In June, Humanities Texas will partner with leading Texas universities to hold six summer teacher institutes throughout the state. The institutes will explore topics at the heart of the state’s U.S. history curriculum. As in past years, the program faculty features some of the nation’s most distinguished historians.

The University of Houston program will feature Pulitzer Prize winner Gordon S. Wood (Brown University) as the keynote speaker. The author of the landmark study Empire of Liberty (2009), Wood is widely recognized as the principal historian of early America.

The Austin institute features presentations by Pulitzer Prize winners David M. Kennedy (Stanford University), David M. Oshinsky (The University of Texas at Austin), and Pulitzer finalist H. W. Brands (The University of Texas at Austin). Brands will also deliver the keynote lecture at the El Paso institute.

Distinguished constitutional historian Michael Les Benedict (The Ohio State University) will present the keynote lecture in Laredo. Cynthia A. Kierner (George Mason University), an accomplished scholar of colonial and revolutionary America, will open the Fort Worth program.

The institutes are scheduled on the campuses of The University of Texas at Austin (June 5–8), Texas A&M International University (Laredo, June 5–8), the University of Houston (June 7–10), Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, June 12–15), The University of Texas at San Antonio (June 12–15), and The University of Texas at El Paso (June 14–17).

The Austin, Laredo, El Paso, and San Antonio institutes will cover topics in U.S. history and culture from Reconstruction through the present that are central to the state’s eleventh-grade social studies curriculum. The Houston and Fort Worth institutes will follow the eighth-grade curriculum, which traces U.S. history from the colonial era through Reconstruction.

As in past years, institutes will emphasize close interaction with scholars, examination of primary sources, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities.

The institutes are offered at no cost to teachers or their schools. Teachers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as admissions decisions will be made on a rolling basis, and we expect the institutes to fill quickly. Applications are available online.

Humanities Texas teacher institutes are made possible with major funding from the State of Texas and a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Featured institute faculty

David M. Kennedy (Austin) is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Emeritus at Stanford University. He received his PhD in American studies from Yale. Professor Kennedy's scholarship is notable for its integration of economic and cultural analysis with social and political history. His 1970 book Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger embraced the medical, legal, political, and religious dimensions of the subject and helped to pioneer the emerging field of women's history. Over Here: The First World War and American Society (1980) used the history of American involvement in World War I to analyze the American political system, economy, and culture in the early twentieth century. Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War (1999) recounts the history of the United States in the two great crises of the Great Depression and World War II.

Gordon S. Wood (Houston) is an emeritus professor of history at Brown University. He received his BA from Tufts and his PhD from Harvard. His works include The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 (1969), which won the Bancroft Prize and the John H. Dunning Prize in 1970, and The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1992), which won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1993. His latest book, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815, was published in October 2009 to great acclaim. Professor Wood frequently contributes to the New York Review of Books and The New Republic. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

H. W. Brands (Austin, El Paso) is the Dickson, Allen, Anderson Centennial Professor of History at The University of Texas at Austin. He writes on American history and politics, with books including Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times (2005), The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream (2003), The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (2002), and T. R.: The Last Romantic (1998). Several of his books have been bestsellers; two, Traitor to His Class (2009) and The First American, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

David M. Oshinsky (Austin) is the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at The University of Texas at Austin. Oshinsky’s book Polio: An American Story won both the Pulitzer Prize for History and the Hoover Presidential Book Award in 2006. His other books include the Hardeman Prize-winning A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy (2005), and the Robert Kennedy Prize-winning Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice (1997). His articles and reviews appear regularly in The New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Cynthia A. Kierner (Fort Worth) is professor of history at George Mason University, where she teaches early American and women’s history. She is the author of six books, including Scandal at Bizarre: Rumor and Reputation in Jefferson’s America (2004) and Beyond the Household: Women’s Place in the Early South, 1700–1835 (1998). Scandal at Bizarre received an Honorable Mention for the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Nonfiction, which recognizes scholarly work that appeals to the broader reading public. She is currently writing A Perfect Temper: The Life and Times of Martha Jefferson Randolph, which will be published by the University of North Carolina Press. Kierner has served on the editorial boards of The Journal of Southern History, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, and The North Carolina Historical Review. In 2006–2007, she was president of the Southern Association for Women Historians.

