The National Humanities Conference

Bringing the Humanities Community Together

About the Conference:

Established in 1978 by the Federation of State Humanities Councils, the National Humanities Conference was originally designed as a resource to bring together the nationwide network of the U.S. state and jurisdictional humanities councils and those interested in advancing the work of the public humanities across the country.

Since 2016, the Federation and the National Humanities Alliance have partnered to make the National Humanities Conference available to both public and academic humanities practitioners to address local and national challenges through the lens of the humanities and to spark innovative collaborations, conversations, and research while highlighting the impact and relevance of the humanities in everyday American life. 

The 2020 National Humanities Conference

Introducing the first-ever virtual National Humanities Conference!
NOVEMBER 6, 10, 12, and 13, 2020

Join representatives from colleges, universities, state humanities councils, museums, and libraries for the first-ever virtual National Humanities Conference. Together, we will explore our collective work to deepen the public’s engagement with the humanities.

This year’s conference includes opportunities to connect with colleagues and partners, reflect on our collective work in the wake of an unprecedented year and the 2020 election, attend small group discussions on timely topics, and choose from more than 60 sessions that explore public humanities work. All programming will take place in the afternoon and evening Eastern time to accommodate as many U.S. time zones as possible.


Conference Rate: $100
Session Coordinators & Presenters: $75
Special Sessions: Lilly School of Philanthropy Fundraising Workshop ($25 per person); Constituent Groups (registration required, no fee)



Important NHC 2020 Updates

Registration Now Open!
Register today or modify an existing registration

View the 2020 NHC Program
Learn more about the many sessions and speakers

Questions about the Conference?
Check out our newly developed FAQ page

Meet the 2020 Speakers

Friday, November 6, 2020

Capps Lecture featuring Dr. Johnnetta Cole
November 6, 2020 - 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (EST)

Johnnetta Betsch Cole is a principal consultant with Cook Ross, Inc., a consulting firm that provides solutions to organizations around the world in the areas of diversity, inclusion, cultural competency, leadership development and organizational change management. She has served as the director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, president of Spelman College, president of Bennett College, board chair of United Way of America, president of the Association of Art Museum Directors, and co-chair of the American Alliance of Museum’s Working Group on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion.

She has written and edited numerous publications for scholarly and general audiences, including Conversations: Straight Talk With Americas Sister President; All American Women: Lines That Divides, Tides That Bind; With Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American Communities; and with Rudolph P. Byrd and Beverly Guy-Sheftall, I Am Your Sister, Collected and Unpublished Writings of Audre Lorde.

Dr. Cole attended Fisk University in the early entrance Basic College Program and went on to graduate from Oberlin College and complete a Masters and Ph.D. in anthropology with a specialization in African Studies at Northwestern University.

She is a fellow of the American Anthropological Association, a member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, and served as a Senior Consulting Fellow at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Dr. Cole is the National Chair and Seventh President of the National Council of Negro Women and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Links, Inc.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede in Conversation with New Hampshire Humanities' Anthony Poore
November 10, 2020 - 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EST)

Jon Parrish Peede is Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. His previous positions include publisher of the Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR) at the University of Virginia, literature grants director at the National Endowment for the Arts, counselor to NEA Chairman Dana Gioia, director of the NEA Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience program, director of the NEA Big Read program, director of communications at Millsaps College, and editor at Mercer University Press with a focus on the humanities. He has written speeches for a U.S. president, a first lady, and a librarian of Congress.

From 2007 to 2011, Peede oversaw the NEA’s funding of literary organizations and fellowships to creative writers and translators. For seven years, he led writing workshops for U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Bahrain, England, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, the Persian Gulf, and on domestic bases. Under his leadership, VQR expanded its paid readership to 51 countries. He acquired work from seven Pulitzer Prize winners and edited interviews with two Nobel laureates.

He has served on several nonprofit boards, including the national council of the Margaret Walker Center for the Study of the African-American Experience at Jackson State University. Peede holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Vanderbilt University, and a master’s in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi.

He is the coeditor of Inside the Church of Flannery O’Connor: Sacrament, Sacramental, and the Sacred in Her Fiction (Mercer, 2007) and editor of a bilingual anthology of contemporary American fiction (Lo que cuenta el vecino: cuentos contemporáneos de los Estados Unidos [UNUM: Mexico City, 2008].) You can follow Chairman Peede on Twitter @NEHchair.

NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede in Conversation with New Hampshire Humanities' Anthony Poore

Anthony Poore joined New Hampshire Humanities as Executive Director in 2018.

In Anthony’s 25 years of experience in the community economic development sector, he has worked as a practitioner, policy analyst, researcher and executive addressing the needs of urban and rural communities through participatory cross sector collaborative processes.

Past and current professional activities involve positions of strategic and executive leadership, community organizing, qualitative & quantitative research, policy analysis, and program monitoring and evaluation. In addition, he helps financial institutions and community-based organizations pursue community development lending and investing activities in pursuit of mutually beneficial public-private economic development projects and consumer-driven educational programming leveraging internal and external resources for maximum impact.

Currently, Anthony serves on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, New Hampshire Endowment for Health, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester Community College and NH Listens Advisory Boards.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Jason Reynolds in Conversation with Maryland Center for the Book Director and Maryland Humanities Senior Program Officer Andrea Lewis
November 13, 2020 - 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (EST)

Jason Reynolds is an award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author. Jason’s many books include Miles Morales: Spider Man, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Correta Scott King Honor, and Look Both Ways, which was a National Book Award Finalist. His latest book, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, is a collaboration with Ibram X. Kendi. Jason is the 2020-2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and has appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and CBS This Morning. He is on faculty at Lesley University, for the Writing for Young People MFA Program and lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at

Jason Reynolds in Conversation with Maryland Center for the Book Director and Maryland Humanities Senior Program Officer Andrea Lewis

Andrea Lewis is senior program officer at Maryland Humanities and director of the Maryland Center for the Book. She joined the staff in 2007 after working in museums, then public libraries, bringing her experiences to coordinate literature programs including the statewide reading program One Maryland One Book, which draws nearly 20,000 participants annually. Her background in public relations, programming, and fundraising includes work with The National Gallery of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Folger Shakespeare Library, Scholastic, Public Library Association, Maryland State Department of Education, and Maryland State Library.

Future Conferences:

Each year, the conference is held in a different location and is organized around a theme pertinent to the history, issues, and culture of the host region. Interested in hosting the conference in your state? We issue an RFP every other year to determine future conference locations. Subscribe to the Federation Update to stay apprised of all NHC information and other FSHC news.

NHC 2021
Detroit, MI
November 11-14, 2021

NHC 2022
Los Angeles, CA
November 10-13, 2022

NHC 2023
Indianapolis, IN
October 25-29, 2023