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.

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...

What geographic factors determine where a path, trail or road wends its way across North Carolina? What physical factors dictated transportation and settlement patterns in Colonial times in the Old North State? This presentation touches...

Clark shares many poetic voices as they view the human condition over the last 400 years, looking at what confronts us and the various choices, wise or not, we have made and continue to make as we deal with living our lives, and how...

American military history offers few examples of strategic brilliance. General Eisenhower described the American style of war as dogged, plain as mud, “inundation.”

The Lost Colony is one of the great NC mysteries. History professor Dr. David LaVere’s research shows that when the English colonists who were left on Roanoke in 1587 disappeared, they tried to leave clues to their whereabouts. Though...

William McNeill uses the piano to trace changes in the American national character through a variety of songs from the 19th century to the present. In this presentation he celebrates the time when the piano was once the hub and hearth...

At the entrance to the North Carolina Court of Appeals building is an imposing statue, dating from 1914, of Thomas Ruffin, chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court from 1833 to 1855. Roscoe Pound considered Ruffin one of the ten...

The playwright has been a shaman in the community since scrawled cave walls and etched stone have conveyed history. Even today, wise men still perform their prophecies around the fire. From Aborigine processions, to Shakespeare’s...

Scott Mason is WRAL-TV's Tar Heel Traveler, whose feature stories air Monday through Thursday at 5:55 PM. Scott has featured many sports stories since his series debuted in 2007--sports such as football, basketball, baseball and hockey...

What if Abraham Lincoln hadn’t been elected? What if Robert E. Lee had accepted the offer to command the Union armies? What if Stonewall Jackson had lived? This presentation will explore several such counterfactual scenarios and...