Fall Conference 2018

“The Ebb and Flow of Optimism through American History,” held at the University of Vermont Nov. 16-17.

Vermont Reads 2019

We have chosen a graphic novel for our statewide reading program: March: Book One, by civil rights icon John Lewis, with co-writer Andrew Aydin and graphic artist Nate Powell.

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Because Ideas Matter

The Vermont Humanities Council seeks to engage all Vermonters in the world of ideas, foster a culture of thoughtfulness, and inspire a lifelong love of reading and learning. Learn more about our programs.

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Vermont Reads 2019

March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell. Learn more.

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Speakers Bureau

Host a thought-provoking program in your town! View our catalogue.

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First Wednesdays

Free public lectures in nine Vermont towns. See upcoming talks.

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Literacy Programs

Designed for specific underserved and at-risk audiences. Learn more.

Upcoming Events


Fri 16

How to Be an Antiracist

November 16
4:00 pm
- 5:15 pm
In this deeply personal and empowering lecture, Ibram X. Kendi shifts the discussion from how not to be racist, to how to be an antiracist, offering direction to those who want to see a real antiracist America. (Registration required.) Read More »
Fri 16

From Here to Nowhere: Utopian Schemes in American Life

November 16
4:00 pm
- 5:15 pm
Randall Balmer considers how The Great Awakening at the turn of the 19th century unleashed a flurry of utopian experiments, several of which had their roots in Vermont. (Registration required.) Read More »
Fri 16

Frederick Douglass, In Spite of Everything, Optimistic

November 16
4:00 pm
- 5:15 pm
Despite having been an enslaved person, a leading abolitionist for decades, and a witness of the end of Reconstruction and the establishment of Jim Crow, Frederick Douglass had a deep 19th-century belief in progress. David Blight examines this brilliant, prominent, and influential American. (Registration required.) Read More »
Fri 16

Walt Whitman, America’s Great Optimistic Writer

November 16
4:00 pm
- 5:15 pm
Huck Gutman and Mary Lou Kete discuss the ebb and flow of optimism in Walt Whitman, an optimist among American writers, and yet one with a darker side. (Registration required.) Read More »