College of Liberal Arts

Archived News

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President Gregory Fenves opened the Learning Commons in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 25.

UT Libraries, Liberal Arts Opens New Learning Center

Wed, Aug 26, 2015

The Learning Commons in the Perry-Castañeda Library opened this fall semester, creating a cross-campus collaborative space to support developments in student learning styles and needs at The University of Texas at Austin.

A mother cares for her twins while on nationally-mandated maternity leave in Stockholm, Sweden.

Nations’ Policies Affect Mothers’ Ability to Balance Work-Family Life, Study Shows

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

Various Western nations’ work-family policies leave many working mothers feeling unsupported as both caretakers and workers, according to a comparative study of working mothers in multiple countries by The University of Texas at Austin.

Research shows men favor younger and physically attractive mates, while women seek older mates with good financial prospects and higher status.

Genders Differ Dramatically in Evolved Mate Preferences

Thu, Aug 6, 2015

Men’s and women’s ideas of the perfect mate differ significantly due to evolutionary pressures, according to a cross-cultural study on multiple mate preferences by psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin.

The ability of scholars and students to work with ancient texts in digital form has been limited by the challenges of transcribing early-modern books.

NEH Grant Will Transform Study of Early Books

Tue, Aug 4, 2015

A National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant will make many of the first books printed in the Americas available for the first time in digital full-text format, thanks to innovations in optical character recognition (OCR) technology.

Research shows that elevated levels of testosterone and cortisol hormones increase the likelihood for unethical behavior.

Hormones Influence Unethical Behavior

Tue, Jul 28, 2015

Hormones play a two-part role in encouraging and reinforcing cheating and other unethical behavior, according to research from Harvard University and The University of Texas at Austin.

Children imitate conventional skills with higher fidelity and less innovation, according to the study.

Selective Imitation Shows Children are Flexible Social Learners, Study Finds

Mon, Jul 27, 2015

Psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin found that children flexibly choose when to imitate and when to innovate the behavior of others, demonstrating that children are precocious social learners.

Sandra E. Black holds the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Centennial Chair in Economics and Public Affairs and is a Professor of Economics.

Obama Will Name UT Austin’s Sandra Black to Council of Economic Advisers

Fri, Jul 24, 2015

President Barack Obama intends to nominate University of Texas at Austin economics Professor Sandra E. Black to join the three-member White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).

Photo by Flickr user Stephen Burch via the Creative Commons.

"Very Light" Smoking Popular Among Young Adult Women, Study Finds

Mon, Jul 20, 2015

“Very light” smoking, defined as five or fewer cigarettes per day, is common among young adult women in the United States, according to researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.

Cristine Legare is an associate professor of psychology and the director of the Cognition, Culture and Development Lab.

UT Austin Psychologist Recognized Nationally for Distinguished Contributions

Thu, Jul 16, 2015

Psychology professor Cristine Legare will receive the American Psychological Association's 2016 Boyd McCandless Award for her significant and continued contributions to the field of developmental psychology.

Image is a derivative of

Opinion: The Black Church Must Confront Its Internal Attackers

Thu, Jul 16, 2015

The murders at the Emmanuel AME Church in South Carolina and the series of arson attacks on black churches across the South have reignited questions about why black churches are targets for those seeking to demonstrate their anger.

The Board of Regents of The University of Texas System awarded 11 UT Austin faculty with Outstanding Teaching Awards.

Liberal Arts Faculty Members Honored with UT System Outstanding Teaching Awards

Mon, Jul 13, 2015

Two faculty members from The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts were chosen to receive 2015 Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System.

UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves and UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven welcomed top Mexican officials to campus Thursday to sign an agreement that will expand scholarly exchange.

Mexico and The University of Texas Expand Scholarly Exchange

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

The University of Texas at Austin and the government of Mexico have renewed and expanded an agreement that will deepen academic relations between the two. UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves and UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven welcomed top Mexican officials to campus Thursday to sign the agreement.

Seven UT Austin faculty won the 2014-15 Sustainability Course Development and PLUS Awards.

Liberal Arts Faculty Garner Sustainability Awards

Mon, Jul 6, 2015

Five faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts won 2014-15 Sustainability Course Development and PLUS Awards that will support new sustainability courses or course conversions to a Peer-Led Undergraduate Studying (PLUS) model.

