamMuch Ado About NothingTwelfth Night, and Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 (for the great comic character Falstaff).

Requirements & Grading: Students will write a short essay (5-6 pages) on either Boccaccio or Shakespeare and a long term paper (15+ pages) on the other writer (either they will expand their short essay on Boccaccio into a term paper and write a second short essay on Shakespeare; or they will write a short essay on Boccaccio, then prepare a short essay on Shakespeare for presentation to the class, and finally turn that essay into their term paper). They will also be expected to make use of secondary sources when preparing their term papers. All students will also be expected to present their essays to the class orally on both occasions. In all cases, they will get oral feedback from other students in the class about their term papers as they are preparing them and oral as well as written feedback from the instructor. In addition, there will be unannounced reading quizzes throughout the semester. The short essay will count for twenty percent of the final grade; the long term paper, sixty percent; the quizzes, ten percent; and class participation, ten percent. Final grades for the semester will use pluses and minuses.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of upper-division coursework in English.

Restrictions:  English Honors; Plan I Honors

Flags:  Global Cultures; Writing






LAH 350 • Boundaries And Dilemmas-Honors

29489 • Ekland-Olson, Sheldon
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ 1.210
(also listed as SOC 352D)
show description


This is a research and writing course designed to explore moral imperatives, violation of these imperatives, and perhaps most interestingly how we justify such violation. 

Why is the title of the course Boundaries and Dilemmas? A good deal of the semester will be spent on how communities establish boundaries to determine lives more or less worthy  of protection and support than others. We will also spend time on how communities weigh one imperative against another when confronted with moral dilemmas.

The first portion of the course will offer quick overviews of specific questions. With these overviews in hand, you will be asked to choose a specific topic, such as physician assisted suicide, capital punishment, eugenics, or war. You will be asked to develop a set of ideas consistent with the general framework developed in the early sessions of class. You and I will meet one-on-one to discuss your ideas. 


There is one assigned book:  WHO LIVES, WHO DIES, WHO DECIDES.  


1) 15 minute presentation

2)  I see class discussions as very important to the success of this class. 20% of your grade will come from class participation, primarily from postings on Discussion Board. Attendance is required. More than three absences will lower your grade one full point -- A to B, B to C etc. I know this is tough, but so am I.... Never fear, I will make every effort to ensure classes are worth attending.

3) I consider the material we cover to be very important. The assigned paper will be graded with high standards, as will the class presentation. Both will require substantial work. You will love it! 

This course is designed to hone various communication skills. Individually, you will be asked to write a 16-20 page paper on a topic of your choice. This paper will be handed in for initial grading and editorial comment. Your grade on the initial draft will constitute 40% of your final 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 the semester. This final version of the paper will be graded and will also constitute 40% of your grade.

I look forward to many lively and fruitful discussions throughout the semester.


Upper-division standing and a grade point average of at least 3.50.


Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts



LAH 350 • Film Theory

29490 • Kornhaber, Donna
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 302
(also listed as E 344L)
show description


Since the early decades of the twentieth century, scholars and filmmakers alike have sought to develop a theoretical understanding of the cinema as a cultural institution and an art form, attempting to determine what Jean Mitry calls “the essential components of cinematic expression … that define the rules of its existence.” This course offers a survey of the major developments in film theory, providing an introduction to the leading theorists of the twentieth century and to the primary themes and movements within film theory. At key points throughout the semester, significant theoretical works will be paired with representative films—those that directly inspired major theoretical works, that are directly analyzed by a major theorist, or that in some other way exemplify a particular branch of film theory. Major movements and theorists to be covered include Formalism (Eisenstein, Pudovkin), Structuralism (Mitry, Balazs), Post-Classicism (Bazin), Film Philosophy (Deleuze, Cavell), Neoformalism (Boardwell), and Psychoanalytic, Marxist, and Feminist criticism (Zizek, Debord). As an Honors Seminar, students will be expected to engage at length in writing with the theorists being studied.  Additionally, students should expect to reflect directly on some of the major topics of film theory themselves, offering their own theoretical approaches to selected films.

Texts: (tentative) The Film Theory Reader; other texts to be provided by the instructor.

