Vermont Humanities

An Injury to All: Labor Struggles During and Beyond the Pandemic

Manchester Community Library 138 Cemetery Ave, Manchester Center, United States

During the pandemic, workers fought back against dangerous workplaces, low wages, and polarizing politics. Jamie McCallum examines the long shadow of labor militancy and workplace organizing that began during the pandemic, building on hundreds of interviews with workers and a mountain of other data to look at the pandemic through the eyes of the American working class

The Joy of Lex with the Co-Host of “A Way with Words”

Brooks Memorial Library 224 Main St, Brattleboro, VT, United States

Revel in surprising word histories, regional dialects, ancient linguistic roots, and modern slang with Martha Barnette, co-host of public radio’s popular “A Way with Words.” Barnette, a writer in love with so-called dead languages, co-hosts the radio show which The New Yorker called “Car Talk for Lexiphiles” with Grant Barrett, a linguist and lexicographer.

Melodic Wanderlust: Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite

Goodrich Memorial Library 202 Main St, Newport, VT, United States

Originally titled “Impressions Of The Far East,” this Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn suite was inspired by the Ellington Orchestra’s State Department-sponsored tour of the Far and Middle East in the fall of 1963. Reuben Jackson explores this extended work, which is imaginative and swinging, radical yet accessible.

Coming of Age in Vermont: Transits of Youth in a Complexly Interwoven World

Norwich Public Library 368 Main St, Norwich, VT, United States

In the 1920s, Margaret Mead’s book Coming of Age in Samoa ignited fiery debate about the influence of culture in adolescent development. Anthropologist Kristin Bright considers this legacy for how we think about the entanglements of AI and coming-of-age today by drawing on ethnographic research in Vermont and Canada and exploring how youth imagine themselves in ways that stretch, use, and refuse digital technologies.

Live to See the Day: The Violence of Underfunded Schools and Poverty

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum 1171 Main St, St Johnsbury, VT, United States

Drawing on nearly a decade of reporting, Live to See the Day by sociologist and policymaker Nikhil Goyal follows the lives of students overcoming challenges created by poverty and discrimination to graduate high school. Goyal confronts a new age of American poverty, after the end of “welfare as we know it,” after “zero tolerance” in schools criminalized a generation of students, after the odds of making it out are ever slighter.

Religion is Always in the Room

Brownell Library 6 Lincoln St, Essex Junction, VT, United States

We’re taught not to talk about religion and politics in polite company. But dismissing religion ignores one of the fundamental, daily ways people interact with their world and how politics, law, healthcare, education are influenced by and tied up with religion. University of Vermont Professor Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst discusses religious literacy, what we mean when we say religion, and how even if you are not religious, religion still impacts your life.

South Korean Cinema, aka K-Cinema: What’s in a Name?

Ilsley Public Library 75 Main St, Middlebury, VT, United States

What does South Korea’s vibrant cinema have to say about our understanding of society and the human subject? Hyon Joo Yoo will unpack how South Korean cinema, as an aesthetic response to conditions in South Korea and beyond, reflects upon the universal human subject in the era of global capitalism

The Evolution of Jazz

Rutland Free Library 10 Court St, Rutland, VT, United States

Ray Vega and his quartet will present a musical program demonstrating the elements of Jazz. The ensemble will address the ever changing styles of the music from the Blues to Ragtime to Traditional to Swing to Bebop and beyond. Vega and the members of his ensemble will participate in a question and answer session at the end of their presentation

Classic Films of the 1950s

Brooks Memorial Library 224 Main St, Brattleboro, VT, United States

The 1950s were a fascinating time for Hollywood films. Silent era film directors were in their prime, and independent films were gaining a foothold. Exciting new stars such as Marlon Brando and Audrey Hepburn were making their mark while vital issues of the time such as juvenile delinquency, conformity, and racial attitudes were addressed, however timidly, while the shadow of the Hollywood blacklist loomed. Rick Winston will show clips from several films of various genres from that era and discuss their significance.

Racialized Musical (Hi)stories

Norwich Public Library 368 Main St, Norwich, VT, United States

"History” usually implies an accurate account of past events while a “story” is less accurate, embellished by a “storyteller.” With remarkable consistency in the US, our “histories” have been written by white persons, usually men, with little divergence from the narratives of “great works” of a “western canon.” Philip Ewell expands on music’s histories/stories and explains why the common American music curriculum is still segregated along racial lines.