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My Monticello

Jocelyn Johnson

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.

28 mins

Rushdie’s America

Pennie Ticen (Virginia Military Institute)

Famous for the fatwa put on him by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989, Salman Rushdie is still writing years later–but now from the United States. Pennie Ticen discusses Rushdie’s past and the new kind of writing he’s publishing as an American immigrant.

12 mins

Adoption Narratives

Kim Gainer (Radford University)

On the surface, The Tigger Movie and Anne of Green Gables don’t have a lot in common. But if you look a bit closer, they both touch on an incredibly popular theme in stories for kids: adoption. Kim Gainer explores why kids are so obsessed with reading about adoption and how these stories help shape who we are.

12 mins

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