ACL Majors: New Policy concerning ANS 379

October 17th, 2014

In the 2014-2016 Undergraduate Catalog, the Department of Asian Studies modified the degree requirements for the Asian Cultures and Languages major. We removed the requirement to take ANS 379, Capstone Seminar in Asian Studies, and replaced it with an additional upper-division Asian Studies class related to their country of specialization (China, Japan, South Asia, etc.)

In the light of this change, we would like to make this option available for all Asian Cultures and Languages majors in all the currently active catalogs.

Please let me (Joni) know if you would like to use another ANS class to sub for your ANS 379 requirement. I will have to request an override in order to make that change to your audit. 

Spotlight: ANS 361, Self and Culture in North Korea

October 17th, 2014

The Academic Affairs office has been spotlighting some of the College’s new courses. Here’s one on Dr. Oppenheim’s new course! 

by Grace Tan

It is almost impossible nowadays to touch upon the subject of North Korea without mentioning hot button issues such as famine, nuclear breakout, and human rights violations. If so, is it even possible to have a course purely based on the art, literature, film, everyday life, and selfhood of the private citizen of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea?

The answer is yes.

The University of Texas at Austin has always offered a wide array of unique classes, and ANS 361: Self and Culture in North Korea may be the first of its kind to be taught. I recently sat down with Professor Robert Oppenheim to discuss this fascinating course, along with toilet paper, cats, and Gangnam Style.

Self described as “a social scientist by training,” Dr. Oppenheim is interested in critical social scientific work in relation with Korea. An internship abroad and some difficult experiences in “going and buying toilet paper with only hand signals” at the local convenience stores in Korea spurred on his interest in learning the language and culture. He has been teaching at UT Austin for more than ten years since receiving his M.A. and PhD in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Kyongju Things: Assembling Place, and just finished drafting his second book on the American anthropology of Korea. His research interests involve the impact of Korean globalism, such as the Hallyu wave, and its intersection with many other disciplines.

When I asked Dr. Oppenheim to describe his course, he posed a very interesting question:

“How often do you think of North Korea as an actual country, rather than a problem?”

We oftentimes think of North Korea as a chronic problem, only to later realize that it is very much still a country. The DPRK is characterized by its horrors in the Western media; so much that cultural aspects of the nation are disregarded and dismissed. While Dr. Oppenheim does not want to completely ignore these issues, he aims to focus on the citizens of North Korea and their relationships with the public state, their leader, and their private lives. The course is meant to facilitate a paradigm shift and examine the development of culture and self through literature, performances, films, artwork, mass games, etc. Documentaries, movies (such as the North Korean version of Godzilla, or “Pulgasari”), graphic novels, and texts will be part of the syllabus to allow a more intimate look at the nation.

It is finally possible to teach a course on society and culture in North Korea, and there is much to be examined and many questions to be asked. Simply saying that the Kim family and the elite class lounge around drinking expensive cognac while the masses are thirsting to overthrow the regime may be too simplistic. Dr. Oppenheim notes: “Just because people are forced to wear lapel pins with Kim il Sung [on it] doesn’t necessarily mean that they believe it, and also doesn’t mean that it’s a fact of life.” What we think we know may not be the entire truth, and the goal of the course is to achieve a deeper understanding of North Korea beyond its failings.

When asked about himself, Dr. Oppenheim was quite reserved, “There’s nothing really interesting about me…but there is a crazy cat that rules my life.” I must disagree. His passion for his research and zeal for this course was infectious, and I found myself wanting to learn more about this subject. Regardless if you are an Asian studies major, ANS 361: Self and Culture in North Korea is definitely a class worth putting on your schedule.

To find out more about Asian Studies, check out the department’s website:

A Request from a Grad Student

October 17th, 2014

Hey Everyone,

I am a current graduate student here at the UT School of Social Work. Hopefully, the fact that you’re reading this second sentence of my email, indicates that you will continue reading on and take 60 seconds to fill out a VERY quick survey, my classmates and I have created! For a class project, we are working to discover what types of sexual / reproductive health information and services UT students have access to. This brief informational survey will help us more easily gather this feedback.

The below link will connect you to this short survey. While I don’t have any candy to hand out, I will be forever grateful towards anyone willing to take the time to fill this out! Also, if you do complete this survey, I have faith that the UT midterm spirits will grant you karma points for helping me pass my course:)

Thank you so much and have a great week!


Molly Platz

Liberal Arts Career Services Update for Week of Oct. 19 – Oct. 25

October 17th, 2014

Liberal Arts Career Services – helping liberal arts students go “Beyond the Tower!”

To apply for these opportunities or learn more about these events, check out your BTT Gateway account.

Don’t have an account? Register with LACS to access opportunities and to learn about our events, services and resources.