Image: Bigstock

Exposing the underbelly of Austin’s economic segregation

Wed, Jun 24, 2015

Austin conjures two parallel images in America’s popular imagination: Glowing descriptions of a “cool,” fast-growing city for the “young and creative” known for internationally famous musical events and Formula One racing compete with portrayals of increasing socioeconomic inequality and residential class, racial and ethnic segregation.

The Texas Politics Project manages three to four non-partisan, statewide polls of registered voters each year in conjunction with the Texas Tribune.

Cruz’s Lead Widens, Clinton Stays Strong in UT/Texas Tribune Poll

Mon, Jun 22, 2015

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remain front-runners among Republican and Democratic primary voters in Texas, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Heart rate variability can indicate how well an individual responds to physiological and environmental changes.

Study Links Heartbeat to Female Libido

Fri, Jun 19, 2015

Sexual dysfunction in women can be linked to low resting heart rate variability, a finding that could help clinicians treat the condition, according to a study by psychologists from The University of Texas at Austin.

Image: Bigstock

Upcoding Inflates Medicare Costs in Excess of $2 Billion Annually

Thu, Jun 18, 2015

Medicare, which is already the costliest public health insurance program in the world, is costing taxpayers an excess of $2 billion annually because of a practice called “upcoding” in private Medicare Advantage plans, according to research by an economist at The University of Texas at Austin.

Image: Bigstock

Improving Race Relations in an Era of Police Brutality

Thu, Jun 18, 2015

As Texas and the rest of the nation celebrate the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth — when enslaved Africans in Texas were notified that the Civil War had ended and they were free — we should take this opportunity to reflect on current race relations in Texas and the nation.

Image: Bigstock

What the FIFA Scandal Can Teach Us About World Sport and Global Governance

Tue, Jun 16, 2015

The sensational bribing scandal and the fall from power of former FIFA president Joseph (Sepp) Blatter has amazed the world. Following the implosion of FIFA’s ruling circle have come the demands for reform. But who has the lawful authority and the political traction to reshape a globe-girdling sports federation whose executives enjoy an autonomy comparable with that of the pope in the Vatican?


The Criminal Justice System is a Massive Failure. Here’s a Solution

Tue, Jun 2, 2015

Contrary to logic, intuition and common sense, the hard fact is that punishment does not reduce criminal offending.

Image by: planetchopstick (creative commons)

Unlearning Social Biases While We Sleep

Fri, May 29, 2015

Can we learn to rid ourselves of our implicit biases regarding race and gender? A new study lead by a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Texas at Austin indicates that sleep may hold an important key to success in such efforts.

Rick Smith is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology.

Ancient DNA May Provide Clues into How Past Environments Affected Ancient Populations

Thu, May 28, 2015

A new study by anthropologists from The University of Texas at Austin shows for the first time that epigenetic marks on DNA can be detected in a large number of ancient human remains, which may lead to further understanding about the effects of famine and disease in the ancient world.

The Liberal Arts Council received a banner and $300 for being named the Best Academic/Department Organization on campus.

Liberal Arts Council Nets Award for Best Academic Organization

Thu, May 28, 2015

Liberal Arts Council was named the Best Academic/Departmental Organization on campus this year by the Texas Leadership and Ethics Institute (LEI).

Photo credit: Jhaymesisviphotography (Creative Commons)

Mobile Phone Bans Lead to Rise in Student Test Scores

Mon, May 18, 2015

Banning cellphones in schools reaps the same benefits as extending the school year by five days, according to a study co-authored by an economist at The University of Texas at Austin.

The class awarded $15,000 to Mercy Ships, funding approximately 60 life-saving surgeries in Africa.

Course on Philanthropy Pays Off

Fri, May 15, 2015

This semester a class of UT Austin freshmen were given the responsibility of deciding how to donate $85,000 to charity.


University of Texas Welcomes Texas State Historical Association Back Home to Austin

Wed, May 13, 2015

The University of Texas at Austin is welcoming the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) back to campus, where it was founded and operated for 108 years, to support the teaching and preservation of Texas history.

TxPEP is a five-year comprehensive effort to document and analyze the impact of the measures affecting reproductive health passed by the 82nd and 83rd Texas Legislatures

Statewide Survey Evaluates Accessibility of Reproductive Health Care in Texas

Wed, May 13, 2015

A survey by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project suggests Texas women face significant barriers accessing family planning services.


College Honors Outstanding Teaching

Fri, May 8, 2015

The College of Liberal Arts has recognized 12 faculty members for the 2014-15 academic year who exemplify outstanding teaching and a commitment to excellence.


