Browse Exhibits (26 total)


Identifying “Home” in Disrupted Narratives

An exhibit that examines the concept of home as it relates to five varied populations and communities that have been forced to reconcile with an altered sense of belonging.


Hamza Bouderdaben, Aidan Ellis, Caroline Henderson, An Le, Katie McGhee

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Generating Activism and Ideological Mobilization: Leftist Organization in Latino Communities from the 1930s to 1980s

This exhibit draws upon primary sources at the Benson and Briscoe Archives to analyze different leftist organizing and consciousness-raising strategies in Latino unions and communities across North and Latin America.


Parker Aguilera, Alex Goralski, Ramiro de los Santos, and Sydney Thornborrow

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Otherness in America

This exhibit draws from the cultures, histories, and perceived “otherness” of a diverse array of minorities and communities in the United States. Experience the power of presentation and storytelling through the eyes of Latinos, Indigenous individuals, and Jews by seeing how they interact with hegemonic institutions in America and greater society.

Credits: Cooper Shawl, Carson McNabb, Leona Mariel Hernandez, Lila Katz

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Accessing Austin: Breaking Barriers In The Capitol City

Defined by its transformation from a hamlet on the banks of the Colorado River to a global powerhouse, Austin is a city firmly planted in the cultural landscape of Texas, the United States, and the World. This exhibit explores the fight to gain this position and brings light to key players within those discussions. 

Credits: Olivia Green, Casey Pack, Dylan Shears

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Creating Spaces for Cultural Intersections Through Texas Fine Arts

This exhibit will use archival findings from various University of Texas repositories to explore the evolution and intersections of fine arts in Texas, focusing on areas such as music, theater, and visual arts, and the organization and promotion of all of the above.

HIV/AIDS in the American South: Rhetoric and Experiences

This exhibit highlights the rhetoric and experiences of HIV/AIDs in the American South to demonstrate how marginalized populations strived to support public health in a time of crisis. The primary materials we have selected highlight the rhetoric and policy creation of a negative socio-cultural landscape that HIV-positive individuals faced in the United States during the 1980s and 1990’s. With powerful statistics and personal accounts, these collections highlight how marginalized communities were able to band together in the fight against AIDS as well as demonstrate the importance of community in times of crisis.

Mixed Identities in Texas: Interactions with Majority Culture Groups

As a borderland state, Texas is a hotspot for cultural melding and mixed identities. However, the cultural landscape of the state extends far beyond our present-day conception of United States and Mexican contact. For instance, French immigrants arrived in Texas as early as 1964. Around the same time, Filipino immigrants founded influential associations to establish their identity. Some communities' roots travel back even further ⁠— such as the Tigua of Ysleta del Sur, who settled in present-day El Paso before Texas established its statehood. Each of these minority communities are often overlooked when considering Texas culture, but their experiences and interaction with the majority population are just as important as the more well-known cultural identities throughout Texas.

In this exhibit, we explore how French, Filipino, and Tigua communities conceptualize their identities in the context of cultural interactions with majority populations. Each community has also dealt with the pressures of assimilation in varying ways, and each response to assimilation can give us insight to understanding cultures and identities other than our own.

Mexican American Experiences in the 20th Century: Amplifying a History of Activism and Advocacy

This exhibit will draw on materials from the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and the LLILAS Benson Latin American Collection to highlight stories of the Mexican American experience in Texas during the 20th century. The exhibit begins in the 1910s with the upheaval of the Mexican Revolution and ends in the 1990s with important educational and artistic movements occurring within Tejano communities. While these materials can be viewed in isolation from one another, we hope to impress that what links these selected materials is the impact that these hidden histories have had on the discourse and participation in activism and advocacy for Tejano communities. The materials presented demonstrate how different facets of Tejano activism and advocacy came into existence and operated at different points in the 20th century, and acted as a foundation for successive generations to either build upon or proliferate in new directions.

Patterns of Feminism

What unifies feminists across their history in the U.S.? Is it merely their ties to feminism and its values… or is it something more? Spanning three centuries, Sarah Grimke, Melissa Hield, and Gloria Anzaldua are united through their responses to external social pressures to behave in a prescribed way. Moreover, to behave in a “ladylike” manner or “traditional” way that the historically misogynistic culture of the U.S. has bred. As an inhabitant of the 19th century, Grimke was expected to adhere to the social standards of the time, which required for women to be meek and confined to the domestic sphere. Yet, Grimke, as one of the first American feminists—lecturing others on her “bold” ideas of how abolition and gender equality go hand in hand. In a similar vein, Hield sought out the world of academia and challenged the male-dominated institution. The 70s typically expected women to continue to adhere to domesticity, but instead Hield set her sights on receiving a Ph.D.—something very untypical for a woman within this period. Anzaldua similarly responded to these external patriarchal pressures by questioning the concept of white feminism. Latina women such as Anzaldua were simply not treated the same in a white-majority movement, inducing Anzaldua to fight for her place. All three of these women were exerting their feminist identities in male-dominated spheres. They are all pioneers of their times and reveal that feminism possesses “patterns” that unify women together in more than just beliefs.

In honor of feminism, we chose a pale yellow as the color theme for this exhibit. This sunflower-esque color serves as a reminder of early suffragettes who actively fought to change the male-dominated landscape they lived in. The sunflower pin at the top right of our page actually belonged to Alice Paul, a prominent feminist who happened to join the National Woman’s Party.

After digging around in the archives in search of material over religious communities, Laurie ultimately found a piece of Grimke’s. This eventually led her to Anzaldua, whose works revolved around the very Catholic atmosphere of Latinx culture. On the other hand, I was in search for early feminist works and came across a book covering feminists within Hull House. Turns out this book was written by Melissa Hield, and I ended up requesting her box—finding myself enthralled by her personal journals and story. I hope you find this exhibit just as enthralling.


Locked Away: The Hidden Atrocities of Forced Institutionalization

Throughout American history, families and governance have attempted to control and cure both physical and mental disabilities. This concept is most clearly manifested in the American institution. Beginning in the nineteenth century, institutionalization became a way to remove people with disabilities from the remainder of society, in hopes that this isolation would help to rehabilitate these individuals without disrupting the lives of the majority able minded and bodied population. By exploring how these structures became embedded in American society through a literature review, our exhibit will set the stage for our primary documentation of the individual institution experience.

Using materials from the University of Texas archives and lenses of medical paternalism, physical and mental disability, and minority mental health, our exhibit will explore the detrimental effects of forced institutionalization as a means to segregate society, and will examine the movements which shifted society’s view of mental and physical disabilities and which sparked reform efforts.