In June 2022, Humanities Texas partnered with The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts to hold a professional development institute for Texas teachers on teaching literature at the secondary level.
The institute focused on topics and skills central to the state's high school ELA curriculum. Faculty presentations provided resources and strategies for helping students to become better readers of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction, among other genres, while also addressing the critical reading and analysis skills necessary for success at the post-secondary level. The program also included presentations on curriculum design, understanding students as writers, and teaching with the Close Reading Interpretive Tool developed by faculty at UT Austin.
Like all Humanities Texas teacher programs, the institute emphasized close interaction with scholars and writers and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities.
An opening panel, "The Value of Literature in Difficult Times" featured current Humanities Texas board of directors vice chair John Phillip Santos (The University of Texas at San Antonio), board member Maryse Jayasuriya (The Univeresity of Texas at El Paso), and former board member Shirlene Bridgewater.
The program faculty included Jennifer Buehler (Saint Louis University), Greg Barnhisel (Duquesne University), Sarah Ruffing Robbins (Texas Christian University), Kathryn Vomero Santos (Trinity University), and Daniel Birkholz, Douglas Bruster, Evan Carton, Oscar Cásares, Patricia García, Coleman Hutchison, Roger Reeves, and Susan Schorn, all of The University of Texas Austin.
The institute took place at UT's Thompson Conference Center from June 21–24, 2022. For more information, view the program schedule here.
The institute was made possible with major funding from the State of Texas, with ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.