On May 20, 2011, the UT Department of History was pleased to welcome one of our most illustrious graduates to deliver this year’s Commencement Address. Renowned trial lawyer and generous UT supporter, Joe Jamail (JD 1953, BA History, 1950), treated graduates and their families to his thoughts on the ways that studying History at UT made him the lawyer he became.
“WWJD?” A student of mine told me in the early 1990’s that in her school the interrogating initials meant “Who Wants Jack Daniels?” Of course, most Americans today know that they mean “What Would Jesus Do?” The question has been ubiquitous in American popular culture for three decades. But few know that it was first asked in a novel. And even fewer know that the author’s working drafts of that novel can be seen today in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
This weekend, as Cairo’s protestors struck their tents and tidied up Tahrir Square, a clean-up operation of another sort was underway nearby: in the Egyptian Museum, home to King Tutankhamen and countless other archaeological treasures.
History can sometimes surround us – sometimes it’s even underfoot. This rug, from the Art and Art History Library Collection at the University of Texas, represents the kind of textiles that were made by skilled Navajo weavers and sold on the Navajo reservation from the late 19th into the early 20th century.
My own family hails from Aligarh, a city about 90 miles southeast of New Delhi and, as Muslims, opted to move to Pakistan. I was aware of this as a child, but because I grew up outside Pakistan, it was not until I began my research and had enough comfort speaking Urdu that I persuaded some of my elderly relatives to tell me their stories of the time of independence and partition.