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.

Ben Casey has embarked on a mission to explore the major rivers of eastern NC that ultimately flow to the Atlantic Ocean. In 2002, he journeyed from Falls Dam in Raleigh to the Pamlico Sound

Nowhere is the rich cultural diversity of the American South more evident than in its music. From the high, lonesome sound emanating from Appalachian hollers to the “lowdown shaking chill” of blues performers in Delta juke joints,...

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...

Too often, whether it is in movies, novels, or even history books, when it comes to American history, Indians are viewed merely as interesting sideshows or as menacing nuisances, which must be pushed aside for the nation to achieve its...

Mary Cassatt worked as an American artist in Europe and was a respected member of the Impressionist Movement. During her time working in Europe Cassatt focused primarily on women and children as subject matter. In Cassatt’s painting...

Gathering in old tobacco barns and general stores across the state, the culture of Bluegrass music and the old South still permeates our everyday lives. While many people associate Kentucky with Bluegrass Music, the fact is many of the...

Reading from his own work and that of other poets, Joseph Bathanti will discuss the process of composition and revision, where stories come from, and how to strike the necessary balance between aesthetic distance and intimacy. He will...

Scott Mason may have the best job in television. He travels all over North Carolina, usually steering clear of highways and bounding instead along bumpy roads and off-beaten paths. He uncovers hidden gems everywhere he goes: people and...

How do we experience democracy in America and how does this differ from its workings in Venezuela’s capital city? The goal of this presentation is to encourage the audience to question the meanings behind the terms and experiences that...

The Plott bear hound is the official state dog of North Carolina and is widely recognized as one of the world's premier big game hunting hounds. The breed is unique in many ways, including its Germanic origins, distinctive appearance,...