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Liberal Arts Insider: May 2009

The College of Liberal Arts publishes The Liberal Arts Insider four times per year for its faculty and staff. The newsletter highlights faculty awards, honors, media coverage and new publications.

For more news about the College of Liberal Arts' community of scholars and alumni, visit Life & Letters, the college's alumni magazine, or ShelfLife@Texas, the campus literary blog. Become a fan of the College of Liberal Arts on Facebook.


Awards and Honors

Photo: Daniel Birkholz

Daniel Birkholz

Photo: H. W. Brands

H.W. Brands

Photo: Ben Carrington

Ben Carrington

Photo: Carolyn Eastman

Carolyn Eastman

Photo: Juliet Hooker

Juliet Hooker

Photo: James Loehlin

James Loehlin

H.W. Brands (History) was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his book "Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt." Brands was also named as one of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize nominees.

David Oshinsky (History) was selected as the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2009 commencement speaker and will receive its Dean's Medal, the school's highest honor.

The College of Liberal Arts presented its 2009 Pro Bene Meritis Award, the college's highest honor, to alumni Leslie Blanton and Maureen Decherd, Professor Emeritus Sidney Monas and publisher Frances Vick for their outstanding service to the college.

Denise Spellberg (History) was named a 2009 Carnegie Scholar and will be awarded a two-year grant of up to $100,000 for a book project titled "Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders."

The College of Liberal Arts Summer Freshman Class Web site has won the National Academic Advising Association's 2009 Outstanding Advising Technology Innovation Award. 

The university's Friar Society awarded Sean Theriault (Government) its 2009-10 Centennial Teaching Fellowship—the largest award for undergraduate teaching excellence at the university.

The university's Senate of College Councils awarded William Roger Louis (History and British Studies) its Professor of the Year award for outstanding teaching and dedication to his students.

Carolyn Eastman (History) received research fellowships from Harvard University's Houghton Library and the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.

Michael Winship (English) was awarded an American Antiquarian Society-National Endowment for the Humanities long-term fellowship and has also won a Houghton Mifflin Fellowship in Publishing History at Harvard University's Houghton Library and a Princeton University Library Research Grant.  

Ben Carrington (Sociology) was appointed to the editorial board of Contexts, an American Sociological Association journal, published by the University of California Press.

Robert Hummer (Sociology) was elected to chair the Population Section of the American Sociological Association.

James Loehlin (English) will be inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers next fall. 

Daniel Birkholz (English) was awarded a Solmsen Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Institute for Research in the Humanities.

Matt Richardson (English) was awarded a 2009 Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Juliet Hooker (Government) received the 2009 Lucia, John and Melissa Gilbert Teaching Excellence Award in Women's and Gender Studies.

Daron Shaw (Government) received the 2009 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award.

Bryan Jones (Government) was selected for the J.J. "Jake" Pickle Chair in Congressional Studies. In addition, he will serve as Midwest Political Science Association President.

The Politics and History Section of the American Political Science Association honored Walter Dean Burnham (Government) by naming its dissertation prize after him.

Lisa Moore (English) has received the Lewis Walpole Library Archival Grant from Yale University. 

Kit Belgum (Germanic Studies) received the 2009-10 William David Blunk Memorial Professorship, which provides additional funding for her research and teaching activities, and recognizes her extraordinary service.

David Collins (Psychology) has received a University Outstanding Staff Award.

Eric Pritchard (Rhetoric and Writing) was awarded a 2009-10 fellowship from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Photo: Roger Louis

Roger Louis

Photo: Lisa Moore

Lisa Moore

Photo: David Oshinshy

David Oshinsky

Photo: Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson

Photo: Daron Shaw

Daron Shaw

Photo: Sean Theriault

Sean Theriault

In the News

  • Tom Garza (Slavic Languages and Literature) discussed vampire lore on Good Morning America.

  • Kate Brooks (Liberal Arts Career Services) launched a new "Career Transitions" blog in Psychology Today. Her Wise Wanderings research was featured in stories about finding new jobs in a tough job market in TIME and Newsday. 

