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 >

Map out a series in June on New York State History

The Wild, Wild East: New York's Drama of Westward Expansion

Robert Spiegelman
America's first "Wild West" was New York's frontier. This multimedia lecture illuminates the fateful crossroads where settler dreams meet native lifeways, at the heart of Westward Expansion.

Antonio Meucci, True Inventor of the Telephone

Tony De Nonno
Antonio Meucci (1808-1889), an Italian immigrant to New York, has been denied his rightful place in history as the true inventor of the telephone.

Celebrate the Fourth of July with an American History Topic

Trunks and Travel... a 19th Century Journey

Mary Jeanne Bialas
The audience is part of the program in this lecture, which brings to life the customs, sights, sounds, and formidable packing requirements of for a wealthy industrialist and his wife traveling in late-19th-century New York State.

Women's Rights: A Struggle of Class, Race and Ethnicity

Harriet Davis-Kram
The struggle for women's equality in the United State was closely allied with the abolitionist movement. It later splintered into groups willing to barter the rights of women of different classes, races, or ethnicities for promises political gain.

Don't see what you're looking for? Apply for funding to create your own program. Read more >