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February 2019

Van Gogh’s Influence on Art, and Art’s Influence on Him

Image of Van Gogh self-portrait

Art historian Carol Berry considers the experiences, painters, and authors that influenced Van Gogh’s work, and looks at his influence on twentieth-century artists. Read More »

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The Making of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

February 6
7:00 pm
Image of family in rough cabin

Middlebury professor Tim Spears looks at the 1941 publication of "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men." Depicting the lives of southern sharecroppers, writer James Agee and photographer Walker Evans resisted journalistic conventions to produce a book that raises important questions about the nature of documentary work—and art. Read More »

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“There is Nothing Either Good or Bad, But Thinking Makes It So.”

February 6
7:00 pm

Is this famous quotation from Hamlet true? Catherine A. Sanderson, Amherst College professor and author of "The Positive Shift," outlines the significant difference we can make in our daily lives simply by adjusting our outlook. Read More »

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The Artist as Activist

February 6
7:00 pm
Image of painting of child on wall

When is art activism and when is it escapism? Artists can take the risks that politicians won’t, and art can often reach people in ways that politics can't. Author Chris Bohjalian discusses how he has used fiction to address issues as diverse as genocide, domestic violence, and teen homelessness. Read More »

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The Invention of History

February 6
7:00 pm
Image of the Parthenon

There was a time when the idea of writing history didn’t exist. Middlebury professor Jane Chaplin describes the inception of history, which we owe to two extraordinary Greeks, Herodotus and Thucydides, a fascinating story whether one is interested in history or not. Read More »

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The News about the News

February 6
7:00 pm
St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, St Johnsbury
Image of hand raised at press conference

In today’s political and cultural atmosphere, it is vital the public stays informed and the press does its job. Pulitzer Prize winner David Shribman examines the current media landscape, distinguishing between fake and real news, amateur and professional, slanted and objective. Read More »

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We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

February 6
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
Image of President Obama giving boy high five

UVM Professor Emily Bernard discusses We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, Ta-Nehisi Coates’s most recent reflections on race, the Obama Presidency, and the election of Donald Trump. Read More »

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What You Didn’t Know about Evangelicalism

February 6
7:00 pm
Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury
Image of hands folded on the Bible

Most Americans associate evangelicals with the hard-right precincts of the Republican Party. But as Dartmouth religion professor Randall Balmer explains, evangelicalism in America has a much longer and more complex history, including a distinguished pedigree of working for progressive reforms. What happened? Read More »

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An Evening with Langston Hughes

February 6
7:30 pm
Image of Langston Hughes

In this dramatic rendition of Langston Hughes’ poems and short stories, actor and writer David Mills celebrates the life of the Harlem Renaissance writer. Read More »

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March 2019

Virtue and Vice: The World of Vermeer’s Women

March 6
7:00 pm
Image of painting of milk maid

Dartmouth professor Jane Carroll examines the stories of courtship, seduction, and virtue portrayed and the encoded messages presented in the works of 17th-century Dutch painter Jan Vermeer. Read More »

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