Why Sanskrit?

We have our first course trailer!!

We’re very excited and have also posted it to our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We hope you enjoy it. Please keep in mind we did this in-house so no professional IT resources were used (and we even did captioning). We’re so happy that as of 6/24/2015 it has over 200 views! Special thanks go out to Dr. Donald R. Davis, Aaron Sherraden, and Emma Garcia for agreeing to be in our very first production.

We also created a blooper/outtakes video. Thanks iMovie! (It was training and not just because they had a Bollywood template that tempted us greatly.)

I can’t wait until our next Course Trailer on German, Scandinavian, and Dutch Studies! Any suggestions for future Course Trailer courses/majors/languages? Please let us know.

Jaci’s Advice

6 Things Jaci (IRG & Linguistics Senior) wishes she’d known as a first-year student:

  1. Start your foreign language early. You may end up deciding it’s something you want to use after you graduate, and it might be too late to get the background you need if you start it later- it’s better to be safe than sorry. And, keep your options open about which one you choose. UT offers over 35 foreign languages!
  1. Get your core requirements out of the way (but try to make them interesting for you!). For example, get your math and sciences out of the way early. You want to be able to focus on your upper-division major-specific courses when you’re an upperclassman (especially if you have to write a research paper or honors thesis).
  2. Develop good study techniques! Establish a good foundation for your college education from the beginning- it’s much harder to do this the longer you wait. The habits you form your first year will likely carry on through the rest of your time in college.

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  1. Take classes that you think might be interesting if they aren’t used for your major. This really opens your mind to what else is out there. Sometimes we can get too engulfed in our major-specific courses and need a chance to learn about other subjects. Maybe you’ve always enjoyed Philosophy even though you’re an Economics major, so take some Philosophy courses! Or try something new to spark your interest.

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  1. Also take a course in something that might push you to learn about something different/beyond the realm of yourself. For example, maybe if you’re a guy take a course dealing with women’s studies, if you’re straight take a course related to the subject of gay and lesbian sexuality, or if you’re part of one culture, take a course on a culture that is not your own.

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  1. Get to know your professors and build a solid relationship with several of them along the way. This is so important, I can’t emphasize it enough! You are going to need letters of recommendation throughout college and after you graduate if you apply for medical or graduate school. You can also learn a lot of important and valuable things beyond the classroom through these relationships. They usually have lots of experience and many of them are more than willing to help you figure out paths you might take to reach your goals after college.

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Course Trailers

We’re very excited to expand our social media horizons once again. This time our venture into increasing the visibility of our programs and courses is in the video realm with Course Trailers. (UPDATE: We have a trailer for our Course Trailers!)

What are Course Trailers?

Much like movie trailers, our low-budget version of the videos are meant to provide a brief  introduction (1.5-2 minutes) to a course, language, or field. We took inspiration from some recent productions here at UT and at other universities. We are doing them in-house, hence the low-budget disclaimer. We will not be using or accessing fancy IT studios, green screens, microphones, or Pro-anything software and upload services; although, we do hope to get a tripod. We hope the videos will be interesting and assist students and advisors in discovering the breadth of our college’s offerings.

Trailer 1

How many will be made? How often will they “premiere”?

Well, we’re starting with one and seeing how it goes. If it receives a decent response (I’ll be happy with 15 views*), then we’ll probably try for two more using different templates. Depending on the time involved, the response from our audience, and availability of student workers, we’ll try for three a semester. Pretty ambitious, I know, but you’ve got to dream big, right?

What’s the first course/language/field being featured?

We had Sanskrit on our minds (It’s like yoga for the brain!) so we partnered with an enthusiastic faculty member, graduate student, and undergraduate major, and we’re good to go.

Trailer 2

Sources of inspiration:

*Why fifteen views? Well, between the staff members in our office, the people in the video, and the Asian Studies department staff, we’re already at 12 so three more would be great. Would 20 be better?

Fall 15 Snapshots: ITC 349, LIN 350, PSY 309

Italian Neorealism Cinema, ITC 349, 36225, TTH 2:00-3:30p, MEZ 2.102

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If I’d never seen the films that I’m going to talk about here, I’d be a very different person, and of course, a very different filmmaker.  –Martin Scorsese, My Voyage to Italy

The powerful films that made such an impact on one of the most well-known and acclaimed directors of contemporary American cinema are those of Italian Neorealism.
This course, taught by Assistant Professor Paola Bonifazio, will explore Italian Neorealism in its historical and political contexts.  Students will watch films by directors such as Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Giuseppe DeSantis, and Vittorio De Sica, discuss the varieties of Neorealist styles, and investigate the legacy of Neorealism in global cinema.

Sign up for this course: it may change your life!

This course carries a Global Cultures flag.


Language, Cognition, & Rhythm, LIN 350, 40000, TTH 11:00-12:30p, MEZ 1.208

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Many of us remember, or were told, that our parents would sing a lullaby or tell a nursery rhyme to help us sleep when we were little. What was it about those words that made us drift off, or feel especially relaxed? How does rhythmic sound affect our minds differently than sporadic noise, and why did humans develop systems of communication that use rhythmic sound? Could rhythmic possibilities be intrinsic to the human cognitive system?

This fall, Associate Professor Megan Crowhurst delves into a course that attempts to address all of these questions and more. The course will allow students to examine popular rhythmic forms such as nursery rhymes, folk chants, and other forms of folk music, as well as psycholinguistic and linguistic work on rhythm. Students will also explore literature on adult perception of rhythm, children’s acquisition of rhythm, and children’s sensitivity to musical forms. So if you’re someone who likes to ask the “why” questions in life and are interested in understanding the special role of rhythm in verbal communication, this could be the course for you!


Personality, PSY 309, 42200, MWF 1:00-2:00p, NOA 1.126

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Have you ever flipped through a magazine or clicked on a link to fill out the personality quiz? The type that would reveal which category your personality fell into and what sort of defining characteristics you posses? Even Harry Potter gets sorted into Gryffindor by a hat that supposedly possesses the ability to place people into the house that best suits them. Both of these processes usually make the participant feeling like they’ve learned something about themselves and how others might perceive them. Although we can attribute the sorting hat’s capabilities to magic, where do the magazine quizzes get their results? How accurately can these simple questions reveal important information about our personalities?

In an attempt to unravel the complex subject of personality, this fall Dr. Jacqueline Evans will teach a Psychology course in which students will explore the theories and research aimed at explaining and understanding people’s thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. This course will explore various methods of understanding personality such as the trait approach, biological models of personality, psychoanalytic theory, and culture. Students will also be asked to assess their own personality and perceptions of it, along with trying to understand how defense mechanisms and the unconscious come into play. So if you’re looking to learn a bit about yourself and why you, and others, might be the way you are, check out this sure-to-be interesting course!

This course requires that a student already have credit for PSY 301 with a grade of at least C.