Speakers in the Humanities

Launched in 1983, the Speakers in the Humanities program brings the best in humanities scholarship to thousands of people at hundreds of cultural organizations in virtually every corner of New York. Any not-for-profit organization in New York State is eligible to use the program. Speakers events must be open to the public and free of charge. If your application is successful, the Council covers the cost of the Speaker's honorarium and travel expenses.

How to apply to host a lecture

Confirm Your Eligibility
Speakers in the Humanities is available to not-for-profit organizations.
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Select a lecture
Search or browse presentation listings to find the right topic for your audience.
Find a lecture >

Contact the Speaker to arrange a date and time
Get in touch with the Speaker you have selected, using his or her listed contact information.
Browse Speaker directory >

Apply to the Council for Funds
Once you have completed steps 1 through 3, apply to the Council for funding.
Apply now >

Plan and Promote Your Event
Start publicizing your lecture as soon as you receive notice of Council funding approval.
View Planning Tips >

6. Submit Follow-up Evaluation
Within three (3) weeks of your event, it is required to submit the Host Organization Evaluation to report on aspects of your Speakers event.
Host Organization Evaluation >


Speakers in the Humanities lectures are made possible with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Need more information about Speakers in the Humanities?

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Explore lectures in Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy this holiday season

Aristotle's Email: Friendship in the Cyber Age

Timothy J. Madigan
Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and other such programs allow us to be "friends" with hundreds, if not thousands of people. But just what makes a person a friend?

Fugitive Art and Fugitive Testimony: Slave Narratives Then and Now

Janet Neary
This lecture examines slave narratives in visual art of the late twentieth century, looking at work by Kara Walker, Glenn Ligon, Ellen Driscoll, and others.

Browse new We the People lecture topics

The Lenape: Lower New York's First Inhabitants

David Oestreicher
Who were the original inhabitants of lower New York? What were they like, and what remains of their culture today? Learn the true story of the Lenape -- not the romanticized figures of popular mythology or new-age literature, but a living people as they really are.

"They All Sang on the Corner": The Roots of 'Doo-Wop' Rock 'n Roll

Robert L. Cohen
Explore the roots of street-corner group harmony singing ("doo-wop"), and hear how this music - from all five New York City boroughs - conveyed the poetry of inner-city life.