Startup Workshop: Is that really a good idea?  – Think you have the next big idea? How do you know for sure? Validating your idea is important so you can avoid wasting resources like time and money building a product that nobody wants. UT Austin students are encouraged to attend this workshop for an introduction to validation techniques. The workshop will be led by UT Austin Liberal Arts alumni John Adolph. To find out more information and to rsvp, click here.


Goldman Sachs - The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world. Goldman is recruiting for their 2015 Finance MRMA Summer Analyst, click here to apply.

APPLICATION DEADLINES for the week of October 19:

Explore BTT Gateway  for details and to apply. If in the list below you see a JOB ID, search the BTT Gateway [Jobs/Internships] tab; if you see a SCHEDULE ID, search the [Interview Schedules/Qualified Schedules] tab. The following are just a sample of the many jobs and internships you will find in BTT Gateway.

  • 10/19 – Goldman Sachs, 2015 Finance MRMA – Market Risk Infrastructure Summer Analyst,  BTT Gateway ID 9225
  • 10/20 – EdgeTheory, Creative Account Manager,  BTT Gateway Job ID 8815
  • 10/20 – Leadify, Creative Account Manager,  BTT Gateway Job ID 8815
  • 10/22 – The Hartford Financial Services, Associate Claims Representative,  Schedule ID 528
  • 10/22 – Quorum Business Solutions, Inc., Consultant,  BTT Gateway Schedule ID 519
  • 10/22 – Deloitte Consulting, Analyst – Project Controller Practice,  BTT Gateway Job ID 9358
  • 10/23 – Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP, Analyst,  BTT Gateway Job ID 9201
  • 10/23 – Let’s Go Austin, Voter Outreach Coordinator,  BTT Gateway Job ID 9210
  • 10/23 – YMCA of Austin, Human Resources Intern,   BTT Gateway Job ID 9340
  • 10/23 – Signpost, Sales Representative,  BTT Gateway Job ID 9215
  • 10/23 – Berry, Appleman, Leiden LLP, Immigration Assistant/Paralega,  BTT Gateway Job ID 9211
  • 10/24 – Information Technology Services @ UT, Software Developer/Analyst,  BTT Gateway Job ID 8966
  • 10/24 – Information Technology Services @ UT, Communications Supervisor,  BTT Gateway Job ID 8964
  • 10/24 – Information Technology Services @ UT, Senior Network Engineer,  BTT Gateway Job ID 8967
  • 10/24 – Information Technology Services @ UT, Software Developer Trainee,  BTT Gateway Job ID 8968
  • 10/24 – Information Technology Services @ UT, Network Engineer – Enterprise Network Engineer I,  BTT Gateway Job ID 8969
  • 10/24 – Pecan Street Insurance, Data Entry Specialist,  BTT Gateway Job ID 9219
  • 10/24 – Workers Defense Project, Worksite Monitor,  BTT Gateway Job ID 9218
  • 10/25 – US Commercial Service, US Embassy London Internship,  BTT Gateway Job ID 9223
  • 10/25 – NetSuite, Inc., Business Development Representative,  BTT Gateway Job ID 9224
  • 10/25 – iKey, Ltd., Multiple Open Positions,  BTT Gateway Job IDs 9220-9222
  • 10/25 – Pecan Street Insurance, Operation Specialist,  BTT Gateway Job ID 8756
  • 10/25 – Pecan Street Insurance, Account Manager,  BTT Gateway Job ID 8755
  • 10/25 – Opes One Advisors, Financial Representative,  BTT Gateway ID 9228
  • 10/25 – YES Prep Public Schools, Teaching Assistant-Special Education-White Oak,  BTT Gateway ID 9230
  • 10/25 – YES Prep Public Schools, Algebra I-Southeast Campus,  BTT Gateway ID 9231

EVENTS for the week of October 19:

Details available under “Career Events” in BTT Gateway  or the LACS online calendar.

  • 10/21 – Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs Virtual Graduate Admissions Fair, 11:00 am –2:00 pm EDT
  • 10/22 – Startup Workshop: Is that really a good idea?, CLA 0.122, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
  • 10/23 – UT Law Fair, Texas Union Ballroom, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • 10/23 – Texas Natural Gas Summit & Job Fair, Palmer Events Center, 10:00 am –3:00 pm


The first resume you upload to BTT Gateway will be reviewed by a member of LACS for grammar, format, marketing and relevance to help you highlight your experience in a professional format. Please allow up to two business days for the review process, during which you will not be able to submit the resume for jobs or internships in BTT Gateway. If your resume is not approved, we will provide feedback to help you craft a stronger resume. Once your first resume is approved, all subsequent resume uploads will be automatically approved and you will have immediate access to the resume for BTT Gateway applications. Due to the review process, we recommend you upload your resume well in advance of any upcoming deadlines.

