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 >

Plan Now for Women's History Month in March

America's Nine First Ladies From New York State

Elizabeth Kahn Kaplan
One saved Lafayette's wife from the guillotine. Another was the "Rose of Long Island." Learn about these and seven other fascinating women from New York State who became First Ladies.

Alluring Androids and Robots in Film, Photography and Art

Julie Wosk
The Stepford Wives, Lara Croft, and the advent of ultra-realistic female robots are among the many images that reveal our fascination with artificial women who seem alive.

Organize a series of Art and Architecture lectures in April

Protest & Celebration: Community Murals in New York City

Jane Weissman
The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda wrote, "Murals are the people's blackboard." From prehistoric cave paintings to today's painted walls, via Italian Renaissance frescoes and the work of Mexico's Los Tres Grande, community murals have beautified, educated, celebrated, protested, organized and, on occasion, inspired action.

"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.