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May 2020

**POSTPONED** Einstein in a Nutshell

Image of Albert Einstein

Einstein’s most famous contribution to science—his theory of relativity—is based on an idea so simple it can be stated in one sentence. Yet from that simple idea, explains Middlebury professor Richard Wolfson, follow conclusions that have revolutionized our notions of space, time, and causality. Read More »

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**POSTPONED** Life in the Studio

May 6
7:00 pm
Image of cartoon drawing of an artist

David Macaulay, award-winning author and illustrator of Castle, Cathedral, and The Way We Work, traces the development of his books and discusses current projects and the challenges in his work. Read More »

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**DIGITAL** Writing the Life of Frederick Douglass

Engraving of Frederick Douglass

On Facebook and the Vermont Humanities website: Yale historian David Blight, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History for his biography Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, tells Douglass’s story: an escaped slave who became one of the leading abolitionists, orators, and writers of his era. Read More »

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**POSTPONED** The Making of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

May 6
7:00 pm

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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**POSTPONED** Why We Need Artemisia

Who was Artemisia Gentileschi, and why does she elicit such a wide range of critical responses? As a female artist working in 17th-century Rome, Artemisia was already exceptional. But as Middlebury professor Katy Smith Abbott explains, it is Artemisia’s personal history with violence and misogyny, and her exploration of these themes in paint, that resonates most deeply with contemporary audiences. Read More »

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**POSTPONED** Conspiracy Theory and Democracy Today

May 6
7:00 pm

Conspiracy theories are as old as politics. Dartmouth professor Russell Muirhead explores how “conspiracy without theory” has moved from the fringes to the heart of government within the last decade. He discusses how this new form differs from classic conspiracy theory and suggests what can be done to resist it. Read More »

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**POSTPONED** Edward Gorey’s Morbid Nonsense

May 7
7:00 pm
Illustration of family at dinner table with vulture

Critics never knew quite what to make of Edward Gorey (1925-2000), the author and illustrator whose picture books full of murder, mayhem, and discreet depravity influenced Tim Burton, Lemony Snicket, and Guillermo Del Toro. In this illustrated lecture, cultural critic Mark Dery reveals the surprisingly serious themes woven through Gorey’s whimsically sinister work. Read More »

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**DIGITAL** The Salt of the Earth: The Rhetoric of White Supremacy

Actor as Charles Moore

In 2014 in Grand Saline, Texas, a 79-year-old white Methodist minister named Charles Moore set himself on fire as a final protest against the community’s racism. Drawing from his documentary film Man on Fire, Middlebury professor James Sanchez discusses the rhetoric of white supremacy and suggests ways communities might address bigotry. Read More »

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**DIGITAL** Writing Workshop with Melanie Finn

May 20
4:00 pm

Join novelist Melanie Finn in three online sessions to craft a short story set in the Northeast Kingdom. Read More »

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**DIGITAL** How to Boost Your Psychological Resilience in a Crisis

Colorful explosion with title of talk

Amherst College professor Catherine Sanderson examines what research in psychology tells us about how adverse events – such as a global pandemic – can lead to some positive outcomes. Read More »

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