Since its founding in 1973, Humanities Texas (formerly the Texas Council for the Humanities) has published a number of books, reports, and monographs that document the work of the Council and its grantees and promote the humanities and humanities scholarship. Humanities Texas also publishes reports that provide Texans and others with information about its programs, events, and governance.

The Making of Modern America, 1877–Present

In June 2011, Humanities Texas held teacher institutes in Austin, El Paso, Laredo, and San Antonio examining significant events and themes in U.S. history since Reconstruction. The program faculty included a number of the nation’s leading scholars of Texas and U.S. history. The institute publication includes not only a full account the four programs but also historical documents, works of art, and lengthy excerpts from faculty presentations, offering significant insight into such topics as the Gilded Age, Populism, the Progressive Era, the New Deal, World War II, the civil rights movement, and the Cold War. Download»

The Making of Modern America, 1877–present. Austin: Humanities Texas, 2011. Cover image: John Sloan, Six O’Clock, Winter, 1912.

Shaping the American Republic to 1877

In June 2010, Humanities Texas held a series of six summer teacher institutes on university campuses in Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Laredo, and San Antonio focusing on topics in U.S. history and culture from the colonial era through Reconstruction. The institute publication documents much of the programs’ intellectual content, providing historical documents, works of art, and excerpts from faculty lectures addressing such topics as the factors that encouraged European exploration during the colonial era; the American Revolution; the establishment of the Constitution; the challenges that the American government and its leaders faced during the early years of the Republic; the effects of westward expansion on the political, economic, and social development of the nation; and the causes of the Civil War. Download»

Shaping the American Republic to 1877. Austin: Humanities Texas, 2010. Cover image: George Caleb Bingham, The County Election, 1852.

The U.S. Constitution and American History

"The U.S. Constitution in American History" was series of two summer teacher institutes, held in June 2009, that brought Texas teachers together with leading scholars to explore important constitutional topics in our nation’s history. The institute final report includes a full account of the institute and excerpts from faculty presentations, as well as historical documents and photographs, participant biographies, a summary of participant evaluations, and photographs of the program. Download»

The U.S. Constitution and American History. Austin: Humanities Texas, 2009. Cover image: Barry Faulkner, The Constitution, 1936.

Conversations with Texas Writers

Larry McMurtry declares, "Texas itself doesn't have anything to do with why I write. It never did." Horton Foote, on the other hand, says, "I've just never had a desire to write about any place else." In between those two, there are hundreds of other writers—some internationally recognized, others just becoming known—who draw inspiration and often subject matter from the unique places and people of Texas. To provide a representative sampling of the breadth and vitality of the state's literary production, this volume features conversations with fifty Texas writers. The writers speak of their apprenticeships, literary influences, working habits, and even the events that have shaped their writing. Accompanying the interviews are excerpts from the writers' work, as well as photographs, biographies, and bibliographies. Joe Holley's introductory essay—an overview of Texas writing from Cabeza de Vaca's 1542 Relación to the present—provides the necessary context to appreciate such a diverse collection of literary voices. Learn more»

Conversations with Texas Writers. Edited by Frances Leonard and Ramona Cearley for Humanities Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005.

The Humanities and the Civic Imagination: Collected Addresses and Essays, 1978–1998

This wide-ranging collection of essays by Humanities Texas Executive Director Emeritus James F. Veninga reflects upon the work of the state humanities council in the public life of Texas and the nation. Veninga writes in the preface, “my goal is to make available pertinent essays that explore the intellectual underpinnings of the enterprise, that demonstrate engagement with the challenges along the way, and that show how one state council has sought to nourish and enhance the nation’s civic life. . . . My own reflection on this volume . . . leads me to three basic points. First, the humanities are for everyone, providing tools for self-understanding, discovery, discernment, and growth. Second, the humanities, while documenting and interpreting the past, are inherently forward-looking, helping us to envision the future. Third, state humanities councils, which evidence the American talent for creating new structures to meet identified needs, are part of a much bigger experiment, that of American democracy itself.” The first chapter is available for download. Learn more»

James F. Veninga, The Humanities and the Civic Imagination: Collected Addresses and Essays, 1978—1998. Denton: University of North Texas Press, 1999.