Past Institutes

Shaping the American Republic (2020-2021 Online Series)

In the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021, Humanities Texas held a weekly webinar series for eighth-grade U.S. history teachers, covering topics from the Early Republic to Reconstruction.


The curriculum aligned with the TEKS, addressing critical topics in the state's eighth-grade U.S. history curriculum.

Each faculty member led a 75-minute session over Zoom that included a lecture, Q&A, and discussion centered on primary source documents. Faculty addressed the following topics: the Articles of Confederation; the Constitutional Convention; the Bill of Rights; early American citizenship; George Washington's presidency; Native Americans in the Early Republic; the Marshall Court; foreign relations in the Early Republic; the roots of American industrialization; the Age of Jackson; manifest destiny and the U.S.–Mexico War; abolition and women's rights before the Civil War; slavery; the Civil War; and Reconstruction.

Like all Humanities Texas programs, the webinar series was content-based and teacher-centered, with an emphasis on teaching with primary sources and developing effective pedagogical strategies.


The webinar series was led by faculty director Denver Brunsman (George Washington University) and featured presentations by Juliana Barr (Duke University), Christopher Bonner (University of Maryland), Lindsay M. Chervinsky (Institute for Thomas Paine Studies), Caitlin Fitz (Northwestern University), Charles Flanagan (National Archives), Lorri Glover (Saint Louis University), Andrew R. Graybill (Southern Methodist University), Joseph F. Kobylka (Southern Methodist University), Michelle Kuhl (University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh), Brian Luskey (West Virginia University), Sarah Purcell (Grinnell College), Andrew Torget (University of North Texas), and Kidada Williams (Wayne State University).


You can view the full schedule for both the fall and the spring webinars here.


The institute 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