2021 - 2022 Road Scholar Speakers Bureau Roster

The 2021-2022 Roster of Road Scholars features 28 speakers offering 44 programs with 9 programs available in Spanish and 2 available in Mandarin. 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. We are now accepting applications from non-profit organizations to book a Road Scholar for 2021.

**Indicates the scholar is fully booked through 2021. The scholar will be available to book for programs in 2022 on September 1, 2021. You may also book the scholar outside of any Illinois Humanities affiliation using the contact information provided.


Jeanne Schultz Angel

Casting a Historic Vote: Suffrage for Women in Illinois
Topics: History; Women’s Suffrage; Racism

Hindsight in 2020: The Long Road to Universal Suffrage
Topics: History; Voting Rights; Civil Rights


Henry Cervantes**

Aztec Dance - Xochitl-Quetzal - Mexico's Ancient Culture and Living Tradition
Topics: Dance; Ritual; Indigenous

The Power of Nonviolent Struggle for Social Change
Topics: History; Nonviolence; Social Justice


Ada Cheng

Not Quite: Asian Americans and the "Other" in the Era of the Pandemic and the Uprising
Topics: Immigration; Citizenship; Asian American

Our Words, Our Truths: Storytelling as a Performative Memoir for Collective Identity and Community Engagement
Topics: Storytelling; Performance; Community


Cynthia A. Clampitt

How Corn Changed Itself and Then Changed Everything Else
Topics: History; Food; Illinois

Wild Boar to Baconfest: Pigs in History and Popular Culture
Topics: History; Food; Illinois


Brian "Fox" Ellis

Black Hawk’s View of Illinois History
Topics: History; Native American; Illinois

Walt Whitman’s Democratic Vistas
Topics: Poetry; History; Democracy


Bucky Halker

This Land Is Your Land: The Folksongs of Woody Guthrie
Topics: Folk Music; Labor History; Great Depression

Down in the Mine: American Coal Miners and Their Songs, 1890-1960
Topics: Folk Music; Labor History; Illinois


Katherine Hamilton-Smith**

The Happy Invention: The History and Significance of Picture Postcards
Topics: History; Picture Postcards; Illinois


Dan Haughey

MR. U. S. Grant: A Man and A Patriot!
Topics: History; Military; U.S. Presidents

ULYSSES GRANT... A Visit at Headquaters (Virtual , Live-Stream Presentation)
Topics: History; U.S. Presidents; Illinois


Erika Holst**

Behind the Beautiful Dress: Making Cloth and Clothing in the 19th Century
Topics: Labor History; U.S. Slavery; Clothing

The Life Cycle of Clothing in the 19th Century
Topics: Labor History; Women; Clothing

Coming Soon

Catalina Maria Johnson, Ph.D.

Latin Hip Hop as a New Poetry
Topics: Hip Hop Music; Poetry; Latinx

Latinos in Illinois and the USA: Music as a Cultural History
Topics: Protest Music; History; Latinx


Caroline M. Kisiel

Antislavery Activism on the Frontier: The Story of the English Prairie
Topics: History; U.S. Slavery; Illinois

Did Black Lives Matter in Early Illinois? Voices from the Brink of Slavery and Freedom
Topics: History; African American; Illinois


Megan R. Klein

Family Detention on the Ground
Topics: Immigration; Detention Policies; Latinx

Integrated Schools Without Integrated Neighborhoods
Topics: Education; Segregation; Illinois


Catherine Lambrecht

Family Heirloom Recipes from the Illinois State Fair
Topics: History; Food; Illinois


Connie Martin**

Pre-Civil War Quilts: Secret Codes to Freedom on the Underground Railroad (™)
Topics: History; U.S. Slavery; Quilts


Sandra Pfeifer

America’s Heroines / Revolution to Evolution: How Suffragettes Changed America
Topics: History; Women’s Suffrage; Feminism


Christophe D. Ringer

Police Violence, Evil and the Future of Democracy
Topics: Ethics; Racism; Social Justice


Marlene Rivero**

Ann Bradford Stokes: African American Civil War Nurse
Topics: Civil War History; Nursing; African American

Elizabeth Keckley: Seamstress
Topics: History; Dressmaking; African American


Cyndee Schaffer**

The Journey of Mollie's War: WACs and WWII
Topics: History; Women in the Military; World War II


Kim Sigafus

Journeying Through The American Indian Way of Life
Topics: History; Storytelling; Native American


Pamala Silas

Vibrant, Resilient, Still Here: Contemporary Native Americans in Illinois
Topics: Contemporary; Community/Demographics; Native American


Dennis Stroughmatt

Illinois Creoles, French Canadians, and Louisiana Cajuns: A Continental Story
Topics: Music; History; French Creole

Play That Hot Fiddle: Old Time Radio and the Life of Southern Illinois Swing Fiddler “Pappy” Wade Ray
Topics: Country Music; History; Illinois


Mark Tonelli

From Bossa Nova to Bebop and Beyond: The Influence of Brazilian and American Popular Music on Each Other
Topics: Popular Music; Brazil; United States

Jazz: America's Own Indigenous Art Form
Topics: Jazz Music; History; Illinois


Chris Vallillo**

Historic Instruments of Illinois
Topics: Music; History; Illinois

Oh Freedom! Songs of the Civil Rights Movement
Topics: Music; History; Civil Rights

Road Scholar Tiffany White
Tiffany White

Senator Everett Dirksen's Humble Upbringing in Pekin, IL, and His National Legacy
Topics: Politics; Civil Rights; Illinois


Ernest M. Whiteman III

No One Ever Sees Indians: Native Americans in Media
Topics: Film; Media Representations; Native American


Ted Williams III

1619: The Journey of a People, The Production
Topics: History; U.S. Slavery; Civil Rights

Change Our Language, Change Our Politics
Topics: Language; Politics; Civic Engagement


Kevin J. Wood

From Obscurity to Greatness: Illinois and Lincoln, 1830 to 1861
Topics: History; U.S. Presidents; Illinois