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.

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...

The European conquest remains the most destructive event inflicted on Africa’s native people. However, the sudden departure of these same colonial powers was nearly as devastating. Artificially created nations replaced weakened tribal...

Fifty years ago when NC’s agricultural landscape was flourishing, African American women were surrounded by strong-spirited black men who loved the land and their children. Now, all across NC, the farm equipment stands silent and there...

Riverton, ancestral home of poet John Charles McNeill and historian Gerald Johnson, near Wagram in Scotland county, is not a “place but a state of mind.” Tradition abounds in this tiny Scottish settlement on the banks of the Lumbee...

How does one maintain a state of single blessedness in a society that values coupling? Dr. Emily Seelbinder examines this question through reflections on an artist’s portrayal of St. Ursula, who, according to some accounts, was...

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...

Every day, all across North Carolina, people sit down together and share their meals, their stories, their hopes, and their dreams over a frosty...

In the 1920s and 1930s, the soulful rhythms of blues and jazz signaled an explosion of African American creativity. During this period, known as the Harlem Renaissance, musicians, dancers, visual artists, writers, and scholars sought...

Thomas Day (1801-ca. 1861) is mostly remembered today by North Carolinians as a furniture maker who had the largest furniture business in the state during the height of slavery. A black artisan and business man, Day’s shop turned...

This lecture on the windows was first suggested by the parish priest, Klaus Mayer. The windows were designed by Chagall for the apse of the church in 1973 as a sign of love, peace, hope and reconciliation for France and Germany, and for...