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 for Funding to Host a Road Scholars Event:

  • STEP 1: Review the Road Scholars program guidelines under “Road Scholars Program Eligibility and 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 2018 fiscal year (for events between Nov. 1 2017 - Oct. 31, 2018). 

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.

"The people we study in history were once as alive as we are this very minute." Nothing holds truer than the 2228 stories to be found on the RMS Titanic. This presentation is a glimpse into the world of 1912 and the amazing people who...

The Best of Simple, Langston Hughes' stories about Jesse B. Semple, demonstrates the value and power of writing and telling what you know through observations. Semple editorializes about such topics as race, love, and...

This program, complete with slides, focuses on Anna Whistler’s life in nineteenth-century America, Czarist Russia, and bohemian London, where she lived with her eccentric son, the brilliant artist James McNeill Whistler. William McNeill...

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1851) and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) are books that have had a powerful impact on American culture that goes far beyond literary...

At dawn on September 22, 1711, over five hundred Tuscarora, Core, Neuse, Pamlico, Weetock, Machapunga, and Bear River Indian warriors swept down on the unsuspecting settlers living along Neuse and...

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

John James Audubon produced a monumental collection that provided habitat location and illustration of every species of bird native to North America. His classic work, Birds of America was published in four volumes between...

In twentieth century America, volumes have been written about art with discussions of craft often an afterthought. For those whose primary interest is focused on three-dimensional objects, there is no specific language or system of...

This program examines the life and career of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Douglas Southall Freeman within the context of the southern intellectual community of the early twentieth century. Freeman’s work as editor of the Richmond ...

Great poets from all eras will come to life with special emphasis on the poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Poets  including James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, and Paul Laurence Dunbar will be revisited through readings and recitals...