Past Institutes

Critical Reading and Engaged Writing


On February 10, 2017, Humanities Texas held a one-day teacher workshop in Austin on strategies for teaching critical reading skills and designing engaging writing assignments. 


Topics addressed included teaching critical reading skills, showing students how to place a text in its original historical context, reading rhetorically, and improving students' digital media literacy. 

The workshops emphasized close interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities. Content was aligned with the secondary ELA TEKS.


Workshop faculty included Adriane Bezusko (The University of Texas at Austin), Brian Bremen (The University of Texas at Austin ), Cathy D’Agostino (the College Board), and Kirsten Ostherr (Rice University).

Locations and schedules

The workshop took place in Austin at the Byrne-Reed House on February 10, 2017. Download the schedule.


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

Adriane Bezusko, curricular innovation and education outreach specialist at The University of Texas at Austin, develops tools for teaching critical reading with workshop participants in Austin.
Brian A. Bremen, associate professor of English at The University of Texas at Austin, hosts a seminar on critical writing in Austin.
Cathy D’Agostino, independent English consultant with College Board, shares tools for teaching critical reading with workshop participants in Austin.
“Critical Reading and Engaged Writing” workshop participants gather on the steps of the Byrne-Reed House in Austin.
Kirsten Ostherr, professor of English and director of the Medical Futures Lab at Rice University, prompts discussion on critical writing during a seminar in Austin.