Humanities Moments

Humanities Moments

We’ve all had “humanities moments” — when our lives were made richer, more poignant, and meaningful because of the insights the humanities provide.

Browse Exhibits (7 total)

Poetry's "Perfect Invitation"

Ulysses and the Sirens, illustration from an antique Greek vase

Since 1996, the United States has honored April as National Poetry Month. To quote a line from poet Lucille Clifton, it’s a “perfect invitation” to celebrate the ways in which stanzas, synecdoche, and verse have affected readers.


"Remember the Ladies"

Well Behaved Women 4.jpg

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ve gathered Humanities Moments that document the legacies of women who  have broken the rules, raised their voices, and left their mark in ways that continue to inspire.



California Humanities: We Are the Humanities

Japanese internment detainees

To celebrate its 40th anniversary of grantmaking, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of prominent individuals to explore what the humanities mean to them.

Celebrating Black History

Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair

This curated collection celebrates the historical and cultural legacy of African Americans.


National Humanities Center: This is Us

Confessions of St. Augustine

The National Humanities Center is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to advanced study in all areas of the humanities.

The Humanities Moments project was created by the Center in an effort to gather, store, and share personal accounts about how the humanities illuminate our lives, help us better understand one another, and give us the means to appreciate where we came from and to take stock of where we’re going.

This exhibit includes Moments contributed by some of the individuals most closely involved with the National Humanities Center and helps shed light on their shared passion for the humanities.

This is us and we would love to share our moments with you. We invite you to do the same and share your moment with us.

Humanities Moments from All Walks of Life

African American voter registration, 1960s

In this exhibit, we invite you to consider the broad impact of the humanities across generations, professions, and areas of interest. The selections included here—from artists and academics, business people and entertainers, teachers and students—demonstrate how we all have been shaped, inspired, and transformed by the humanities. 

We invite you to join them by sharing your own Humanities Moment and adding your own distinct voice to those assembled here.

Editors' Selections

from "Peterson's Field Guide to Western Birds"

This exhibit highlights a handful of our favorite recent contributions to the Humanities Moments project.

It also provides an opportunity for us to thank these contributors for sharing their Humanities Moments in such a beautiful and inspiring way. We all benefit from their experiences and are sure they did as well, through the simple yet profound act of introspection.

These selections are grouped together in ways that suggest the common threads that connect them, and we invite you to find your own thread weaving through our archive.

As there are so many moments we love, this exhibit will constantly change, displaying more from our inspirational contributors. Come back often to see when new moments have been added and don’t forget to share your own — it just might end up as one of our Editors’ Selections.