Films: (tentative) Battleship Potemkin (1925), Citizen Kane (1941), Vertigo (1958), Jaws (1975), There Will Be Blood (2007).

Requirements and Grading: Attendance and participation: 10%; two short essays (7 pages each): 25%+25%; one long essay (12 pages): 40%.

 Flags:  Writing

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316L (or 316K), 316M (or 316K), 316N (or 316K), or 316P (or 316K), or T C 603B.

Restrictions:  English Honors; Plan I Honors

Computer Instruction:  No

Restrictions:  English Honors; Plan I Honors

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing




LAH 350 • History At Play II

29495 • Casey, Julie C
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WAG 112
show description


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.


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).


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.

PREREQUISITES: Upper-division standing and a grade point average of at least 3.50.


LAH 350 • Immigration Literature

29505 • Cox, James H.
Meets MWF 900am-1000am PAR 302
(also listed as E 376M)
show description


We will devote ourselves in this course to the study of late twentieth and early twenty-first century short fiction and novels about immigration, primarily but not exclusively to the United States, from a diverse range of home countries. We will think about these novels within the contexts of U.S. literary history; immigration debates in the U.S. in the 1990s and 2000s; 9/11; and the Clinton, Bush, and Obama presidencies, for example. Key questions will include how class, education, gender, race, and religion shape the experience of immigration as well as the form of immigration narratives.

Tentative Reading List: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (2013, Knopf); Oscar Casares, Amigoland (2009, Little Brown); Junot Diaz, Drown (1996, Riverhead); Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (2002, Picador); Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake(2003, Mariner); Joseph O’Neill, Netherland (2008, Vintage); Philip Roth, The Plot Against America (2005).

Requirements & Grading: Class participation, attendance, and presentation: 20%; Short essays (3-4 pages): 40%; Research paper (10-12 pages): 40%.

Flags:  Cultural Diversity, Writing

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










LAH 350 • Jerusalem And Athens

29510 • Dempsey, Erik
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 206
(also listed as CTI 335, GOV 379S)
show description


This class is a comparison of the roots of the two traditions that combined to form the modern West: Biblical revelation and classical rationalism. We’ll approach that through careful study of two texts: the early books of the Hebrew Bible and Plato’s Republic

The intent of the course is to compare and contrast the ways in which the two traditions answered some of the most fundamental issues of human life, including the relationship between virtue and happiness, who ought to rule in the political community and on what grounds, and the character of God or the gods. My hope is that we will see this is not the case, and that facing the alternative embodied by Jerusalem and Athens is as urgent and as vital today as it was in the ancient world. 

We will approach these two traditions through the careful reading of our two source texts. Each class meeting will involve discussion in which all students will be expected to participate. Papers will typically involve comparisons between the two works.

Grading Policy:

60%: 3 medium length (5-7 page) papers:

20%: Short (1 page) writing assignments – 8 over the course of the semester

20%: Attendance, participation, and pop reading quizzes


Plato’s Republic (translated by Allan Bloom)

The Five Books of Moses (Robert Alter’s translation of the Torah)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing


LAH 350 • Disruptive Innovation In Sport

Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CRD 007A
(also listed as T C 325)
show description

In 2004, Michael Lewis released an earth-shattering book – “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.” The book illuminated the analytic practices of Billy Beane – general manager and minority owner of the Oakland Athletics.  While most casual observers were unaware of the practice of using analytics to inform decision-making in sports, the practice had been used as a successful tool well before Lewis’ seminal work hit bookshelves.

As the private sector grapples with the potential benefits and dangers of “big data”, the sports world is experiencing intense disruption in the area of analytics. In-game decision-making, player compensation, fraud detection and performance evaluation are just a few of the areas that appear to be ripe for the introduction of creative advancements.

This course will examine the history of disruptive innovation in the world of sports –Bill Walsh’s creation of the “West Coast Offense” to Hal Mumme’s introduction of the “Air Raid” system to the creation of endurance training programs like Tough Mudder. Students will craft case studies that trace the trajectory of disruptive innovations in the sports sphere.

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) a term paper.

