Public Programs and Events | National Humanities Center

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.

An Evening with Jane Ferguson

September 21, 2023

Join the National Humanities Center, the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and UNC Global Affairs to enjoy an evening of conversation with award-winning journalist Jane Ferguson, reflecting on her career and sharing insights from her memoir.


Restoring Our Vitality: The Heart of the Matter and the Future of the Humanities

February–April 2023

In the wake of a global pandemic, amid festering social and political divisions, and with trust in higher education and other institutions ebbing, how might the humanities meaningfully improve life in twenty-first-century America?


A Crisis of Caring: The Humanities and Our Health

April 11–14, 2022

This interdisciplinary conference considers the ways that knowledge drawn from humanities disciplines and methodologies can help identify the symptoms and causes of our malaise while guiding us toward a healthier, more caring future.


In Our Image: Artificial Intelligence and the Humanities

April 7–22, 2021

This conference examines issues surrounding the integration of AI through a series of virtual events highlighting perspectives from leading humanists, scientists, engineers, artists, writers, and executives collectively advancing inquiry into key emerging questions.

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.


Family as a Knowledge Methodology: Writing Intimate Histories

Scholar-to-Scholar Talk

Blair L. M. Kelley (NHC Fellow, 2022–23), Tiffany Willoughby-Herard (NHC Fellow, 2022–23) and LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant discuss how our families teach us about being free and being unfree. How do our family stories help us think about scholarly knowledge-making?


The Pre-History—and Likely Sequels—of the Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol

Scholar-to-Scholar Talk

The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, was the most violent assault on democracy in modern American history. Nancy MacLean (NHC Fellow, 2008–09; 2021–22) explains how it was the product of decades of intentional cultivation.


NHC Virtual Book Talk Series: Conflict and Resolution

NHC Livestreams

The scholars in this series help us think about ways of encouraging, preserving, and restoring civility—through political and creative expression, in the courts, on the page, and on the screen—from the classical period to the modern era.


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.

Watch More


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.


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.


Socially Responsible Cinema: Femi Odugbemi’s Artistic Vision and the Evolution of Nollywood

Paul Ushang Ugor (NHC Fellow, 2021–22)

One of the most influential figures in Nigerian filmmaking is the writer, director, and producer Femi Odugbemi, whose work encourages public awareness of political and ethical issues across Africa.


Imperial Painting: Nineteenth-Century Art and the Making of American Empire

Maggie M. Cao (NHC Fellow, 2021–22)

By examining nineteenth-century American landscape paintings, we can trace how complex attitudes about cultural relations were represented and disseminated to a wider public.

Listen Now

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?

Get Involved

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.


Versed in Resilience: The Power of Poetry

In recognition of National Poetry Month, this exhibit highlights the power of poetry to orient readers in disorienting times. Whether the length of an epic or just a few verses, poetry estranges the familiar rhythm and feeling of our words and gives us new ways to tell the stories we use to make sense of our world.

Van Gogh and Me

“As I watched colors and paint strokes slowly morphing one painting turned into another, for the first time, art moved me in ways I never experienced before. By magnifying details that I would never normally see, I finally understood why art is so powerful.”

Identity and Its Development in Our Everyday Lives

“This moment taught me the importance of identity and that how we communicate our identities can impact how we are perceived and adapt our identities in society.”


The Power of Myth

A high school social studies teacher shares how a PBS television series encouraged him to pursue his passions and turn to the humanities to help him make sense of the world around him.

Read More Moments

Follow and Share

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.