This fall, social studies and language arts teachers from around Texas will have the opportunity to attend a variety of one-day professional development workshops on humanities topics. The Byrne-Reed House will provide an elegant setting for our first-ever Shakespeare workshop on September 30, 2011; Humanities Texas will partner with the Texas State Historical Association to hold a workshop on early Texas history in Houston on October 14; and workshops on the U.S. Constitution will take place in Kilgore (October 18), Waco (October 19), Fort Worth (October 20), and Dallas (October 21). While the Shakespeare workshop is full, we are still accepting applications for the Texas history and Constitution programs. Please note that you must be a registered participant to attend due to space limitations.

Our Shakespeare workshop will feature distinguished literary scholars discussing the historical and cultural contexts of Shakespeare's plays and the dramatic conventions central to his work. Faculty will also lead workshops focusing on Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and using performance-based teaching strategies in the classroom. The evening before the workshop, teachers will attend a performance of The Tempest by Actors from the London Stage at The University of Texas at Austin. The workshop faculty includes Elizabeth Richmond Garza (The University of Texas at Austin), Nancy Cain Marcus (Southern Methodist University, Humanities Texas board), John P. Rumrich (The University of Texas at Austin), J. Dennis Huston (Rice University), and James N. Loehlin (The University of Texas at Austin).

Our Texas history program in Houston, which is currently accepting applicants, covers our state’s history from the Spanish Colonial period through the Civil War, with particular emphasis placed on added or revised TEKS standards. The workshop will feature a number of distinguished history professors from Texas universities, including J. Francisco de la Teja (Texas State University-San Marcos), Caroline Crimm (Sam Houston State University), Gregg Cantrell (Texas Christian University), Walter L. Buenger (Texas A&M University), Stephanie Cole (The University of Texas at Arlington), and Richard McCaslin (University of North Texas).

We are also accepting applications for our series of four workshops on the U.S. Constitution, which is one of the topics teachers request most. Teachers will receive books and other instructional materials and be trained in the examination and interpretation of primary sources. Content will be aligned with state curriculum standards, with particular emphasis placed on newly added or revised standards. Faculty will discuss the origins of the Constitution, its interpretation over time, and strategies for teaching it in the classroom. Faculty members include Pulitzer Prize winner Jack N. Rakove (Staford University), Michael Les Benedict (The Ohio State University), Charles Flanagan (Center for Legislative Archives), Joseph F. Kobylka (Southern Methodist University), Ken Stevens (Texas Christian University), Mary L. Volcansek (Texas Christian University, Humanities Texas board chair), and Jerold L. Waltman (Baylor University).

The Declaration
The Declaration mural by Barry Faulkner (1936). National Archives.
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare. Photograving by the Typographic Etching Co. After engraving by Maerten Droeshout. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
The Texas Declaration of Independence
The Texas Declaration of Independence. Photo by J. Williams.
The Constitution
The Constitution mural by Barry Faulkner (1936). National Archives.