National Humanities Conference coming to Indy / Local organizations and individuals have opportunity to submit proposals, welcome visitors

Indiana Humanities, a statewide organization headquartered in The Old Northside, has some big news – from Oct. 25 to 29, Indianapolis will host the National Humanities Conference.

That news carries with it a second component: Individuals are encouraged to submit proposals for presentations that examine the conference’s theme of Crossroads. The deadline for proposal submission is April 3. Find details about the theme and presentation opportunities at

Event organizers have adopted a mindset: It’s an all-star game for humanities professionals.

As the city has done when hosting sporting events, festivals, national conventions and more, Indiana Humanities plans to take the humanities conference well beyond its primary venue to showcase the city’s cultural assets.

The approximately 800 humanities professionals, board members, scholars and students from all over the country who will attend the conference will be given many opportunities to engage with area writers, musicians, historians, poets, local food, meaningful places and recreational spaces, all while sharing research and inclusive ways to engage with the public through the humanities.

Often grouped as the fields of history, literature, philosophy and ethics, world languages and cultures, religious studies, archaeology and other related disciplines, “the humanities” are not a thing but a process for pursuing truths about the shared human condition, Indiana Humanities leaders said. Instead, “the humanities” inspire, engage and enrich us, allowing us to remember our past, envision our future and consider ourselves as individuals and as members of communities. In essence, the humanities are the study of, participation in and sharing of the things humans make and the things that make us human.

“Indianapolis has made a name for itself as a host that makes visits memorable, and we’re eager to share that hospitality with humanities leaders from across the country,” said Chris Gahl, executive vice president at Visit Indy and board chair of Indiana Humanities. “In addition, moving this nationally attended conference from 2020 to 2023 is a pandemic win, as not all conferences rescheduled Indianapolis as a host city.”

Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities, said, “Timed with our organization’s 50th anniversary year, the conference is a unique opportunity to showcase our statewide work. We plan for attendees to experience Indiana as a state where cultural and literary activity thrives and where Hoosiers are doing thoughtful, innovative work.”

Conference registration will open this summer, and grant opportunities will be available to subsidize attendance and/or travel for those working in the humanities who might not be able to attend otherwise.

The Federation of State Humanities Councils and the National Humanities Alliance will host the 2023 National Humanities Conference in partnership with Indiana Humanities.

Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. Learn more at