Vermont Humanities

Vermont’s Historic Theater Curtains

Haston Library 5167 Main Street, Franklin

Between 1880 and World War II, painted theater curtains were artistic features of most New England villages and towns. Christine Hadsel provides a glimpse into the world of talented and often sophisticated artists who were part of the rural cultural scene, illustrating the rich cultural history of small-town Vermont before World War I.

The Genealogy of Happiness: From Aristotle to Positive Psychology

Ilsley Public Library 75 Main St, Middlebury, VT

What is happiness? Can it be measured? And what is the relationship between happiness and virtue, money, pleasure, relationships, mindfulness, and satisfaction? In this program, William Edelglass will focus on what research suggests makes us happier, and then introduce three practices that research shows do make us happier

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

Castleton University - Old Medical Chapel Seminary St, Castleton, VT

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.

Fiction Reading by Sara Jaffe

Vermont Humanities Zoom VT

In Sara Jaffe's short fiction, characters struggle to be perceived by the world as they perceive themselves—as a “good white person,” as an authentic artist, as a queer parent, as legibly gendered. Her stories posit the “problems” of living according to one’s politics and values in our messy contemporary age, without suggesting that these problems can be easily, or ever, solved.  

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

North Hero Public Library 3195 US Route 2, North Hero, VT

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.

The Most Costly Journey Book Discussion

Deborah Rawson Memorial Library 8 River Rd, Jericho, VT

Please join us at the Deborah Rawson Memorial Library as we discuss this year’s Vermont Reads selection The Most Costly Journey, an anthology of comics that depict the oral histories of migrant workers who traveled from southern Mexico and Central America to work on Vermont farms. If you would like to participate in the discussion, please drop by the library to sign up and borrow a copy of the book.

African American Experience: Memoirs and Essays

Dailey Memorial Library 101 Junior High Drive, Derby, VT

Personal writing by African-American authors can transcend self-reflection, becoming meditations on history, justice, and freedom from oppression. From Frederick Douglass’s first autobiography to Malcolm X’s incendiary account of his political awakening, the memoirs and essays in this series reveal as much about society as they do about their authors.

Bees Besieged: A History of Beekeeping

Community Senior Center of Richmond, Huntington and Bolton PO Box 508, Richmond

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.”