Past Institutes

America at War

In June 2013, nearly two hundred Texas teachers attended four professional development institutes organized by Humanities Texas and leading state universities examining American wars from the colonial era through the twentieth century.


The Austin and Houston institutes covered topics in American military history from the colonial era through Reconstruction. The El Paso and San Antonio institutes covered American military conflicts and foreign policy in the twentieth century.

Topics addressed in these three-day institutes included The Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, Indian Wars in the Southwest, the causes of the Civil War, World War I and II, the League of Nations and Wilson’s Fourteen Points, the Cold War, and the wars in Korea and Vietnam. 

As in past years, the institutes emphasized close interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities. The programs were designed ultimately to enhance teachers' mastery of the subjects they teach and to improve students' performance on state assessments.


The institute faculty featured some of the leading historians in Texas and the nation, including H. W. Brands, Daniel Feller, George C. Herring, Heather Cox Richardson, Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Jeremi Suri, Jennifer L. Weber, former state historian Jesús F. de la Teja, and Pulitzer Prize winners David M. Kennedy, Gordon S. Wood, and Daniel Walker Howe.

Educational specialists from the National Archives, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the National World War I Museum, the National Museum of the Pacific War, and the Institute of Texan Cultures also served on the institute faculty, providing participants with facsimiles of historic documents and works of art that support the teaching of U.S. history.

Program Resources

Our July 2013 newsletter included a slideshow of images from the Austin, Houston, El Paso, and San Antonio institutes. The newsletter also included a transcript of Gordon S. Wood's talk on the revolutionary origins of the Civil War.

View videos of faculty lectures from "America at War: From the Colonial Era to 1877":

View videos of faculty lectures from "America at War in the Twentieth Century":

Locations and Schedules

AustinJune 10-13LBJ Library and MuseumSchedule
HoustonJune 11-14University of HoustonSchedule
El PasoJune 17-20The University of Texas at El PasoSchedule
San AntonioJune 18-21The University of Texas at San AntonioSchedule

Sponsors and Partners

Program co-sponsors included The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts, the LBJ Presidential Library, the University of Houston, The University of Texas at El Paso, and The University of Texas at San Antonio.

These workshops were made possible with major funding from the state of Texas and ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Questions about Teacher Institutes

Call 512.440.1991 or email

Charles Flanagan of the National Archives leads a workshop at the Austin institute examining historical documents related to the War of 1812.
At the San Antonio institute, John Olmstead of South San Antonio High School asks a question after a lecture on American isolationism following World War I.
Ramiro Mojica of Pecos High School and Franklin Turner of El Paso's Eastwood High School listen as Senate Historian Emeritus Richard A. Baker leads a workshop examining documents related to war powers and executive-legislative conflicts at the El Paso institute.