"World Cultures Through the Arts"

2001 Summer Teachers Institute
June 5–9, 2001

Twenty-one Texas educators were treated to a veritable "trip around the world" at this year's Hemispheres workshop at the University of Texas at Austin. Using "World Cultures Through the Arts" as this year's theme, the four UT National Resource Centers guided secondary school teachers and education coordinators through the visual arts, performing arts, architecture, film, literature and music of some of the world's most colorful cultures.

During the June 5-9 workshop, each day was filled with presentations rich in sound, images, and ideas. Faculty members from UT and other institutions provided short lectures enhanced by examples of painting, sculpture, music, film, dance, and literature from their respective areas of study and encouraged questions and discussion from workshop participants. Diverse presentation topics included "Geometry and Islamic Architecture," "Using Comic Books to Teach About India," and "Texas Corridas and Texas Culture." Additional cultural sessions included instructions in Middle Eastern folk dancing and two delightful evening performances featuring live music from Russia and Brazil.

Each afternoon during the workshop, a classroom strategies session was led by Anita Pilling, World History and Advanced Placement History teacher at the John Cooper School in The Woodlands, Texas. These engaging and informative sessions gave classroom teachers practical applications for incorporating scholarly cultural arts topics into their classroom teaching activities. Mrs. Pilling also discussed world travel as a means to understanding other cultures, and shared information about grant opportunities available to classroom teachers for travel to other countries.

A much enjoyed highlight of the Hemispheres workshop was a field trip to the Texas Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio. There, teachers toured the exhibit floor and attended a storytelling session before strolling the grounds to explore the ethnic food, music, costumes, and crafts of cultures from around the globe.

On the workshop's final day, teachers participated in a "best practices" sessions, where they exchanged favorite lesson plans, handouts, and teaching tips from their classrooms, and shared their perspectives on the Hemispheres workshop. As teachers presented their selected lessons, they also shared information about the ethnic make-up of their respective school districts, and discussed how they would use their workshop knowledge and materials to validate the various cultures in their districts. By weeks's end, workshop participants left UT with a binder full of wonderful teaching resources and the rich experience of having explored world cultures through the arts.

by Carol Schlenk, Education Coordinator, Texas Council for the Humanities

Conference Program:

Tuesday, June 5
Texas Union, 3rd floor, Sinclair Suite

8:30 - 9:00 Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:00 Welcome and Introductory Session

  • Linda Ferreira-Buckley, Associate Dean of Liberal Arts
  • Anita Pilling, John Cooper School, Houston, TX

10:00 - 11:00 Texas Corridas and Texas Culture
Jaime Nicolopulos, Department of Spanish & Portuguese

11:00 - 12:00 Connecting with Eastern Europe through Student-Produced Portraits of Youth
Tom Garza, Deptartment of Slavic Languages

12:00 - 1:30 Lunch, sponsored by the Dean of Liberal Arts
Faculty Center, 25th and Guadelupe Streets

1:30 - 2:30 Using Film to Teach about the Middle East
Avi Santo, Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Department of Radio-Television-Film

2:30 - 3:30 Cultural Influences on the Work of Christopher Adejumo
Christopher Adejumo, Department of Art & Art History

3:30 - 4:30 Classroom Strategies with Anita Pilling

8:00 PM Performance: Kalinka, Russian folk music
Event will take place in CMA A2.320

Wednesday, June 6
Texas Union, 3rd floor, Sinclair Suite

8:30 - 9:00 Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:00 Using South Asian Art to Look at Culture
Janice Leoshko, Department of Art & Art History

10:00 - 11:00 Latin American Art in the Context of Western Culture
Jacqueline Barnitz, Department of Art & Art History

11:00 - 12:00 Using Russian Films to Teach Russian History
Joan Neuberger, Department of History

1:00 - 2:00 Pre-session on Cowboys & Indians
Bob Livingston

2:00 - 3:00 Geometry and Islamic Architecture
Akel Kahera, Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

3:00 - 4:30 Classroom Strategies with Anita Pilling

8:00 PM Performance: Cowboys & Indians
Event will take place at Zilker Hillside Theater

Thursday, June 7
Texas Union, 3rd floor, Sinclair Suite

8:30 - 9:00 Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:15 Using Literature to Teach About the Middle East
Christopher Rose, Center for Middle Eastern Studies

10:30 - 12:00 Middle Eastern folk dancing (with instruction) Kristina Koutsoudas

1:00 - 2:00 The Many Brazils: Some Thoughts on Brazilian Music and Culture
Dan Sharp, School of Music (Ethnomusicology)

2:00 - 3:00 Using Comic Books to Teach About India Karline McLain, Department of Asian Studies

3:00 - 4:30 Classroom Strategies with Anita Pilling

8:00 PM Performance: Susanna Sharpe with Catavento
Event will take place in FAC 21

Friday, June 8
Meet in front of the Texas Union at 10:30

10:30 Board bus for San Antonio, with box lunch served en route

12:00 Arrive at the Institute of Texan Cultures
The University of Texas at San Antonio

12:15 - 1:15 Exhibit Floor tour
Handout - What is Culture activity booklet

1:30 - 3:15 Swedish woodcarving (includes hands-on) Ron Johnson, Institute of Texan Cultures

3:30 - 4:00 Desription of Instructional resources: TexKits, traveling trunks, library

4:15 - 5:30 Storytelling
Tim Tingle, Institute of Texan Cultures

5:30 - 8:30 Free time at the Texas Folklife Festival

8:30 PM Board bus to return to Austin, arriving at 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 9
W.C. Hogg Hall, 5th floor, Meyerson Conference Room

8:30 - 9:00 Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30 Best Practices (participant presentations)


10:45 - 12:15 Best Practices (participant presentations)

12:15 - 1:00 Wrap-up Session