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.

This 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.

If you would like more information on how to apply to host a Road Scholars program please visit our "Requesting a Program FAQs" tab. You can also download an application here.

John Charles McNeill’s poetry features the landscapes of the Sandhills of NC. The setting for his poetry includes Scotland, Richmond, Moore, Hoke, Cumberland, and Robeson counties. McNeill, skilled in the oral tradition

Eliza Gant is characterized in Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel as a stingy, hard-nosed businesswoman with little time for mothering the last of her nine children. Many mountain women like Wolfe’s mother Julia, on whom Gant...

Rockabilly music came of age in America in the 1950s. The style evolved out of post-war country-boogie, hillbilly, and rhythm & blues. Between 1945 and 1954 these disparate musical styles crossed paths and developed the hybrid...

Though North Carolina is often thought of as part of the “traditional” Old South, a vibrant and influential Modernist Movement in art, architecture, and design flourished in the state during the mid-twentieth century.

This lecture is devoted to the artist's unique ability to express himself in several media: tapestry, mosaic, stained glass, lithographs, ceramics, book illustrations and oil paintings. Jacobson has selected ten works, each one a...

The story of the discovery and rise to fame of this teenager from Tupelo parallels the musical interaction between black and white communities defining American popular music from the early 1800s to the present day.

Douglas Jackson will examine the performance practices of trumpet and cornet jazz stylists in this presentation. Historical perspectives will be emphasized, along with demonstrations of the instruments by the presenter. The program...

            More than 10,000 German prisoners of war were interned in eighteen camps in North Carolina during World War II. Yet apart from the guards, civilian workers, and FBI and...

Kwanzaa, an African American and Pan African holiday, was created in 1966 by Dr.

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,...