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Applications are invited from Oklahoma-based teachers of American history and government, and also from Oklahoma teachers in related fields, for “Visions of America,” a five-day, content-rich summer course of development and enrichment, held on the University of Oklahoma’s Norman campus June 15-19, 2020.  The course is hosted by the Center for the History of Liberty at OU and will feature lectures and workshops with teachers and scholars from the OU faculty and elsewhere.    

“Visions” is now in its seventh year of operation, and this year’s program will feature an unusually wide range of topics. Speakers will examine the role of religious faith in the history of the American Presidency, the complex legacy of the Korean War, the friendship and collaboration between nineteenth-century feminists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and the tense but creative relationship between President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. We will hear a history of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and the sources of her particular significance to Mexican-Americans. We will have an editorial specialist retired from the world of textbook publishing who will give us the lowdown on how our major textbooks are actually prepared. (Hint: it isn’t a pretty picture.) And, especially for those who remain fascinated by the antics of the British royal family, we will hear an intelligent and spirited defense of monarchy. In addition we are working on still other surprises, including an optional tour of the rich holdings of OU’s own Fred Jones Museum of Art, led by the museum’s curator.

In years past “Visions” has attracted the participation of teachers from all kinds of schools—large and small, urban and rural, public and private, primary and secondary—from all across the state. We cherish this variety in the makeup of our program, and especially welcome applicants from small and rural schools.

Topics covered in past summer institutes ranged from the origins of American constitutionalism, the public image of George Washington in American visual culture, changing interpretations of the American West, the future of American journalism, the Jewish roots of Alexander Hamilton, the complex history of the Southwestern borderlands, the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, the triumphant aspects of the history of the Chickasaw Nation, and the United States as viewed through the eyes of its Canadian and Mexican neighbors. Attention has also been given to pedagogical issues, such as how to teach the Constitution more effectively using online resources, and how to master the challenges to the classroom engendered by our technology-rich environment.

On-campus housing and all meals will be provided.  In addition, attendees will receive a $500 stipend and 30 hours of professional development credit for completion of the course.

Although the program is chiefly targeted toward secondary-school teachers of American history and government, it is not restricted to them. Applicants in other fields and other grade levels, as well as librarians and other support personnel who have a direct involvement in the content-related aspects of pre-collegiate education, are welcome to apply. Participation is restricted to Oklahoma residents, however.

Interested in participating?  Simply click here to download and print the application.  Email the completed application along with a 300-500 word essay describing your interest in attending the Visions of America summer institute to Amber Murray at, -OR- mail them in hard copy to:

Amber Murray
University of Oklahoma
Center for the History of Liberty
650 Parrington Oval
Carnegie Bldg., Room 309
Norman, OK 73072

Applications must be received by April 24, 2020 for consideration. Applicants will be notified by email of acceptance by May 1, 2020.

Questions? Email or call (405) 325-4859.

We look forward to welcoming Oklahoma teachers to OU for this wonderful event!