Field of Dreams

Larry Carver’s Got a Marshall on First, a Truman on Second and a Rhodes on Third

Wed, May 6, 2015

It’s been more than 20 years since Larry Carver began working with UT Austin students applying for the nation’s most prestigious graduate school fellowships, and he can still tell you the names of all the nominees from memory.


Undergraduate Research Week: Liberal Arts Students Present the Evidence

Thu, Apr 23, 2015

The fields of study within the College of Liberal Arts are vast, and the number of topics that merit in-depth investigation are seemingly endless.


Honors Day 2015: Q&A's with 3 Liberal Arts Honorees

Wed, Apr 15, 2015

More than 1,000 liberal arts students are being recognized this Saturday in a UT Austin tradition that began in 1948.


With Liberty and Justice for All: Liberal Arts Student Interns with Nonprofit Law Firm

Fri, Apr 10, 2015

Valentina Gudiño is an anthropology and international relations & global studies senior who was born in Cabimas, Venezuela and grew up in Houston, Texas. This semester, she’s working 10 hours per week as an intern at the Equal Justice Center.


Information Researchers to Create Digital Archives from Central Lunatic Asylum for Colored Insane

Thu, Apr 9, 2015

King Davis (Mike Hogg Professor Emeritus in Liberal Arts, professor at the School of Information and in the African & African Diaspora Studies department) and two other faculty members at The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information have received a grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation to develop and field test a digital infrastructure for preserving and managing the historical public records from the Central Lunatic Asylum for Colored Insane in Petersburg, Virginia.


Shakespeare Brand Identified in His First Poems

Thu, Apr 2, 2015

A printer’s ornament on the title pages of William Shakespeare's earliest works suggests that from an early stage in his career, the poet received significant support in fashioning a unique bran


A New Look at Language Delay in Children With Autism

Thu, Apr 2, 2015

A new study by a linguistics professor and an alumnus from The University of Texas at Austin sheds light on a well-known linguistic characteristic of autistic children — their reluctance to use pronouns — paving the way for more accurate diagnostics.


UT Austin Honors George P. Bush and Establishes Latino Research Initiative

Wed, Apr 1, 2015

The University of Texas at Austin has launched a new Latino Research Initiative in conjunction with presenting the university’s first Latino Leadership Award to Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.


In Memoriam: Dr. Janet Taylor Spence, Professor Emeritus

Sun, Mar 29, 2015

The College of Liberal Arts is saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Janet Taylor Spence, Professor Emeritus, on March 16, 2015. Dr. Spence held the Alma Cowden Madden Professorship of Liberal Arts and the Ashbel Smith Professorship of Psychology and Educational Psychology.


Learning How to Learn: Q&A with 2015 Rhodes Scholar Sai Gourisankar

Wed, Mar 25, 2015

Sai Gourisankar is a Plan II Honors and chemical engineering senior from Fort Worth, Texas. He is a recipient of the 2015 Rhodes scholarship, as well as being a Dedman distinguished scholar, a Goldwater scholar and an Astronaut Foundation scholar.


Men’s Preference for Certain Body Types Has Evolutionary Roots

Thu, Mar 19, 2015

A psychology study from The University of Texas at Austin sheds new light on today’s standards of beauty, attributing modern men’s preferences for women with a curvy backside to prehistoric influences.


Built by Mixtec Hands: Benjamín Ibarra Sevilla’s Work on Treasures of Mexican Colonial Architecture

Mon, Mar 9, 2015

Benjamín Ibarra Sevilla has spent a lot of time in late-Gothic churches. He is not a casual visitor to these vast structures, who might stroll in and crane his neck to take in the splendor of the ribbed vaults high above, or fleetingly ponder the enormous effort that must have gone into their construction: removing stone from a quarry, transporting it, shaping it, and assembling the impossibly heavy pieces of chiseled stone in just the right way so that a structure could withstand the test of centuries.


Historian Provides New Perspective on Islam and Secularism

Mon, Mar 9, 2015

Religion and politics are at the root of conflict around the world, and historians are looking to the past for solutions to today’s most heated debates.


Liberal Arts Backs Entrepreneurship

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Major Ellis, an economics junior from San Angelo, Texas, says entrepreneurism runs in the family.


Lebermann Foundation Creates UT Endowments for Medical School, Liberal Arts

Mon, Mar 2, 2015

The Lebermann Foundation of Austin has committed $1.5 million to create two endowments at The University of Texas at Austin honoring the parents of former Austin civic leader Lowell Lebermann.


