Jan 11, 2010    #001
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

UMKC hosts National Endowment for the Humanities-funded summer workshop

Department of History leads

Instead of lounging poolside, 80 high school teachers from across the country will spend a week of their summer vacations participating in Crossroads of Conflict: Contested Visions of Freedom and the Missouri-Kansas Border Wars" - a Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop for Teachers led by the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences' Department of History. UMKC will host two 40-participant workshops - one from June 27-July 2 and one from July 11-16.

Funded by a $160,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant, the workshop will explore historic homes and public buildings, townscapes and museum collections in light of recent research to understand the clash of cultures and differing definitions of "freedom" that played out on the Missouri-Kansas border. Tour sites include the UMKC campus; historic Lawrence, Kan.; historic Westport, Mo.; Watkins Woolen Mill; John Wornall House; Jesse James Farm; Constitution Hall in Lecompton, Kan.; Steamboat Arabia Museum; and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

"In this program, the city and region is your classroom," said Professor Mary Ann Wynkoop, who serves as workshop coordinator. "It shows teachers how to work with landmarks, and it's a good way to recruit future UMKC students, because participating teachers will refer back to the experience."

Workshop participants will consider the forces and events that led to the abandonment of the understandings reached in the Missouri Compromise, the rejection of popular sovereignty in the Kansas Territory and the establishment of the shadow "Free State" government. They will examine the nature and intensity of the struggles between the Kansas Jayhawkers and Missouri Bushwhackers and the general mayhem these vicious disputes engendered along the Missouri-Kansas border during Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War.

"It's very prestigious to receive a National Endowment for Humanities grant," Wynkoop said. "It also engages us with teachers and showcases a Kansas City and UMKC Department of History partnership."

The application deadline for either workshop is March 2 (postmark). For more information, visit or email

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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