Award-winning journalists and bestselling authors James and Deborah Fallows will be the featured speakers at the West Virginia Humanities Council’s annual McCreight Lecture in the Humanities, presented on Thursday, Oct. 21. The event returns this year after a hiatus due to Covid in 2020.

The Fallows are the creative minds behind the new HBO documentary “Our Towns,” which is drawn from their 2018 New York Times bestselling book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America. In the film, which premiered on April 13, the couple revisit eight of the towns across America that were featured in the book — including Charleston, West Virginia. While in Charleston, the Fallows spoke with local entrepreneurs, community leaders, and artists for an in-depth profile of the city’s present-day character and culture.

The documentary is available now on HBO and HBO Max. More information about the book can be found at www.ourtownsbook.com. Further announcements about the 2021 McCreight Lecture will follow in news outlets, and the Humanities Council website and social media accounts.

The board of directors of the West Virginia Humanities Council established the annual McCreight Lecture in the Humanities to honor the leadership of Betsy Keadle McCreight, who died in 1985. McCreight was a founding board member, and served the council as treasurer, vice president, and president. She believed that the humanities were at the heart of a democratic society, a necessary source of wisdom and vision.

Presented each October, the McCreight Lecture affords West Virginians the opportunity to hear nationally respected scholars and public intellectuals on a variety of humanities topics. McCreight lecturers have included Ken Burns, Joyce Carol Oates, Denise Kiernan, Sylvia Nasar, Henry Louis Gates, Elaine Pagels, Gordon Wood, James McPherson, Edmund Morris, Annette Gordon-Reed, and others.

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