The Idaho Humanities Council is proud to have brought nationally recognized historians, journalists, and novelists to Idaho annually since 1997 for the IHC’s Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner. The event began in Boise as a way to increase the awareness of the humanities in the Boise valley. Due to continued and overwhelming success, the IHC board decided to implement similar regional events in Coeur d’Alene in 2004 and in Idaho Falls in 2008.
Previous speakers have included historian Stephen Ambrose (1997), western writer Ivan Doig (1998), presidential biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin (1999), historian David McCullough (2000), journalist David Halberstam (2001), author Frank McCourt (2002), novelist John Updike (2003), presidential biographer Robert Dallek (2004), Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley (2005), NewsHour anchor and author Jim Lehrer (2006), presidential historian Michael Beschloss (2007), ABC News White House correspondent and author Martha Raddatz (2008), Abraham Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer (2009), prize-winning historian Douglas Brinkley (2010), reporter, author and humorist Calvin Trillin (2011), Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo (2012), historian Nathaniel Philbrick (2013) and in 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson.
Featured speakers at the IHC’s Northern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner have included presidential biographer Robert Dallek (2004), western writer Ivan Doig (2005), New Yorker columnist Susan Orlean (2006), War Letters author Andrew Carroll (2007), news analyst Juan Williams (2008), National Book Award-winner and The Big Burn author Timothy Egan (2009), best-selling author Sara Paretsky (2010), Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War historian James McPherson (2011), award-winning Boise writer Anthony Doerr (2012), award-winning historian Douglas Brinkley (2013) and in 2014 best-selling author Jess Walter.
Previous speakers have included presidential biographer Robert Dallek (2008), Pulitzer Prize-winning author Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (2009), historian Elliott West (2010), National Book Award-winner author Timothy Egan (2011), Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Rick Bragg (2012), best-selling author Alexandra Fuller (2013), Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson (2014) and in 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Diane McWhorter.