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.

Public Events

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.


A Crisis of Caring: The Humanities and Our Health

April 11–14, 2022

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to consider the ways that knowledge drawn from humanities disciplines and methodologies can inform and help address the ongoing crisis in healthcare.


Fresh Off the Press: NHC Fellows Discuss New and Intriguing Work

November 2021–March 2022

The National Humanities Center is pleased to present a series of engaging monthly talks featuring recently published books by NHC Fellows on a variety of topics.


The Afterlife of the Humanities Major

November 9, 2021

What becomes of humanities majors after the degree? How might colleges and universities assist their transition? Join the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Humanities Center for a conversation featuring the perspectives of both academia and industry.


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.

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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.


Bloodborne: Invasion and the Politics of Disease

Gregg Mitman (NHC Fellow, 2020–21; 2004–05)

Ecological, economic, political, and social forces have turned regions of west Africa into profitable sites of natural resource extraction, productive enclaves of biomedical research, and hot zones for pandemic threats.


From Comedy to Comity: How Comic Literature Can Guide Us Toward a More Civil Society

John McGowan (NHC Fellow, 2017–18)

Literature—specifically comedy—can help us recognize our shared humanity and help us find ways to transcend our differences.


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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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 (NHC 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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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.


Creating Stories and Memories from Tradition

The final months of the year provide a chance to reflect on what connects us to one another. By participating in trans-generational acts of memory and storytelling, we can bring humanities moments to life and ensure they will be passed into the future.

La Fiesta de La Tirana: Integrating Spirituality, Corporality, and Tradition

The more we learn about divinity, the more we learn about our own transcendence and significance. The closer we get to our reality, the closer we get to unraveling the mystery of divinity.

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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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.