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.

This year's 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.

This new listing of speakers brings to the public a variety of presentations that 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.

The 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. 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.

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 1969, Congress established a federal program of funding public art.  Since that time public sculpture has increasingly been manifestested in cities and towns throughout this country.  Maryrose Carroll has been part of that...

Walk into any room full of people and ask how many know the language of film and virtually no one will raise their hand. But it is estimated that Americans spend a minimum of four and a half hours a day watching television. The fact is...

Who told you that story? How do you remember the tales about relatives? Where did that vase come from? The answers to such questions suggest the ways communities have survived through the art, music, stories, and crafts produced by its...

            More than 10,000 German prisoners of war were interned in eighteen camps in North Carolina during World War II. Yet apart from the guards, civilian workers, and FBI and...

In the post-Civil War South, North Carolina’s women had an increasing presence in courtrooms. Viewed as dependents and frequently characterized as victims, women were traditionally granted certain protections by the law, including the...

Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century writers and travelers such as Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles Dudley Warner, Constance Fenimore Woolson, Margaret Morley, and Christian Reid tell of the “Land of the Sky,” a destination...

In 1942, the United States suffered one if its worst defeats of WWII, not in Europe or the Pacific, but along the nation’s eastern seaboard. Three hundred ninety-seven ships were sunk or damaged, and 5,000 people died. For six...

Confederate NC was a complex and contradictory place. Among the last to secede, the state ultimately provided more soldiers than any other to the Confederate Army. Governor Zebulon Vance was an outspoken proponent of secession, but...

In this program, Dr. Fasih Ahmed describes the demographics, geography, and cultures of Islamic societies and analyzes the diverse political and social systems in Muslim countries. He also presents a brief history of US relations with...