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.

Translating biblical texts is a difficult undertaking. Differences in the translation of sacred texts help to shape and reshape their meanings for us. Errors that have occurred in this process range from the sublime to the ridiculous....

Signs Followers, sometimes known as “Jesus Only”, or pejoratively called “snake handlers,” are in the Pentecostal tradition.  Their worship practices are based literally on Mark 16: 17-18:

 17 ...

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...

We know of the great migration of Black farmers to major northern cities earlier in the twentieth century. Now, in a reverse migration, there is an emerging North Carolina Black middle class made up of the children and grandchildren of...

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,...

TVs, home computers, VCRs, and now DVDs serve as family entertainment. What happened to sitting around the fire on a chilly evening or sitting on the porch under the stars listening to the elders tell stories? A critical link to our...

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...

Much has been said, and is currently being said about climate change. Opponents of taking action claim they have valid scientific evidence that refutes humans are causing what we are witnessing in our climate today. This presentation...

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...

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...