The Theta of Texas Chapter seeks to recognize and celebrate scholarship in the liberal arts through its activities. Examples include sponsoring scholarly lectures and co-sponsoring student initiatives.
Visiting Scholars Program
Each year the Theta of Texas Chapter seeks to sponsor a Visiting Scholar, one of 12 or 13 distinguished scholars selected annually by the national Phi Beta Kappa Society office. These men and women visit more than 100 colleges and universities, spending two days at each one, meeting informally with students and faculty members, taking part in classroom discussions, and giving a public lecture open to the entire academic community.
The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students. Priority is given to those institutions not located in major metropolitan centers or that do not have extensive resources on which to draw for similar programs.
The Chapter looks forward to hosting a Visiting Scholar virtually on November 5-6, 2020, and welcomes the Southwestern community and public to hear from:
Professor Richard Prum is William Robertson Coe Professor of Ornithology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the Curator of Ornithology and Head Curator of Vertebrate Zoology in the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. He is an evolutionary ornithologist with broad interests in avian biology. He has done research on diverse topics, including avian phylogenetics, behavioral evolution, feather evolution and development, sexual selection, sexual conflict, aesthetic evolution, avian color vision, avian structural colors and pigments, avian mimicry, and the theropod dinosaur origin of birds. His book “The Evolution of Beauty:How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World” (Doubleday 2017) was named a Top Ten Book of the Year by the New York Times, and was a Finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Non-fiction. From 2012-2017, he served as the Director of the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities at Yale, the initiative aims to foster communication, mutual understanding, collaborative research and teaching among diverse scientific and humanistic disciplines.
The Chapter has previously hosted the following Visiting Scholars:
Francis Su, Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College
Mary Miller, Sterling Professor of the History of Art, and Senior Director, Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Yale University
Barbara J. Grosz, Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences, Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
Blaire Van Valkenburgh, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles
Bambi B. Schieffelin, Collegiate Professor and Professor of Anthropology, New York University
Lee Epstein, Provost Professor of Law and Political Science and the Rader Family Trustee Chair in Law, University of Southern California
John A. Agnew, Distinguished Professor of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles
Jack Goldstone, Virginia E. and John T. Hazel Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University
Linda Gordon, Professor of History, New York University
Chris Impey, University Distinguished Professor of Astronomy, University of Arizona
Steven Shapin, Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University
Virginia Sapiro, Breckinridge professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Phillip Gossett, Reneker Distinguished Service Professor of Music, University of Chicago
Giles Gunn, Professor of English and Global & International Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
Susan McClary, Professor of Musicology, University of California, Los Angeles
Manthia Diawara, Professor of Comparative Literature and Film, New York University
James Boyd White, Hart Wright Professor of Law/Professor of English, University of Michigan
Douglass C. North, Luce Professor of Law and Liberty, Washington University
Scholarships and Internships
The Phi Beta Kappa Society supports the growth and development of liberal arts and sciences students through scholarship and internship opportunities:
Key into Public Service Scholarship
Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society, celebrates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and champions freedom of thought. The Society invites online applications for its new Key into Public Service Scholars program. This initiative will award $5,000 undergraduate scholarships and a trip to Washington, D.C. for up to 20 rising sophomore, junior, and senior liberal arts and sciences students interested in pursuing public service careers. Society membership is not required.
Characteristics of ideal recipients include intellectual curiosity, interdisciplinary breadth and depth of arts and sciences coursework, leadership propensity, and service to others. Interested students should learn more and apply online by December 31, 2019.