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.

Our 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 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.

If you would like more information on how to apply to host a Road Scholars program please visit our "Requesting a Program FAQs" tab. You can also download an application here.

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...

This program helps spread the joy of Argentine tango. It features stunning dance segments from video films of international tango shows. While giving a brief history of tango music and dance, William McNeill explores its growing...

Scott Mason is WRAL-TV's Tar Heel Traveler, whose feature stories air Monday through Thursday at 5:55 PM. Scott has featured many sports stories since his series debuted in 2007--sports such as football, basketball, baseball and hockey...

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."

Following the Civil War, opportunities for former slaves to enter law, medicine, teaching, and other professions increased greatly. Several medical schools graduated a number of African American physicians in the late nineteenth century...

Billy Stevens demonstrates the impact of Negro spirituals on American popular music with a fascinating journey spanning a century of American history. Using archival recordings of two songs based on the biblical story of Samson and...

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...

Can a children's story shape history? Benjamin Filene explores that question through the rich story of a single book, Tobe: A Six-Year-Old Farmer. Published in 1939, with dozens...

At the end of the nineteenth century, mountain craftsmen formed the cornerstone of a revived interest in things handmade. Ideas concerning the value of work inspired a craft revival that flourished well into the twentieth century....

With encouragement and guidance from Susan Ketchin, author and seminary student, and from "pilgrim souls" who have written with passion and beauty about their own spiritual journeys to vision and revelation before us, this presentation...