First Wednesdays Lecture Series

Free talks on the first Wednesday of the month, October through May.

Upcoming First Wednesdays Talks

Next month’s First Wednesdays talks are listed below. To see the entire schedule of talks, click on this button, then advance the pages using the “Next Events” link at the bottom of the page.

Wed 14

*DIGITAL* For the Love of N’dakinna: Abenaki Continuity and Adaptation

April 14
7:00 pm
Abenaki people have thrived within N’dakinna, their homeland, for more than 10,000 years. While the people and their culture have changed during this time, the core values of their ancestors have remained constant. Melody Walker Brook, citizen of the Elnu Abenaki Band of N’dakinna and former chair of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, describes how these core values can help shape a more beautiful future. Read More »
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Wed 05

*DIGITAL* This is Not That: A Brief Introduction to the Black Death

May 5
7:00 pm
The Black Death hit the Eurasian world in the 14th century and left long-term consequences. Dartmouth history professor Celia Gaposchkin presents an overview of the outbreak of the bubonic plague, and compares it to the current pandemic. Read More »
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Wed 05

*DIGITAL* The Need to Read Unrealisms

May 5
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
Fantasy, science fiction, and other “unrealisms” are vital to our survival—especially when such stories are also silly, escapist, and strange. National Book Award winner Will Alexander describes the whimsical importance and imaginative necessity of narrative weirdness. Read More »
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Wed 05

*DIGITAL* Domestic Soldiers: British Housewives and the Second World War

May 5
7:00 pm
How did British housewives experience the Second World War and contribute to the war effort? Saint Michael’s history professor Jen Purcell tells the stories of seven housewives from across Britain. They grappled with the challenges of wartime, navigated shifting relationships at home and in the community, and struggled to be recognized for their efforts. Read More »
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Wed 05

*DIGITAL* From Politics to Poetry

May 5
7:00 pm
As the first woman governor for the State of Vermont and the holder of other prestigious positions, Madeleine Kunin has inspired women and girls to discover their own voices as leaders. Governor Kunin will speak about her life in politics and read from her newest book of poetry. Read More »
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Wed 05

*DIGITAL* Why Not in Vermont? The Long Campaign for Women’s Suffrage

May 5
7:00 pm
Why did Vermont lawmakers resist women voting in the 19th and 20th centuries? Through the stories of three Vermont suffragists, Lyn Blackwell outlines the shifting debate over women’s full citizenship in from the 1850s until 1920. Read More »
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Wed 05

*DIGITAL* The Counterculture’s Impact on Vermont and Vermont’s Influence on the Counterculture Generation

May 5
7:00 pm
In the late 1960s and ’70s, thousands of young migrants, largely from the cities and suburbs of New York and Massachusetts, turned their backs on the establishment of the 1950s and moved to the back woods, small towns and cities of rural Vermont, transforming the state while being transformed themselves. Read More »
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Wed 05

*DIGITAL* In Loco Parentis

May 5
7:00 pm
Documentary filmmakers James Sanchez and Joel Fendelman explore the history of rape, sexual assault, and cover-up at a prestigious New England boarding school, while unpacking the cultural and social dynamics that lead to administrators protecting their institutions over the safety of their students. Read More »
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Wed 05

*DIGITAL* Compassion and Its Aftermaths

May 5
7:00 pm
How does one develop compassion, and what should one do when feeling it? Dartmouth professor Irene Kacandes explores these questions and examines how we can take action even when our movements are severely limited, such as during the Covid-19 pandemic Read More »
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Wed 05

*DIGITAL* Einstein in a Nutshell

May 5
7:00 pm
Einstein’s most famous contribution to science—his theory of relativity—is based on an idea so simple it can be stated in one sentence. Yet from that simple idea, explains Middlebury professor Richard Wolfson, follow conclusions that have revolutionized our notions of space, time, and causality. Read More »
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