Michael Les Benedict (El Paso, Houston, Laredo) is an emeritus professor of history at The Ohio State University. He received his BA and MA degrees from the University of Illinois and his PhD from Rice University. Professor Benedict has written extensively on Anglo-American constitutional and legal history, the history of civil rights and liberties, the federal system, and the Civil War and Reconstruction. His works include The Impeachment and Trial of Andrew Johnson (1973) and A Compromise of Principle: Congressional Republicans and Reconstruction (1975). He also authored a widely used textbook on American constitutional history, The Blessings of Liberty (1996, rev. ed. 2005).

Albert S. Broussard (Austin) is a Humanities Texas board member and a professor of history at Texas A&M University, where he specializes in African American history and has received several university awards for distinguished teaching. He is author of Black San Francisco: The Struggle for Racial Equality in the West, 1900–1954 (1994) and African-American Odyssey: The Stewarts, 1853–1963 (1998), and is a co-author of the textbooks The American Republic to 1877 (1997) and The American Vision (2005). A former president of the Oral History Association, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Duke University.

Light Cummins (Fort Worth) was appointed state historian in 2009 and has served on the faculty of Austin College since 1978, where he is the Bryan Professor of History. He is director of the Austin College Center for Southwestern and Mexican Studies, a program that provides outreach, internships, and community service activities that educate students about issues facing Texas and Mexico. Cummins also served two terms on the Humanities Texas board of directors. His most recent book, Emily Austin of Texas, 1795–1851 (2010) received the Liz Carpenter Award for Research in the History of Women from the Texas State Historical Association.

Gregg Cantrell (Fort Worth, Laredo) earned his PhD from Texas A&M University in 1988. He has taught history at Sam Houston State University, Hardin-Simmons University, the University of North Texas, and Texas Christian University, where he holds the Lowe Chair in Texas History. Professor Cantrell is the author of numerous books and articles, including Stephen F. Austin, Empresario of Texas (Yale University Press, 1999); The History of Texas, 4th ed. (Harlan Davidson, Inc., 2006); and Lone Star Pasts: Memory and History in Texas (Texas A&M University Press, 2007).

Maceo C. Dailey Jr. (El Paso) is a Humanities Texas board member and an associate professor of history and director of African American studies at The University of Texas at El Paso. In addition to serving two terms as chair of the Humanities Texas board, he served on the advisory committee for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and the boards of the Texas Emancipation Juneteenth Cultural and Historical Commission and the Twelve Travelers Memorial of the Southwest. He recently submitted for review a manuscript on Emmett Jay Scott and is currently working on the Booker T. Washington Encyclopedia. He co-edited a revised edition of Bernice Love Wiggins’s Tuneful Tales with Ruthe Winegarten (2002). He also co-edited Wheresoever My People Chance to Dwell: Oral Interviews with African American Women of El Paso with Kristine Navarro (2000).

Daniel Feller (Fort Worth, Houston) is the Betty Lynn Hendrickson Professor of History and editor/director of The Papers of Andrew Jackson at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin and taught previously at Northland College and the University of New Mexico. His books include The Jacksonian Promise: America, 1815–1840 (1995), The Public Lands in Jacksonian Politics (1984), and a new edition of Harriet Martineau’s 1838 American tour narrative Retrospect of Western Travel. Feller was the lead scholar for the PBS special Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil, and the Presidency and has appeared on History Detectives.

Tiffany M. Gill (Austin) is associate professor of history at The University of Texas at Austin as well as an affiliate with the Warfield Center for African and African American Studies and the Center for Women's and Gender Studies. She received her PhD in American history at Rutgers University. An award-winning teacher and scholar, Dr. Gill was the recipient of the 2010 Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award. Her book Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women's Activism in the Beauty Industry was awarded the 2010 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize by the Association of Black Women Historians. Currently, Professor Gill is at work on a second book manuscript examining the birth of an African American international tourist industry in the postwar era.

