Past Institutes

Westward Expansion

In February 2014, Humanities Texas held three one-day workshops in Edinburg, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio focusing on the westward expansion of the United States in the nineteenth century.


Topics addressed included Manifest Destiny, the Mexican War, Native American resistance, and the revolutions in transportation and industry that took place during this period.

153 teachers attended the workshops. The workshops emphasized close interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities. Content was aligned with the secondary social studies TEKS, with particular emphasis on the eighth-grade U.S. history curriculum. Teachers received books and other instructional materials and were trained in the examination and interpretation of primary sources.


Workshop faculty included Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Daniel Walker Howe (University of California at Los Angeles), Daniel Feller (University of Tennessee), John L. Larson (Purdue University), Thomas Britten (The University of Texas at Brownsville), and Erika Bsumek (The University of Texas at Austin).

Program resources

Our February 2014 newsletter included a slideshow of images from the workshop.

Locations and schedules

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

EdinburgFebruary 5Education Service Center, Region 1Overview
Corpus ChristiFebruary 6Education Service Center, Region 2Overview
San AntonioFebruary 7The Witte MuseumOverview


These workshops were made possible with major funding from the State of Texas, with ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Humanities Texas thanks ESC1, ESC2, and the Witte Museum for hosting the programs.

Questions about Teacher Institutes

Call 512.440.1991 or email

John L. Larson of Purdue University leads an afternoon workshop at the Edinburg workshop.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Daniel Walker Howe of the University of California, Los Angeles discusses the Mexican War in Edinburg.
Daniel Feller of the University of Tennessee discusses Manifest Destiny at the Corpus Christi workshop.
A participant asks a question at the Edinburg workshop.