Speakers in the Schools

The New York Council for the Humanities’ Speakers in the Schools program offers FREE top-notch lectures by a renowned and diverse group of scholars on a wide variety of humanities subjects to high school communities across New York State.

If your application is successful, the Council will cover all costs associated with the program, including the Speaker’s honorarium and travel expenses.

Commemorative Lectures

Explore the Council's list of lectures commemorating the anniversaries of:

How to apply to host a lecture

Select a Lecture/ Speaker
Browse lecture listings to find the right topic for your students, school community and curriculum.
Find a Lecture/Speaker >

Contact the Speaker to arrange a date and time
Directly contact the Speaker you have selected to establish a mutually agreed upon date and time for the lecture presentation.
Browse Speaker directory >

Apply to the Council
Once you have selected a lecture and confirmed a date and a time with the Speaker, submit the Speakers in the Schools application.
Apply >

Plan your event
As soon as you receive notice of Council approval, start planning your event, including pre- and post-lecture activities.
View Planning Tips >

Submit Follow-Up Evaluation
It is required to submit an online evaluation within three (3) weeks following your event.
Program Evaluation >

Need more information about Speakers in the Schools?
View answers to Frequently Asked Questions >


Speakers in the Schools is made possible by funding from the New York State Legislature.

The Council is proud to partner with the New York State Historical Association's New York State History Day to support the humanities and education in schools and cultural institutions statewide.

Design a series for National American Indian Heritage Month in November

The Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Influence on Women's Rights

Sally Roesch Wagner
Learn the history of the Iroquois Confederacy, whose practice of gender equality inspired the emerging women's rights movement in upstate New York over 100 years ago.

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.

Explore lectures in Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy this holiday season

Thomas Paine and the Flame of Revolution

J. Ward Regan
The lecture recounts the life and writings of Thomas Paine in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. Starting with Common Sense and The Crisis Papers, the talk focuses on Paine's role in the American Revolution and the creation of an "American" political ideology.

Traveling the New York City African American Experience 1623-1830

Sherrill D. Wilson
African enslavement and freedom in early 1600's-1830's in New York City is the focus of this illustrated presentation.