Past Institutes

American Writing on the Civil War

On February 1, 2013, Humanities Texas held a one-day workshop in Austin for fifty secondary language arts and social studies teachers on seminal works of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American writing on the Civil War.


Emphasis was placed on the multiple perspectives that Americans had, and continue to have, on the Civil War, as well as  on the rhetorical strategies and devices that authors have used to communicate effectively. Featured authors included Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, Henry David Thoreau, Stephen Crane, Robert Lowell, Flannery O’Connor, and Natasha Trethewey.

The workshop featured close interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities. 

Content was aligned with the TEKS, and teachers received books and other instructional materials.


The workshop faculty included Randall Fuller (the University of Tulsa) and Daina Ramey Berry, Evan Carton, and Coleman Hutchison, all of The University of Texas at Austin.

Program Resources

Our February 2013 newsletter included a slideshow of images from the workshop and a transcript of Daina Ramey Berry’s lecture on the life and achievements of Frederick Douglass.

View videos of faculty lectures from the 2012 workshop:


The workshop overview details the program schedule and participants.  


The workshop was made possible with major funding from the state of Texas, with ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Questions about Teacher Institutes

Call 512.440.1991 or email

Coleman Hutchison
Coleman Hutchison and teachers analyze Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Late Encounter with the Enemy," about a 104-year-old Civil War veteran.
Daina Ramey Berry
Daina Ramey Berry leads a discussion of Frederick Douglass's writing, including an open letter to his former master written on the tenth anniversary of his escape from slavery.
Evan Carton
Evan Carton examines the writings of Henry David Thoreau, John Brown, and Abraham Lincoln with a small group of teachers.