2012 Teachers Institute: Laying Down Tracks - Apply Now

2012 Teachers Institute: Laying Down Tracks - Apply Now

Through literature, art, music, and history, participants will explore various viewpoints of railroads, ranging from deeply critical to bemused to awestruck — all the while considering how trains and railroads have functioned as symbols
of power, change, and inevitability.

AN EXPLORATION OF RAILROADS across the state and nation provides a unique understanding of the history and culture of North Carolina and the United States. Railroads moved migrants and immigrants across America, brought raw materials and finished goods in and out of the mills and factories, and opened isolated communities to progress — for better or worse. As railroads helped turn the US into an urban, industrial nation, writers tried to capture in words the experience of men and women along for the ride. In the twenty-first century, freight and passenger rail service has emerged as an essential component for global competitiveness and a priority for economic development.

In this Teachers Institute Summer Seminar, participants and scholars will investigate how early railroad development moved NC beyond the “Rip Van Winkle” state; how railroads were inextricably linked to industrial development, urban growth, and the rise of Jim Crow segregation; and how the decline of railroads since World War II has been a complex mix of myth and reality.

The relatively recent redevelopment of rail transportation in NC reflects an age of rising energy prices, highway congestion, and growing demands for the movement of people and goods. Participants will explore why and where we are laying down tracks and the implications for communities, the labor force, and businesses, including an examination of plans for high-speed rail across the Southeast, Amtrak service in NC, the new passenger light-rail Lynx system in Charlotte, and the prospects for a Triangle system and what that might mean for other areas.

Click here to apply.


Seminar Dates: June 17 - June 23, 2012 at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill, NC

Direct questions to Lynn Wright-Kernodle at lynnwk@nchumanities.org
or 336-334-4769.