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.

This program, complete with slides, focuses on Anna Whistler’s life in nineteenth-century America, Czarist Russia, and bohemian London, where she lived with her eccentric son, the brilliant artist James McNeill Whistler. William McNeill...

Market hunter, frontier guide, wilderness scout, master woodsman, expert marksman, Indian fighter, militia leader, surveyor, land speculator, judge, sheriff, coroner, elected legislator, merchant, tavern keeper, prisoner of war, Spanish...

Orphan Trains resettled some 250,000 children from crowded eastern cities to rural areas of the United States from 1853 to 1929. The program, though well-intentioned, was not without its critics.

A lifelong history buff and...

With a breathtaking coastline, majestic mountains, and famous Piedmont resorts, it is no wonder tourism is one of the most important segments of NC’s economy. In fact, tourism has become more than a mode of economic development and is...

India has a unique cultural and spiritual history dating back five millennia. It is a multi-religious, multi-lingual, and multi-party democratic country. Knowledge of the culture of India is particularly important to the people of North...

This lecture attempts to define the role of the Black church in three works by Ernest J. Gaines: A Lesson Before Dying, A Gathering of Old Men, and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. The church has traditionally been cast...

In the first few decades after the Civil War, the employment of women increased dramatically in North Carolina.  Prior to 1900, a larger number of white women in cities of the North Carolina Piedmont were self-employed as...

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...

The Bread Family tales is a collection of stories, photos, and foot-stomping music focusing on the daily life and struggles of a family living when Jim Crow laws and racism were prevalent. Storyteller Elisha Minter, affectionately known...

Gerald White Johnson (1890-1980), born in Riverton (near Wagram in Scotland County), was a giant among American scholars, friend and colleague of famous author H.L.