With Good Reason-logo

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


Musical Legacies

A.D. Carson’s new album, “iv: talking with ghosts,” was written under the heaviness of covid lockdown, the deaths of close friends and family, and the worldwide protests addressing the deaths of Black people at the hands of police. Carson shares the deeply personal place this album comes from and his work to include his family and friends in the historical record. Later in the show: Africans and their descendants once made up a big part of the colonial Mexican population. But the musical...


REPLAY Food Is Family

The Philippines takes Christmas to another level. From September to December, the island-country celebrates the longest Christmas season in the world. Ken Garcia Olaes and his parents bake some Bibingka, a filipino-style cake, and share fond memories of Christmas time in the Philippines. And: Erica Cavanagh spent two years as a member of the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa. She says sharing food with her host family helped to shed her long-held values of independence and self-reliance....


Virginia: The Birthplace of Mac n' Cheese

You have Chef James Hemings, who cooked for Thomas Jefferson, to thank for the macaroni and cheese on your plate this Thanksgiving. Setting the Table's Deb Freeman tells us how the French dish became so baked into American cuisine. And: Across troubled waters, enslaved people carried benne seeds and grew them in a new land. Chef Amethyst Ganaway is snacking on benne wafers while thickening the Thanksgiving stew. Plus: The Lowcountry is always cooking. Chef BJ Dennis says the vast rice...


Expanding Our Origin Story

Cauline Yates was at a family reunion the first time she heard she was a descendant of Thomas Jefferson. In 2019, she was asked to help develop the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia. With Good Reason producer Matt Darroch has the story. And: Clint Smith is the author of the award-winning book, How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America. He travels to 9 historic sites to understand how slavery is remembered and taught. Later in the...


The Five Senses

In 19th century American cities, the smell of rapid industrial growth was overwhelming. This was particularly concerning, because at the time, people thought smells actually caused disease. Melanie Kiechle tells us about the official smell committees that were created to track down offensive odors and the lengths cities went to in order to cover those smells up. And: Buried in a folio of a 15th century monk’s writing is a poem about the absolutely annoying noise of blacksmiths–not just the...


Checkout Charity

Right after the cashier tells you your total, they induce the moral dilemma: Would you like to round up to donate? Adrienne Sudbury says that most checkout charity donors give less than a dollar. And: America has a pay inequality problem. Caroline Hanley says that the age-old advice to get more education to increase income isn’t going to cut it. This is a structural issue. Later in the show: The future of work is digital. Will robots displace workers? Does automation mean the end of work as...


Spooky Season

Could a centuries-old curse be to blame for the infamous slap between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Academy Awards? Amanda Kellogg uncovers the long history of a spooky playhouse superstition known as Macbeth’s curse. And: Anna Beecher first encountered the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale, The Boy Who Went Forth to Learn to Shudder, as a young kid and was thoroughly frightened. The story haunted her for years and in 2017 she wrote Skin of the Teeth, a play based on that same Grimm’s fairy...


The Pets We Love

In the earlier stages of the pandemic, when many people were still staying as close to home as possible, nearly 1 in 5 American households adopted a pet. Furry cats and snuggly dogs–and some temperamental pigs. Sherrie Clark is a veterinarian who treats and studies pet pigs. She says they make good pets–for the right family. And: Relationships between dogs and humans go back 10,000 years. Nancy Gee says that today relationships between people and pooches improve health outcomes for everyone...


Detecting Terrorism

The consecutive terrorist attack on two mosques in Churchchrist, New Zealand was streamed live on Facebook. Within 24 hours, an AI tool was able to delete millions of copies of the footage. Ariel Pinto is working to further develop AI tools that find and delete terrorism online. And: Kwabena Konadu says that America is on a cybersecurity spending spree because the bad guys just keep getting smarter. Later in the show: We’re a society of devices, and we’re all plugged in. Why Hwajung Lee...


Expanding The Franchise

Dwayne Betts was only a teenager when he was convicted of carjacking and sentenced to 9 years in prison. Today, he’s an acclaimed poet and accomplished attorney. He recounts his inspiring story and brings attention to one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time: felon disenfranchisement. Later in the show: Think immigrant voting is un-American? Think again. Ron Hayduk says it’s as American as apple pie. Plus: We take for granted that 18 is the voting age. But it wasn’t always this...


Who Runs the World?

Tensions over Taiwan are making U.S.-China relations even more fraught. What do the two nuclear powers want to do with the small island that is also a technological giant? Plus: Quilts made by women of Southwest China



Bonaventure Balla’s favorite word in any language is “cornucopia.” And that’s saying something, because he’s a translator from Cameroon who speaks seven languages. His favorite? His home dialect called Fang.


Seeding Innovation

The creators of a new multi-million dollar Innovation Hub in a farming region say it's already supporting rural entrepreneurs. They have high hopes it will also help reverse economic hardship and population decline.


How Hot Is Your Honey?

Chef Ralph Brown’s parents fed the neighborhood for years. Now, he’s keeping that tradition going. Plus: Fifty years after the last atmospheric nuclear tests on American soil, radioactive elements remain in our food supply. Jim Kaste says the honey is especially hot. And: There are many threats to our food supply. Mike Evans is working with farmers to grow vertically indoors. Later in the show: Kashef Majid says that food insecurity is a problem we can solve, simply by reducing food waste....


Lighting Up A Better Future

America has locked up hundreds of thousands of people on minor marijuana possession charges. And the majority of those arrests have targeted Black, indigenous, and people of color. Advocates argue that after bearing the brunt of harsh marijuana laws, people of color deserve a spot in Virginia’s commercial cannabis industry. Also: Last year More states are legalizing marijuana, marking a major milestone in the failure of the War on Drugs. And: The National Commission on Marijuana and Drug...


Parenting In The Early Years

Decisions about parenting–when to parent, whether to parent–have been in the news a lot lately. Mary Thompson says that stories about reproductive choices aren’t just newsworthy–they’ve also made their way increasingly into art. And: Janice Hawkins has been administering the covid vaccine to children. She shares why she believes it’s so important to get even the youngest vaccinated. Later in the show: It’s estimated that there are 3,500 sleep-related infant deaths in the United States each...


HBCU Renaissance

HBCUs rose from the ashes of slavery and have been educating Black students for generations. Cheryl Mango says HBCUs are currently experiencing a renaissance, sparked from Black Lives Matter movement and the fight for racial justice. Plus: HBCU bands like the Trojan Explosion at Virginia State University play with power and energy. It’s an audio and visual display, with high-step marching and decked-out drum majors at the center of the performance. Taylor Whitehead says that HBCU sound and...


Set The Stage

It’s difficult to be a veteran re-entering civilian life. One day your major decisions are being made for you. The next? It’s up to you. What do you do? Every Tuesday in one small town, veterans gather with Elizabeth Byland for life-affirming improv. Plus: How Brad Stoller worked with incarcerated women to create a performance about, in part, one of the world's most unsuspecting hot commodities... toilet paper. Later in the show: How David Riley turned a museum auditorium into a public...


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 (University of Virginia) covers in her fascinating class, “The Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe.” And: Robin Hanson (George Mason University) 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...


Beyond The Book

Outer space probably isn’t in your travel plans this summer. But it could be soon. Last year, Hayley Arceneaux was a SpaceX crew member in the first all-civilian mission to orbit earth. Her upcoming book, Wild Ride: A Memoir of IV Drips and Rocket Ships, chronicles her unlikely journey from childhood cancer to space explorer. With Good Reason producer, Matt Darroch, has the story. And: Mara Scanlon took her class of self-proclaimed “Whitmaniacs” to the Walt Whitman house in Camden, New...