Past Institutes

The Making of Modern America, 1877–Present

In June 2012, Humanities Texas held institutes on the campuses of Southern Methodist University (Dallas) and the University of Houston examining significant events and themes in U.S. history since Reconstruction. Eighty-five teachers participated in these three-day institutes. 

Faculty and Curriculum

Each institute curriculum aligned with the TEKS for eleventh-grade U.S. history. Topics addressed included the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, World War I, the literature and culture of the 1920s, the New Deal, World War II, American foreign policy following WWII, the legislative and political battles of the 1960s, African American and Mexican American civil rights, and Reagan and the Cold War.

As in past years, institutes emphasized close interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities.


The Dallas institute included lectures and workshops led by Pulitzer Prize-winning historians David M. Kennedy (Stanford University) and David Oshinsky (UT Austin), H. W. Brands, (UT Austin), Albert S. Broussard (Texas A&M University), Erika Bsumek (UT Austin), Robert M. Citino (UNT), Crista Deluzio (SMU), Neil Foley (SMU), Ignacio García (BYU), Michael L. Gillette (Humanities Texas), Allen Matusow (Rice University), Heather Nice (George W. Bush Presidential Library), Heather Cox Richardson (Boston College), and Nicole Waligora-Davis (Rice University).

The Houston institute faculty featured H. W. Brands, Michael Les Benedict (The Ohio State University), Shana Bernstein (Southwestern University), Robert Dallek (Boston University), Charles Flanagan, Brian Linn (Texas A&M University), Allen Matusow, Martin Melosi (University of Houston), Monica Perales (University of Houston), Linda Reed (University of Houston), Rebecca Sharpless (TCU), Nicole Waligora-Davis, and Nancy Beck Young (University of Houston).

Program Resources

Our July/August 2012 newsletter included slideshows of images from the Dallas and Houston institutes. 

View videos of faculty lectures from the institutes:

Location and Schedules

The schedules detail each institute’s events. The Dallas institute took place at Southern Methodist University (SMU), and the Houston institute took place on the campus of the University of Houston (UH). More information can be found in the institute's final report.

DallasJune 4-7Southern Methodist University (SMU) Schedule
HoustonJune 11-14University of Houston (UH) Schedule


These institutes were made possible with support from the State of Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support was provided by the Sid W. Richardson Foundation and the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation.

Questions about Teacher Institutes

Call 512.440.1991 or email

Six O’Clock Winter by John Sloan, 1912. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC.
H. W. Brands, Dickson, Allen, Anderson Centennial Professor of History at The University of Texas at Austin, discusses the Gilded Age with teachers in Houston.
David M. Oshinsky, Jack S. Blanton Chair in History at The University of Texas at Austin and a Pulitzer Prize winner, shares insights with teachers in Dallas.