Vermont Humanities

The Hills of Home: Mountains and Identity in Vermont History

Roger Clark Memorial Library 40 Village Green, Pittsfield, VT, United States

Vermonters have strong ideas about the importance of their mountain topography. Where did our pride in Vermont’s landscape come from, and why is it that we see our shared identity as rooted in the land? This lecture by historian Jill Mudgett is timely and relevant in its relationship to current interdisciplinary scholarship, and offers us tools to understand the origins and meaning of our own strongly-held attachments to the Vermont landscape.

Stories from the Vermont Queer Archives

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

Objects such as banners, T-shirts, and buttons in the Vermont Queer Archives at the Pride Center of Vermont reflect currents and changes in the lives of Vermont’s LGBTQ+ community. Meg Tamulonis, volunteer curator of the Archives, discusses how these objects mark various milestones, from Pride events to legal rulings, and considers why some parts of the queer community aren’t well-represented in the Archives.

Bees Besieged: A History of Beekeeping

Tunbridge Public Library 289 Vermont Route 110, Tunbridge, VT, United States

Bill Mares, writer, and a beekeeper for 45 years, will tell of the origins and evolution of beekeeping, sometimes referred to as “farming for intellectuals,” with a particular emphasis on his new book, with Ross Conrad, and others, “The Land of Milk and Honey, a History of Beekeeping in Vermont.”

Wolf Peaches, Poisoned Peas, and Madame Pompadour’s Underwear: The Surprising History of Common Garden Vegetables

Windsor Public Library 43 State St, Windsor, United States

Common garden vegetables have long and fascinating histories. Science and history writer Rebecca Rupp will discuss the stories behind many of our favorites, among them the much-maligned tomato and potato, the (mostly) popular pumpkin, and Vermont’s dynamic duo of kale and Gilfeather turnip. Find out why a lot of us don’t like beets, how a 17th-century pirate named the bell pepper, how carrots won the Trojan War, and how George Washington was nearly assassinated with a plate of poisoned peas.

Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era

Dorothy Alling Memorial Library 21 Library Ln, Williston, VT, United States

What happened in Vermont when the anti-Communist fear known as the “Red Scare” swept the country? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Rick Winston, author of the book "Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era," explores some forgotten history as we see how a small, rural “rock-ribbed Republican” state with a historically libertarian streak handled the hysteria of the time.

The Many Meanings of Maple

Milton Grange Hall 135 River St, Milton, VT, United States

This presentation examines the many meanings of maple sugaring. Maple is enormously important to Vermont’s economy, ecology, and heritage. Champlain College professor Michael Lange will discuss sugaring ethnographically, based on over five years of research among sugarmakers all over the state, to learn from them what sugaring really means to Vermont.

From Homebrew to the House of Fermentology

Castleton University, Jeffords Auditorium 233 South St, Castleton, Vermont, United States

Bill Mares began making his own beer 45 years ago, when home brewing was illegal and there were no microbreweries in America. In this presentation, he offers a short history of beer itself and discusses Vermont’s small but significant contribution to the American beer revolution.

Soup to Nuts: An Eccentric History of Food

Lanpher Memorial Library 141 Main Street, Hyde Park, VT, United States

The history of what and how we eat encompasses everything from the prehistoric mammoth luau to the medieval banquet to the modern three squares a day. Find out about 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 – plus some catchy info on seasonal foods.

Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era

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

What happened in Vermont when the anti-Communist fear known as the “Red Scare” swept the country? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Rick Winston, author of the book "Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era," explores some forgotten history as we see how a small, rural “rock-ribbed Republican” state with a historically libertarian streak handled the hysteria of the time.