McCreight Lecture with Edmund Morris
© WV Humanities Council

McCreight Lecture

Lectures by nationally respected scholars on a variety of humanities topics

Betsy K. McCreight Lecture in the Humanities


The Board of Directors of the West Virginia Humanities Council established the annual McCreight Lecture in the Humanities to honor the leadership of Betsy Keadle McCreight, who died in 1985. McCreight was a founding board member, serving the Council as treasurer, vice president, and president. She believed that the humanities were at the heart of a democratic society, a necessary source of wisdom and vision.


Presented each October, the McCreight Lecture affords West Virginians the opportunity to hear nationally respected scholars and public intellectuals on a variety of humanities topics. McCreight Lecturers have included Ken Burns, Joyce Carol Oates, Joseph Ellis, Sylvia Nasar, Henry Louis Gates, Elaine Pagels, Gordon Wood, James McPherson, Edmund Morris, and Annette Gordon-Reed.


Admission to the McCreight Lectures are free and open to the public. Stay tuned to this site for more updates about the 2024 lecture!



2024 McCreight Lecture: PERCIVAL EVERETT


As part of its year-long celebration of fifty years serving West Virginians through the humanities, the Council is proud to announce novelist and poet Percival Everett as this year’s McCreight speaker. The 2024 McCreight Lecture will be presented on Thursday, October 17, 2024, in Charleston.


Percival Everett is the author of more than thirty books of fiction and poetry. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist—among many other awards—and his novel Erasure was recently adapted into the Oscar-winning film American Fiction. His latest novel, James, is a reimagining of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from the perspective of Huck’s enslaved friend Jim. Released in March 2024, James became an instant New York Times Bestseller. Both the New York Times and Chicago Tribune laud the novel as “a masterpiece” that will “help redefine one of the classics of American literature.” Everett is a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California.