Review the LACS Resume Guidelines to learn the criteria for resume approval.

Urdu Placement Exam

October 17th, 2014

Urdu Placement Exam

Date: Friday, Nov 14, 2014

Time: 5:30PM- 8:30PM

Location: CAL 200

All students taking the exam will need to have an official photo identification (UT ID) card with them.  They will also need to bring with them a form that they will receive from Student Testing Services after they have paid the required fees.

Student Testing Services

Center for Teaching and Learning

The University of Texas at Austin

Graduate School of Business Building (GSB) 2.130

(512) 232-2662


All students who appear for the placement exam will take one exam.  On this exam, if they receive 90% or higher, then they will receive credit (in hours only), for two years of Urdu (Urdu 506, 507, 312K and 312L = 16 hours).  If the students receive a score in the range of 75-89, then they will receive credit (in hours only) for one year of Urdu (Urdu 506 & 507 = 10 hours).  The students will not receive a letter grade for the same exams since we only give letter grades for courses completed in residence at the University of Texas at Austin.  Thus the exam will not have any impact on the students’ GPA. 


Ninety percent of the exam will require the students to write in the Urdu script.  The exam will include translation exercises (from English to Urdu) as well as Urdu reading comprehension.

Law School Fair

October 17th, 2014

Liberal Arts Students – - 

Are you considering law school? If so, don’t miss the 2014 UT Law Fair!

Law Fair is an annual event that brings representatives from 120+ law schools to campus to recruit UT students. UT Law Fair is one of the largest school-sponsored law fairs in the nation! This is a unique opportunity to learn a great deal about many different law schools all in one day. Oftentimes the person at the booth is the same person who will be reading your application down the road! Law Fair is free and open to the public. Business casual dress is recommended.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Texas Union Ballroom

More Info…

Even with over 120+ law school representatives attending the Law Fair, not all schools can attend.  In some cases, law schools will provide info sessions for our students.  Such is the case with Columbia Law, ranked fourth in the U.S. News and World Report for “Best Law Schools.” Columbia Law School is hosting an info session on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm LACS Library (FAC 18) – no RSVP necessary.

Thank you,


The University of Texas at Austin | 512-471-7900 | |

Japanese-America Society of Greater Austin Fall Festival

October 14th, 2014

The Japanese-America Society of Greater Austin is hosting its annual Fall Festival AKI MATSURI on November 15, Saturday, from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. at O. Henry Middle School. 

And they’re looking for volunteers! You will receive a delicious JA bento, drink and (possibly) Matsuri T-shirts. Tell them what you are good at: for example, Matsuri games, recruiting members, organization, security, man’s power, decoration, communication with kids, or making big, sweet smiles!

If you are interested in, please contact them at

Admission: Free for members and those 18 years old and younger. $5 for non-members. 

Free Japanese Calligraphy Lesson

October 14th, 2014

Learn the basics of Japanese Calligraphy! 

No preparation needed. 

WHEN: Oct. 23, 2014, Thursday  3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Parlin 214

Instructor: Aya Koga

Aya Koga started calligraphy at the age of six. She was awarded the Yomiuri Newspaper Calligraphy Prize when she was a student. She holds 2nd level calligraphy license from the Official Calligraphy Association of Japan.

If you haven’t already seen the Japanese Facebook page, check it out:

Registration Advising for Spring 2015

October 14th, 2014

It’s Registration Season!  The online Course Schedule will open tomorrow and we start registration advising on Monday, Oct. 20th.

There are sign-up sheets on the table outside my office; as I am not seeing students in any particular order this year, anyone is welcome to sign up.

The Asian Studies Area List will be posted on the Asian Studies website SOON (and emailed to you guys) but keep in mind it’s subject to change (some classes may be cancelled and others will be added).

Seniors shouldn’t have bars (unless you’re new to the major or on academic probation), but if you’re within a semester of graduating, you should definitely come in to ensure you’re on track to graduate.

You’re welcome to email me with any questions or concerns, but I won’t be answering the phone during registration advising, so don’t rely on leaving me a voice mail.

The Course Schedule for Spring 2015 will be available here:

Your registration times and bar information can be found here:

You can find the list of Asian Studies course descriptions by visiting our website:

Degree Audits: You can view your degree audit through the Interactive Degree Audit (IDA) system:


CoLA Scholarship Deadlines

October 14th, 2014

Applications are now being accepted for merit-based, research and study abroad scholarships for fall 2014!

See if you are eligible on the Liberal Arts scholarship website:

Deadline for most scholarships is October 16, 2014.

For Liberal Arts students from Shelby County, Texas or adjoining counties

For Liberal Arts student from Franklin County, Texas or adjoining counties