Join the Library of Virginia for a virtual conversation about the pioneers of the Federal Writers’ Project who uncovered Virginia history in the 1930s, and what their work tells us now.

The writers hired in the commonwealth as part of this New Deal effort challenged conventional academic approaches to American history and paved the way for new representations. They raised questions about what history is recorded and who gets to record it. 

The Federal Writers’ Project examined topics such as the personal narratives of formerly enslaved Virginians as well as the legacy of the Lost Cause. Many issues faced by the Works Progress Administration writers during the Great Depression are still with us. This event fosters a dialogue aimed at better understanding our history.


  • Dr. Julian Hayter, historian and associate professor of leadership studies at the University of Richmond
  • Kiki Petrosino, professor and director of creative writing at the University of Virginia and the author of White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia
  • Historian Gregg Kimball, retired director of public services and outreach at the Library of Virginia
  • Moderated by David Taylor, producer of the Virginia Humanities-funded podcast series The People’s Recorder, which explores the Federal Writers’ Project in Virginia

Our work brings people together and honors our shared humanity.