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 "How to Apply" 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: Complete and submit the Road Scholars Program Host Site Application at                   least 60 days prior to your intended event date.

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.

If you would like more information on applying to host a Road Scholars presentation please contact the Program Coordinator, Caitlin Patton, at cpatton@nchumanities.org or (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.

To document and preserve the state’s vanishing rural culture, Bernie Harberts spent four months with a camera and a mule traveling 600 miles from the NC coast to the Great...

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...

Though North Carolina is often thought of as part of the “traditional” Old South, a vibrant and influential Modernist Movement in art, architecture, and design flourished in the state during the mid-twentieth century.

In the 1960s and 1970s, music, the Civil Rights Movement, and the black power struggles inspired a burst of poetic creativity. During that era, poets employed ways to reinvent language or make it their own.

The lecture draws upon Waters' Doctoral research and examines community development among African Americans, primarily in Asheville and Western North Carolina.  The presentation also juxtaposes Western North Carolina with...

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...

Thomas Babington Macaulay asserts in the essay “On John Dryden” that the “English Bible, a book which, if anything else in our language should perish, would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power.” To some people...

Lynn Salsi presents a broad word-picture of North Carolina based on oral histories of residents she has collected for ten years. She includes stories from the Outer Banks to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This program can be presented with...

Douglas Jackson will examine the performance practices of trumpet and cornet jazz stylists in this presentation. Historical perspectives will be emphasized, along with demonstrations of the instruments by the presenter. The program...

Sam Ervin is most often remembered as the affable, Bible-quoting, old country lawyer who chaired the Senate Watergate hearings in 1973. The senator’s moonshiner stories from “down home” in NC, his quaint verses ranging from Shakespeare...