NCTC hosts the 2019 Teaching History Conference and Keynote Speaker

Jane England and Pat Ledbetter | Sep 12, 2019

North Central Texas College (NCTC) will host the 2019 Teaching History Conference (TCON) from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday, September 21, at the University of North Texas Gateway Center, 601 North Texas Boulevard, Denton. The purpose of the conference is to bring public school teachers, community college and university professors, history students, and interested community members together for a full day of scholarly presentations and stimulating conversations exploring the latest developments in historical scholarship.

The History Department of the University of North Texas initiated TCON in the fall of 1978 under the leadership of UNT professor Ed Coomes and high school history teacher Jody Potts. In the years that followed, under the leadership of Professor Randolph “Mike” Campbell and Professor Donald Chipman, TCON developed into a yearly conference with a full day of presentations featuring some of the nation’s leading scholars. With an annual attendance of from 200 to 300, TCON provided a venue to connect historians, teachers and interested citizens with each other. Two years ago, unfortunately, UNT announced that it would no longer be able to host the conference.

“When the historians at NCTC learned that UNT would no longer be sponsoring TCON, we believed it was simply too important to teachers at all levels to allow it to lapse. We formed a committee and devised a plan to continue it. Fortunately NCTC’s administration agreed with us, and the Board voted to support the program,” noted Professor Jane England, the director of the newly revived conference. “Many of us who attended the conference regularly saw the value of interacting, not only with leading scholars, but also with our colleagues from local public schools and universities. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue this collaboration.

The theme for the conference is “New Approaches to Old Topics: Anarchists and Assassins.”

Scholars will explore transitional events when ties that bind societies together were strained or broken by assassinations or movements that shaped the course of history.  Featured speakers include Stephen Fagin, Curator of the Sixth Floor Museum (“Lee Harvey Oswald: Alleged Assassin”); Rick Halperin, Southern Methodist University, Professor of History (“Lynching as an American Norm”);  Nancy Stockdale, University of North Texas Associate Professor (“Peacemaking Warriors: Making Sense of the Assassinations of Anwar Sadat and Yitzhak Rabin”); Richard McCaslin, Professor of History, University of North Texas, (“The Great Hanging of Gainesville, Texas”); Jacob Blosser, Professor of History, Texas Woman’s University (“Teaching the Revolution from a Loyalist’s Point of View: Mobs, Insurgents and Sons of Anarchy”); Monica Rankin, Associate Professor of History, University of Texas-Dallas (“The Mexican Revolution Gets Messy”); Andrew Torget, Associate Professor of History, University of North Texas (“Smuggling Slaves on the Gulf Coast: Smuggling Slaves on the Gulf Coast: How the Lafitte Brothers and Jim Bowie Made a Fortune in Human Flesh”); Kenneth Stevens, Professor of History, Texas Christian University (“The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln”); and Sara Fanning, Associate Professor of History, Texas Woman’s University, (“Brendan Behan: The Assassin Who Wasn’t.”)

Dr. Geoffrey WawraThis year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Geoffrey Wawro, UNT Professor of History and Director of its Military History Center. Educated at Yale and Brown, Professor Wawro has authored major books on modern military, diplomatic, and strategic history, including most recently, Sons of Freedom: The Forgotten American Soldiers Who Defeated Germany in World War I; A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire (also the subject of his TCON presentation); and Quicksand: America’s Pursuit of Power in the Middle East. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Vienna and has served previously as a professor of strategy & policy, and strategic studies at the U.S. Naval War College. Professor Wawro serves as the series editor of the Cambridge Military Histories and as a host and analyst on the History Channel, Discovery, CNN, Fox, American Heroes, Netflix, Smithsonian, Spike, and National Geographic. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Time among others. More information on Professor Wawro can be found at

“We are pleased with our entire line-up of outstanding scholars. With sessions in Texas, American and World history, we believe that teachers at all levels will benefit and that community members will also find topics that interest them. Perhaps most important, we history buffs will enjoy a full day of getting to know each other,” Professor England said.

Preregistration fee is $45.00 and on-site registration is $55.00.  The price includes both a continental breakfast and lunch. Interested parties can register at