The Gilder Lehrman Teacher Symposium

Teacher Symposium logo

Registration for the Teacher Symposium is now closed. 

Please contact us at if you have any questions or want to be added to the waitlist.

Symposium Participants Will Enjoy

  • Opening remarks by Gary Gallagher
  • Program-wide book talks with participating scholars
  • Networking opportunities with teachers from across the country
  • Access to the GLI Exhibition Hall, where teachers can learn about Gilder Lehrman programs, including the Gettysburg-Gilder Lehrman MA in American History
  • Special events that include a trivia night, scholar Q&As, and a field trip to the Gettysburg Battlefield

Courses Feature

  • Lectures by prominent scholars
  • Up to 22 hours of PD credit and a certificate confirming completed hours/CEUs for the Symposium
  • Pedagogy sessions led by a Gilder Lehrman Master Teacher
  • Recommended readings and resources from scholars
  • Gilder Lehrman classroom resources 
Headshot of David Blight

The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass

With David Blight (Yale University)

Born enslaved in Maryland, Frederick Douglass escaped to freedom in the North at age 20. He went on to write the most important of all slave narratives and became one of the most ubiquitous and important orators of American history. He will always be remembered and studied for at least three major roles he played in the nineteenth century: as activist, as artist, and as thinker.

Brenda Child

American Indian History since 1890

With Brenda Child, Red Lake Ojibwe (University of Minnesota)

This course will focus on American Indian history since 1890 and the ways that scholars today are writing American Indian history. We will discuss how participants who teach K–12 can find new archives, just as we ask new questions in American Indian history and Indigenous Studies.

Gary Gallagher

The American Civil War

With Gary Gallagher (University of Virginia)

This course examines the era of the American Civil War, with emphasis on its origins, scope, and consequences. It addresses the central role of slavery, how military and civilian affairs intersected, what the war settled and left unresolved, and how Americans have remembered the conflict. We will also explore how issues that divided the nation in the mid-nineteenth century continue to resonate today. 


Charles McKinney

The Civil Rights Movement: Teaching beyond the Master Narrative

With Charles McKinney (Rhodes College)

The Civil Rights Movement was one of the most prominent moments of democratic possibility in the history of the nation. And yet, the narrative created to describe this seminal point in American history has been reduced and oversimplified. This course will help participants move beyond “The Master Narrative” of the Civil Rights Movement and provide resources and pedagogical tips on how to teach a more accurate rendition of the movement. 

Edna Greene Medford

Defining Freedom: Challenges and Triumphs in the Age of Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction

With Edna Greene Medford (Howard University)

The years between 1860 and 1880 were transformative for African Americans. As the nation grappled with war and struggled to redefine itself in the aftermath, African Americans provided the impetus for expanding the definition of freedom. This course explores their efforts to convince the rest of the nation to embrace their vision of what America could be.

Timothy Naftali

US Intelligence and the Making of the Modern World, 1940-2017

With Timothy Naftali (New York University)

Since World War II ushered in the modern espionage era, secret intelligence and intelligence services have shaped the course of international history. This course introduces teachers to the great sweep of world history from 1940 to 2017 through the lens of the role played by American spies, codebreakers, saboteurs, covert operators, intelligence analysts, and their key allies and adversaries.

Kathy Peiss

Women in US History: Diverse Lives, Critical Debates, Social Change

With Kathy Peiss (University of Pennsylvania) 

This course explores the history of American women, focusing on how attention to women changes the ways we understand and teach American history. We will explore women’s relationship to the family and economy, political debates, cultural ideals, and women’s movements for rights, freedom, and justice. Throughout, we will consider how race, ethnicity, and class have profoundly shaped women’s experiences and perceptions.  


The Gilder Lehrman Teacher Symposium is open exclusively to participants in the Institute’s free Affiliate School Program. Check here to see if your school is in the Affiliate School Program. If not, you can sign up here for free and receive all the benefits of becoming an Affiliate School teacher!

The Gilder Lehrman Institute follows CDC guidelines for COVID safety. Based on the current guidelines, GLI will not require participants to show proof of COVID vaccination in order to attend the Symposium, and masks will be optional. We will continue to monitor CDC guidelines and transmission rates and reserve the right to change this policy if we determine that it is in the best interest of the safety of our staff, scholars, and participants. We will notify all participants immediately if this policy changes. 

Historic Brick Building at Gettysburg College
Historic Cannon at Gettysburg Battlefield
Sightseers at Gettysburg Examining the Landscape

*Room and board at Gettysburg College is optional. This fee will cover a single, air-conditioned room for three nights, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the duration of the Symposium (a total of 9 meals). If you opt out of staying at Gettysburg College, you will be responsible for your own food and lodging. If you are going to stay off-campus, you will be expected to arrive at Gettysburg College by 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 16 for the start of the Symposium. The Symposium will conclude at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19.

For participants who opt out of Gettysburg College room and board, the Gilder Lehrman Institute has organized a room block at local hotels that are available for you to book on your own. For more information, please visit the Accommodations page.