2016 National Humanities Conference

November 10, 2016 at 12:00pm - November 13, 2016

Hilton Salt Lake City


The 2016 National Humanities Conference, co-hosted with the Federation of State Humanities Councils, is the first in a series of three joint national meetings that will bring the humanities community together as whole to consider how, by leveraging our strengths, we can achieve broader public impact and showcase the fundamental role the humanities play in addressing both local and global challenges.

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Conference schedule

Conference Schedule

Explore the schedule here.


November 10, 2016 at 12:00pm - November 13, 2016
Hilton Salt Lake City
255 S West Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
United States
Google map and directions
Click here to make reservations.
Registration is now open!
Click here to register.

Conference Schedule
Explore the schedule here.



Featured Speakers


Danielle Allen, Capps Lecturer

Nov. 11, 5:15 to 6:45 pm

Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard professor, and political theorist, Danielle Allen is the author of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality (2014), and Why Plato Wrote (2014), among others. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, chair of the Mellon Foundation Board, and past chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board.


William Adams, NEH Chairman

Nov. 12, 8:45 to 9:45 am

Join Dr. William D. Adams, the tenth chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, on Saturday morning for breakfast as he addresses conference attendees. Chairman Adams has overseen the NEH’s 50th anniversary events and launched The Common Good initiative, which includes eight programs ranging from Humanities in the Public Square to Latino Americans.


Elizabeth Fenn, Closing Plenary

Nov. 12, 5:30 to 7:00 pm

Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for History for her book, Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People, she is currently the Walter and Lucienne Driskill Professor of Western American History at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research specializes on the early American West, with a focus on Native American history, epidemic disease, and environmental history.

Featured Sessions


Humanities in the Wild

Nov. 10, 9:30 am to 2:30 pm

Trek and talk with Utah and Indiana Humanities on a journey to Antelope Island in Great Salt Lake for a model outdoor environmental humanities program and conversation about the opportunities and logistics of doing public programs in the wild.


Jane Jacobs Walk

Nov. 11, 10:45 am to noon

Explore the spatial realities, social life, and history of Salt Lake City’s Regent Street. Led by local hosts, this neighborhood tour seeks to discover and respond to the complexities of the city and environment through personal and shared observation.


The Schwartz Prize

Nov. 11, 4:45 to 5:15 pm

Each year, the Federation awards three councils with the Schwartz Prize to recognize outstanding work in the humanities. Learn about the innovative program nominees and find out who wins at the awards presentation prior to the Capps Lecture.


About the National Humanities Conference

This conference will encourage the deepening of collaborations among a wide array of institutions engaged in the humanities, including state humanities councils, colleges, universities, museums, libraries, and historical societies, as well as with publicly engaged scholars at all phases in their careers. It will provide a forum for discussing best practices for engaging a broader public in humanities research and programming. It will also foster discussion that will enlighten both public and academic humanities practitioners about their respective concerns, convictions, and challenges, and how to foster collaboration in light of these issues. Finally, it will provide an opportunity to consider the multiple ways we can harness the power of the humanities to address society’s major challenges.