Stratford Hall Teacher Institute, July 20-22

Stratford Hall Teacher Institute: Reading Over the Shoulder: Teaching with Diaries and other People’s Mail

The 2022 Teacher Institute will be held virtually via Zoom.

People write diaries and letters for many reasons: to vent, to initiate and sustain relationships, to hone their writing, to set down happenings of historical and personal significance, to explore who they are and who they wish to be, and to rough-draft autobiographies and memoirs. This workshop will help teachers become comfortable using diverse digital archives and these genres to inspire students’ interest in history.

This three-day online teacher workshop examines a selection of historical diaries and letters, providing teachers with the tools to help students engage with history through this tissue of private and semi-private communications. More general reflection on these genres and their limits and possibilities will be supplemented by sessions modeling how to use these resources to capture student interest. The workshop will highlight the use of online archives and digital humanities projects, and introduce teachers to digital technologies for collaborative reading and analysis. Primary source documents will cover topics such as slavery, war, civil rights, religion, and gender. Teachers will hear from scholars and archivists who will illuminate the archive, rendering dynamic and engaging student projects.

 Application Process

Please submit a letter of interest including your full name, school name, grade and subject you teach, and your particular interest in this year’s institute. Send to Matt Torres, Program Coordinator: Admission is on a rolling basis

Please send questions to Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz,


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