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.

John Day, older brother to the famous cabinetmaker, Thomas Day, emigrated to Liberia in 1830 as a participant in the American Colonization Movement. As a free person of color, he lived and worked in south side Virginia and Milton,...

Amid the strife and upheaval in the American South of the 1920s, the 1929 Loray Mill Strike in Gastonia serves as an emblem of the violent textile labor disputes of the time. During this calamitous period, textile worker Ella May...

Because the Civil War was fought mostly by volunteers, a vital question is what motivated millions of young men (and a few women) to endure four years of horrific combat? This presentation will examine the reasons why soldiers fought by...

In 1839, American author and explorer John Lloyd Stephens undertook an extensive expedition through the Maya region of Central America and Mexico. The resulting publication fascinated the American public and introduced many to the...

John Charles McNeill’s poetry features the landscapes of the Sandhills of NC. The setting for his poetry includes Scotland, Richmond, Moore, Hoke, Cumberland, and Robeson counties. McNeill, skilled in the oral tradition

In 2002, filmmaker and author, Kevin Duffus, solved the long-standing mystery of the missing, first-order Fresnel lens from the 1803 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, lost for 140 years. The French-manufactured lens, considered to be “a...

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...

Should war be limited by ethics? Or is anything justified in time of war? Over the past ten years, the War on Terror and the war in Iraq have sparked many moral questions. How do the traditions of ethics and Just War Theory help us...

Native Americans were aware of the resources present in many areas of the environment. This program discusses their use of plant, animal, and mineral resources. It also describes changes that occurred through time as their social and...

Marjorie Hudson thought she was writing a history book when she took on the subject of Virginia Dare and the Lost Colony in the 2002 Searching for Virginia Dare: A Fool’s Errand, Instead, the haunting subject, full of missing...