University of Texas at Austin

Archive for March, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

A reading with Nadine Eckhardt

Nadine Eckhardt will read from her memoir Duchess of Palms on March 31 at 5:30 p.m. in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.

In her funny and honest memoir, Eckhardt tells the remarkable story of a “fifties girl” who lived through the politically powerful men in her life, acclaimed political novelist Bill Brammer and, later, U.S. Congressman Bob Eckhardt.

From her beginnings as a teenage “Duchess of Palms” beauty queen, to her entrée into the political and literary circles of Washington D.C.…

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Look into the Mexican-American Struggle for Equal Rights

During the economic boom of the Second World War, Mexican laborers experienced unparalleled occupational gain in the United States. However, Emilio Zamora, associate professor of history, points out that discrimination impeded their movement from low-wage, low-skill agricultural jobs to better-paying jobs in rapidly expanding industries.

In “Claiming Rights and Righting Wrongs in Texas: Mexican Workers and Job Politics during World War II” (Texas A&M University Press, 2009), Zamora traces the wartime experiences of Mexican workers in America and their struggle…

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A poetry triple header

Three Michener Center alumni—whose ties date back to birth and their undergraduate days— have debut poetry collections out and will read from their work at BookPeople at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 25. The poets are: Matthew and Michael Dickman, and Michael McGriff.

Twin poets Matthew and Michael Dickman beat long odds to both earn admission to the Michener Center’s graduate program in 2002, and they have gone on to curiously parallel successes.

Both landed first book deals at Copper Canyon Press. Matthew’s “All…

Friday, March 20, 2009

What’s On Your Nightstand, Andrea DeLong-Amaya?

Andrea DeLong-Amaya has spent more than a decade at The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, one of a handful of botanical gardens in the United States focused on native plants. As the director of horticulture since 2004, she oversees the care and management of thousands of native wildflowers, plants and trees in the gardens, and of the 100,000 plants that nursery staff and volunteers grow annually.

She has designed and redesigned many of the center’s gardens, focusing on plants from Central…

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Telling the story of plants

James Mauseth, professor in the Section of Integrative Biology, has published the fourth edition of his textbook, “Botany: An Introduction to Plant Biology.” Daniel Oppenheimer, a writer in the College of Natural Sciences, talked to Mauseth about the book and the interview is excerpted below. For the rest of the interview, click here, and click here to see a slideshow about cactus, Mauseth’s research interest.

Daniel Oppenheimer: What pushed you to write the textbook in the first place?

Dr. Jim Mauseth: I was teaching…

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Exploring Literary Backgrounds in Traditional Irish Storytelling

On St. Patrick’s Day, millions of Americans celebrate the life of the patron saint of Ireland by dyeing their rivers green, wearing “Kiss me, I’m Irish” buttons and drinking green beer.

But the true essence of Irish culture is the fine art of storytelling.

Alan Friedman, the Arthur J. Thaman and Wilhelmina Doré Thaman Professor of English and Comparative Literature, explores this distinctly Irish tradition through the works of two of the 20th century’s most notable Irish writers in “Party Pieces: Oral Storytelling…

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What’s on Your Nightstand, Joanna Hitchcock?

Joanna Hitchcock is director of the University of Texas Press. She is a former president of the Association of American University Presses and a founding member of the Texas Book Festival Advisory Committee.

UT Press publishes more than 100 books a year in a variety of fields for scholars and students throughout the world, as well as books on the history, arts and culture of Texas.

“Because I am involved professionally with the publication of scholarship, most of the books I…

Monday, March 9, 2009

Persian poetry exhibition attracts international coverage

The Harry Ransom Center’s exhibition The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West has recently garnered coverage in multiple Arabic and Persian news outlets.

The exhibition has been mentioned in the Tehran Times, Payvand’s Iran News,, Persian Journal, Press TV and Aaram News.

The U.S. Department of State has also published information about the exhibition on its website in English, Persian and Arabic.

The Persian Sensation is on display at the Ransom Center through Aug. 2. The year 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of…

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Alumnus Offers “Color” Commentary on Writing for Kids

Chris Barton is a University of Texas alumnus and Austin-based children’s literature author who will be previewing his book The Day-Glo Brothers as part of the University of Texas Libraries’ “Books for Kids” program on March 7.

In addition to writing fiction and nonfiction for young readers, Barton has blogged at Bartography for the past four years.

The Day-Glo Brothers is being published by Charlesbridge Publishing and is set for release this summer.

Barton took some time out of his schedule to provide a peek into…

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Decoding the Origins of Speech

The simple act of talking comes to us automatically. But did you know that we use 225 muscles in the chest, larynx, throat, mouth and face in each second when we speak? According to Peter MacNeilage, the extraordinary complexity of speech is an invisible miracle.

Using a Darwinian approach, MacNeilage, professor of psychology, deconstructs the miracle of human language in “The Origin of Speech: Studies in the Evolution of Language” (Oxford University Press, 2008).

Piecing together a mixture of linguistic and nonlinguistic…