  • Elizabeth Alexander (Liberal Arts Career Services) discussed challenges for college grads facing a tough job market in USA Today and CBS Evening News.

  • Dan Hamermesh (Economics) was quoted in numerous media outlets about the increase in sales tax in the pornography industry, including The Associated Press, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, The New York Times, USA Today and The Washington Post.

  • Daron Shaw (Government) discussed President Obama's tough road ahead on NPR. In addition, The New York Times featured his expertise about Obama's economic agenda.

  • David Buss' (Psychology) study on gender wage gap was featured in USA Today and The Globe and Mail. He also discussed the science of a broken heart on

  • Alan Friedman (English) shared commentary about dispossession during the Great Depression in The Washington Post.

  • USA Today named Marc S. Lewis' (Psychology) speech as one of the top ten most stellar commencement addresses.

New Publications

Image: Minerva's Owl book cover Image: Exiles at Home book cover Image: Invisible Hand book cover Image: Marxism book cover Image: Urban Segregation book cover
"Minerva's Owl: The Tradition of Western Political Thought" by Jeffrey Abramson (Government). Harvard University Press, April 2009.
"Exiles at Home: The Struggle to Become American in New Orleans" by Shirley Thompson (American Studies).  Harvard University Press, Feb. 2009.
"The Invisible Hand of Peace: Capitalism, The War Machine, and International Relations Theory" by Patrick J. McDonald (Government). Cambridge, March 2009.
"Marxism, Cultural Studies and Sport" edited by Ben Carrington (Sociology). Routledge, Dec. 2008.
"Urban Segregation and Governance in the Americas" co-edited by Bryan Roberts (LLILAS and Sociology) and Robert Wilson (LBJ School of Public Affairs). Palgrave Macmillan, April 2009.
Image: PEN/O. Henry Prize book cover Image: Flammable book cover Image: Gendered Trajectories book cover Image: Quiver book cover Image: Slam Poetry book cover
"PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories" edited by Laura Furman (English). Anchor Books, May 2009.
"Flammable: Environmental Suffering in an Argentine Shantytown" by Javier Auyero (Sociology). Oxford University Press, April 2009.
"Gendered Trajectories: Women, Work, and Social Change in Japan and Taiwan" by Wei-hsin Yu (Sociology). Stanford University Press, March 2009.
"Quiver" (VQR Poetry Series) by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett (English). University of Georgia Press, March 2009.
"The Cultural Politics of Slam Poetry" (criticism) by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett (English). University of Michigan Press, April 2009
Image: Texas German book cover Image: Der Askesdiskurs book cover Image: You Majored in What book cover    
"The Life and Death of Texas German" by Hans Christian Boas (Germanic Studies). Duke University Press, March 2009.
"Der Askesediskurs in der Religionsgeschichte" translation "The Discourse about Asceticism in the History of Religions" written in German by Oliver Freiberger (Asian Studies & Religious Studies). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, Feb 2009.
"You Majored in What: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career" by Kate Brooks (Liberal Arts Career Services). Viking, April 2009.

In Memoriam

Clarke Burnham (Psychology) died March 12 at the age of 71 after battling lung cancer. He taught at the university for more than 40 years, served as an undergraduate and graduate adviser, and chaired the Institutional Review Board. "In many ways, Clarke was the heart of the psychology department," said Professor James Pennebaker, chair of the psychology department. "Clarke brought a professionalism and humanity to the university's research enterprise. To give you an idea of his impact, when Clarke retired, it took six people to replace him, three faculty members in the psychology department and another three in the IRB offices. He will be sorely missed."

Carl Creeger (Psychology) died on March 4 at the age of 54. Creeger worked as the department's electronics expert for many years before moving to the laboratories of Professors Bill Geisler, Randy Diehl and Duane Albrecht as a computer programmer and designer of computer interfaces. "He contributed greatly to all of our research programs and he deserves a good bit of the credit for whatever success we achieved," said Professor Geisler. "Carl was a very friendly and easy-going person who was fun to be around and to learn from. He will be greatly missed."


Please submit news items and updates to Michelle Bryant.