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.

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?

Calling on the Humanities in the Midst of a Pandemic

What role do the humanities play in confronting a crisis like COVID-19?

Loss, Grief, and the Humanities in the Time of Pandemic

The humanities demonstrate we are never alone in our experience, but are always caught up in recurring and collective cycles of life, death, and suffering.

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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.

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.

Homeschooling and the Humanities

College freshman Isabella Kemp shares her self-realizations and new understandings gained through homeschooling family members during the quarantine.


Using Language to Humanize Healthcare

Dr. Michael Stanley celebrates a principle of healthcare that draws from philosophy, mythology, and literature to understand individuals and their circumstances.

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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.


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?

PODCAST humans and the environment

Home Matters: Picturing and Understanding Place

Nerds in the Woods

Confronting contemporary challenges is impossible unless we understand the ways that humans interact with their environments and the repercussions those interactions have both locally and globally.


Activism Beyond the City: Women, Rural Communities, and the Struggle for Black Freedom

Katherine Mellen Charron (Fellow, 2019–20)

Charron discusses her research into the legacies of local, community-based, rural Black women’s activism in North Carolina.


Religious Toleration in America

John Corrigan (Fellow, 2014–15)

In this podcast, host Richard Schramm talks with John Corrigan about America’s often forgotten history of religious intolerance despite our ideals, and how that history has been all but lost.

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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.


NHC Virtual Book Club Series: The American Experiment

September 30–October 28, 2020

This series of the National Humanities Center’s popular virtual book club examines our democracy—its history, accomplishments, failings, and current challenges.

Local Color

On Exhibit

Joel Elliott and Richard Schramm have spent years traveling around the Southeast capturing images that reveal the complex character of this region and its people in details that we might otherwise miss.


NHC Virtual Book Club Series: Race and Injustice

July 15–August 19, 2020

This installment in our virtual book club series featured six gifted scholars whose work helps illuminate the long history, bitter realities, and complex dynamics surrounding racial oppression in the United States.

VIDEO addressing environmental change

Beyond Despair: Theory and Practice in Environmental Humanities

April 3–5, 2019

This unique three-day summit of environmental humanities scholars and experts from across the country featured a dynamic intersection between discussion, presentations, and exhibitions, grounded in practical site excursions.

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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.


NHC Virtual Book Club: “American Breakdown: The Trump Years and How They Befell Us”

David Bromwich, Yale University

Bromwich provides an essential analysis of the forces in play beneath the surface of our political system.


“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.