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.

Long before the English ever arrived at Roanoke in 1584, the Indian peoples of NC had ancient, sophisticated societies expertly adapted to the land. This program examines NC Indian societies and cultures, particularly those living in...

In an earlier time in the history of the south, “Ya’ll come and sit-a-spell was the call for work stoppage. In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, bone tired sharecroppers dropped cotton sacks, hoes, tobacco planters, vegetable...

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...

In the 1930s and 1940s, a triple whammy of outside forces arrived in Appalachia and restructured our mountain society forever. These forces were the Great Depression, World War II, and the chestnut blight. Folklorist Charlotte Ross...

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.

For much of the second half of the twentieth century, the names of North Carolina companies such as Broyhill, Drexel, Henredon, and Thayer-Coggin represented the best in American furniture manufacturing, and High Point earned the...

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...

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...

This presentation will address the impact tobacco had in forming a new American society, especially in the pre-colonial, colonial, antebellum and post Civil War periods, and into the twentieth century. It will include a verbal...

The Best of Simple, Langston Hughes' stories about Jesse B. Semple, demonstrates the value and power of writing and telling what you know through observations. Semple editorializes about such topics as race, love, and...