Past Institutes

American Writing on the Civil War

On February 3, 2012, Humanities Texas held a one-day workshop in Austin examining seminal works of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American writing on the Civil War.


Emphasis was placed not only on the multiple perspectives that Americans had, and continue to have, on the Civil War, but also on the rhetorical strategies and devices that authors have used to communicate effectively. Featured authors included Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Abraham Lincoln, Henry David Thoreau, Stephen Crane, Robert Lowell, and Natasha Trethewey. Content was aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), with particular emphasis on newly added or revised standards.

Forty-five teachers attended the workshop. The workshop emphasized close interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities. The program was designed ultimately to enhance teachers' mastery of the subjects they teach and to improve students' performance on state assessments. Teachers received books and other instructional materials.


The workshop faculty included Randall Fuller (Drury University) and Daina Raimey Berry, Evan Carton, and Cole Hutchison, all of The University of Texas at Austin.

Program Resources

View videos of faculty lectures from the workshop:

Our March 2012 newsletter included a slideshow of images from the workshop, as well as a transcript of Randall Fuller's talk, "How the Civil War Transformed American Literature."

Location and Schedule

The workshop overview details the program's 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

Writing on the Civil War participants
Participants in the workshop gather on the front porch of the Byrne-Reed House.