Martin Scorsese Becomes First Filmmaker to Deliver Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities

Martin Scorsese will discuss his decades in filmmaking in the NEH sponsored talk

Last Updated: February 19, 2013 @ 9:03 AM

Martin Scorsese has been tapped to deliver the 2013 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities. 

Getty ImagesThe Oscar-winning director of "The Departed" and "Raging Bull" will hold forth on his career as one of the foremost chroniclers of Catholic guilt, violence and criminality in the annual talk sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Scorsese is the first filmmaker to get the honor, a prestigious forum that in the past has drawn such leading figures in the arts and academia as Toni Morrison, Robert Penn Warren and Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust. It carries with it a $10,000 honorarium.

"Martin Scorsese is a scholar of, advocate for, and icon of American cinema,” said NEH Chairman Jim Leach in a statement. “He is the first filmmaker designated as a Jefferson Lecturer, but he follows in the tradition of earlier speakers like John Updike, Barbara Tuchman, and Arthur Miller in revealing a profound understanding and empathy for the human condition.”

Scorsese will present the lecture on April 1 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Scorsese has directed and produced more than 50 films, including such classics as "Goodfellas," "Mean Streets" and "Taxi Driver." He is currently working with Leonardo DiCaprio on "The Wolf of Wall Street," which will tell the true story of a New York stockbroker who becomes embroiled in a  securities fraud case.