Vermont Humanities

Say Their Names, A Personal Story of Artistic Activism

Image from Midsummer Night's Dream
Fall Festival

In response to the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, Dr. Matthew Evan Taylor from Middlebury College created a musical composition. This video features selections from that recording as Dr. Taylor discusses his journey towards using music as an avenue for advocacy and activism.

Recent Fall Conference Videos

Illustration of people gathered around a document to discuss civics

Freedom and Unity Launch Party

Hosted by the Center for Cartoon Studies, this lively presentation about the making of Freedom and Unity, A Graphic Guide to Vermont Democracy features the cartoonists and scholars that helped create a comic book about the past, present, and potential of democracy and civics in Vermont.

Portrait of Alexander von Humboldt

Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture

Eleanor Jones Harvey, the author of “Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature and Culture,” illuminates Humboldt’s lasting impression on American visual arts, sciences, literature, and politics.

Young man holding an American flag jumping between rocks in a river

Are “We the People” Up to the Task?

In the United States, all power is derived from the people. While this sounds noble in theory, can we expect the American public to have the wits and self-control to meet the demands of climate change? Constitutional scholar Meg Mott explores the paradox of self-governance when the natural foundations of life itself are changing.

Quadrant of images from our fall conference

Democracy 20/20 Fall Conference Supercut

This Fall Conference “supercut” video selects the best clips from our Democracy 20/20 Fall Conference and presents them all in a 13-minute video. Our first-ever virtual Fall Conference was just one of the ways that we pivoted to meet the challenges that 2020 brought to us and our state.

State House knitting project with balls of yarn

Democracy Knitting Circle with Eve Jacobs-Carnahan

Knit Democracy Together is a modern take on historical knitting circles like those that supported the abolitionist and suffragist movements. At a time when people are losing confidence in government, this project creates a positive model of democracy.

Four members of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Democracy, Social Change, and Representation in N’dakinna (Our Homeland)

Beginning with a greeting and historic overview of democracy in N’dakinna (Abenaki for Homeland), this panel of Abenaki voices considers the threads of place, home, belonging, and representation in a time of great social change.

A drone sits in a hangar looking out on a desert and mountain as a man in a jumpsuit walks towards it.

Dirty Work with Author Eyal Press

In his award-winning Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America, journalist Eyal Press examines the morally troubling jobs that society tacitly condones, and the hidden class of workers who do them. Press, a contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Times, discusses his reporting for the book, which won the 2022 Hillman Prize for book journalism and appeared on numerous “best books of 2021” lists.

From Piano Playing to the Player Piano, 1900 Through the Roaring 20s

In this Fall Festival 2023 event at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction, Artis Wodehouse pianolizes (foot-pump) a representative group of piano rolls from the early 1910s to the 1920s on the Main Street Museum’s player piano. They provide musical guideposts for her description of the significant cultural and musical impact of the play piano’s unprecedented ability to deliver a musical performance.

Image of George C. Marshall

George C. Marshall: Soldier-Statesman of the American Century

Video: With Mark A. Stoler. Marshall was the architect of both the Allied World War II victory and key U.S. Cold War policies, most notably the European Recovery Program, known as “the Marshall Plan,” for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Journalists Yvonne Daley and David Moats

Getting it Right: Research and Diligence in Reporting

Author and longtime Vermont journalist Yvonne Daley interviews David Moats, her former colleague from the Rutland Herald, about Moats’ series of Pulitzer Prize-winning editorials on the divisive issues arising from civil unions for same-sex couples.

Image of boat under green water with a rope tied around the bow

History in Hot Water: Climate Change and the Shipwrecks of Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is home to hundreds of well-preserved shipwrecks that help tell the story of our region. But climate change is altering the lake’s underwater cultural heritage. Susan Evans McClure and Christopher Sabick from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum consider the impact of historical objects changing before our eyes.

Image of painting of U.S. map and woman

How the Gilded Age Created the Progressive Era

Video: The voices of the Progressive Era, including Jane Addams, W. E. B. Du Bois, Theodore Roosevelt, and Zitkála-Šá, didn’t come from nowhere. Heather Cox Richardson explains how they articulated a vision for America that had its roots in the runaway capitalism of the Gilded Age.

All Fall Conference Videos

Vermont Humanities*** November 4, 2020