Monica Perales (Austin) is a Humanities Texas board member and an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Houston. She received her PhD in history from Stanford University in 2004, and holds a BA in journalism and MA in history from The University of Texas at El Paso. She is the author of Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community (2010), which explores the creation, evolution, demise, and collective memory of Smeltertown, the predominantly ethnic Mexican "company town" for the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) copper smelter located in El Paso, Texas. She is also coeditor of The Hispanic History of Texas (forthcoming from Arte Público Press), which contains essays by new and established scholars exploring new dimensions in the history of ethnic Mexicans in the state.

Anthony Quiroz (Laredo) is professor of history and chair of the Department of Humanities at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. His areas of emphasis include Mexican American history, U.S. labor history, and twentieth century American political history. Quiroz, who has presented at conferences across the country and participates in various committees, is the author of Claiming Citizenship: Mexican Americans in Victoria, Texas (2005) and has published two book chapters and many articles in professional journals. In 2007, he won the TAMUCC College of Liberal Arts Scholarship Award and a national prize from the American Association for State and Local History for Best Book on State and Local History.

Gretchen Ritter (Austin) is professor of government and vice provost at The University of Texas at Austin. She specializes in studies of American politics and gender politics from a historical and theoretical perspective. Professor Ritter has been a Faculty Fellow at Princeton University, a Liberal Arts Fellow at Harvard Law School, and has received a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship. Dr. Ritter is the author of Goldbugs and Greenbacks: The Antimonopoly Tradition and the Politics of Finance in America, 1865–1896 (1999) and The Constitution as Social Design: Gender and Civic Membership in the American Constitutional Order (2006). She also has coedited a book (with Desmond King, Robert Lieberman, and Laurence Whitehead), entitled Democratization in America (2009). She has published articles, reviews, and essays in numerous peer-reviewed journals in law, political science, sociology, and womens studies.

Mark Updegrove (Austin) is a presidential historian. He has been director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum since 2009. Updegrove has written two books relating to the American presidency: Baptism By Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis (2009) and Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House (2006). His third book, In Search of LBJ: A Presidential Oral History, will be published by Random House in early 2012. Additionally, Updegrove has written for American Heritage, The Nation, Time, and Worth, and is often called on by the national media to comment on the presidency and national political affairs. While at Time, he conceived and codeveloped “Time and the Presidency,” a multimedia program that included features in the magazine and a museum exhibition that appeared at several presidential libraries, including the LBJ Library.

Jerry D. Thompson (Laredo) is the Regents Professor of History at Texas A&M International University, where he has taught since 1985. From 1996 to 2002, he served as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. His scholarly work focuses on Texas history, the Civil War, and American history. He received his DA from Carnegie Mellon University. His 2004 book Civil War and Revolution on the Rio Grande won the T. R. Fehrenbach Award from the Texas Historical Commission and the Kate Broocks Bates Award from the Texas State Historical Association.

Mary L. Volcansek (Fort Worth) is professor of political science at Texas Christian University and the current chair of the Humanities Texas board of directors. She has written, edited, or coauthored nine books on aspects of law, courts, and politics in the U.S. and in Europe, including Constitutional Politics in Italy: The Constitutional Court (2000). With John F. Stack Jr., she coedited Courts Crossing Borders: Blurring the Lines of Sovereignty (2005). Her latest book, Courts and Terrorism (2010), examines how judiciaries in nine separate nations have responded to terrorism—not just to the current wave of Al-Qaeda threats, but also to narco-trafficking, domestic terrorism, and organized crime syndicates.

David M. Kennedy. Photo courtesy Stanford University.
Gordon S. Wood. Photo by John Abromowski, Brown University.
H. W. Brands. Photo courtesy The University of Texas at Austin.
David M. Oshinsky. Photo courtesy The University of Texas at Austin.
Cynthia A. Kierner.
Michael Les Benedict. Photo from The Ohio State University.
Albert S. Broussard. Photo by Humanities Texas.
Light Cummins.
Gregg Cantrell. Photo courtesy Texas Christian University.
Maceo C. Dailey, Jr.
Daniel Feller. Photo by The University of Tennessee.
Tiffany M. Gill. Photo courtesy The University of Texas at Austin.
Monica Perales.
Anthony Quiroz. Photo courtesy Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi.
Gretchen Ritter. Photo by Christina Murrey.
Mark Updegrove.
Jerry D. Thompson.
Mary Volcansek.