The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture is a nonprofit educational organization whose purpose is to enrich and deepen the practical life of the city with the wisdom and imagination of the humanities.

The Dallas Institute accomplishes its mission through events, conferences, and general courses of study for our community, through professional programs for educators, and through publications.


The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture exists to care for the actual things of the urban world. In some instances, these things are visible—education, architecture, medicine, art, technology, and money. Equally important are the invisible forms within which life takes place and has meaning—friendship, the soul, taste, imagination, community, intellectual life, ritual, and leadership.

Through its courses of study, public seminars, publications, conferences, and civic involvement, the Dallas Institute brings thought, imagination, language, and sensibility to bear on the convergence between the visible shaping of the world and the permanent values necessary for the crafting of culture.




I can see Dallas–just at the moment
when one senses the loss of American greatness—
giving form to an American renaissance…”

-Louise Cowan, “Without Utopianism or Nostalgia,” Imagining Dallas. Dallas Institute Press. 1982


“INSTITUTE” derives from the Latin stare: “to stand, to remain, to live [in a place]”

The word suggests both a HEARTH and BULWARK that both nurtures and defends the precious things under its charge.


What the HUMANITIES do —

• distinguish human intelligence from artificial/mechanistic intelligence
• dignify interiority and reflection
• deepen our public encounters and conversations
• elevate us above brute nature
• (and thus) make CULTURE possible


“CULTURE . . . refers to the well-being of society as a whole”

-Robert Sardello, “Introduction,” Stirrings of Culture (Essays from the Dallas Institute). 1986