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.

This presentation will address the impact tobacco had in forming a new American society, especially in the pre-colonial, colonial, antebellum and post Civil War periods, and into the twentieth century. It will include a verbal...

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...

Civil rights activist Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987) is best known for her role in developing the Citizenship Schools. During the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of disenfranchised African Americans passed through Citizenship School...

In this program, Dr. Fasih Ahmed describes the demographics, geography, and cultures of Islamic societies and analyzes the diverse political and social systems in Muslim countries. He also presents a brief history of US relations with...

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...

This program examines the life and career of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Douglas Southall Freeman within the context of the southern intellectual community of the early twentieth century. Freeman’s work as editor of the Richmond ...

Over the last 40 years, the South has experienced social and economic change at a dizzying pace. During this period, the South was transformed from a poor region that was still in many respects “the Nation’s number one economic problem...

In this very personal program, Dr. Walter Ziffer informs his audience of the difficulties of surviving during the German genocide known as the Holocaust and of the importance of maintaining vigilance so as to prevent a repeat of this...

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...

A solitary Confederate soldier facing north atop a granite pillar guarding the county courthouse is perhaps the twentieth century South’s most recognizable image. However, this stereotypical depiction belies the complex and nuanced...