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With Good Reason

Arts & Culture

Each week on With Good Reason we explore a world of ideas with leading scholars in literature, history, science, philosophy, and the arts. With Good Reason is created by Virginia Humanities and the Virginia Higher Education Broadcasting Consortium.

Each week on With Good Reason we explore a world of ideas with leading scholars in literature, history, science, philosophy, and the arts. With Good Reason is created by Virginia Humanities and the Virginia Higher Education Broadcasting Consortium.


Charlottesville, VA


Each week on With Good Reason we explore a world of ideas with leading scholars in literature, history, science, philosophy, and the arts. With Good Reason is created by Virginia Humanities and the Virginia Higher Education Broadcasting Consortium.




145 Ednam Drive, Charlottesville, VA 1 877 451 5098



During the early months of the pandemic, live theater shut down completely. Leslie Scott-Jones, a theater director and producer, was looking for a way to continue her work. Grounds: A Blackcast was born. This fictional podcast follows five Black professors at a predominantly white university in the south as they navigate work and life. And: Contemporary fiction these days is experimental, genre-crossing, and form-breaking. But one form that hasn’t quite made into the fiction mainstream:...


Women On Screen

After new episodes drop, fans of TV shows from The Bachelor to Grey’s Anatomy take to social media to dissect what they just saw. And the twittersphere isn’t just venting about plot twists and love interests--sometimes there are bigger issues at hand. Dr. Morgan Smalls says that shows like Insecure and Being Mary Jane that feature Black women protagonists and majority Black casts inspire important conversations about race on social media. And: Disney princesses can be a bit of a scapegoat...


Abolishing the Death Penalty

Earlier this year, Virginia made headlines when it became the latest state to abolish the death penalty. Sabrina Butler-Smith is the first woman to be exonerated from death row. She says she’s living, breathing proof of why the capital punishment should be a thing of the past. Also: Deirdre Enright is probably best known for her work as the founding director of the Innocence Project and her passionate voice on the first season of the hit podcast, Serial. But before all that, she spent...


REPLAY The Conflicting Ideals in Jefferson's Architecture

The most important architectural thinker of the young American republic was Thomas Jefferson. He also held captive more than 600 enslaved men, women, and children in his lifetime. Architects Mabel O. Wilson and Louis Nelson discuss Jefferson’s conflicting ideals. Also: Erik Neil takes us through a Chrysler Museum exhibit that explored the inherent conflict between Jefferson’s pursuit of liberty and democracy and his use of enslaved laborers to construct his monuments. Later in the show:...


Gut Feelings

Cancer is a beast, and it doesn’t discriminate. For decades researchers have been trying to treat and cure children with cancer. Dr. Daniel “Trey” Lee is working with a team to develop more immunotherapies for pediatric cancer, reducing the pain and hopefully sending more patients into remission. Also: More and more employers and schools are rolling out vaccine mandates, leaving many wondering: is that legal? Margaret Foster Riley says that actually, yes, it’s very legal. Later in the show:...


The Suffragist Playbook

Last year, America celebrated the anniversary of many women getting the right to vote. But what led up to that victory was decades and decades of hard work and strategy. Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Roberts, authors of The Suffragist Playbook, share some of those tactics and how they are still used by activists today. Later in the show: In today’s political strategy, attack ads on TV are out, attack tweets are in. Heather Evans’ studies how women politicians use social media. She says that not...


REPLAY Finding Classroom Success

The first year of college can be stressful and disorienting, especially for shy students. But Madelynn Shell says shy freshmen who have at least one good friend report more life satisfaction and better emotional wellbeing. Plus: While many students on the rural Eastern Shore of Virginia can’t wait to get out, one of their teachers couldn’t wait to come back. Christina Duffman grew up in poverty and now shares her inspiring life story with students who feel hopeless there. Later in the show:...


The Wide World Of Video Games

For decades, video games have inspired hit songs and have been adapted into countless movies. Boris Willis says the next horizon for video games is the stage. He uses cutting-edge video game technology to turn his performances into interactive experiences. And: Arcades defined pop culture in the 1980’s and 90’s. But today, they’re almost extinct. Zach Whalen charts the rise and fall of one of America’s most nostalgic institutions: the arcade. Later in the Show: In 2014, Anita Sarkesian...


Reading And Writing Ourselves

In 2017, many Americans watched in horror as violent images from the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville started spreading. A few short years later, My Monticello tells the story of Charlottesville neighbors fleeing racist violence and taking refuge in Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello. The author, Jocelyn Johnson, talks about what it means to be writing about a past and a future that both feel very present and whether there’s hope in writing about America’s racism. Later in the show:...


School's In Session

Many American students left for Spring Break in March 2020, and will be returning to in-person school for the first time this Fall. It sounds nice in theory -- some time away from the classroom. But schooling never stopped, and it was difficult. Bethany Teachman says that some students got hooked on social media apps like Tik Tok to cope. And: These days we recognize that teachers are superheroes. But that celebration may be too little, too late. With low pay and high stakes testing, Brad...


UFOs And Space Aliens

What caused the Big Bang? Are black holes key to interstellar travel? And how close are we to discovering extraterrestrial life? These are some of the big questions that Kelsey Johnson covers in her fascinating class, “The Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe.” And: Robin Hanson has come up with a mathematical model that predicts when us earthlings will encounter an advanced alien civilization. Hint: It won’t happen anytime soon. Later in the Show: UFO encounters are usually horror stories of...


Pandemic Pockets

What do you do for work? That answer changed for many people at the top of the pandemic. But what was a tragedy, has become a choice for many. Nathaniel Throckmortan says that people had time to think about what mattered to them, and in many cases, it’s not work. And: Many young people in the workforce are enjoying more flexible schedules, and many baby boomers are on their way out. Jeannette Chapman says that this will have long lasting effects on the labor market. Later in the show: At the...


REPLAY Talkin Hurricanes

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. In the years since, as residents have come and gone and rebuilt their lives, a lot has changed about the city--including, says Katie Carmichael, the way people talk. And: The author of Sudden Spring, Rick Van Noy travelled across the US South interviewing people about floods, heat, and storms. He says that, in many Southern communities, climate change is already here. Later in the show: In the early 19th century, Americans began to...


Entangling Alliances

During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, tensions between the United States and Russia very nearly led to nuclear disaster. So what prevented the unthinkable from happening? Martin Sherwin says it had something to do with luck. And: Throughout this summer, states in the West have been sweating through an unprecedented heatwave. Philip Roessler has studied the impact of these rising temperatures on conflict zones around the world. He says climate change will soon become one of the main drivers...


Pandemics Past

Mask debates, a rush for a vaccine, and closed schools--not much has changed in the years since the 1890 and 1918 influenza epidemics. Tom Ewing takes us back to historical outbreaks to see what we can learn about today’s Covid-19 pandemic. And: There’s been a lot of coverage about the challenges of distributing the Covid-19 vaccine. How do we get it to distant areas? How do we use a whole vial before it expires? What about the special refrigerators needed to keep it cold enough? But these...


London Fog, LA Smog

For generations, Englishmen grew food on public land. They sustained their families with these gardens, and with fish and animals they hunted and killed. Then almost overnight, in a new and becoming industrial age, the commons were closed. Katey Castellano says this disconnected people from rural land, forcing them into the city for industrial wages. Plus: There was a time where bowling in the street was considered a top felony. These and more serious crimes were the bread and butter of...


AAPI Summer Reading Recs

This year’s annual summer reading show explores the broad, diverse, and wonderful world of Asian American and Pacific Islander writers. We hear recommendations from Sylvia Chong, Juanita Giles, Wendy Shang, Alex Purugganan, Spencer Tricker, and Luisa A. Igloria.


REPLAY Music And Democracy

The evolution of social change in America can be traced through popular songs by the likes of Nat King Cole, Percy Mayfield, Lena Horne, and the Impressions. Charlie McGovern shares from his book Body and Soul: Race, Citizenship and Popular Music, 1930-1977. Also: Music streaming platforms like Spotify and YouTube have changed the conversation about music and democracy. These days we talk about individual freedoms to choose what to listen to and when. Nancy Hanrahan says debates about music...


REPLAY Wearing Down The Appalachian Trail

From start to finish, the Appalachian Trail covers a whopping 2,181 miles. Rodney Bragdon dishes on the toughest challenges he experienced while through-hiking the entire trail. And: Camping, hiking, and enjoying the great outdoors are American pastimes. But for African Americans, gathering in public spaces has long been fraught. Erin Devlin discusses the racism that was built into America’s national parks. Later in the show: From its Native American roots to hiking fashion trends, Mills...


Life After Life

You only die once. But you can get close a few times. Bruce Greyson never was very spiritual, but after interviewing 1,000’s of people who have had near-death experiences he’s changed his mind about life after death. His new book is After: A Doctor Explores What Near-Death Experiences Reveal about Life and Beyond. Later in the show: For many of us, the frantic rush of our morning commute has been replaced with going into the next room, where we have our computer set up. But can we ever...