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.

All mountaineers tell stories, and mountain women tell them best. More importantly, women tell stories for a purpose. Their stories reaffirm shared cultural values, establish community, give children a sense of place and history, serve...

Prior to 1492, longleaf pine ecosystems covered more than 92 million acres in the southeastern United States. These forests and savannas were ecologically diverse fire ecosystems, a result of lightning and fires intentionally set by...

Once Southern men marched off to war, women were called on to become the mother’s of invention and fill jobs men once occupied. The realities of war...

The lecture draws upon Waters' Doctoral research and examines community development among African Americans, primarily in Asheville and Western North Carolina.  The presentation also juxtaposes Western North Carolina with...

In 1922, the former slave and Union Army veteran William Henry Singleton published an autobiography that provides a fascinating glimpse of life in a North Carolina coastal city and rural neighborhood. His Recollections of My...

Today, African American music is exalted as fundamental to American culture — the roots of rock and America’s premier cultural export. But it wasn’t always so. In the 1930s, John and Alan Lomax, a father-son team of folk song collectors...

Although most people are familiar with how the Native Americans adopted white man’s culture and became Americanized, many are not aware of what we borrowed from the Indians. Native Americans affected virtually every aspect of...

Mahatma Gandhi was a man of peace who helped bring about India’s independence through non-violent means, creating the basis for the world’s largest democracy. This program reflects on Gandhi’s early childhood experiences in India and...

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1851) and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) are books that have had a powerful impact on American culture that goes far beyond literary...