Past Institutes

The American Colonies

On June 18–21, 2018, Humanities Texas partnered with the University of Houston to hold a professional development institute for Texas teachers covering U.S. history during the colonial period.


The institute focused on American history during the colonial period, covering topics central to the state’s U.S. history curriculum including Native Americans, European exploration and colonization, colonial governments and economies, the growth of slavery in the colonies, the role of women, religion, and growing British identity in the colonies.

Like all Humanities Texas teacher programs, the institute emphasized close interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities. 


Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Alan Taylor (University of Virginia) delivered the institute’s keynote lecture. The program faculty also included Denver Brunsman (George Washington University); Frank de la Teja (Texas State Historical Association); Kate Carté Engel (Southern Methodist University); Woody Holton (University of South Carolina); Wendy Warren (Princeton University); and Matt Clavin, Kelly Hopkins, and Todd Romero of the University of Houston.

Location and Schedule

The institute took place at the University of Houston from June 18–21, 2018. The schedule is available here.


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

This program was part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” Initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry.

We thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.

Questions about Teacher Institutes

Call 512.440.1991 or email

Jesús F. de la Teja, chief executive officer of the Texas State Historical Association and former Humanities Texas board member, discusses Spanish colonization in North America with institute participants.
Denver Brunsman, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the history department at George Washington University, delivers a lecture on the French and Indian War.
Ulysses Hobbs, an eighth-grade U.S. history teacher at West Orange-Stark Middle School, engages in a conversation on developing governmental institutions with Alan Tully of The University of Texas at Austin.
Todd Romero, associate professor of history at the University of Houston and Humanities Texas board member, leads a seminar on the New England colonies.