Public Lectures

Humanities Texas, both individually and in partnership with other cultural and educational institutions, sponsors virtual and in-person lectures on a diverse range of topics, bringing noted scholars and other experts to audiences around the state.

Explore the list below to learn more about recent public lectures hosted by Humanities Texas, many of which are available to view online. For timely information about upcoming lectures, please subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.

Online Teacher Professional Development Lectures

Humanities Texas holds free online professional development institutes for Texas teachers covering topics in U.S. history, Texas history, and English language arts. Faculty lectures from these programs are available online, featuring content-based instruction from leading scholars in their fields and the valuable question-and-answer sessions that followed each presentation.

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

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.

(From l to r:) 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.