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

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.

"Women and Children First": Ethical Dilemmas and the Titanic

Timothy J. Madigan
The sinking of the Titanic has been much-discussed ever since it occurred in April of 1912. What moral lessons might be learned from this great tragedy?

Browse new We the People lecture topics

North Star Shining: New York State's Freedom Trail -- An Illustrated Journey Along the Underground Railroad

Milton C. Sernett
New York State served as a threshold of liberty for African American freedom seekers. This illustrated lecture introduces listeners to key people, places, and events of the Empire State's Underground Railroad story.

"Washington Crossing the Delaware": The Story Behind the Painting

Elizabeth Kahn Kaplan
This lecture provides an in-depth analysis of events culminating in Washington's pivotal victory at Trenton early in the morning of December 26, 1776, linked to Leutze's iconic painting.