First Wednesdays

A Humanities Lecture Series, October through May

Printed Brattleboro First Wednesdays brochure

Download the 2018-2019 Brattleboro Schedule (PDF).

All First Wednesdays events are free and open to the public!

Wed 03

Hamilton: The Man and the Musical

October 3
7:00 pm
From his birth in the Caribbean to death in a duel, Alexander Hamilton's life was part romance, part tragedy—and the inspiration for the blockbuster Broadway musical. Hamilton biographer Willard Sterne Randall discusses the man and the musical, with excerpts from its score. Read More »
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Wed 03

*PROGRAM CANCELLED:* The Public Option

October 3
7:00 pm
The size and role of government has been an ongoing debate in this country. Big government began with Lincoln; it was essential to preserving the Union during the Civil War. Yale Law School professor Anne Alstott asks if there are challenges today best addressed by public solutions rather than private action. Read More »
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Wed 07

The New World We Face: America Alone?

November 7
7:00 pm
The current administration’s inclination to go it alone risks isolating the US from both allies and adversaries, thus making America less relevant and China more influential. Veteran diplomat George Jaeger considers a world in which America chooses unilateral action but not leadership in the international community. Read More »
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Wed 05

Writing the Life of Frederick Douglass

December 5
7:00 pm
Yale historian David Blight, author of a new biography of Frederick Douglass, tells Douglass’s story: an escaped slave who became one of the leading abolitionists, orators, and writers of his era. Read More »
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Wed 02

Finding Your Voice in 2019

January 2, 2019
7:00 pm
For those with New Years’ resolutions to write or those just wanting to write more clearly and deliberately, Dartmouth writing instructor Julie Kalish leads an interactive exploration of the principles of context, audience, tone, purpose, and message. Read More »
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Wed 06

The Making of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

February 6, 2019
7:00 pm
Middlebury professor Tim Spears looks at the 1941 publication of "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men." Depicting the lives of southern sharecroppers, writer James Agee and photographer Walker Evans resisted journalistic conventions to produce a book that raises important questions about the nature of documentary work—and art. Read More »
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Wed 06

Wordsworth: Plain and Simple

March 6, 2019
7:00 pm
William Wordsworth was a strange yet pathbreaking poet who resisted writing poems that preened in being poems. UVM professor emeritus Huck Gutman discusses how someone so “plain” and “simple” became the most revolutionary, and probably most influential, poet of the past 250 years. Read More »
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Wed 03

Two Lives

April 3, 2019
7:00 pm
Reeve Lindbergh, daughter of aviator-authors Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, discusses the intersection of fame and privacy as the spokesperson for one of the most famous families of the 20th century. Read More »
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Tue 30

Lincoln Memorial Sculptor Daniel Chester French: The Making of an Icon

April 30, 2019
7:00 pm
Biographer Harold Holzer tells the story of how Daniel Chester French became one of the great sculptors of the 19th century—sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial, “The Minute Man” of Concord, Massachusetts, and the “Spirit of Life,” which was created for Brattleboro’s park, stolen, and recovered.  Read More »
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