UT History Dept. Debuts Site Aimed At General Public

Attention, history buffs. Exhausted the New York Times‘ bestsellers list and looking for a new book to read? How about a film with a little educational value to it? Or a bit of trivia to stump your friends?

Look no further than the University of Texas history department’s Not Even Past.

Launched officially today, the site is the first of its kind, featuring short articles and book and film recommendations written by history faculty on their various areas of research. Visitors will also find podcasts, video interviews, and highlights of archives at the University and national institutions — all aimed at the general public.

The home page features a different faculty book each month, with many ways to experience it. For January, Civil War historian and UT professor Jacqueline Jones wrote an article discussing war-time life in Savannah, Ga., the topic of her most recent book, Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War. She also appears in a video interview, reads an excerpt of her book in an audio recording, and suggests three related books for further reading.

Frequently updated will be the “Fact Checker,” where history myths will be debunked. Amaze your peers today with facts on how the Wild West wasn’t so wild after all. 

For alumni feeling nostalgic for their collegiate days, Not Even Past also offers some continuing education. Three virtual courses will be offered each semester. Professors will assign readings and conduct an online chats at various points throughout the semester. The best part — no tests. This semester, you could learn about the essence of leadership from the models of U.S. presidents, how Russia beat Germany in WWII, and the details of Cuba-U.S. relations since 1868. 

Not Even Past draws its name from a quote by William Faulkner in his 1951 novel, Requiem for a Nun. “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” he wrote. The University is counting on many sharing Faulkner’s sentiment.

“History is dynamic,” history professor and site editor Joan Neuberger says. “Ideas about history change all the time. We want to encourage everyone to go look at anything to do with history.”


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