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 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.

Ms. Salsi presents a program of stories covering North Carolina history from the 1600s to the present. She weaves a narrative of well-known events with myths, little-known facts, and humorous anecdotes. Stories include how “the land”...

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...

Over the last 40 years, the South has experienced social and economic change at a dizzying pace. During this period, the South was transformed from a poor region that was still in many respects “the Nation’s number one economic problem...

Susan Ketchin provides a lively, audience-interactive look at four contemporary “Christ-haunted” writers:  Lee Smith, Doris Betts, Alice Walker, and Charles Frazier*

American military history offers few examples of strategic brilliance. General Eisenhower described the American style of war as dogged, plain as mud, “inundation.”

What happened during Blackbeard’s last days that precipitated his demise? Who, truly, was Edward Teach, and from whence did he come? What was his true name? And where may he have hidden his treasure?

Can a children's story shape history? Benjamin Filene explores that question through the rich story of a single book, Tobe: A Six-Year-Old Farmer. Published in 1939, with dozens...

With a breathtaking coastline, majestic mountains, and famous Piedmont resorts, it is no wonder tourism is one of the most important segments of NC’s economy. In fact, tourism has become more than a mode of economic development and is...

This presentation highlights the contributions of North Carolina native Max Lemuel Roach.   The format includes a power point presentation with a biographical profile, literature, and recordings.  The historical period...

This lecture is devoted to the artist's unique ability to express himself in several media: tapestry, mosaic, stained glass, lithographs, ceramics, book illustrations and oil paintings. Jacobson has selected ten works, each one a...