First Wednesdays

A Humanities Lecture Series, October through May

Upcoming First Wednesdays Talks

View a list of next month’s First Wednesdays talks below. See a full list of First Wednesdays talks by date.

Wed 05

The Legacy of Rachel Carson

December 5
7:00 pm
Silent Spring not only launched the environmental movement but also identified fundamental problems with our relationship to nature. Dartmouth professor Nancy Jay Crumbine explores Carson’s clarity, courage, and brilliance. Read More »
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Wed 05

Hamilton: The Man and the Musical

December 5
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 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 05

Robert Penn Warren’s Timeless All the King’s Men

December 5
7:00 pm
Warren’s 1947 Pulitzer-winning novel chronicles the rise and reign of politician Willie Stark—based on Louisiana governor and senator Huey Long—who stirs class resentments and mesmerizes crowds. Middlebury professor Deborah Evans examines how the novel addresses the moral challenges of balancing populist desires with the lure of personal power and fame. Read More »
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Wed 05

Making Sense of the News, Local to Global

December 5
7:00 pm
Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist David Moats leads a panel discussion with some of the region’s best journalists, including VTDigger founder and editor Anne Galloway and Chronicle founder and publisher Chris Braithwaite. Read More »
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Wed 05

The Wyeths: First Family of American Art

December 5
7:00 pm
Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury
Shelburne Museum director Thomas Denenberg discusses the Wyeths—N. C. (1882–1945), Andrew (1917–2009), and Jamie (b. 1946)—and offers new perspectives on these three painters who have shaped the way Americans view their world. Read More »
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Wed 05

Daily Life in Prewar Nazi Germany

December 5
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
Focusing on the prewar experience of non-Jewish citizens, Keene State professor Paul Vincent examines how ideology and terror undermined human dignity, numbed self-awareness, and atomized German society. Read More »
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Wed 05

Objectivity in the Fake News Era

December 5
7:00 pm
VPR host Jane Lindholm offers ways for listeners to ensure that the news they are getting is accurate, and for news organizations to safeguard their reporting as fair and correct. Read More »
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Thu 06

Charles Dickens and the Writing of A Christmas Carol

December 6
7:00 pm
St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, St Johnsbury
Dickens scholar Barry Deitz considers Dickens’s career up to the publication of A Christmas Carol in 1843, what the novella’s success meant to Dickens’s life and work, and how the story has resonated since, including in films. Read More »
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