Final grades will be calculated using the following formula: (1) short response papers – 35%,  (2) disruptive innovation case study – 35%, and (3) class participation – 30%. There will be no final examination.


Books that will be used: Clyde Christensen The Innovator’s Dilemma (2013), Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (2004). Wayne L. Winston, Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football(2012). There will also be a course packet comprised of short readings.

University Policy:

"The University of 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 TTY."

LAH 350 • Paradise Lost/Its Reception

29520 • Rumrich, John P
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CAL 323
(also listed as E 350M)
show description

E 350M  l  Paradise Lost and Episodes in its Reception-HONORS

Instructor:  Rumrich, J

Unique #:  34800

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors; Plan I Honors

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags: Writing

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

The majority of the course will be devoted to careful reading of Milton’s late poetry, primarily Paradise Lost. The rest of the course will consider telling moments in Milton’s literary afterlife, with attention to Milton’s impact on women and African-American writers during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Among the works to be considered will be Phyllis Wheatley’s poetry and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Requirements & Grading: Students will be asked to pursue a research project that identifies an episode in Milton’s reception, make a presentation to the class on that episode, and submit a long essay working out their findings (15 pp.).

LAH 350 • Reading The Moderns

29525 • Staley, Thomas F
Meets MW 200pm-330pm HRC 2.214
show description


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.


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


All exams will be essays 1 paper , 10-12 pages Class attendance and participation 50% Writing 50%


Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts.


Upper-division standing and a grade point average of at least 3.50.

LAH 350 • Regime Persp On Amer Politics

29530 • Tulis, Jeffrey
Meets T 330pm-630pm MEZ 1.104
(also listed as GOV 379S)
show description

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 • Technologies Of The Book

29535 • Winship, Michael B
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm HRC 2.212
show description

The book – the printed book in particular – has been 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.  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. 

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 type and print a text by hand. 

This course carries both the writing and independent inquiry “flags” and is designed to give students experience with investigating and writing up an academic research topic of their own choosing that is related to the class subject.  You can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete a substantial research project, and receive regular feedback to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise your assignments, and to read and discuss your peers' work.  A substantial portion of your grade will be based on your written work, and students are encouraged to take advantage of the resources available to you through the Undergraduate Writing Center in FAC 211 (

Texts: Our readings will be a selection of articles that will be made available in digital form on the class’s Blackboard or Canvas page, supplemented by Philip Gaskell’s useful New Introduction to Bibliography.  Students will also be required to view a number of on-line videos that demonstrate various book-making technologies. 

Grading and Requirements: Students will produce three brief writing exercises (2-3 pages each) and a final research paper (8-10 pages).  Letter grades (with plus or minus) will be based on the three short writing exercises (10% each), the final research paper (50%), and class participation (20%).  In assigning grades to the writing exercises and final paper, the strength of the analysis will be emphasized, though clarity, spelling, and grammatical correctness will also be taken into account; students are encouraged consult with me during the semester to discuss their writing and research skills.  Attendance in class is required, and students missing 3 or more classes without prior permission will have their grades lowered; regular tardiness will be considered the equivalent of missing one or more classes.  As an upper-division honors course, students will be expected to come to every class fully prepared, having completed the assigned readings and ready to participate in class discussion. 

 Policies: The core values of The University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, and 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.  Any work submitted by a student in this course for academic credit must be the student's own work. For additional information on Academic Integrity, see

 By UT Austin policy, you must notify me of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a reli­gious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, I will give you an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.

 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, 471-4641 TTY.

Restrictions: Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts.

Prerequisites: Upper-division standing and a grade point average of at least 3.50.



LAH 350 • Tech Change & Financial Crisis

29540 • Galbraith, James
Meets W 300pm-600pm CRD 007B
(also listed as T C 357)
show description

The course will explore the economics of the business firm, the management of technical change and the interaction between technology and finance in the writings of major twentieth century economists, notably Thorstein Veblen, Joseph Schumpeter, John Maynard Keynes, John Kenneth Galbraith, Hyman Minsky and Clarence Ayres. The emphasis will be on attempting to understand the social and income-distributional consequences of technical change, the potential for system instability, and the dilemmas of public policy in this area. 


