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?

View answers to Frequently Asked Questions >

Prepare a May lecture series in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

The Dalai Lama and Tibet: Myths and Realities

A. Tom Grunfeld
Many Americans think of Tibet as a mythical Shangri-La. This lecture will explore the myths and realities of this land and its people.

Longing and Belonging: The Idea of Home in Asian American Literature

Luis H. Francia
Asian-American writers often explore the tension of being both an American and an outsider. Learn more about how contemporary authors including Maxine Hong Kingston, Chang Rae Lee, and Jumpa Lahiri re-imagine notions of home, tradition, sexuality, history, and memory in their stories and novels, to forge a unique place for Asian-Americans in American culture.

Map out a series in June on New York State History

The War of 1812: Songs and Stories from New York and Beyond

Dave Ruch
Highly entertaining lecture/concert featuring songs and stories both rare and common from this "second war of independence".

The New York Volunteer: Songs and Stories of the Civil War

Linda Russell
This program looks at New York in the Civil War as revealed in songs augmented with excerpts from letters and diaries.