Listen to Notes on the State



Q0: Introducing “Notes on the State”


Q1: The Difference Jefferson Makes


Q2: Coming to Terms with Sally Hemings



Notes on the State is a podcast series and oral history project produced at UVA’s Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies. The series features a variety of voices, all with their minds on Thomas Jefferson, but most especially on the only book he ever wrote: Notes on the State of Virginia, from which this project takes its title “Notes on the State.” Modeling Jefferson’s format, each episode is designed to “query” Jefferson’s history. This series seeks to reconcile our foundational myths and ideals with the realities of their limits and failures, while at the same time explore those aspects of our collective history that we can hold, extend, and use in our present moment.  


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Notes on the State team halted production of new episodes. A full archive of interviews can be found on this website. In total, the project recorded 17 interviews, each range from 1 hour to 2 hours in length. These interviews reflect the importance of revisiting Jefferson’s history at the moment of the University’s 200 year anniversary. We thank all the scholars interviewed for this project as well as all the students, staff, and administrative support that contributed to this rich archive of interviews.