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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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The Bonus Army protesting on the U.S. Capitol steps on Jan. 2,1932. Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Remembering the veterans who marched on DC to demand bonuses during the Depression, only to be violently driven out by active-duty soldiers

Thousands of volunteers joined the military during World War I. But when the war ended and the Great Depression began, the volunteers wanted a bonus to be paid in 1932, not in 1945 as planned.
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Heavy mercury contamination at Maya sites reveals a deep historic legacy

The Maya would have had to obtain mercury from far locations, transporting it by foot hundreds of kilometres across present-day Central America.
The gate to former President Donald Trump’s home at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Aug. 8, 2022. Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

How the FBI knew what to search for at Mar-a-Lago – and why the Presidential Records Act is an essential tool for the National Archives and future historians

A presidential scholar sets the history and context for the battle over President Trump’s official records – and says it isn’t the first records battle between the government and a former president.
There’s new evidence that, if confirmed, shows how former President Donald Trump flushed public documents down the toilet. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New photos suggest how Trump, flush with power, may have sent official documents down the toilet

Photos showing what appear to be torn-up documents in two different toilets may provide more evidence of the former president’s habit of destroying his presidential documents.
Texas is the No. 1 wind power producer in the U.S. Greg Smith/Corbis SABA via Getty Images

Who benefits from renewable energy subsidies? In Texas, it’s often fossil fuel companies that are fighting clean energy elsewhere

While Congress considers new renewable energy incentives, Texas’ sprawling wind farms tell a story about renewable energy ownership in the US – and who benefits from subsidies.
Words can have a powerful effect on people, even when they’re generated by an unthinking machine. iStock via Getty Images

Google’s powerful AI spotlights a human cognitive glitch: Mistaking fluent speech for fluent thought

Fluent expression is not always evidence of a mind at work, but the human brain is primed to believe so. A pair of cognitive linguistics experts explain why language is not a good test of sentience.
A girl grieves for a friend killed in the Uvalde shooting. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

The lasting consequences of school shootings on the students who survive them

Research shows that school shootings can lead to years of health, educational and economic detriment for students who survive the attack.
Racial bias may play a role both in the schools that families choose for their children and the experiences their children have. Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Desegregating schools requires more than giving parents free choices – a scholar studies the choices parents of all races make

Inspired by her own experience with the education system, a professor of sociology explores how race and racism influence school choice and education.
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.
Binoora Bhultse demonstrates the two-handed moyzé whistling technique used in the Oyda district of southwest Ethiopia. Azeb Amha

If you were called by a melody, how would it sound? Communities in Ethiopia and PNG name people with unique individual tunes

Name tunes are unknown in most of the world, but they are found in two very distant communities.
Science can observe these various phases of fetal development but cannot determine when human life begins. UrsaHoogle/E+ via Getty Images

Defining when human life begins is not a question science can answer – it’s a question of politics and ethical values

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.

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