Vermont Humanities

Michiko Oishi: Words in the Woods

Osmore Pond 4239 VT RT 232, Marshfield, VT, United States

Michiko Oishi was born in Tokyo, Japan, and has lived in Montpelier since 1997. She has been teaching Japanese language and culture through Champlain College, UVM's Asian Studies Outreach Program and high schools in Central Vermont. Before coming to Vermont, she worked with relief and repatriation programs in Laos, Thailand and Japan for UNHCR and the Japan International Volunteer Center. Her first bilingual Haiku/Tanka book, co-translated with Judy Chalmer, Red Fish Alphabet was published in Tokyo and her second book Deepening Snow was published by Plowboy Press in Vermont.

A Playground for Empire: Historical Perspectives on Cuba and the U.S.A.

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

The 1959 Cuban Revolution is one of the great underdog stories in history, in which a tiny band of young rebels prevailed against all odds. This nationalist revolution quickly fell under the sway of the USSR and Cuba’s previously close ties with the U.S. were abruptly severed.

This illustrated presentation by novelist and lecturer Tim Weed, a long-time observer of the island, will highlight recent changes in light of Cuba’s long struggle for sovereignty.

Vermont’s Remarkable Sharpshooters

Bristol Historical Museum, Howden Hall 19 West St, Bristol, VT, United States

Vermont sent far more sharpshooters to the Union armies than any other state, on a per capita basis. Sharpshooters from this state played a little-known but major role at Gettysburg. Historian Howard Coffin will discuss his recent research into this little-recognized group and consider the reasons why Vermont may have been so well-represented in this elite group of marksmen.

The Many Meanings of Maple

Southern Vermont Arts Center 860 Southern Vermont Arts Center Dr, Manchester

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.

Must Free Speech Endure Hate Speech?

Putney Public Library 55 Main St, Putney, VT, United States

The First Amendment prevents Congress from passing any laws that abridge the freedom of speech. But what does that actually mean? Professor Meg Mott considers the history of speech laws in the United States, how states and municipalities have tried to curb offensive speech, and how the Supreme Court has ruled on those efforts.

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

Morristown Centennial Library 7 Richmond St, Morrisville, Vermont

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.

Geza Tatrallyay: Words in the Woods

Silver Lake State Park 20 State Park Beach Rd, Barnard, VT, United States

With now fifteen published books, Geza is a prolific author of five thrillers, three memoirs, five poetry collections, one short story collection and one children’s picture story book. He has a sixteenth book, another thriller, coming out in August, and has just finished a murder mystery based in Vermont that will be published later this year. His poems, short stories and essays have appeared in various journals throughout the USA and Canada.

Return of the American Chestnut

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

In the early 20th century a blight accidentally spread to the United States and killed approximately 4-5 billion American Chestnut trees. Thomas Estill explores the historical uses, economic importance, and demise of the tree, as well as ongoing research to bring the American Chestnut back and possibility reintroduced into the wild in the near future.