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.


Fall 2019: The Board will meet in early September and early November to consider applications that will draw on the budget for fiscal year ’20. These funds must be used before July 1, 2020. To ensure that your request is given consideration at either of these meetings, please submit applications before August 30, 2019, for consideration at the September meeting, or November 1, 2019, for consideration at the November meeting. Remaining fiscal year ‘20 funds will continue to be awarded in the spring, based on availability, and the Board will begin accepting applications for fiscal year ‘21. 

Spring 2020: The Board will meet on the first Friday of each month in spring 2020, including Feb. 7, March 6, April 3, and May 1. Please submit funding requests one week in advance of any given meeting, to ensure consideration at that meeting. Spring deadlines fall on Jan. 31, Feb. 28, March 27, and April 24. Requests for pre-tenure sabbatical support must be submitted by Jan. 31 ahead of the first spring meeting. In general, requests for retroactive funding will not be considered, but faculty may inquire with the Director if extenuating circumstances arise.   


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.

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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