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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.


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


Save the Small Sums

In 1865, the Freedman’s Bank was written into law by President Lincoln to help newly freed enslaved people save money and buy land. But the bank collapsed less than 10 years after it was established - throwing many Black Americans into financial ruin. Justene Hill Edwards says the racial wealth gap can be traced back to the rise and fall of the Freedman’s Bank. And: During Jim Crow, literacy tests at the voting booth disenfranchised many African Americans. Mark Boonshoft says lawmakers...


REPLAY The Voyage of the USS Albatross

In 1908, the U.S.S. Albatross set off on a research expedition to the newly acquired U.S. colony of the Philippines. Today, Kent Carpenter is studying the more than 80,000 fish samples collected by the Albatross to uncover how overfishing is actually changing fish genetics. Carpenter has been named an Outstanding Faculty member by The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. And: The Chukar Partridge is a common ground-bird found in parts of Asia and the western United States. Brandon...


Life Without Boundaries

19th and 20th century poet, Alice Meynell–a.k.a. “the penciling mama”--described motherhood as “life without boundaries.” Cristina Richieri Griffin discusses the Victorian mother of eight’s complicated feelings on mothering. And: The 2003 Haitian novel, The Infamous Rosalie, tells the stories of generations of women who are enslaved on a plantation. Ima Hicks explores how for these women, mothering was a particularly complicated act. Later in the show: Camilla Morrison believes that a...


Sound Medicine

Kiera Allison says that we experience pain as narrative -- there’s a beginning, middle and hopefully end. And the story we tell ourselves about that pain, and whether or not anyone hears our story, has a lot to do with how we experience it. And: Studies have shown that doctors have biases towards their patients. This impacts the treatment that people receive. Miranda Cashio and Renee Stanley created a simulation to determine if their students shared those biases, and if those biases affected...



Mt. Trashmore has the distinction of being the first landfill converted into a park. And for many years, it was a popular spot for locals to hangout in Virginia Beach. Until it exploded on April 1st 1992… Well, not exactly. It was an April Fools prank that went wrong. VERY wrong. Producer, Matt Darroch has the story. And: In grade school, many of us learn that America was founded as an exceptional society - a land of religious freedom and boundless opportunity. But Nancy Isenberg says...


REPLAY My Pandemic Valentine

We’re drawn to people who are kind to others. But once that kind person becomes our partner, we want special treatment. Lalin Anik says we get a boost from feeling our "uniqueness" affirmed. She shares just how critical that special treatment is to a fulfilling relationship. And: Can one person really satisfy all of our needs? Julian Glover says no. They share how non-monogamy can be a freedom practice. Later in the show: Studies show that the more we look at screens, the less we feel our...


Making Home

Lauren K. Alleyne lived the first part of her life in Trinidad and then moved to America at 18 and has been there since. Her poems explore what it’s like to have one foot in Trinidad and one in America. Home, she says, is her poetry. And: Alexia Arthurs award-winning short story collection is called How To Love A Jamaican. She says she wrote the collection while she was in the Midwest as a way to feel closer to her cultural home. Later in the show: The themes of a coming-of-age story are...


Building Brotherhood

Gay men’s choruses have a rich history that stretches back to San Francisco in the 1970’s. Kevin Schattenkirk-Harbaugh is a longtime member of a gay men’s chorus and he says it was one of the first spaces where he truly felt like he belonged. And: David Trouille embedded himself in a community of Latino immigrants who regularly played park soccer in West Los Angeles. The soccer field was a place where these men could bond, share work opportunities, and blow off steam. But then the...


The Visitors' Center

In the summer of 1982, a group of six paraplegic men set out to climb the highest natural peak in Dallas, Texas. Sometimes carrying their wheelchairs up the Guadalupe Peak, they made it. Perri Meldon is working on a disability handbook that tells these stories and more. And: How Lauren McMillan and her students are working with the Patawomeck and Rappahannock Tribes to develop the Virginia Indian Trail in King George County. Later in the show: Tens of thousands of people take pilgrimages to...


Director's Cut: Best of WGR 2022

This year, we’re bringing you some of our favorite segments from 2022. We’re starting in the 60’s. Formed in the mid 1960’s, The Soulmasters was an interracial soul band from Danville, VA. Jerry Wilson and John Irby were the two African-American lead singers of The Soulmasters and the other 8 members of the band were white. Producer Matt Darroch met up with Jerry to reflect on his three years in the band, and what it was like touring the South during the height of segregation. This interview...


Baking By Ear

In the mid-20th century, American women were bombarded with tips, tricks, and goods to help them become the perfect housewife. Laura Puaca has studied four records released by General Mills that featured Betty Crocker “talking recipes.” They were developed in response to and in collaboration with blind homemakers and they extended to blind women choices that had long been an option for their non-disabled counterparts. And: Hearing aids are now available to purchase over-the-counter and...


REPLAY The Wide World Of Video Games

eSports has recently grown into a billion dollar industry. Top professional players rake in millions from competing in games like League of Legends, Overwatch, and Rocket League. Earlier this year, Old Dominion University opened a new state of the art eSports arena. Producer Matt Darroch has the story. And: 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...


Piping Up For Community

Brian Donaldson is one of the most accomplished pipers in the world - winning many of the major awards and even performing in front of the queen of England. Now he’s the pipe band director at Virginia Military institute. He says Queen Elizabeth was a huge fan of bagpipe music. And: Zines and 90’s punk culture are intimately linked. Iconic punk bands like Bikini Kill relied on zines to gain a following and spread the word. Christopher Kardamibikis says Washington DC was the spot for zines and...


REPLAY 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 book is After: A Doctor Explores What Near-Death Experiences Reveal about Life and Beyond. Later in the show: William Isom II is the director of Black in Appalachia. His work with Amy Clark led to his discovery in Tennessee of the grave of his great, great grandfather. Plus:...


Real Robots, Real Life

There’s a new robot in town. Nathan Sprague and the JMU X-Lab faculty are in their fifth year of retrofitting a golf cart. The automated machine will ideally transport seniors around senior citizen communities. And: What’s real? A documentarian used AI to generate the late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s voice in a documentary. William Little says the controversy illuminates our celebrity worship. Later in the show: Technology is only as good as the minds that make it. Daphne Yao is...


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...