Fall Snapshots: REE 325, GSD 360, AFR 317C

REE 325, 44523, European Avant-Garde in Print

REE 325

When one thinks of “avant-garde,” images of experimental art and innovative ideas immediately come to mind. So what does it mean when “print” is avant-garde? This fall, Meghan Forbes will be teaching this course to shed light on the intensive artistic and intellectual exchange of newly formed nations between the two World Wars.

Students will be able to engage in some hands-on research by visiting the Books and Periodicals Collection at the Harry Ransom Center and the Blanton Museum of Art to study examples of “interwar print culture” on campus. Ms. Forbes also will guide students through lectures, readings, and class discussions on how small magazines such as Disk and ReD in Prague, Pásmo in Brno, Merz in Hannover, and G and Veshch in Berlin opened up a dialogue in art-making and politics. Not only does this course focus on the exchange of textual and visual information through experimental photography, typographic conventions, and translation, but it also extends to the modern-day issues. What happens when periodicals are digitalized? How does their reception differ or become altered once they become an online resource? If you’re curious to discover another dimension to the avant-garde revolution, this course is for you!

GSD 360, 38050, European Immigration to Texas in the 19th Century

 Texas Migration pic

What do painted churches, sausage festivals, and dance halls have in common? These are all cultural legacies left by European immigrants that immigrated to Texas in the 1800’s, leaving a rich fabric of tradition and legacy that have made Texas, well, unapologetically Texas. If you’re curious to learn more about the immigrant story and Texas history, Dr. James Kearney will be teaching this course this fall.

What social and political forces drove Europeans to consider immigrating to the New World? And why of all places, Texas? How did the waves of immigrants that came from Central and Northern European countries influence Texas? The course will trace the accelerated economic and agricultural development of the republic and state with this influx. Following the pockets of bilingualism and generations of tradition, Dr. Kearney will place familiar Texas themes, such as the frontier, Native Americans, and slavery into context with the immigrant influences on culture and society. Additionally, there will be fun field trips to tour the Bricsoe Center for American History Studies, the Texas State Library, and the General Land Office to visit documented history for primary and secondary sources. 

AFR 317C, 30027, Yoruba History and Culture


Fela Kuti is one of the greatest artists you’ve probably never heard of. On par with Bob Marley musically and socio-politically, Fela Kuti invented Afro-beat as a producer, arranger, musician, outlaw, and political radical until his death in 1997. This fall, Dr. Oladotun Ayobade ‘s course will examine the musical works of Fela Kuti and the larger picture of critiquing issues of gender, sexuality, race, class, and nation of the Yoruba people.

The Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria have a rich history and culture. Students will be able to better understand the culture through performance and cultural studies to examine history, culture, and society. Dr. Ayodabe will introduce students to traditions such as Yoruba Oral Poetry, theatrical jazz, and life in the Yoruba community. From topics such as gender, colonialism, women, and rebel art, students will be able to come out of the class with a better perspective threw intimate snapshots of the Yoruba.

5 Registration Tips

Five Registration Tips from the Course Whisperer

  1. Familiarize yourself with the Course Schedule.

    It’s easy to find courses that have flags and/or satisfy the core. Plus it can be narrowed down to list only open sections or web-based courses.

  2. Check the cross-listings!

    Use the links to see whether the course’s other listings are open!

  3. Don’t give up! Try it first.

Sometimes restricted courses are restricted to you! Don’t miss out because you didn’t even try.

KOR 506

4. New courses can satisfy requirements & be good!

New to Core course flyer

5. The Course Schedule Lies!

Yes, I know, it’s shocking but sometimes the Course Schedule lists misleading information.

It may say a course is “closed” but it may not really be. Many departments save seats in popular courses and release them throughout registration. This is especially true for lower-division Core courses for the fall semester because many seats are “saved” for incoming freshman. It’s also true that if a course is listed as “closed” before registration and/or advising even starts, that it most likely will be canceled.

Don’t be afraid of the instructor-less courses! It’s not always a sign of impending cancellation but that instructors have not been appointed or are not due to start until fall so they don’t have an EID to put into the system.

Bonus tip: It goes without saying that you should follow us on social media for all the latest course news!

Spotlight: Love in the East and West

MEL 321, 41560, Love in the East and West

Romeo & Juliet, Layla & Majnun

 If you were to ask what the most famous love story is in the Western world, the answer would be a no-brainer: Romeo and Juliet. But what about star-crossed lovers and iconic love stories around the rest of the world? Layla and Majnun? Tristan and Isolde? If these names don’t ring a bell, are you curious to expand your knowledge about European and Middle Eastern love literature, from the British, Arab, Persian, modern Turkish, French, German and Ottoman? Do you want to talk about relationships, revenge, and betrayal on an academic and philosophical level? If you do, Dr. Jeannette Okur’s course will be a perfect addition to your fall schedule.

Dr. Okur is in charge of Turkish studies here at UT Austin. She works with students who are just beginning to learn the basics of Turkish, to doctoral students working on their theses, to graduate students in art history, political science, history – anyone who needs to work with the Turkish language. After receiving her undergraduate degree in American literature, her studies led her to Europe. What initially became a two month long trip to Turkey for the summer turned into seven years in which she met her husband and finished her PhD in Ankara. In Europe, Dr. Okur witnessed problems experienced by refugees from the Bosnian and Rwandan wars and discrimination against Turks and other minorities first-hand and felt that Americans had a need for educators who could teach Turkish and give insight into a predominantly Muslim culture especially after the 9-11 attacks.

After marrying internationally and living in both Europe and Turkey in several different cultures, Dr. Okur realized that some things are universal and transcend cultures, whereas other things are not. “It’s important to study literary texts, images, symbols, tropes, or ideas…and explore the concept of love and where love’s boundaries are.” Students will begin with reading Romeo and Juliet in conjunction with the story of Layla and Majnun, one of the most famous love stories in the Eastern world. Students will be asking important questions: What should be sacrificed for love? Does love survive after death? How are concepts such as beauty, separation, madness, marriage, war, and the divine intertwine with aspects of love?

Poetry, 16th-cen Azerbaijani, Fuzûlî
Poetry, 16th-cen Azerbaijani, Fuzûlî

When asked about some of the differences between imagery and conceptions of love between the East and West, Dr. Okur pulls out a book on Ottoman poetry from the shelf reads it aloud: The fragments of my shattered heart lie pierced on the spearpoints of your eyelashes…Imagery such as down peach fuzz on cheeks, faces being compared to the moon, and eyelashes so pointy they could stab hearts, are all very different from 19th century romantic British poetry. Even more interestingly, there is a distinct ambiguity about the sexuality in Ottoman poetry that is not present in English poetry. Only one third-person pronoun exists in the Turkish language that encapsulates the English he, she, or it.

The last project of the semester is an independent reading project in which the students can spend a month exploring a concept of love of their own choosing, having to do with maternal, paternal, fraternal love or friendship and everything in between. The research project is a culmination of all the skills, analysis, and knowledge students have gained through the class. “Love in the East and West” will open up a new dialogue and a new perspective on love that transcends history and culture – who knows, maybe Dr. Okur will send you some love poetry next Valentine’s Day!


Fun fact: Dr. Okur loves to hike and hiking Basho’s trail in Japan is on her bucket list.