Past Institutes

Teaching and Understanding the Short Story

On February 19, 2016, Humanities Texas held a one-day workshop introducing strategies for teaching and understanding short fiction at the secondary level.


At the workshop, faculty and participants examined writings by Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Richard Wright, Alice Walker, Junot Díaz, and other twentieth- and twenty-first-century practitioners of the genre, including two members of the distinguished workshop faculty. The program emphasized close interaction with scholars and writers and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities.

In their lectures and afternoon seminars, faculty placed special emphasis on teaching critical reading skills. Strategies and content aligned closely with the secondary-level English and language arts TEKS.


Workshop faculty included Oscar Cásares and James H. Cox (both of The University of Texas at Austin), Chitra Divakaruni (University of Houston), and Katherine Henninger (Louisiana State University).

Location and Schedule

The program took place at the Byrne-Reed House in Austin. The workshop overview details the 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

“Teaching and Understanding the Short Story” workshop participants at the Byrne-Reed House in Austin.

Writer Oscar Cásares, associate professor of English at The University of Texas at Austin, leads a critical reading seminar at the workshop.