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.

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...

The removal of the Cherokee Nation from its homeland in the Southeast to a new territory beyond the Mississippi remains a compelling and controversial event in United States history. The Cherokee, more than any other Native American...

At the entrance to the North Carolina Court of Appeals building is an imposing statue, dating from 1914, of Thomas Ruffin, chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court from 1833 to 1855. Roscoe Pound considered Ruffin one of the ten...

This lecture describes the history of ground transportation in the southeast during Colonial times. The transition from subsistence to market economies in the southern backcountry was reflected in commercial transportation processes...

"The people we study in history were once as alive as we are this very minute." Nothing holds truer than the 2228 stories to be found on the RMS Titanic. This presentation is a glimpse into the world of 1912 and the amazing people who...

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...

Larry Reni Thomas is a veteran jazz writer/radio announcer/historian. This program consists of a series of interviews, stories and information about the Carolina jazz connection. It is a refreshing and entertaining way to answer...

Charles, Lord Cornwallis—the commander of the British Army in the South—built a bonfire in February 1781. Mustering his men from their camp at Ramseur’s Mill in the North Carolina backcountry, he ordered them to burn everything—creature...

Entertaining stories abound about the heroes and the ne’er-do-wells, all of whom make Tar Heel history so colorful. All the stories shared in this presentation come from the book Scoundrels, Rogues, and Heroes of the Old North State...

The history of NC's textile industry includes jobs migration, labor unions, and globalization, all of which parallel manufacturing industries throughout the world today. This program focuses on NC's rich textile heritage as told...