Press Release


The Illinois Humanities Council announces its 2011-2012 roster of traveling humanities scholars.

CHICAGO Looking for a new way to enrich the lives of community members? Have more curious minds than dollars? The Illinois Humanities Council’s Road Scholars Speakers Bureau is the solution. Our new 2011-2012 roster, featuring 39 speakers and 101 unique presentations is online: There you can find descriptions of all Road Scholar presentations, a complete list of program guidelines, and a downloadable application form. Nonprofit organizations can book now for programs after November 1, 2010.

The IHC Road Scholars Speakers Bureau places humanities scholars in diverse communities throughout the state where they give presentations on a variety of topics, including history, culture, literature, music, politics, ethnicity, science, and religion. The new roster has a special emphasis on the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the Freedom Rides’ 50th anniversary. Examples of programs are:

  • Civil War: “Disease, Wounds, Hospitals, and Hygiene: The Medical Side of the Civil War” and “Stephen A. Douglas: The Little Giant”
  • Civil Rights and the Freedom Rides: “The Freedom Rides at Fifty: Remembering an Early Challenge to Segregation” and “Songs of the Civil Rights Movement”
  • Cultural Studies: “Beyond Red and Blue” and “Heroes, Statesmen, Philanderers, and Fools: The American Presidency in Popular Culture”
  • American History: “Mobility and the Small Town 1900-1930” and “Running Silent, Running Deep: The American Submarine War Against Japan, 1941-1945”
  •  Exploring Illinois: “The Whizbangs of Oohs and Ahs: Those Magnificent Traveling Salesmen of Illinois” and “Desperadoes: Notorious Outlaws of Early Illinois”
  • History Alive: “Denmark Vesey—Freedom Fighter” and “Beatrix Potter: Peter Rabbit and the Landscapes of Home”
  • Music and Literature:From Anansi to Brer Rabbit—Trickster Tales from Africa and the Americas” and “Abraham Lincoln in Song”
  • Science and the Humanities: “The History, Politics, and Impact of the Space Program” and “Dinosaurs on the Ark”
  • Assorted Humanities Topics: “Extra! Extra! Read All About Your Ancestors!” and “Alexander the Great, Then and Now”

The IHC Road Scholars program encourages Illinoisans to reflect upon the human condition from a range of perspectives, providing a distinctive forum for discussion and dialogue. “Now more than ever, the libraries, museums, and cultural centers of Illinois need creative, thought-provoking, and accessible humanities presentations. The IHC Road Scholars Speakers Bureau makes such public programming readily available,” said Kristina A.Valaitis, IHC Executive Director.

Nonprofit organizations that are interested in hosting a Road Scholars speaker should visit, email, or call 312.422.5580 for directions on how to apply. There is a $75 processing fee for each speaking engagement requested. The IHC pays the honorarium and expenses for the speaker. Examples of eligible nonprofit organizations include—but are not limited to—museums, historical societies, libraries, genealogical societies, and other small nonprofit organizations throughout Illinois.

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.


D A R E  T O  K N O W

#  #  #