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 only accepting funding applications for events through Oct. 31st (our current fiscal year). The application process for our next fiscal year (beginning Nov. 1 2017) will open July 2017.

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.

It starts with a photograph, a flashing-eyed girl, perhaps 12 years old, posed proudly in front of her piano.  The back of the photo says “Florence Blood, 1912.”  But who was this girl?  Can her story be re-claimed from...

One of North Carolina’s greatest mysteries lies in the question, “What happened to the Lost Colony?” Numerous books, articles and plays have been written speculating about what happened to these people.  Where they killed? Did they...

Nowhere is the rich cultural diversity of the American South more evident than in its music. From the high, lonesome sound emanating from Appalachian hollers to the “lowdown shaking chill” of blues performers in Delta juke joints,...

In this presentation McNeill uses the piano to trace changes in the American national character through a variety of songs from the 19th century to the present. He celebrates the time when the piano was once the hub and hearth of the...

Original, unpublished documents and correspondence from gifted Sandhills women provide unique and fascinating perspectives of the beginning, middle, and end of the Civil War period in North Carolina. An initially uplifting, idealistic...

Signs Followers, sometimes known as “Jesus Only”, or pejoratively called “snake handlers,” are in the Pentecostal tradition.  Their worship practices are based literally on Mark 16: 17-18:

 17 ...

The playwright has been a shaman in the community since scrawled cave walls and etched stone have conveyed history. Even today, wise men still perform their prophecies around the fire. From Aborigine processions, to Shakespeare’s...

Museums preserve culture, but equally they shape it, determining not only what gets saved for future generations but how we understand and value our collective past and present.  Traditionally, museums told stories about...

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...

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?