Past Institutes

Westward Expansion

In February 2017, Humanities Texas held two one-day teacher workshops in San Antonio and Austin focusing on the westward expansion of the United States in the nineteenth century.


Topics addressed included innovations in transportation and communication, Manifest Destiny, the Mexican War, and Native American resistance. 

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. Teachers received books and other instructional materials and were trained in the examination and interpretation of primary sources.


Workshop faculty included Daniel Feller (the University of Tennessee), Todd Kerstetter (TCU), John L. Larson (Purdue University), Todd Smith (UNT), and Jennifer L. Weber (University of Kansas).

Locations and schedules

Download the schedule for each workshop.

February 1, 2017San AntonioThe Witte MuseumSchedule
February 2, 2017AustinByrne-Reed HouseSchedule


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

“Westward Expansion” workshop participants gather on the steps of the Byrne-Reed House in Austin.

John L. Larson, professor of history and director of graduate education at Purdue University, speaks on “Nineteenth-Century Innovations in Transportation and Communications” in San Antonio.

Jennifer L. Weber, associate professor of history at The University of Kansas, engages with workshop participants in Austin.

Todd M. Kerstetter, associate professor of history at Texas Christian University, examines historical documents with workshop participants in Austin.

Daniel Feller, director of The Papers of Andrew Jackson and Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at the University of Tennessee, offers strategies for examining historical documents in Austin.