Since March, Humanities Texas has held a number of virtual public lectures, partnering with organizations including Foodways Texas, Asia Society Texas Center, and the LBJ Presidential Library to present programs featuring speakers such as bestselling author Lisa See, Texas Monthly taco editor José R. Ralat, and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed. Learn more about this year's programs—many of which are available to view online—and keep an eye out for more virtual public lectures in 2022!

Daina Ramey Berry, UT Austin Department of History chair and Humanities Texas board member, speaks with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed. The two discussed Gordon-Reed's latest book, On Juneteenth.

A Conversation with Jessica Dupuy

On November 17, 2021, Humanities Texas and Foodways Texas hosted "A Conversation with Jessica Dupuy." A wine, spirits, food, and travel writer, Dupuy has covered culinary trends for various publications throughout her career. Her latest book, The Wines of Southwest U.S.A., a part of the Classic Wine Library, covers the emerging American wine regions in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. This virtual program introduced the history of the Texas wine industry from the High Plains to the Hill Country and explored how the state has become a major player in North American winemaking. The conversation was followed by a Q&A session with the audience. Watch now!

Jessica Dupuy.

A Conversation with Adán Medrano

On September 29, 2021, Humanities Texas and Foodways Texas hosted "A Conversation with Adán Medrano." A chef, food writer, and filmmaker, Medrano spent twenty-three years traveling and working throughout Latin America, Europe, and Asia, where he came to recognize the importance of food and how it serves as a source of identity and cultural memory. He returned to the U.S. in 2010 to focus on the culinary traditions of the Mexican American community of Texas: its history, recipes, and how this singular cuisine is showing the way toward a better understanding of what it means to be "American." Moderated by journalist and cultural anthropologist Cecilia Ballí, "A Conversation with Adán Medrano" touched on Medrano's personal journey with food as well as themes explored in his recent documentary, Truly Texas Mexican. The conversation was followed by a Q&A session with the audience. Watch now!

Adán Medrano.

Texas Storytime with Xelena González and Adriana M. Garcia

On August 5, 2021, Humanities Texas hosted a special Texas Storytime event featuring author Xelena González and illustrator Adriana M. Garcia. This virtual family reading program featured a read-aloud of their award-winning book All Around Us. In addition to sharing their perspectives as an author and an illustrator, González and Garcia led children, parents, and family members through a series of fun, interactive activities. Watch Now!

Adriana M. Garcia and
Xelena González.

Texas Storytime with Don Tate

On July 8, 2021, Humanities Texas hosted a special Texas Storytime event featuring author and illustrator Don Tate.  This movement-themed virtual family reading program featured a read-aloud of the books Swish!: The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters and Strong As Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became The Strongest Man On Earth. In addition to sharing his perspective as an author and illustrator, Tate led children, parents, and family members through a series of fun, interactive activities, including physical stretches and movements.

Don Tate.

On Juneteenth with Annette Gordon-Reed

On June 17, 2021, Humanities Texas, the LBJ Presidential Library, and The University of Texas at Austin Department of History hosted an evening with Harvard professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annette Gordon-Reed. In her book On Juneteenth, Gordon-Reed examines the Texas roots of Juneteenth and its continuing importance to the fight for racial equity. Daina Ramey Berry, chair of the UT Austin Department of History, moderated the discussion. Watch now!

Annette Gordon-Reed.

Recipe for a Good Life: A Conversation with Toni Tipton-Martin and Chris Williams

On May 23, 2021, Humanities Texas and Foodways Texas hosted a conversation with award-winning food and nutrition journalist Toni Tipton-Martin and Chris Williams, chef and owner of the Houston restaurant Lucille's. They discussed the remarkable life and legacy of Lucille B. Smith, Williams's great-grandmother, who inspired his restaurant and is highlighted in Tipton-Martin's The Jemima Code, a history of African American cookbooks. Excepts from this program were featured in the September 2021 issue of the Humanities Texas e-newsletter. Read now!

Toni Tipton-Martin and
Chris Williams.

A Conversation with Julia Sweig

On May 20, 2021, Humanities Texas and Texas Book Festival hosted a literary salon featuring author Julia Sweig speaking on the release of her newest book, Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight, a detailed account of the First Lady and the profound yet under-appreciated impact that her political instincts had on LBJ’s presidency. Moderated by Michael L. Gillette, author of Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History, this rich discussion paints a vivid portrait of one of the most beloved First Ladies of the twentieth century. Watch now!

Julia Sweig.

An Evening with Karen Tumulty

On April 13, 2021, the LBJ Presidential Library, Humanities Texas, and the White House Historical Society hosted an evening with Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty, speaking on the release of her new book, The Triumph of Nancy Reagan, the definitive biography of the fiercely vigilant and politically astute First Lady who shaped one of the most consequential presidencies of the twentieth century. First Lady scholar Anita McBride moderated the conversation. Watch now!

Karen Tumulty.

A Conversation on Texas Taceaux

On March 25, 2021, Humanities Texas and Foodways Texas hosted "A Conversation on Texas Taceaux," featuring Texas Monthly Taco Editor José R. Ralat in dialogue with Jason and Starr Harry, owners of EaDeaux’s Cajun Cocina, a Houston-based Cajun/Tex-Mex taco truck. This virtual program explored the role of the taco in representing and connecting the diverse, ever-evolving cultures of our state. Ralat took viewers on a brief taco tour of Texas, highlighting how different regions put their own unique spin on tortillas, fillings, and salsas. He and the Harrys then discussed how EaDeaux’s hybrid cuisine exemplifies the taco’s ability to bring people and cultures together. Watch now!

This program was made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities in support of the agency’s Night of Ideas 2021 partnership with the Cultural Services division of the French Embassy in the United States.

José R. Ralat and
Jason and Starr Harry.

An Evening with Walter Isaacson

On March 12, 2021, the LBJ Presidential Library and Humanities Texas hosted an evening with Walter Isaacson, speaking on the release of his new book The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race. The Code Breaker offers a gripping account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and improve the human species. The conversation was moderated by Mark K. Updegrove, president and CEO of the LBJ Foundation.
Watch now!

Walter Isaacson.

Untold Stories of Female Friendship and Immigration: A Conversation with Lisa See

On March 3, 2021, Humanities Texas and Asia Society Texas Center hosted "Untold Stories of Female Friendship and Immigration: A Conversation with Lisa See." Through her New York Times bestsellers, including Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, and The Island of Sea Women, Lisa See brilliantly illuminates the strong bonds between women, romantic love, and love of country. Having long been intrigued by stories that were lost, forgotten, or deliberately covered up, See discussed with author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni her work and the themes of immigration, identity, and friendship that make her novels so compelling.

Lisa See.