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


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 based25% on notes 25% on class discussion 15% on the short paper 35% on the final paper

LAH 350 • Documentary Film & Inquiry

29545 • Ainslie, Ricardo
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm SZB 439B
show description


The primary focus of this course is teaching students to make short documentaries inspired by student-generated topics. Historically, we have covered a wide array of interesting issues. The documentary projects will also be the vehicle for exploring 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 in a variety of contexts.

Specifically, students will work in teams to develop and carry out 20-minute documentary video projects. 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 submitted by students. Working collaboratively in teams, your team will conceive of the project, research it, film interviews and shoot other material related to it, and edit your material into the 20-minute documentary. I 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.

The primary thesis underlying this course is that documentary film is an example of qualitative approaches to inquiry, including ethnography, interviewing, and narrative description. It is a unique methodology that can help us examine and understand the meaning of social incidents and controversies, cultural transformations, and other questions of interest. 


Upper-division standing and a grade point average of at least 3.50.


Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts. 

LAH 350 • Decolonizatn Of Brit Empire

29550 • Louis, Wm. Roger
Meets TH 330pm-630pm CLA 0.122
(also listed as HIS 350L)
show description

The British Empire at the end of World War II still extended over one fourth of the world and represented a complex, worldwide system.  The seminar will focus on the era of decolonization.  This seminar is designed as a reading and research course in modern British history—and in the history of Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.  Above all it is a class in professional writing.  It includes a cartographical component in which students are required to master the geography of the British Empire.   Drawing a free-hand map will be one of the first assignments.  

The main requirement of the course is a research paper focusing on one of the three components of British decolonization: the decisions made in Britain itself; the international influence of the United States and the United Nations in the context of the Cold War; and the initiatives by nationalists in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.  The paper in its final form will be about 6,000 words or 20 double spaced pages including notes.  

The writing component will be fulfilled in three ways.  First, critiques of books, approximately one a week (or comparable assignments), each less than 400 words or one page.  Second, a draft of the research paper.  The critiques and draft will be circulated to all members of the class who will make annotations on style as well as substance.  The third stage is for each writer to take note of the comments offered by others and to rewrite the research paper for final submission.  

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

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


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


Grades are determined by attendance and participation in discussion (25%); weekly critiques (25%) and the quality of the final research paper (50%).  Final grades include plusses and minuses.

LAH 350 • Getting It In Writing

29555 • Mackintosh, Prudence
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am MEZ 1.104
show description

This is an intensive non-fiction writing course on wrestling facts, ideas and experiences to the page.  Instructor considers this a liberal arts survival skill.  Learning to generate subjects and to say with clarity what you want to say without boring the reader is the goal.   Voice and style may follow.  The course requires brief readings, weekly writing assignments and peer editing.    Class time will focus on ways in which capable nonfiction writers hold our attention.  Your time spent reading aloud, revising and shaping your own work will be the most instructive part of the course.

Instructor is a widely published author.  

TEXTS:  William Zinsser, On Writing Well


Upper-division standing and a grade point average of at least 3.50.


Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts.

LAH 350 • In Search Of Meaning

29560 • Adams, Michael W
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CBA 4.340
(also listed as HMN 350)
show description


This is a course that asks a lot of questions.  And it questions all of the answers.  If you 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 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; the nature and personality of this god; the soul; chosen people; linear time; history as divine classroom; 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.

Then we turn back to the West and explore writers 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 meaning 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.

The Old Testament (selections); Plato, Crito, Phaedo; India's "Vedic Hymns," "The Kena-Upanishad," and "The Mahabharata" or theBhagavad Gita; Cicero, "The Offices"; Lucretius, "The Nature of Things"; the Gnostic texts (selections), The New Testament (selections), the "Nicaean Creed"; St. Augustine'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, Planck, Bultman,Whitehead, Diderot and others; selected poems of Whitman, Paul Valery, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Anne Sexton, Edna St. Vincent Millay;  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.


Upper-division standing and a grade point average of at least 3.50.


Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts.


LAH 358Q • Supervised Research

show description

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

LAH 679TB • Honors Thesis

show description

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

bottom border