Road Scholars

Road Scholars

The North Carolina Humanities Council has been offering speakers, free of charge, to public audiences since 1990. All presentations are grounded in the humanities.

Our catalog of Road Scholars includes over 70 speakers whose lectures focus on issues of history, literature, philosophy, ethics, religious studies, linguistics, jurisprudence, history and criticism of the arts, sociology, and certain aspects of social science.

These speakers bring the public a variety of presentations which explore the nuances of identity and community. Some of them start in North Carolina, revisiting rural farm life, regional folklore, the dynamics of ethnic populations throughout the state, and the history of local traditions. Others discuss the legacies of historical events including the Wilmington Race Riot of 1898, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Holocaust. Some explore the history and techniques of art, from Latin American music to North Carolina crafts. Others widen perspectives on a variety of literary genres, including poetry, autobiography, and oral history.

How to Apply to be a Host Site:

  • STEP 1: Review the Road Scholars program guidelines under “Road Scholars Program FAQs” on this website or download them here.
  • STEP 2: Review the Road Scholars Speakers Web-Catalog to select a topic and speaker for your organization.
  • STEP 3: Contact your selected scholar to choose a date and time for the event. 
  • STEP 4: Watch this video Tutorial on how to apply using our online application system or download these instructions
  • STEP 5: Complete and submit the online application  at least 60 days prior to your intended event date. Note: We recommend that you bookmark the login page for easy access to your application and materials. Note: We are currently accepting funding applications for our fiscal year 2017 (for events PRIOR to Oct. 31st 2017) and our 2018 fiscal year (for events AFTER Nov. 1 2017). Please review the name of the application process carefully prior to starting your application form

Please note: The application you submit to the Council is a funding request ONLY. You must connect with a selected scholar prior to applying for funding to select a date and time for the intended event.

Through this program participating scholars explore the celebrations and struggles of race relations, the experiences of immigrants, the stories of women in untraditional roles, and the lives and works of historical figures with our communities. They discuss ways to use literature, music, and art as cultural expression, and they contemplate the need for educational reform. These presentations span past and present, factual history and timeless theory, and traditional and innovative interpretations of our literary canons.

Still have questions? Please reach out to Caitlin Patton at cpatton@nchumanities.org or call her at (704) 687-1521

Please note: The views and opinions expressed by sponsors of and participants in our programs, including our Roads Scholars programs, are their own and do not necessarily represent those of the North Carolina Humanities Council.

Cora Wilson Stewart was one of the most widely known authorities on adult illiteracy in the United States during the first third of the twentieth century. Long before it became popular to decry the problem of adult illiteracy, she...

This lecture attempts to define the role of the Black church in three works by Ernest J. Gaines: A Lesson Before Dying, A Gathering of Old Men, and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. The church has traditionally been cast...

Today, African American music is exalted as fundamental to American culture — the roots of rock and America’s premier cultural export. But it wasn’t always so. In the 1930s, John and Alan Lomax, a father-son team of folk song collectors...

This presentation looks at the past, present and future of what has become known as Roots music in the United States. The historical origins of various types of music including Blues, Folk, Country and Bluegrass, are examined, along...

While the greater part of Robert E.

In this presentation by history educator Laurel Sneed, the audience will learn about three courageous African American Tar Heels who escaped to freedom and authored slave narratives: Harriet Jacobs, of Edenton; Moses Roper, of Caswell...

This program explores how slavery and oppression deconstruct the traditional image of motherhood and manhood for the black man and woman, a dynamic which is clearly defined in characters such as Toni Morrison’s Sethe and Paul D. and...

The southern Appalachian Mountains have been occupied by humans for more than 10,000 years. During this time, first the Native Americans and then later the settlers learned to utilize the natural resources offered in this diverse...

In a program of old-fashioned show-and-tell, William McNeill celebrates a vanishing relic of southern Americana: the handheld church fan. While showing his large collection of vintage church fans, he explores their place in Protestant...

For much of the second half of the twentieth century, the names of North Carolina companies such as Broyhill, Drexel, Henredon, and Thayer-Coggin represented the best in American furniture manufacturing, and High Point earned the...