Center for the Humanities

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Invited Speaker Program

The Center for the Humanities encourages faculty to invite to the Drake campus noted scholars, performers, and artists who are engaged in research, creative activity, and/or teaching in the humanities.

Applications that propose speakers whose topics relate to or augment current or ongoing programs in the humanities curriculum, or whose invited speakers are part of Humanities Center-sponsored working groups, small conferences and the like, are especially welcome.


Requests for funding will be considered for applications received by these deadlines:

  • August 31 (fiscal year 19 proposals to be used before July 1 2019)
  • November 16 (fiscal year 19 proposals only to be used before July 1 2019)
  • February 15 (Deadline for pre-promotion 2019-2020 grants only. **Note, this deadline is moved up relative to prior years. No pre-promotion grants will be considered after the February 15th submission deadline.)
  • March 8 (if/for remaining funds in fiscal year 19 to be used before July 1 2019 and fiscal year 2020 to be used after July 1 2019)
  • April 19 (if/for remaining funds in fiscal year 19 and fiscal year 20)

While the Board welcomes all proposals (with the exception the suspended categories), it will be prioritizing individual/collaborative research over other activities and programming. 


The following criteria will guide the Board in its deliberations:

  • The topic, issue, or question to be addressed by the invited person in his/her presentation should advance humanistic inquiry on the Drake campus.
  • The speaker should bring an expertise or perspective not already represented among Drake faculty or staff. Applicants are therefore asked to demonstrate that this particular speaker is equipped to do so. At minimum, a summary of the proposed speaker’s relevant accomplishments and current work should be included, along with a curriculum vitae.
  • The activities in which the proposed speaker takes part during his/her visit should engage the Drake campus and/or the local community in a variety of ways. The more broadly public that engagement, on the one hand, and the greater the variety of activities—such as classroom visits, seminars, public and semi-public addresses or performances—the more likely a proposal is to receive support.
  • The Center’s support must be acknowledged at the planned event and, when possible, in announcements, presentations, and publicity materials connected to it. Please see the acknowledgments section for examples of appropriate formulations of acknowledgment.

Additional Information

In addition to addressing the criteria above, proposals must include a complete and detailed budget outlining all of the expected costs associated with the proposed speaker’s visit. Applicants whose proposals exceed $1250 should seek additional funding from other sources, and should list those other sources and the amounts requested from them.

Proposals must include an explicit statement of the exact amount requested from the Center. The Board will not consider requests for “whatever support you can offer” or the like.

While no formal deadline governs the submission of these proposals, applicants should allow six weeks for the Board of Directors to deliberate.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the Director of the Center in advance of submitting a proposal. Preliminary inquiries may be emailed to

Complete applications should be emailed as attachments in a standard document format to

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