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" on this                  website or download them here.

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.

Thomas Day (1801-ca. 1861) is mostly remembered today by North Carolinians as a furniture maker who had the largest furniture business in the state during the height of slavery. A black artisan and business man, Day’s shop turned...

Immigration is an enduring aspect of humankind. Movements of human populations are caused by a variety of conditions that are broadly categorized as economic, political, socio-cultural, and ecological. This lecture will use the medium...

What happened during Blackbeard’s last days that precipitated his demise? Who, truly, was Edward Teach, and from whence did he come? What was his true name? And where may he have hidden his treasure?

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...

Who told you that story? How do you remember the tales about relatives? Where did that vase come from? The answers to such questions suggest the ways communities have survived through the art, music, stories, and crafts produced by its...

This lecture attempts to define the role of the Black church in three works by Ernest J. Gaines: A Lesson Before Dying, A Gathering of Old Men, and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. The church has traditionally been cast...

At the entrance to the North Carolina Court of Appeals building is an imposing statue, dating from 1914, of Thomas Ruffin, chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court from 1833 to 1855. Roscoe Pound considered Ruffin one of the ten...

During the 20th century, North Carolina poets recorded in verse many of the crucial perceptions, dreams, experiences, and concerns which swirled about them. From profound social issues to the quietest personal moments, from...

Music is both an artistic and cultural product that allows groups and individuals to communicate identity, history and story. By examining the musical aesthetics and cultural context of a piece audiences today can appreciate the...

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...