Cather Researches Scripted Suicide in Modern Japan

Mon, Mar 2, 2015

Japanese artists have scripted suicide into their work, sometimes marking destinations for contemplating, committing and mourning suicide, morphing modern Japan into what some consider a “suicide nation.”


Historian Provides Perspective on China’s Economic Rise

Mon, Mar 2, 2015

Since the ending of the Mao era, China’s economy has grown from small and centralized to a global market giant. But, is China’s success a response to what many consider to be an era of economic failure?

Lynn Wilkinson is an associate professor of Germanic studies in the College of Liberal Arts.

HRA Recipient Presents: "A Field of their Own: Nineteenth-Century Women Intellectuals"

Thu, Feb 26, 2015

Though gender equality has come a long way since the 19th century, modern day literature and culture remains gendered, quieting the voices of worthy intellectuals.

Dating back to the mid-19th century, Globus attempted to introduce German readers to the world.

HRA Recipient Presents: "Popularizing the World in the Nineteenth Century: Karl Andree’s Globus"

Thu, Feb 26, 2015

Today, we receive information from around the world in a blink of an eye; but the forces that have helped the world become so closely connected had their origins in the 19th century.


2015 Dean's Distinguished Graduates Announced

Thu, Feb 26, 2015

Twelve graduating seniors have been named Dean’s Distinguished Graduates.


Liberal Arts Refugee Alliance Introduces New Residents to Austin

Wed, Feb 25, 2015

Q&A with Founding Member Sarah Fischer

Justin DeBrosse, program manager at the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas, was awarded a $5,000 Community Sabbatical Research Grant from the UT Austin Humanities Institute.

UT Austin Humanities Institute Awards Grants to Local Nonprofit Professionals

Tue, Feb 24, 2015

The Humanities Institute at The University of Texas at Austin has awarded three 2015 Community Sabbatical Research Grants, which provide paid flexible leave time, faculty consultants and access to the university libraries to three staff members of nonprofit organizations based in Central Texas.


New UT/Texas Tribune Poll Finds Cruz and Walker Neck and Neck

Mon, Feb 23, 2015

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas holds a narrow lead over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker among potential Republican primary voters in Texas, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.


2015 Pro Bene Meritis Winners Announced

Fri, Feb 20, 2015

The College of Liberal Arts is proud to announce the 2015 Pro Bene Meritis Award recipients. Peggy Beckham, Austin Gleeson and President Bill Powers were chosen for their outstanding service to the college.


Career Services Goes ‘Beyond Liberal Arts’ with Professional Development Series

Fri, Feb 20, 2015

Students in the College of Liberal Arts can get firsthand instruction about important workplace skills and etiquette through a workshop series put on by Liberal Arts Career Services.


Two Liberal Arts Advisors Receive 2015 Vick Award

Wed, Feb 11, 2015

Texas Exes has named College of Liberal Arts advisors Joni Carpenter and Brad Humphries as two of its five 2015 Vick Award recipients.


Op-Ed Project Fellows Address Challenges African Americans Still Face Today

Tue, Feb 10, 2015

Turn to the op-ed pages of any major newspaper, and you’ll see how writers are wielding the power of the written word to keep people honest, to speak out about injustices, to shake readers out of apathy. You’re also likely to see the article was most likely written by a man.


Plan II Student’s Research Could Change How Diseases Are Diagnosed

Thu, Feb 5, 2015

A UT Austin undergraduate’s research could help change the way doctors diagnose diseases with known protein biomarkers like multiple sclerosis and leukemia.


$500,000 Mellon Grant Aims to Boost Minority Faculty Representation

Fri, Jan 30, 2015

More students from underrepresented minority groups will be encouraged to pursue academic careers thanks to a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to The University of Texas at Austin.


Majority of Young Women and Men Prefer Egalitarian Relationships, Study Shows

Thu, Jan 29, 2015

The majority of young women and men today would prefer an egalitarian relationship in which work and family responsibilities are shared equally between partners if that possibility were available to them, according to a new study from The University of Texas at Austin and the University of California-Santa Barbara.


Short Words Predict Academic Success

Thu, Jan 8, 2015

The smallest, most forgettable words in admissions essays can tell us in advance how students will perform in college, a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin reveals.


Digital Storytelling Seminar Gives Students a Shot at Filmmaking, Applications Now Open

Tue, Jan 6, 2015

Created in the spring of 2014, the Digital Storytelling Seminar provides the opportunity for 30 Liberal Arts undergraduates to relive and retell some of their most epic, real, tragic and ecstatic college moments.