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The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts

The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts is composed of more than 25 academic departments and dozens of interdisciplinary research centers and institutes. The College is one of the largest schools on the UT Austin campus, with more than 10,000 students and 500 faculty dedicated to teaching, research and service in the humanities and social sciences. Its nationally ranked programs include Latin American history, population sciences, psychology, sex and gender studies, sociology, political science, history and English.

We believe liberal arts are at the core of a strong university education, emphasizing learning across a broad range of subjects. In understanding history, society and culture, our scholars are prepared to face some of the world’s most complex challenges, encourage others to think critically and change the world.

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 31 articles

If hope feels far-fetched this winter, you’re not alone. picture alliance via Getty Images

Tackling 2022 with hope: 5 essential reads

Five articles on the meanings of hope and how to think about resilience, healing and even joy in the midst of this winter’s bleakness.
The number of people in the U.S. who identify as Native American rose from 2010 to 2020. Associated Press

How the Native American population in the US increased 87% says more about whiteness than about demographics

They’re called ‘pretendians’ – people who long identified as white but are now claiming to be Native American. In the last US Census, the number of Native Americans almost doubled because of them.
Nixon resigned after tapes he had fought making public incriminated him in the Watergate coverup. Bettmann/Getty

Trump wants the National Archives to keep his papers away from investigators – post-Watergate laws and executive orders may not let him

Donald Trump’s lawsuit to stop the release to Congress of potentially embarrassing or incriminating documents puts the National Archives in the middle of an old legal conflict.
Sticking to your beliefs in a rapidly changing world isn’t necessarily the best choice. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Changing your mind about something as important as vaccination isn’t a sign of weakness – being open to new information is the smart way to make choices

People tend to stick with their stated beliefs. But here’s how external forces like vaccine mandates can push people to do something they don’t want to do – and provide some face-saving cover.
Science can observe these various phases of fetal development but cannot determine when human life begins. UrsaHoogle/E+ via Getty Images

When human life begins is a question of politics – not biology

Some people seeking to influence public opinion about abortion rights claim the science is clear. It’s not, and that means abortion remains a political question – not a biological one.
It should be obvious to this diver that this is a shipwreck and not a reef, but what about to someone looking at a image of this spot taken from an aircraft? LookBermuda/Flickr

AI spots shipwrecks from the ocean surface – and even from the air

It’s difficult to tell a shipwreck from a natural feature on the ocean floor in a scan taken from a plane or ship. This project used deep learning to get it right 92% of the time.
Many prominent Christians believe in inerrancy, or that the Bible is without error. Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

What is biblical inerrancy? A New Testament scholar explains

The doctrine of inerrancy likely took shape during the 19th and 20th centuries in the United States, in response to the rise of liberalism within Christianity.
A painting for the U.S. Army’s Stars and Stripes newspaper shows a downed pilot fending off sharks with a knife. Ed Vebell/Getty Images

Before Shark Week and ‘Jaws,’ World War II spawned America’s shark obsession

As part of the nation’s massive wartime mobilization effort, millions of Americans, for the first time, traveled abroad – where many had their first encounters with the marine predators.
In 1872, John Gast painted ‘American Progress,’ showing trains and roads spreading across the American West. John Gast, Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons

Infrastructure spending has always involved social engineering

Government investment in roads, railroads and other public services has always involved social programming, both for good and for ill.
‘Ako: A Tale of Loyalty’ takes players inside a young samurai’s world in 18th-century Japan. Epoch: History Games Initiative/University of Texas at Austin

How student-designed video games made me rethink how I teach history

A history professor describes how student-designed video games have transformed his classroom and provided a substitute for academic essays.
A field hospital in São Paulo state, Brazil, on March 26, 2021. Brazil keeps setting new COVID-19 records, with up to 4,000 people dying daily. Miguel Schincariol/AFP via Getty Images

Scarred by Zika and fearing new COVID-19 variants, Brazilian women say no to another pandemic pregnancy

Officials in Brazil recently asked women to avoid pregnancy, citing heightened risk to them and newborns. But births were already dropping; a new study attributes it to the trauma of Zika.
Researchers have grown mammal embryos later into development than ever before in an artificial womb. Vitalii Kyryk/WikimediaCommons

Lab–grown embryos and human–monkey hybrids: Medical marvels or ethical missteps?

Researchers have grown the first human-monkey hybrid embryos as well as mouse embryos in artificial wombs late into development. These biomedical breakthroughs raise different ethical quandaries.
The White House never provided the National Archives with an official transcript of what Trump said at this rally in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 20, 2017. John Minchillo/AP Photo

Trump, defying custom, hasn’t given the National Archives records of his speeches at political rallies

All presidents must deposit transcriptions of their public statements with the National Archives. But in the case of Donald Trump, there’s something missing.
Grants were found to help improve the health, including mental health, of women. EFE-EPA/Aaron Ufumeli

Landmark study shows how child grants empower women in Brazil and South Africa

Findings show that income transfer programmes must operate in deliberate coordination with ancillary social service institutions to deliver the maximum benefits for women’s empowerment.
Tanda-tanda hubungan yang merenggang dapat muncul dalam bentuk yang susah dilihat - seperti berubahnya gaya bahasa. Betsie Van der Meer via Getty Images

Memudarnya hubungan asmara bisa dilihat dari percakapan sehari-hari – bahkan beberapa bulan sebelum para pasangan menyadarinya

Ahli psikolinguistik menganalisis lebih dari 1 juta unggahan dalam berbagai forum di Reddit selama setahun sebelum dan sesudah pengguna menceritakan tentang putusnya hubungan mereka.

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