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The Paradox of Cracker Barrel

Meredith Gregory (University of Mary Washington)

It’s almost impossible to look back on family road trips without thinking of Cracker Barrel. Cracker Barrels have a distinct sense of place – like going home to your grandparents house. But they also look exactly the same wherever you go. Meredith Gregory studies what she calls the paradox of Cracker Barrel.

15 mins

What Makes a Place?

Tim Baird (Virginia Tech)

Two and a half years ago, Tim Baird and his family moved into a new home – a seemingly ordinary life event. But his new digs also came with 600 college students. The building is called the Creativity and Innovation District. It’s on Virginia Tech’s campus and has been intentionally built to foster community. He’s using the CID building to study how a space becomes a place.

13 mins

Visions of the New World

Ricardo Padron (University of Virginia)

In the 1500’s, Spain and Portugal saw the New World as an enticing space to extend their empires and generate wealth. But they had no clue what was actually out there. Ricardo Padron says Spain’s vision for the New World had North America connected to East Asia.

12 mins

This Way Back

Joanna Eleftheriou (Christopher Newport University)

When she was a kid, Joanna Eleftheriou moved from New York City to her father’s homeland in Cyprus, a majority greek-speaking island in the Mediterranean. Her book, This Way Back, is a collection of essays that chronicles that journey along with her search for the meaning of home.

12 mins

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