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January 2020

A History of the Concept of Race

January 26
2:00 pm
Image of multiple faces combined

The first European to divide the peoples of the world into distinct races, in the seventeenth century, claimed that the Sami people of northern Scandinavia were one of four races on earth, How did such a bizarre distinction among groups of people develop into one of the most historically significant ideas of the modern world? Professor William Edelglass will trace the intellectual history of the concept of race in the West, from its prehistory to today. Read More »

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Vermont vs. Hollywood: 100 Years of Vermont in Film

January 30
1:30 pm
Image from Way Down East film

Vermont has been a featured location in Hollywood movies for nearly a century. It has represented many different ideals during that time, and its portrayal reflects both Vermont’s own history as well as American history. Examining those films provides interesting and fun insights into the hold Vermont has had on imagination in the media age. Amanda Kay Gustin of the Vermont Historical Society will provide background and share clips ranging chronologically from 1919’s Way Down East to 2005’s Thank You for Smoking. Read More »

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February 2020

“A Woman, Ain’t I?”

February 4
7:00 pm
Image of Kathryn Woods as Sojourner Truth

Born a slave in New Paltz, New York, Isabella Baumfree walked away from slavery and in her travels evolved into Sojourner Truth: maid, laundress, evangelist, abolitionist, and suffragist. This program, presented by Kathryn Woods, tells Sojourner Truth's story in her own words, speeches, and songs. Read More »

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**POSTPONED** Murder in the Vermont Woods: A Story About Race, Class, and Gender in the 19th Century

February 7
7:00 pm
The Left Bank, North Bennington
Image of Vermont forest in winter

Historian Jill Mudgett tells the story of an Indigenous man from southern New England who came to central Vermont during the late-19th century and was the victim of a murder. Read More »

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From the Parlor to Polling Place: Stories and Songs from the Suffragists

February 11
7:00 pm
Suffragette standing before a banner

Singer and historian Linda Radtke, in period garb and "Votes for Women" sash, celebrates the centennial of the passage of the 19th amendment, specifically highlighting the decades-long persistence of Vermonters, both women and men. Read More »

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The Genealogy of Happiness: From Aristotle to Positive Psychology

February 11
7:00 pm
Image for The Genealogy of Happiness

What is happiness? Can it be measured? And what is the relationship between happiness and virtue, money, pleasure, relationships, mindfulness, and satisfaction? William Edelglass provides an overview of different conceptions of happiness in Western philosophy, religion, and political theory, and considers "the new science of happiness." Read More »

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Vermont Women and the Civil War

February 12
7:00 pm
Image of woman

Vermont’s remarkable Civil War battlefield record is well documented, but little is known of how Vermont women sustained the home front. Historian Howard Coffin explains, with nearly 35,000 of the state’s able-bodied men at war, how women took on farming, worked in factories, served as nurses in the state’s military hospitals, and more. Read More »

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Getting from Here to There: A History of Roads and Settlement in Vermont

February 15
6:00 pm
Image of Green Mountain Parkway map

The difficulties of traveling in Vermont played a significant role in the state’s settlement, development, culture and politics. But Vermonters weren’t always eager to have good roads. Novelist Deborah Lee Luskin asks, given this opposition, how is it we now drive cars in all seasons, in all weathers, in all corners of the state? Read More »

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The Middle East

February 19
7:00 pm
Image of map

The term "Middle East" is a changing geopolitical concept. Throughout recent history, this term referred to a political,  cultural, and geographical region with no clear boundaries. Moreover, this concept serves to generate stereotypes and misunderstanding. This multimedia presentation by Mohamed Defaa provides an analytical framework to understand the histories, social identities, and cultures behind this complex concept of "Middle East." Read More »

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Vermont, 1800 and Froze to Death: The Cold Year of 1816

February 21
6:00 pm
Image of Vermont field in winter

1816 has long been known as the year without summer. Vermonters still call it “1800 and Froze to Death,” a year of frosts every month, dark skies, and mysterious lights that caused a widespread belief that a higher power was displeased. In this talk, historian Howard Coffin includes scores of anecdotes on the dark year of failed crops, scarce food, and religious revival. Read More »

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