Harlan Joel Gradin

Harlan Gradin

Harlan Joel Gradin is Scholar Emeritus, North Carolina Humanities Council. He served on staff for twenty years, 1991-2011. 

In addition to United States history, Harlan’s academic interests include anthropology, sociology, literary theory, and cultural and political theory. He is particularly interested in the relationship between culture, language, and community development. Throughout the 1980s, Gradin did research for community economic development organizations. In the grants and programs at the Humanities Council during the period 1991-2011, Harlan worked to connect these efforts with humanities scholarship in local communities throughout North Carolina. 

Gradin earned his Ph.D. in History from UNC Chapel Hill in 1991. He received an A.B. awarded magna cum laude with distinction in U.S. History, from Duke University in 1978, and then an M.A. in U.S. History at UNC Chapel Hill (1981).

His publications include Gradin, Harlan Joel and Jennifer Edwards, eds., We the People: Conversations on Identity, Culture, and History in North Carolina. North Carolina Humanities Council. 2005; Fay, Julie, Joyce Joines Newman, and Harlan Joel Gradin, eds., Watching TV Off the Back of a Fire Truck: Voices from the Floyd Flood in Eastern North Carolina. CROSSROADS Press, 2005; and Erdman, R.J., Gradin, Harlan Joel Gradin, and Robert O. Zdenek, eds. Community Development Corporation Profile Book. National Congress for Community Economic Development, 1985.

Harlan is a recipient of the William C. Friday Fellowship in Human Relations, a program of the Wildacres Leadership Initiative. As inspiration behind and publisher of Crossroads, Harlan earned for the Council the Helen and Martin Schwartz Prize for Excellence in Public Programming from the Federation of State Humanities Councils. In 2011, Governor Beverly Perdue awarded him the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. 

Originally from New York City, Harlan has lived in Durham since 1974. He is married and has one daughter.