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...

Mary Cassatt worked as an American artist in Europe and was a respected member of the Impressionist Movement. During her time working in Europe Cassatt focused primarily on women and children as subject matter. In Cassatt’s painting...

In writing fiction, non-fiction, scripts, biographies, memoirs, journals, and poetry, one creates characters of self whose personae ultimately achieve a breathing life on paper, stage, and film. The written characters must, therefore,...

            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...

Once Southern men marched off to war, women were called on to become the mother’s of invention and fill jobs men once occupied. The realities of war...

We know of the great migration of Black farmers to major northern cities earlier in the twentieth century. Now, in a reverse migration, there is an emerging North Carolina Black middle class made up of the children and grandchildren of...

The story of the discovery and rise to fame of this teenager from Tupelo parallels the musical interaction between black and white communities defining American popular music from the early 1800s to the present day.

This presentation is part art exhibition, part history, and part decoding of the secrets behind the quilt patches that are synonymous with the Underground Railroad. Areas examined will include why slaves sought out the Underground...

In a people’s war, such as the American Civil War, many men with no professional military training rose to positions of high command. Many of these so-called citizen soldiers did not measure up to the challenges of command. One...

John James Audubon produced a monumental collection that provided habitat location and illustration of every species of bird native to North America. His classic work, Birds of America was published in four volumes between...