Loyola University Maryland

Democracy and the Humanities Symposium


Loyola University Maryland is delighted to host Democracy and the Humanities, a two-day Symposium commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Friday, Sept. 25 – Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015.

Join us as we celebrate fifty years of the promotion of excellence in the humanities.

All lectures and presentations during the Democracy and Humanities Symposium are free and open to the public.  Seating, however, is limited; attendees must register for individual sessions in advance. 

Featured speakers at this Symposium will include:

  • William Adams, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Danielle Allen, Professor of Government and the Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University 
  • Richard Brodhead, President of Duke University
  • Alan Wolfe, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and Public Life at Boston College

In addition to many members of Loyola's faculty, panelists in breakout sessions will include:

  • Robert M. Augustine, Vice-President, Council of Graduate Schools
  • Sandra Bermann, Cotsen Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Comparative Literature, Princeton University
  • Patricia Bizzell, Professor of English, College of the Holy Cross
  • David Bromwich, Sterling Professor of English, Yale University
  • D. Graham Burnett, Professor of History, Princeton University
  • Scott Casper, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • John Churchill, National Secretary, the Phi Beta Kappa Society
  • Lisa Dolling, Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Manhattanville College
  • Timothy K. Eatman, Co-director, “Imagining America”
  • Richard Ekman, President, Council of Independent Colleges
  • Neil Fraistat, Professor of English, University of Maryland and Director of the Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities
  • Matthew K. Gold, Associate Professor of English and Digital Humanities, the City University of New York
  • George Greenia, Professor of Hispanic Studies, College of William and Mary
  • Donna Heiland, Vice-President and Special Assistant to the President, Emerson College
  • Paul Jay, Professor of English, Loyola University Chicago
  • Stephen Kidd, Executive Director, National Humanities Alliance
  • Lynn Pasquerella, President, Mount Holyoke College
  • Kenneth S. Sacks, Professor of History and Classics, Brown University
  • John P. Sarbanes, United States Congressman, Maryland 3rd District
  • Christopher Scalia, Associate Professor of English, University of Virginia at Wise
  • Phoebe Stein, Executive Director, Maryland Humanities Council
  • Sarah Werner, Independent Scholar and Digital Media Specialist
  • Steven C. Wheatley, Vice-President, American Council of Learned Societies
  • Kathleen Woodward, Director, Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington

President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act into law on September 29, 1965, establishing both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This legislation came as a result of the work of three educational organizations: the American Council of Learned Societies, the Council of Graduate Schools in America, and the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa—all of which are co-sponsoring the Democracy and the Humanities Symposium, along with the Council of Independent Colleges, the Maryland Humanities Council, and the National Humanities Alliance. 

On Saturday, Sept. 26, representatives of the three founding organizations will offer a panel presentation on “Founding and Supporting the Endowment,” exploring why the NEH mattered fifty years ago and why it still does so now.  Today the NEH is one of the largest supporters of humanities programs in the United States, providing funding to strengthen teaching and learning in schools and colleges, to preserve and provide access to cultural and educational resources; to facilitate scholarship and research; and to create and advance opportunities for lifelong learning.

We hope that you will join the ongoing national conversation on the importance of the humanities in education and in American society by coming to the Democracy and the Humanities Symposium.  It will take place on Loyola University Maryland's North Charles Street campus in the northern part of Baltimore City, easily accessible from BWI airport, Amtrak’s Penn Station, and major highways. 

The Democracy and the Humanities Symposium is made possible by Loyola University Maryland’s Center for the Humanities, Messina First-Year Program, and the Office of Academic Affairs.