Upcoming Institutes

Teaching and Understanding Literature
(2020–2021 Online Series)

In the spring of 2021, Humanities Texas will hold a weekly series of 75-minute online webinars for English language arts teachers, providing resources and strategies that help students become more confident and sophisticated readers and effective writers. The program will include presentations that examine how literature helps students cultivate empathy and understand history, focus on dynamic assignments that further students' engagement with literature, and emphasize the critical reading skills necessary for success at the post-secondary level.

Schedule and Curriculum

The eight-part series will take place via Zoom from 5:00–6:15 p.m. CT on Tuesdays from February 2 through April 6, 2021. Participants will apply to receive information for each webinar in the series. Attendance for every weekly session is encouraged but not required. Content will be aligned with the TEKS.  

Spring 2021 Webinar Schedule:

  • February 2: Graphic Narratives, Sarah Ruffing Robbins (Texas Christian University) 
  • February 9: Native American Literature and Culture, Renée Gokey (National Museum of the American Indian) 
  • February 23: Japanese American Literature of the Internment, Grace Morizawa (National Japanese American Historical Society) 
  • March 2: Utopian and Dystopian Literature, Jenny C. Mann (New York University)
  • March 23: Walking Through an Open Door: Encouraging Creative Reading & Writing with Young People, Naomi Shihab Nye (Young People's Poet Laureate, Poetry Foundation)
  • March 30: Latinx Literature, Norma E. Cantú
  • April 6: Young Adult Literature, Jennifer Buehler (Saint Louis University) 
  • April 13: Black Literatures, Brandon Manning (Texas Christian University)

Fall 2020 Webinar Schedule:

  • October 6: Teaching Close Reading and Analysis with the Close Reading Interpretive Tool, Coleman Hutchison (UT Austin)
  • October 13: Understanding Students as Writers, Susan Schorn (UT Austin)
  • October 20: Author's Purpose and Craft: Langston Hughes, Regina Mills (Texas A&M University)
  • October 27: Teaching and Understanding Poetry, Betty Sue Flowers (UT Austin)
  • November 10: Author's Purpose and Craft: Frederick Douglass, Robert S. Levine (University of Maryland)
  • November 17: Teaching and Understanding Poetry, Emmy Pérez (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)
  • December 1: Author's Purpose and Craft: Sandra Cisneros, Patricia M. García (UT Austin)
  • December 8: Developing Engaging Writing Assignments, Amy Earhart (Texas A&M University)

CPE Credits

The online program is free to teachers and their schools. Participants will receive CPE credit and a wealth of curricular materials for each session in the series. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to attend every weekly session. CPE hours will be based on Zoom attendance and adjusted if a participant misses any portion of the program. In order to attend the webinars and receive CPE credit, you must be a registered participant.

How to Apply

Complete the online application for the "Teaching and Understanding Literature" online series. By submitting an application, you are signing up to receive information about and access to each weekly session of this series. Please apply as soon as possible, as registration will occur on a rolling basis.

If you already registered for and participated in the series in the fall of 2020, you do not need to reapply. You'll automatically receive emails for the spring sessions.


The institute is 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 institutes@humanitiestexas.org.