Vermont Humanities
Dairy farmer loading hay on a wagon near Brandon, Vermont, August 1941. Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)

Before Your Time: A Foot in Both Worlds

People speaking Spanish as they milk cows may not fit our traditional image of a Vermont farm. But workers from Mexico and Central America are crucial to the state’s economy. And such migrant labor has a long history in Vermont.

Man with shotgun leaning against a fake tree with a catamount at his feet

Before Your Time: The Curious Catamount

Though said to be extinct, catamounts live on in the minds of many Vermonters. In this episode we retrace a Barnard panther hunt from 1881 and consider the hold that these large cats continue to have on our imaginations.

Words in the Woods with Toussaint St. Negritude

Video: In this Words in the Woods event from July 9, 2022, Toussaint St. Negritude recites poems and plays music for an outdoor audience at Boulder Beach State Park in Groton, Vermont.

Words in the Woods with Abenaki Musician Bryan Blanchette

Video: In this Words in the Woods event, Abenaki singer-songwriter Bryan Blanchette is joined at Elmore State Park by a small electrified group to perform original and contemporary songs, some sung in the Abenaki language.

Woman in black and white photo touching her hair and looking down

Vermont Hairwork: Connecting Past and Present

19th century Americans often saved or exchanged locks of hair, constructing jewelry or keepsake wreaths of their kinship networks. In more recent decades, hair has become a powerful political medium. Middlebury professor Ellery Foutch shares the research about hair-based works in local collections and explores the meanings of hair in American culture, past and present.

Young Black Muslim woman in a black head scarf

Thinking Race, Religion, and Gender: Muslim Women and Islamophobia

UVM professor Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst examines how race, religion, and gender affect the lives of Black Muslim women in the US. Exploring this diverse community helps illuminate how intersectionality functions, but also how one’s identity shapes religious practice and the experience of discrimination.

Middle-aged man in World War Two uniform with helmet

War Reenactors: Who Gets to Tell History?

Artist Ed Gendron shares and discusses images from his photo project about World War II reenactors in the United States. Gendron later produced Playing Soldier, a feature-length documentary on the same topic. “The re-enactors assert that ‘history is a personal thing,’ says Gendron. “And for them, it may be quite true.”

Dancer with arms spread wide, wearing a striped leotard

A Life in Art and Activism

Artist, legislator, and former director of the Flynn Center in Burlington, John R. Killacky draws on commentaries from his book Because Art to relate his experiences as dancer in New York in the late 1970s and ’80s, the maelstrom of the culture Wars of the 1990s, and his work advocating for artists with disabilities.