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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Browse new We the People lecture topics

Matilda Joslyn Gage: Bringing Her Into History

Sally Roesch Wagner
The "forgotten feminist," Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826 - 1898) harbored fugitive slaves, was an adopted Native American, influenced Oz, and worked for the separation of church and state.

Tracing Italian Immigrant History to the Italian American Present

Salvatore Primeggia
There is nothing small about the history and heritage of Italian-Americans. Come and get the big picture.

Celebrate African American History Month in February

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.

Images of the African Diaspora in New York City Community Murals

Jane Weissman
Based on the traveling exhibition of the same title, "Images of the African Diaspora in New York City Community Murals" explores how African and Caribbean art, history, religion and myth have influenced mural themes and content.