Press Release


The Illinois Humanities Council announces

its 2007-2008 speakers bureau of traveling scholars.

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 20 new scholars. The required application and new roster, featuring 39 speakers and 82 unique presentations, can be accessed by visiting the IHC’s website.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. 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 2007-2008:

  • Literature: “James Jones: The Evolution of a Soldier and a Writer” and “The History of Black Children’s Literature”
  • Illinois Heritage: “In Fiddle Music and Tall Tales:French Creole Culture in the Illinois Country”and “Illinois: Gateway to the American West in Story and Song”
  • Politics: “Illinois Women and the Winning of Women’s Suffrage” and “The Legislationof Morality”
  • Religion: “A Visit to Illinois Amish Country” and “What’s the DealWith the Veil? Women in the Islamic World”
  • History: “Bread and Circuses:Truth and Fiction in the Ancient Arena” and “The History of American Pluralism”
  • Music: “Bob Dylan and American Roots Music” and “The Roots of Rural Music”
  • Science: “Genetic Science and Art” and “A Conversation with Gregor Mendel”
  • Culture: “The Essential DifferencesBetween Eastern Asian and Western Civilizations” and “The Camera and Abraham Lincoln”

“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 A. Valaitis, IHC Executive Director.

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.


# # #