What on earth were these tropical primates doing in Southern California?

Thinking in Public

This article features the work of Dr. Chris Kirk, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin Everyone has heard of the “ice age”—no, not the movie, but the period known as the Pleistocene, when Earth’s temperature dropped and glaciers spread. But have you ever heard of the Eocene epoch? Between 56 and 34 million years ago, Earth …

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What on earth does this 18th-century bad boy have to do with Jane Austen?

Thinking in Public

This article features the work of Dr. Janine Barchas, Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professor in English Literature at the University of Texas at Austin Check out this jovial portrait of Sir Francis Dashwood draped in luxurious furs and holding a glass brimming with wine. Surprised he was known as quite the eighteenth-century bad boy? Probably …

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What on earth do an anarchist protest, a Thanksgiving-day parade, and a seamstress have in common?

Thinking in Public

This article features Dr. Jacqueline Jones, Professor and Chair of the History Department; Ellen C. Temple Chair in Women’s History and Mastin Gentry White Professor of Southern History Decades before oversized balloons of Felix the Cat and Mickey Mouse filled American skies during  commercially-sponsored Thanksgiving day parades, a very different object was flown–the black flag of the International Working …

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Why on earth did working-class German men dress like this to attend political rallies in 1928?

Thinking in Public

  This article features the research of Dr. Sabine Hake Professor, Professor and Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture in the Department of Germanic Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. You’re a member of the working class living in a cramped urban space with at least a few other people. You’re constantly concerned about money. Frustrated with …

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Why on earth did American feminists move to Russia in the 1920s?

Thinking in Public

Featuring the research of Dr. Julia Mickenberg By Saturday, March 24, 1917, word spread to the United States that the Bolsheviks had given Russian women the right to vote. American suffragettes were furious. Nina Allender’s satirical cover of The Suffragist magazine announced to Americans that while in the United States only (certain) men had the right to vote, …

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Why on earth is there a statue of a black African saint in a cathedral in Germany?

Thinking in Public

This article features the research of Dr. Geraldine Heng, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. Imagine you’re a white, Christian pilgrim traveling in eastern Germany during the 13th century. You arrive at the Magdeburg Cathedral and kneel in supplication. As you look up, you realize there’s something different …

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What on earth do Beyoncé, this sphinx, and Napoléon have in common?

Thinking in Public

They’re all featured in “Apeshit”–a music video dropped this past weekend during Beyoncé and JAY-Z Carter’s tour. The video introduced fans to Everything is Love, a collaborative album celebrating black identity and fame in 2018 America. “Apeshit” was filmed inside the Louvre museum in front of statutes like “The Great Sphinx of Tanis” and paintings like “The Consecration …

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