Past Institutes

Secession, the Civil War, and Reconstruction

In the spring of 2011, more than three hundred teachers attended a series of one-day teacher workshops held by Humanities Texas throughout the state focusing on secession, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.


Faculty lectures addressed topics such as sectionalism and secession, Lincoln and the Civil War, Hispanics in Texas during the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Content was aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), with particular emphasis on newly added or revised standards.

The workshop featured 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.


Workshop faculty included Armando Alonzo (Texas A&M University), Michael Les Benedict (The Ohio State University), Jacqueline Jones (The University of Texas at Austin), Patrick Kelly (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Andrew J. Torget (University of North Texas), Eric Walther (University of Houston), Jennifer L. Weber (University of Kansas), and John Barr (Lone Star College–Kingwood).

Program Resources

Our February/March 2011 newsletter included a slideshow of images from the Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Waco workshops, as well as an article about the Historic Waco Foundation’s exhibition, Time of Turmoil: Texas and the Civil War, which the Waco participants visited. Our April 2011 newsletter included a slideshow of images from the Fort Worth and Dallas workshops.

Locations and Schedules

The workshop overviews detail each program's schedule and participants.

AustinJanuary 20Byrne-Reed HouseOverview
HoustonJanuary 21The Heritage SocietyOverview
San AntonioJanuary 22Brackenridge High SchoolOverview
WacoFebruary 15Region 12 Education Service CenterOverview
Fort WorthFebruary 16Fort Worth Museum of Science and HistoryOverview
DallasFebruary 17The Women's MuseumOverview
AustinFebruary 18William B. Travis High SchoolOverview


These workshops were made possible with major funding from the state of Texas and a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Questions about Teacher Institutes

Call 512.440.1991 or email

Civil War Austin Group Photo
Austin participants in “Secession, the Civil War, and Reconstruction,” Humanities Texas’s first one-day workshop at the newly-restored Byrne-Reed House.
Michael Les Benedict Workshop
Michael Les Benedict (The Ohio State University) leads a primary source workshop on Reconstruction.
Civil War Fort Worth Group Photo
Fort Worth workshop participants gather in front of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.