Teaching Empire

History Institute
for K-12 Educators

As K-12 educators, how can we center imperialism in our teaching of U.S. history, politics, and culture? 

Offered as part of the UMass Amherst History Department’s 2022-2023 Feinberg Series, this yearlong workshop series aims to guide K-12 educators in deepening our analysis and discussions of U.S.’s role in the world and the ways in which we make these connections with our students.

Designed for teachers of all grade levels and subject areas, this four-part companion series offers opportunities to dive into learnings from Feinberg Series speakers, to reimagine our curriculum with corresponding primary sources, and to integrate interdisciplinary pedagogy into our teaching. Teachers will create materials to help support students in thinking critically about the U.S.’s actions in the world, both historically and today. 

Participating teachers will:

  1. Attend four 3-hour workshops with educators Brian Brown (history teacher, Easthampton High School) and Alison Russell (K-12 educator and PhD candidate, UMass Amherst History Department). Participation is limited to 30, and the workshops will involve small and larger group discussions and connecting with other practitioners. Workshops will be in person and will not be recorded.
    Saturday, October 22 | What is Empire?, 1-4pm
    Saturday, December 10 | Recognizing, Reporting and Resisting Empire, 1-4pm
    Saturday, March 11 | Intersectionality and Anti-Imperialism, 1-4pm
    Saturday, April 22  | Imperialism Teach Out, 1-4pm

    All workshops will be held at UMass Amherst. Free parking will be provided.
  2. Attend or view recordings of five Feinberg Series events including the keynote address by Dr. Rigoberta Menchú Tum (“U.S. Policy in the Global South”) and the introductory lecture by Professor Manu Karuka (“The Imperialist Roots of the USA”), and at least one lecture between each of the workshop sessions. See the full schedule here.
  3. Prepare a simple lesson plan / revise an existing plan. Teach the lesson and share your experience–and the challenges and successes of teaching empire – at the final workshop session. 


This series of workshops is designed for school and community educators across content areas, including social studies, humanities, STEM, and beyond. Open to all educators and aspiring educators in New England, including classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, school staff and administration, community-based educators, graduate students, and social justice activists.

Application, Costs, PDPs and Graduate Credit

To participate in the teacher workshops, an application is required. Teachers who complete all components will receive documentation verifying their participation, which may be used to petition their schools for up to 22 PDPs (eligibility for PDPs may be limited by content area) .Participants also have the opportunity to receive 1 graduate credit in history from the UMass Amherst History Department. Participation is free. There is a $160 fee to receive graduate credit. Receiving graduate credit is optional. 

To Apply

Apply Here by October 7

Please watch the keynote address prior to applying.

Teaching Empire is the UMass Amherst History Department’s 2022-2023 History Institute for K-12 Educators. Established in 1994, the History Institute is an annual series of teacher workshops organized around a central theme. This series is being offered in collaboration with the 2022-2023 Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series, Confronting Empire, which is exploring global histories of U.S. imperialism and anti-imperialist resistance. The Feinberg Series is generously supported by Kenneth R. Feinberg ’67 and associates and is presented by the UMass Amherst History Department in collaboration with the Ellsberg Initiative for Peace and Democracy.