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:

Please note: The application you submit to the Council is a funding request ONLY. You must connect with your selected scholar prior to applying 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.

Author and storyteller Jane Yolen states, “All humans are stories waiting to be told. My story, your story, our story—history.” In this program, Sylvia Payne encourages her audiences to realize that sometimes they may have shared...

Reading from his own work and that of other poets, Joseph Bathanti will discuss the process of composition and revision, where stories come from, and how to strike the necessary balance between aesthetic distance and intimacy. He will...

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...

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...

Southern cuisine is a blending of the culinary traditions and ingredients of three primary groups: Native Americans, and immigrants from the British Isles and West and Central Africa. This “blend” has resulted in a “core” cuisine in the...

Jack is the oldest American legendary hero. Stories about Jack arrived in America in the minds of the first settlers. Although stories were told about Jack throughout the Southern Appalachians, one family group has received recognition...

This presentation offers an overview of the beginnings of intercollegiate athletics in the United States using the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill) as a case study. Dr. Kenneth Zogry will introduce the...

In an earlier time in the history of the south, “Ya’ll come and sit-a-spell was the call for work stoppage. In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, bone tired sharecroppers dropped cotton sacks, hoes, tobacco planters, vegetable...

We will discuss the historical stereotypes of Southern women that went into the creation of the character Scarlett O’Hara, especially as portrayed in the 1939 film of Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone With the Wind. Then we...

TVs, home computers, VCRs, and now DVDs serve as family entertainment. What happened to sitting around the fire on a chilly evening or sitting on the porch under the stars listening to the elders tell stories? A critical link to our...