The Federation of State Humanities Councils and the National Humanities Alliance are organizing the 2018 National Humanities Conference in New Orleans, LA to bring the public and academic humanities communities together again to share best practices, encourage collaboration, and inspire conversation on how we can best use the humanities to respond to local, national, and global challenges. The humanities offer a wide range of tools for exploring solutions to contemporary issues as well as provide context for better understanding between diverse groups and viewpoints.

We’d like to extend our gratitude to the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities for hosting the 2018 conference, as well as the 2018 Conference Planning Committee. We look forward to welcoming everyone to New Orleans November 8-11, 2018.

See what past attendees have said about the conference:

Conference Highlights

Important Deadlines

October 5 – Hotel & Early Registration Deadline
October 26 – Hotel Cancellation Deadline
November 2 – Last Day to Register!
November 8-11 – The 2018 National Humanities Conference
Be sure to follow #NHCTuesdays on Twitter to stay apprised of conference news and updates.

Featured Speakers

Join us at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts for the 2018 Capps Lecture featuring two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward in conversation with author Kiese Laymon.

Featured Tours

This year, attendees of the National Humanities Conference can choose from four different tours: Oak Valley Plantation Day Tour, Oak Valley and Laura Plantations Combination Day Tour, New Orleans City & Cemetery Tours, and the Garden District Walking Tour. A variety of times are offered and attendees are encouraged to pick the day and time that works best with their conference schedule. Learn more.


Also follow @HumFed on Tuesdays for #NHCTuesdays: a weekly Twitter thread capturing what you need to know each week in advance of the conference

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2018 Capps Lecturers & Featured Speakers

Jesmyn Ward
Capps Lecture, Friday, Nov. 9

MacArthur Genius and two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward has been hailed as the standout writer of her generation, proving her “fearless and toughly lyrical” voice in novels, memoir, and nonfiction. In 2017, she became the first woman and the first person of color to win two National Book Awards for Fiction—joining the ranks of William Faulkner, Saul Bellow, John Cheever, Philip Roth, and John Updike. Ward’s stories are largely set on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, where she grew up and still lives. Shortly after Ward received her MFA, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, and she was forced to evacuate her rapidly flooding home. Ward’s writing is deeply informed by the trauma of Katrina, not to mention its unimaginable social and economic repercussions.

Kiese Laymon
Capps Lecture, Friday, Nov. 9

Kiese Laymon’s sharply observant and often hilarious work confronts issues of race, gender, family, and place. His savage humor and clear-eyed perceptiveness have earned him comparisons to both Mark Twain and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Laymon is the author of a groundbreaking essay collection, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and a novel, Long Division, which has been called “an ambitious mix of contemporary southern gothic with Murakamiesque magical realism” (Booklist).

Richard Campanella
Opening Keynote, Thursday, Nov. 8

Professor Richard Campanella, geographer with the Tulane School of Architecture, is also the author of ten books and more than 200 articles on the geography, history, and culture of the New Orleans region and related topics. His research integrates the mapping sciences and spatial analyses with the social sciences and humanities and has been praised by The New York Review of Books, Journal of Southern History, Urban History, Places, Louisiana History, The Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, and other forums. Campanella is a two-time winner of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Book of the Year Award.

Jon Parrish Peede, NEH Chairman
NEH Address, Saturday, Nov. 10

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, founding editor of Millsaps Magazine, and editor at Mercer University Press with a focus on the humanities.

Michael White
Closing Keynote, Saturday, Nov. 10

Dr. Michael White is an accomplished, multi-faceted New Orleans-based clarinetist, bandleader, composer, musicologist, jazz historian, and educator widely regarded as one of the leading authorities and culture-bearers of traditional New Orleans jazz music. He has performed in over two dozen foreign countries, played on over 50 recordings, received countless awards, made multiple national television appearances, and been featured in major media publications.

Registration & Fee Information

Early Registration Discounts!
Available through Friday, October, 5, 2018

Member Rates: $395.00
Non Member Rates: $445.00

Standard Registration:
October 6, 2018 – November 5, 2018

Member Rates: $445.00
Non Member Rates: $505.00

Other Available Rates:
Session Coordinator/Panelist: $345.00
Student/K-12 Teachers: $150.00 (full conference)
One Day Rate (Student/K-12 Teachers): $50.00 (one-day rate)
One Day Rate (General): $200.00

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Q: Where and when is the 2018 National Humanities Conference taking place?
A: The 2018 National Humanities Conference is taking place in New Orleans, LA from November 8 -11, 2018.

