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.

These speakers bring the public a variety of presentations which 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.

How to Apply:

STEP 1: Review the Road Scholar program guidelines under "How to Apply" 

STEP 2: Review the Road Scholars Speakers Web-Catalog to select a topic and                         speaker for your organization.

STEP 3: Contact your selected scholar to choose a date and time for the requested 

STEP 4: Complete and submit the Road Scholars Program Host Site Application at                   least 60 days prior to your intended event date.

Through this program participating 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 with our communities. 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 applying to host a Road Scholars presentation please contact the Program Coordinator, Caitlin Patton, at cpatton@nchumanities.org or (704) 687-1521.

Please note: The views and opinions expressed by sponsors of and participants in our programs, including our Roads Scholars programs, are their own and do not necessarily represent those of the North Carolina Humanities Council.

The notion that America is a melting pot in which different ethnic and cultural groups lose their distinctions is under attack. Should our cultural diversity threaten our unity? America has always been a country of diverse peoples, and...

During the dark days of the Depression the rural South had little to hang its hopes on: God, family, and baseball.

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...

Sam Ervin is most often remembered as the affable, Bible-quoting, old country lawyer who chaired the Senate Watergate hearings in 1973. The senator’s moonshiner stories from “down home” in NC, his quaint verses ranging from Shakespeare...

Why has the Piedmont, and Charlotte in particular, produced so many writers of mystery and crime novels? How has the textile mill culture influenced Piedmont literature throughout the 20th and into the 21st century? What are the...

In this presentation, Douglas Jackson gives a historical perspective on the Central Interscholastic Athletic Association, formerly the Colored Interscholastic Athletic Association. Included are examinations of how local and regional...

Orphan Trains resettled some 250,000 children from crowded eastern cities to rural areas of the United States from 1853 to 1929. The program, though well-intentioned, was not without its critics.

A lifelong history buff and...

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....

Museums preserve culture, but equally they shape it, determining not only what gets saved for future generations but how we understand and value our collective past and present.  Traditionally, museums told stories about...

Lynn Salsi presents a broad word-picture of North Carolina based on oral histories of residents she has collected for ten years. She includes stories from the Outer Banks to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This program can be presented with...