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.

King Arthur, in the musical Camelot, heralds "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief, shining moment, that was known as Camelot."

Researching the enigmatic 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson in preparation for writing her own solo play Emily, Connie Clark discovered an extraordinary woman quite different from the meek mouse dressed in...

What does it mean to be disabled? What does it mean to be abled? This talk explores the meaning of disability in contemporary society and ways of thinking about disability that go beyond the “super-crip” or overcoming narrative. Dr. Ken...

About every 30 years, some scholar “discovers” George Moses Horton, the first black man to publish a book while living as a slave. Usually, the new fame is short lived. Marjorie Hudson, whose farm is within five miles of Horton’s...

Translating biblical texts is a difficult undertaking. Differences in the translation of sacred texts help to shape and reshape their meanings for us. Errors that have occurred in this process range from the sublime to the ridiculous....

From the earliest settlers in western NC and the founding of Asheville, women have been instrumental in this area’s history, but few records of their achievements exist. Many women will remain anonymous, with their stories known only to...

Civil rights activist Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987) is best known for her role in developing the Citizenship Schools. During the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of disenfranchised African Americans passed through Citizenship School...

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...

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...

Beginning with a brief overview of biography (and its critics), Emily Herring Wilson weaves a narrative of why and how she spent a decade researching and writing about Elizabeth Lawrence (1904-1985), who emerged from the protective...