NHC18: Introducing the 2018 Conference

May 16, 2018

Experience the Humanities at the National Humanities Conference in New Orleans, LA

Bringing the humanities community together to explore programs, collaborations, scholarship, and innovation in the public and academic humanities

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, May 16, 2018 – The National Humanities Conference is a four-day event that will take place November 8-11, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana, in conjunction with the city’s tercentennial. Held in a different city and state every year, the National Humanities Conference brings together public and academic humanities practitioners to explore local and national opportunities and challenges, discover new ideas and research, learn about collaborations and best practices, and find ways to strengthen America’s humanities infrastructure. The conference is organized by the Federation of State Humanities Councils, the National Humanities Alliance and in 2018, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

“The National Humanities Conference bridges the academic and public humanities to provide opportunities for connection, inspiration, and professional growth,” said Esther Mackintosh, president of the Federation of State Humanities Councils. “Across the country, humanities practitioners are seeing the effects of the humanities at work: stimulating positive conversations and outcomes in communities and among diverse peoples, as well as the humanities’ crucial role in encouraging civility and an engaged citizenry. At the conference, we celebrate this impact, we learn from each other, and we connect and collaborate to uncover innovative solutions to global, national, and local challenges facing us today.”

Established in 1977 by the Federation of State Humanities Councils, the National Humanities Conference was initially designed as an opportunity for the U.S. state and territorial humanities councils to come together as a national network. In 2015, the Federation entered into a multi-year partnership with the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), opening up the conference to practitioners of both the public and academic humanities.

“By connecting the academic and the public sectors of the humanities,” said Mackintosh, “the National Humanities Conference now offers increased opportunities for collaboration between the two communities resulting in programs, research, and workshops that strengthen humanities infrastructure across the nation. We are thrilled to work with the National Humanities Alliance to support and encourage the work of both public and academic humanities practitioners this year in New Orleans.”

In New Orleans, the city’s 300th anniversary celebration will serve as a backdrop to conference conversations and sessions and will offer a number of opportunities for participants to get out and experience the humanities through offsite sessions, tours, and presentations at historically or culturally significant landmarks in the city. The conference features opening and closing events, the annual Capps Lecture, annual Schwartz Prize awards presentation, and an array of sessions from the more tactical to the more abstract. Sessions include panels on the latest public humanities research, programs, and innovative public-academic collaborations, as well as on tools and best practices.

“The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is honored to host the 2018 conference during New Orleans’ 300th anniversary year. We’re especially grateful to FSHC, NHA, and all of our colleagues in the humanities who’ve focused their proposals and programs on the issues facing the city and the region. I look forward to the conversations, insights, and challenging questions that will arise from this conference,” said Miranda Restovic, president and CEO of Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

This year, the annual Capps Lecture will feature a conversation between award-winning American novelist and associate professor at Tulane University Jesmyn Ward and American writer, editor and professor at the University of Mississippi Kiese Laymon. Other notable speakers include the newly confirmed National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jon Parrish Peede, Richard Campanella, geographer and author of more than ten books and 200 articles on the geography, history, and culture of New Orleans, and Michael White, jazz clarinetist, composer, historian, musical educator and National Heritage Fellowship award winner, the highest honor awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts for folk and traditional arts. A full schedule of the events and speakers of the National Humanities Conference will be available mid-summer.

To learn more about the National Humanities Conference, please visit www.statehumanities.org/2018-national-humanities-conference . Registration opens mid-summer!

# # #


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 56 state and U.S. territorial humanities councils and those interested in advancing the work of the public humanities in every day American life. In 2015, the Federation and the National Humanities Alliance 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 broadening the impact and relevance of the humanities in everyday American life.


The Federation of State Humanities Councils, founded in 1977 as the membership association of state and territorial councils, provides support for the state humanities councils and strives to create greater awareness of the humanities in public and private life. For more information about the Federation of State Humanities Councils, please visit: www.statehumanities.org.

The state humanities councils are independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations supporting grassroots humanities programs and community-based activities. Humanities councils were created by Congress in the early 1970s and receive an annual congressional appropriation through the National Endowment for the Humanities, which most councils supplement with state and private funding. For more information about the state humanities councils, please visit:  http://www.statehumanities.org/the-state-humanities-councils/



For Event Logistics:
Shannon Loburk
Director of Events

For Media Inquiries:
Natalie Pak
Director of Communications