Vermont Humanities
Extreme Survival book cover, with a snow-covered mountain in the background

Extreme Survival: Lessons from Those Who Triumphed Against All Odds

We have all heard amazing stories of survival that rendered us awestruck. But too often, we don’t realize the wealth of information we can learn from people who make it to the other side of life’s most daunting challenges. In this talk, New York Times bestselling author Michael J. Tougias chronicles harrowing survival stories and then discusses lessons to learn from these experience.

Painting of slaves attacking a house during the Stono Rebellion

The Stono Rebellion

The Stono Rebellion has been called the most important slave revolt in North American history. In this lecture, Damian Costello examines the events and the deep African roots of the 1739 uprising in South Carolina.

Image of Walt Whitman

An Evening with Walt Whitman

The audience is a visitor in Walt Whitman’s room as he prepares for his seventieth birthday celebration and questions his success as a man and a poet. Through Whitman’s poetry and letters, actor Stephen Collins helps us experience the poet’s growth into a mature artist who is at peace about “himself, God and death.”

Black Elk with his wife and family

That the People May Live: The Life and Legacy of Nicholas Black Elk, Holy Man of the Lakota

This lecture explores the life and legacy of Nicholas Black Elk (1866-1950), the Lakota holy man made famous by the book “Black Elk Speaks.”

Image of map

The Middle East

This multimedia presentation by Mohamed Defaa provides an analytical framework to understand the histories, social identities, and cultures behind this complex concept of “Middle East.”

Image of painting of medieval kitchen helpers

Soup to Nuts: An Eccentric History of Food

Rebecca Rupp reveals the rocky evolution of table manners, the not-so-welcome invention of the fork, the awful advent of portable soup, and the surprising benefits of family dinners.

Image of beekeeper with hive

Bees Besieged: A History of Beekeeping

Bill Mares, writer, and a beekeeper for 45 years, tells of the origins and evolution of beekeeping, with a particular emphasis on his research in Vermont. 

Image of Abner Doubleday

Double-Talk on Doubleday: How a Dead Civil War General Invented Baseball Without His Permission

Norwich University Professor Rowly Brucken explores the founding myths of baseball’s real and fictional origins, and considers the broader context of the age of imperialism in America, New England sports history, and Victorian scandals.

Image of Dragur Reis

First Impressions: 19th Century New Englanders and the Origins of American Perceptions of Islam

Philip Crossman tells the story of Middlebury College graduates Pliny Fisk and Levi Parsons, who set out to the Middle East to serve as Christian missionaries in the Islamic world in 1819.

Image of rally in Germany

How Did Germany’s Weimar Democracy Become the Third Reich?

Jack Mayer recounts the origins of the Third Reich through the story of Ernst Werner Techow, a right-wing assassin who reversed his politics while on trial for his life.