Q: Who organizes the National Humanities Conference?
A: The Federation of State Humanities and the National Humanities Alliance organize the conference for their members and others interested in learning more about the work being conducted in the public and academic humanities. In 2018, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, a state humanities council and member of the Federation of State Humanities Councils, is hosting the conference in New Orleans, LA.

Q: How do I ship materials or other items to the hotel?
A: The conference hotel partners with FedEx Office and offers a variety of shipping and delivery options for hotel and conference guests. Please refer to these packing and shipping instructions for more information.

Q: Is there an opportunity for my organization to participate in sponsorship of the National Humanities Conference?
A: Yes, there are a number of sponsorship levels with corresponding benefits. Please view the Sponsorship Document for more information.

Q: I’m a session coordinator, where do I find the information I need?
A: We have a page specifically designed to help answer your questions. Please click here to access it.

Q: Where can I give feedback about the conference?
A: Immediately following the conference, the Federation and the National Humanities Alliance will issue an online conference evaluation via email. Additionally, at the end of the conference, the evaluation can be found on the mobile app.

Q: I have other general questions that aren’t included, who should I contact?
A: For general conference questions, please email events@statehumanities.org to reach the Federation events staff.

View the National Humanities Conference’s Anti-Harassment Policy here.

Conference Registration

Q: When is the registration period for the 2018 National Humanities Conference?
A: Registration will open August 2018 and run through November 2, 2018. To receive the early registration rate, you must register no later than October 5, 2018. Subscribe to the Federation Update to stay in the know about conference updates and important dates and deadlines or follow us on Twitter @HumFed especially on Tuesdays as we’ll be running a weekly Twitter thread with all you need to know that week about the conference #NHCTuesdays.

Q: What are the regular and discounted rates for the 2018 National Humanities Conference?
A: Click here to view all rates. If you are a session coordinator or panelist and have specific questions about your rate, please visit the session coordinator page for more information.

Q: What is the registration cancellation deadline and policy?
A: Registration cancellation deadline is November 2nd. You may sign into your registration to cancel or email events@statehumanities.org, to reach a member of the Federation event staff by Friday, November 2nd to receive a full refund.

Hotel Reservations

Q: Where is the 2018 National Humanities Conference hotel?
A: The 2018 National Humanities Conference will be held at the New Orleans Marriott located at 555 Canal Street, New Orleans. Click here to make your reservation!

Q: When can I book my room(s) for the conference hotel?
A: Today! The room block for the 2018 National Humanities Conference is now open for reservations. Please use this link to receive the group rate for the conference. The rate is $219 per night plus taxes and fees.

Q: What do I do if the hotel says the NHC group rate is sold out?
A: Contact events@statehumanities.org to let one of the Federation event staff know. Occasionally there’s a glitch with the hotel reservation system and we can help you sort it out. If the hotel is sold out, we will let you know and can provide an alternate hotel option.

Q: I need to cancel my hotel room, who should I contact? The Federation or the conference hotel?
A: Please contact the hotel directly to cancel your room unless the room block is sold out. If the conference room block is sold out, please contact events@statehumanities.org. This allows us to reassign the room at the same rate to another conference attendee.

Newsletters, Social Media, and the Mobile App

Q: What is the best way to stay informed of conference updates, information, and important dates?
A: Follow the Federation on Twitter using @HumFed and tune in every Tuesday for #NHCTuesdays, a weekly Twitter thread detailing what you need to know about deadlines. new additions, changes, and other exciting information! You can also follow conference updates using #NHC18nola across various social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To follow the Federation on Twitter and Instagram, please use @HumFed, on Facebook @FederationofStateHumanitiesCouncils. To follow the National Humanities Alliance on Twitter and Instagram, please use @HumanitiesAll, and on Facebook @NationalHumanitiesAlliance.

At the conference, we recommend subscribing to the NHC Daily, which offers recaps, interviews, photos, and videos of the events occurring during the conference. The NHC Daily is only distributed the week of the conference.

Q: What is on the conference app, why should I use it, and how do I download it?
A: On the conference app (launching late September) you will have access to the entire conference schedule in the palm of your hand. In the app, you will be able to view locations, times, and presenters of sessions, as well as receive real-time updates on any changes in the conference program. Additionally, the app allows you to connect with colleagues using the attendee feature and connect your social media accounts to share what’s happening. Email invitations to download the app will be sent starting early fall. Be sure to register for the conference first.

Q: Is there a hashtag for the conference?
A: Yes! Please use #NHC18nola when posting! We’ll be looking for attendee comments leading up to and during the conference. We can’t wait to interact with you!