I was pleased last week to be in Asheville as a participant in the third in a series of conferences co-sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources to chart a new course for North Carolina history in the 21st century.  “New Voyages to Carolina: The Cultural Roots of North Carolina” featured presentations by many scholars about literature, religion, NASCAR, music, tourism, the state’s historical infrastructure, and . . . the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I took the opportunity to think about how my research on the Parkway these last 20 years has suggested some larger realities about understanding and doing North Carolina history that might be helpful and relevant to other scholars and to the public.   While my presentation was a bit less polished than I might have liked (it was, after all, a brand new thought piece for me), it seemed to spark discussion–both for its ideas and, I suspect, for my use of Prezi.  I hope to refine the ideas in the coming months and, perhaps, have an opportunity to raise these issues again in other venues.

For now, I thought some might be interested in the Prezi itself.  It may not make much sense without me talking, but the basic idea was to talk about five areas in which my Blue Ridge Parkway work is suggestive for the larger project of doing North Carolina history.  Enjoy: