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.

Martin Puryear, a contemporary minimalist sculptor, created the art form titled “Ladder for Booker T. Washington,” without considering the title until after he finished the piece. Booker T. Washington was founder of Tuskegee...

Great poets from all eras will come to life with special emphasis on the poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Poets  including James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, and Paul Laurence Dunbar will be revisited through readings and recitals...

What does it mean to be disabled? What does it mean to be abled? This talk explores the meaning of disability in contemporary society and ways of thinking about disability that go beyond the “super-crip” or overcoming narrative. Dr. Ken...

Original, unpublished documents and correspondence from gifted Sandhills women provide unique and fascinating perspectives of the beginning, middle, and end of the Civil War period in North Carolina. An initially uplifting, idealistic...

In this presentation, Billy Stevens demonstrates how historic interactions between African Americans and European Americans shaped the evolution of American popular music....

Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century writers and travelers such as Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles Dudley Warner, Constance Fenimore Woolson, Margaret Morley, and Christian Reid tell of the “Land of the Sky,” a destination...

Should war be limited by ethics? Or is anything justified in time of war? Over the past ten years, the War on Terror and the war in Iraq have sparked many moral questions. How do the traditions of ethics and Just War Theory help us...

Many interwoven issues face Native Americans today. Although these are contemporary issues, they have grown out of the long and often bitter history of contact between Native Americans and the newer Americans. Dr. Stanley Knick...

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...

Beginning with a brief overview of biography (and its critics), Emily Herring Wilson weaves a narrative of why and how she spent a decade researching and writing about Elizabeth Lawrence (1904-1985), who emerged from the protective...