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.
Read more >

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?

View answers to Frequently Asked Questions >

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

Divine New York: A Religious History of New York City

Ronald J. Brown
God and the Golem, saints and sinners, the devout and the damned, the divine and the diabolical - all these can be found in the four and a half centuries of New York City religious history. And then, of course, there's art, architecture, music, immigrants, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. Visit the wonderful world of Divine New York.

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

Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and History

Milton C. Sernett
Harriet Tubman is the most widely recognized icon of the Underground Railroad. This illustrated lecture introduces audiences to the surprising findings of the latest research on her life and the history of how this poor, illiterate woman became a "larger than life" symbol that has inspired many Americans.

America the Beautiful: Women and the Flag

Trudie Grace
This slide-illustrated lecture focuses on women with the American flag or wearing flag-inspired outfits in posters, on sheet music covers, on postcards, etc., from 1860 through 1945.