Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities

The 20th annual Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities will be in Omaha on October 1.

Details to come.


Chris Abani, 19th annual Governor’s Lecturer

Chris Abani

Due to a sudden death in her family, Natasha Trethewey was unable to deliver the 19th annual Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities. Nigerian-born novelist/poet/humanist Chris Abani took her place on September 10th at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln.

His lecture, “The Graceful Walk”, was the first in the 2014-15 E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues, the theme of which is “The Creative World.” His lecture is archived at the E.N. Thompson Forum website here.

Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and English mother, Abani is well known as an international voice on humanitarianism, art, ethics, and our shared political responsibility. His critical and personal essays have been featured in books on art and photography, as well as Witness, Parkett, The New York Times, O Magazine, and Bomb. Abani is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Hemingway Award  for “Graceland,” and the PEN Beyond the Margins Award, among many honors. His degrees include an MA in English, Gender and Culture from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. He has resided in the United States since 2001. A benefit reception and dinner will be held prior to the lecture to support HN’s statewide programming, co-chaired by Susan Poser and Barbara Schaefer.

The 2014 Sower Award in the Humanities was also presented at the event.

Co-Sponsored by: thompson  UniversityOfNebraksa           


In 1996, Humanities Nebraska collaborated with Governor Ben Nelson to establish the Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities, an annual event to demonstrate the importance of the humanities in public life. Governor Dave Heineman enthusiastically supports the lecture, which is free and open to the public. The lecture features a nationally renowned speaker and is preceded by a benefit dinner.  Each year the event alternates between Lincoln and Omaha.  When held in Lincoln, the Governor’s Lecture is affiliated with the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues lecture series at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In addition to bringing a nationally recognized speaker to Nebraska and building a strong working relationship with Nebraska’s governor, the Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities increases public visibility for Humanities Nebraska and its programs and generates income for statewide humanities programs. Annually, Humanities Nebraska honors individuals, institutions, businesses and communities with the Sower Award in the Humanities for contributions to public understanding of the humanities in Nebraska, based on nominations and letters of support from the citizens of Nebraska. The Sower Award is an original bronze sculpture by Nebraska artist Sondra Dunn Mahoney.

Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities Events



New board members to serve Humanities Nebraska

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