Public Programs and Events

The Center promotes understanding of the humanities and highlights their vital role in a vibrant, democratic society through a variety of public programs and initiatives, podcasts, and events.

Humanities in Action

humanities in action

The Center’s Humanities in Action initiative highlights perspectives from leading humanists on compelling issues; provides ​​information about public policies affecting humanities research, education, and public programs; and supports humanities advocacy with a variety of tools and resources.

Individual Rights vs. Social Responsibilities in a Pandemic

In a pluralistic society committed to personal freedom, how can the humanities help us take action to ensure the common good?

Healing Rifts and Restoring Civility

What role do the humanities play in resolving conflicts, establishing justice, and fostering unity?

Addressing Structural Racism in the Academy

We must pay attention to those whose experiences of the academy have been shaped by encounters with racial bias if we are to have hope of correcting it.

Pursuing Justice and Preserving Open Debate

How do we balance our pursuit of a more just and equitable society with our desire to protect freedom of expression?

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Humanities Moments

The Humanities Moments project is an ongoing effort to gather and share personal accounts of the ways the humanities illuminate our lives, help us better understand ourselves and each other, and allow us to more fully appreciate where we came from and where we are going.

The Fish on Marchmont Street

On her way to one of the world’s most famous collections of paper documents, Mitra Sharafi (NHC Fellow, 2020–21) was shown another kind of artifact from the past.


Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have left their indelible imprint on American history and culture. This exhibit focuses on the experiences, contributions, and cultural legacies of the Asian Pacific diaspora.

A National Reckoning

Contributors to this collection reflect on the long, and often overlooked, history of racial inequality with an eye towards how the humanities can help overcome past injustices.

Creating Shelter: Moments from Home

In this collection of moments, contributors imagine home as a place, a feeling, a set of relationships, and as a site of learning and personal growth.

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Center podcasts explore a range of fascinating topics and feature conversations with scholars discussing their work—the questions that intrigue and perplex them, the passion that drives them, and how their scholarship may change the ways we think about the world around us.


Language, Law, and the Limits of Digital Autonomy

Janny HC Leung (Fellow, 2020–21)

The evolution of standards and practices around digital discourse has the potential to reshape the concept of free speech as we know it.


Distant Horizons: Reading in the Age of Algorithms

Ted Underwood (Fellow, 2018–19)

Underwood discusses his research using algorithmic models to better understand fiction from the nineteenth century to the present.


Discovery and Inspiration

Podcast Series

What makes scholars so passionate about the subjects they pursue? What is it like for them to make a new discovery? To answer a confounding question? And what can we learn by taking the time to ask scholars about the research they are doing?


Nerds in the Woods

Podcast Series

A series of virtual audio journeys through the intellectual woods, surveying some of the compelling topics being studied by historians and philosophers, scholars of literature, art, and other fields who come to the Center from all over the world.

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The Center hosts an ongoing slate of events designed to explore important topics, showcase the work of scholars, and foster greater appreciation for the value of the humanities in our lives.


Lorraine Daston, “Science Goes Global”

October 13, 2021

In this Scholar-to-Scholar talk, Lorraine Daston (NHC Fellow, 2021–22) discusses how scientists began developing international collaborations and organizations in the late nineteenth century.


In Our Image: Artificial Intelligence and the Humanities

April 7–22, 2021

This conference included a series of virtual events highlighting perspectives from leading humanists, scientists, engineers, artists, writers, and executives collectively advancing inquiry into key emerging questions around artificial intelligence.


Between Teacher and Student: The Obligations of Mentorship

February 25, 2021

Looking at traditions from the ancient world to the modern era, three NHC Fellows discuss the nature of mentorship in different cultural contexts and how the concept of mentorship continues to resonate in contemporary classrooms.


Virtual Book Club: Performance and the Afterlives of Injustice

February 24, 2021

Catherine M. Cole (NHC Fellow 2006–07) reveals how the voices and visions of artists in South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo can help us see what otherwise evades perception from the injustices produced by apartheid and colonialism.

See Previous Events


Many of the Center’s public events are made available via video streaming, and recordings may be found on the Center’s channels on YouTube and Vimeo along with other Center-produced content.


The Price of Injustice: A Scholar-to-Scholar Conversation

Panel Discussion

Though these three scholars focus on different periods and places, their work illuminates the myriad ways that racism and systemic injustice affect us all.


“Local Color” Artists’ Panel

Moderated by William Ferris

Ferris, esteemed Southern folklorist and former chairman of the NEH, talks with photographers Joel Elliott and Richard Schramm about their experiences traveling around the region taking pictures.


Educating Citizens and Reforming Generations

Alan Taylor (Fellow, 1993–94)

In the wake of the American Revolution, republican reliance on popular sovereignty complicated efforts by elites to improve voters through education.


An Evening with Seymour Hersh

NHC Public Event

Seymour “Sy” Hersh, one of our nation’s most important investigative journalists, discusses his most recent book, Reporter: A Memoir.

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NHC entrance at night

For additional news and information about the Center as well as other things happening in the humanities, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We also encourage you to share what you find here with others and help us draw attention to the value of the humanities for everyone.