The 2023-2024 roster features 30 speakers offering 49 programs. Presentation topics range from the history of antislavery movements in Illinois and movements for universal suffrage to the music of the civil rights movement and Latinx hip hop. Explore the new roster and book a Road Scholar Speaker.

Since 1997, our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau has invited Illinois writers, storytellers, historians, folklorists, musicians, and living history actors, among others, to share their expertise and enthusiasm with people throughout our state. It also supports local nonprofit organizations – including libraries, museums, arts councils, historical societies, civic groups, and many others – in presenting free-admission cultural programs of high quality to their communities. There is no longer an application fee, which makes booking a Road Scholar Speaker completely free to the organization!

Our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau roster features speakers hailing from many different communities across Illinois who offer presentations on topics in history, archaeology, philosophy, literature, theater, film, music, politics, and other subjects that are thought-provoking and engaging. The breadth of these offerings reflects our conviction that the humanities can help us to examine the world in all its varied shades and discover in it the remarkable, the strange, the fantastic, the tragic, the humorous, and the beautiful.

Whether you’re an organization interested in hosting a Road Scholar presentation or a potential speaker, we invite you to let your curiosity wander and learn more about the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau.

2023-24 RS Roster Headshots
(L-R) Row 1: Aaron Lawler, Ada Cheng, Amy McMorrow Hunter, Antwoinette Ayers, Brian “Fox” Ellis, Bucky Halker, Catalina Maria Johnson, Ph.D., Catherine Lambrecht, Chris Vallillo, Connie Martin, MA.

Row 2: Cyndee Schaffer, Jamie Poorman, Cynthia Clampitt, Dennis Stroughmatt, Mary Frances, Mike Matejka, Norman Moline, Ted Williams III, Dr. Amira Millicent Davis, Erika Holst

Row 3: Caroline Kisiel, Jeanne Schultz Angel, John Goldsmith, John Cooper, Karen Anderson, Katherine Hamilton-Smith, Kim Sigafus, Laura Sievert, Ernest M Whiteman III, Gerald Savage (HoChunk Native American)

How to Book a Road Scholars Speakers Bureau Event

Please read each of the following entries carefully to ensure that your organization completes the process successfully from beginning to end.

If you have questions or would like assistance at any point in the process, please contact us at speakers@ilhumanities.org.

How to Become a Speaker

Eligibility and requirements to be a member of our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau are below. If you have questions, please contact us at speakers@ilhumanities.org.

If you’d like to fill out our interest list to receive notification when the application goes live, please visit here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/IHRSSpeakerinterest

Frequently Asked Questions