Press Release


The Illinois Humanities Council announces its 2005-2006 roster of traveling scholars and new on-line application and catalog

CHICAGO – Looking for a new way to enrich the lives of community members? Need to round out an existing panel of scholars or experts, but not sure where to look? Have more curious minds than dollars? The Illinois Humanities Council’s Road Scholars Speakers Bureau program supplies easy solutions to these problems by providing non-profit organizations the opportunity to offer high-quality public humanities programs free to local audiences.

In response to the Road Scholars’ consistent popularity, the IHC has recruited new scholars and made the application process easier than ever. The required application and new roster, featuring 46 speakers and 98 unique presentations, can now be accessed by visiting the IHC’s web site,, and clicking on “Educational Programs and Grants.” All the presenters in the new catalog are available for booking immediately.

The Road Scholars program encourages Illinoisans to reflect upon the human condition from a range of perspectives, providing a distinctive forum for discussion and dialogue. “At a time when the humanities, and the liberal arts in general, must struggle to maintain their visibility in American society, the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau demonstrates their importance in a most concrete way,” said Kristina Valaitis, IHC Executive Director.

The program places humanities scholars in diverse communities throughout the state where they give presentations on a variety of topics that include history, culture, literature, music, the environment, politics, ethnicity, anthropology, and archaeology. Below is a sampling of the programs being offered in 2005-2006:

Literature: “Grimm’s Grimmest: The Darker Side of Fairy Tales” and “The Poetry of Black Chicago”

Illinois Heritage: “Crossroads of the Nation: The Hidden History of Illinois’ Railroads” and “Desperadoes: Notorious Lawbreakers of Early Illinois”

Politics: “First Ladies as Activists & Leaders” and “Sons & Daughters of Abraham: A Look at the Issues Dividing Israelis and Palestinians”

Religion: “Fundamentalism & Religious Violence” and “Living Islam” History: “Moundbuilders: Life in Illinois 2,000 Years Ago” and “Private Ryan’s Sergeant on D-Day”

Music: “Abraham Lincoln in Song” and “An Introduction to Irish Music” Culture: “Time is Life: The Concept of Time in Dante, Michelangelo, and Shakespeare” and “Millennium Park Unveiled”

Non-profit organizations that are interested in hosting a Road Scholars speaker should visit the Illinois Humanities Council website ( or call (312) 422-5580 for directions on how to apply. There is a $50 processing fee for each speaking engagement requested. The IHC pays the honorarium and expenses for the speaker. Examples of eligible non-profit organizations include, but are not limited to, historical societies, libraries, senior centers, museums, community colleges, professional groups, and community organizations.

The Illinois Humanities Council is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.


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