NHC 18: Announcing the 2018 Capps Lecturer!

June 28, 2018

Announcing the National Humanities Conference Capps Lecturer!
Two-Time National Book Award Winner Jesmyn Ward to Present the 2018 Capps Lecture

June 28, 2018 – The Federation of State Humanities Councils is pleased to announce that Jesmyn Ward, two-time National Book Award winner and author, will be the National Humanities Conference 2018 Capps Lecturer. Ms. Ward is known for her “fearless and toughly lyrical” voice in her novels, which are deeply informed by her experiences growing up in DeLisle, MS, her brother, and the trauma of Hurricane Katrina and its social and economic ramifications.  The Capps Lecture will follow an interview format where Ms. Ward will be in conversation with Kiese Laymon, author and former contributing editor at Gawker.

“We are honored to welcome Jesmyn Ward to the National Humanities Conference as the 2018 Capps Lecture,” said Esther Mackintosh, president of the Federation of State Humanities Councils. “Her novels reflect themes, struggles, and a sense of place that will be explored in a variety of ways throughout the conference, and she beautifully embodies characteristics we seek in the Capps Lecturer–an ability to evoke and create meaning through the exchange of stories, a belief in the power of stories to create empathetic understanding and a desire to act, and a commitment to inclusion of all voices.”

The Capps Lecture will take place in New Orleans, LA in conjunction with the National Humanities Conference on Friday, November 9, 2018.

About the Capps Lecture

The Walter H. Capps Memorial Lecture was established by the Federation Board of Directors in 1999 to honor the memory of Congressman Walter H. Capps – teacher, writer, public servant, and humanist. A member of the California state humanities council for six years, and its chair for three, Congressman Capps was also the Federation board chair from 1983 to 1985.

About the National Humanities 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 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.