Spotlight on Pulitzer

Strengthening and expanding collaboration between the state humanities councils and the worlds of journalism, arts and letters.

About the Pulitzer Prizes Campfires Initiative and Partnership

Inspired by James L. Carey, the late professor of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, who, as reported by The New York Times in his obituary, saw journalism as society’s “collective campfire storytelling,” the Campfires Initiative seeks to bring together and engage diverse communities, spark conversations and illustrate the value of the arts and the humanities that both the Pulitzer Prizes and the FSHC embody. The initiative is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and John L. Knight Foundation, as well as Columbia University, home to the Pulitzer Prizes.

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Council Campfires Events - November

  • Dec. 2 – VT

    Book Discussion: The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

    In The Warmth of Other Suns, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the greatest stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens… Read more.
  • Dec. 5 – KS

    Erika Nelson: “Make Art, Not War”

    Kansas: a frontier where strong people with strong opinions find their voice. Throughout its turbulent history, Kansans have vociferously and voraciously pursued the greater good, working both within established systems as well as outside these systems to affect change… Read more.
  • Dec. 5 – VT

    Book Discussion: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

    Part of the council’s “International Migrations” series, which spotlights characters in the midst of broader migrations… Read more.
  • Dec. 6 – OK

    The American Frontier: “The Son” by Philipp Meyer

    On December 6, Rebecca Jacobs-Pollez, Ph.D. will present on The Son by Philipp Meyer. Part of the council’s “The American Frontier” Pulitzer Prize campfires series… Read more.
  • Dec. 6 – OK

    War, Not War, and Peace: “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

    Part of the council’s ongoing “War, Not War, and Peace” Pulitzer Prize campfires reading and discussion series… Read more.
  • Dec. 6 – MD

    Maryland Humanities & The University of Maryland College Park Presents Worldwide Arts & Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series: The Pulitzer 100

    What is the impact of the humanities on American life? Pulitzer Prize-winning author-historians Taylor Branch and Isabel Wilkerson present with NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund’s Sherrilyn Ifill moderating… Read more.
  • Dec. 7– VT

    William Carlos Williams: America’s Most Revolutionary Twentieth Century Poet

    UVM professor Huck Gutman considers how William Carlos Williams changed American and world poetry forever by creating a new poetic language and poetic forms… Read more.
  • Dec. 7 – VT

    Wallace Stevens and the Art of the Empty Mind

    Yale professor of English and Dean of Humanities Amy Hungerford demonstrates how, in the early 20th century, Wallace Stevens set out to clear away a Romantic view of nature and see the world freshly in his distinctly modern poetry… Read more.
  • Dec. 8 – KS

    Stephan Wolgast: Free Speech in Times of Crisis

    Part of the “Pulitzer Project in Kansas: William Allen White and Freedom of Speech.” Read more.
  • Dec. 9 – PA

    Michael Chabon in Conversation

    The Pulitzer winner and Pittsburgh native will read excerpts from his most recent novel, Moonglow, and sign copies. Dan Kubis, assistant director of the University of Pittsburgh Humanities Center and host of Pitt’s “Being Human” podcast, will lead the conversation… Read more.
  • Dec. 12 – VT

    Book Discussion: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

    Part of the council’s Family History book discussion series… Read more.
  • Dec. 13, 17 – KS

    Community Writing Workshop with Anthony Funari

    Just as William Allen White defended free speech “by voice, by posted card, by letter, or by press,” participants are welcome to express themselves through essays, poems, letters to the editor, memoirs, fiction — any way they so choose… Read more.

What people are saying:

We intend to reach diverse audiences, using Campfires events to foster invigorating discussions – much as actual campfires create circles of conversations – both in person and through social media… We also hope to inspire a new generation of practitioners.”

Joyce Dehli, board chair of the Pulitzer Prizes’ Campfires Initiative

The state humanities councils have a profound understanding of the character and needs of their constituents, making the Federation of State Humanities Councils and its members ideal partners to carry out the Campfires Initiative’s goal of engaging the public with Pulitzer.

Mike Pride, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes

To ensure that [the Centennial] activity reaches diverse communities in all areas of the country, the Pulitzer Prize Board invited the Federation of State Humanities Councils to collaborate…”

Keven Ann Willey, chair of the Pulitzer board Centennial Committee

Collaborating with the Pulitzer Prizes is an honor and an incredible recognition of the capabilities, reach and quality of the state humanities councils’ programs and understanding of local communities. ”

– Esther Mackintosh, president of the Federation of State Humanities Councils

Campfires Initiative News & Updates

View All Pulitzer Campfires News

November Council Pulitzer Update

November 28, 2016

Throughout November, councils hosted a variety of Pulitzer Prizes Campfires from book fairs to conferences to nature hikes coupled with literature that brought participants together in discussion and community. In addition, councils continued to host presentations, exhibits, book discussions, and writing workshops featuring Pulitzer Prize winners and works.

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Campfires by the Numbers:
Through August 31, 2016


Council Campfires


Cities and Towns


Different Partners


Articles Generated