Vermont Humanities
Painting of British housewives with "Up and at 'Em" banner

Domestic Soldiers: British Housewives and the Second World War

How did British housewives experience the Second World War and contribute to the war effort? Saint Michael’s history professor Dr. Jennifer Purcell tells the stories of seven housewives from across Britain.

Early Vermont suffragists Clarina Howard Nichols

Why Not in Vermont? The Long Campaign for Women’s Suffrage

Why did Vermont lawmakers resist women voting in the 19th and 20th centuries? Through the stories of three Vermont suffragists, Marilyn Blackwell outlines the shifting debate over women’s full citizenship in from the 1850s until 1920.

Shooting star over purple mountain

Ancient Eyes – Ageless Skies

Since the dawn of human civilization, people have gazed into the heavens, trying to find meaning and connection to their lives. Monuments like Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid attest to the significance of the stars, which still offer important lessons for us today.

Painting of a woman's head with tree branches and the sky growing out of it

Poetry During Covid-19

Inspired by the Mary Oliver poem, “Wild Geese,” Saint Michael’s College professor Adrie Kusserow wrote “Mary Oliver for Corona Times,” stating, You do not have to use this isolation to make your marriage better/your body slimmer, your children more creative. She discusses Oliver’s poem and explores ways in which the pandemic has sparked creative work.

Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Couple in Early Vermont

Drawing from the Sheldon Museum collections, archivist Eva Garcelon-Hart presents the story of two extraordinary women, Charity Bryant and Sylvia Drake, who were accepted in early 19th-century rural Vermont as a married couple.

Painting of Jewish immigrants arriving in New York by boat

How Yiddish Changed America and How America Changed Yiddish

Yiddish is imprinted in American English in terms like chutzpah, kosher, bagel, and schmooze. And the work of Sholem Aleichem, Anzia Yezierska, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Grace Paley, and Irving Howe shows the deep impact of Jewish immigration on the United States. Amherst College professor Ilan Stavans surveys the journey.

Young woman walking into lit-up library building

Libraries in the Time of Covid

In the wake of the pandemic, libraries have had to both evaluate and rapidly respond to the changing world. Librarian Jessamyn West helps us to understand the role of the library in these unusual times.

Man in turban looking at North American city

Religious Literacy is Social Justice

UVM professor Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst describes religious literacy—knowing what religion is, how religions work, and who religious people might be—as a social justice issue. Morgenstein Fuerst explores who is allowed to be religiously illiterate, who has to be religiously literate, and how to learn more about religion.

Memory of the Garden at Etten (Ladies of Arles) by Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890)

Vincent Van Gogh and His Language of Compassion

Despite his reputation for madness, Vincent Van Gogh was a compassionate and faith-filled man. Art historian Carol Berry explains how Van Gogh depicted the sacredness of life in ways that touched and comforted people around the world.

Political science professor Meg Mott with the Constitution

Meg Mott on “The Glorious Occupation” of Citizenship

We speak with Meg Mott—political theory professor, constitutional scholar, and the moderator at Putney’s town meeting—about the ongoing threats to Vermont’s town meeting tradition.