The Humanities Texas teacher institutes, "From Disunion to Empire: The United States, 1850–1900," to be held in Denton on June 8–11 and in San Antonio on June 15–18, will feature four free public lectures by leading scholars of Texas and American history and culture.

"From Disunion to Empire" is sponsored by Humanities Texas, Trinity University, and the University of North Texas and made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities We the People initiative.

Heather Cox Richardson will deliver a lecture titled "From Disunion to Empire: The United States, 1850–1900" at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 8, at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, 1434 Centre Place Drive, Denton. Richardson is the author of numerous studies of American society, politics, and industry during and after the Civil War. Her talk will examine central themes in late-nineteenth-century U.S. history.

H. W. Brands will deliver a lecture on the Gilded Age at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, June 10, in Room 43/47 of the Gateway Center at the University of North Texas. The post-Civil War "Gilded Age" was marked by the unprecedented concentration of wealth, the closing of the American frontier, debates over race and the gold standard, and other major events and trends that helped shape the modern U.S.

Orville Vernon Burton will deliver a lecture titled "The Age of Lincoln" at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 15, in the Chapman Center auditorium on the Trinity University campus in San Antonio. Burton’s recent book of the same title is an examination of the mid-to-late nineteenth century struggle to redefine freedom as a personal right to be extended to all Americans.

Brands will speak on "The Gilded Age" at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, June 17, in the Coates University Center's Skyline Dining Room at Trinity.

All four lectures are free and open to the public, though seating is limited.

Heather Cox Richardson is associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She received her Ph.D. in 1992 from Harvard's Program in the History of American Civilization. She taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1993 to 2002 and was a Charles Warren Center Fellow at Harvard from 1998 to 1999. She is a member of the editorial board of American Nineteenth Century History and the national advisory board for the Tredegar National Civil War Center Foundation. Her latest book was published by Yale University Press in 2007. West from Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America after the Civil War explores the ways in which a popular conflict over race and labor combined in the postwar years with westward expansion and a novel kind of women’s activism. Coming together in a time of economic consolidation, this mix created a new middle class whose distinctive ideology came to define America. She also is the author of The Greatest Nation of the Earth: Republican Economic Policies During the Civil War and The Death of Reconstruction: Race, Labor, and Politics in the Post-Civil War North, 1865–1901, both published by Harvard University Press.

H. W. Brands is the Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History at The University of Texas at Austin. He has written twenty books, coauthored or edited five others, and published dozens of articles and scores of reviews. His books include The Money Men, Andrew Jackson, The Age of Gold, The First American, T.R., The Strange Death of American Liberalism, What America Owes the World, and The Devil We Knew. His writings have received critical and popular acclaim. The First American was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Los Angeles Times Prize, as well as a New York Times bestseller. The Age of Gold was a Washington Post Best Book of 2002 and a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. Andrew Jackson was a Chicago Tribune Best Book of 2005 and a Washington Post bestseller. Lone Star Nation won the Deolece Parmelee Award. He is a member of various honorary societies, including the Society of American Historians and the Philosophical Society of Texas.

Orville Vernon Burton is director of the Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (ICHASS) at the University of Illinois, where he is a professor of history, African American studies, and sociology. He is also a senior research scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), where he is associate director of humanities and social sciences. He is the author of more than a hundred articles and the author or editor of fourteen books, including In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize). The Age of Lincoln was published in July 2007 and is the recipient of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Literary Award for Nonfiction. He was named a University Scholar in 1988 and was designated an inaugural University Distinguished Teacher/Scholar in 1999.

Heather Cox Richardson. Photograph courtesy of Cydney Ambrose.
H. W. Brands.
Vernon Burton.