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.

Lenard D. Moore often listens to jazz, visits museums and galleries, and observes family photographs as an inspiration for writing poetry. His poems depict the African American experience. In this program, Moore reads from his works and...

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 lecture draws upon Waters' Doctoral research and examines community development among African Americans, primarily in Asheville and Western North Carolina.  The presentation also juxtaposes Western North Carolina with...

Douglas Jackson will examine the performance practices of trumpet and cornet jazz stylists in this presentation. Historical perspectives will be emphasized, along with demonstrations of the instruments by the presenter. The program...

The roots of culture grow very long, and change comes slowly into traditional societies. Despite pressures of modernization and three centuries of adaptation to a new land, there are remarkable survivals in the material culture of the...

For much of the twentieth century, North Carolina enjoyed a reputation as the most progressive state in the American South. In 1949, the preeminent political scientist V. O. Key labeled the state a progressive plutocracy and...

The Cherokee ceremonial practices were first recorded in the 1830s by John Howard Payne and later in that century by James Mooney. This program describes the ceremonies that were practiced during this time and discusses various aspects...

Cora Wilson Stewart was one of the most widely known authorities on adult illiteracy in the United States during the first third of the twentieth century. Long before it became popular to decry the problem of adult illiteracy, she...

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.

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1851) and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) are books that have had a powerful impact on American culture that goes far beyond literary...