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 02

*DIGITAL* Boneyarn: New York Slavery Poems

February 2
7:00 pm
The oldest and largest slave cemetery in the United States is located in the shadow of Wall Street. Actor and poet David Mills reads from and discusses his award-winning poetry collection, Boneyarn, featuring groundbreaking poems about slavery in New York City, a topic rarely addressed. (Registration required.) Read More »
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Wed 02

*DIGITAL* Vermont Hairwork: Connecting Past and Present

February 2
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
19th century Americans often saved or exchanged locks of hair, constructing jewelry or keepsake wreaths of their kinship networks. In more recent decades, hair has become a powerful political medium. Middlebury professor Ellery Foutch shares the research about hair-based works in local collections and explores the meanings of hair in American culture, past and present. Read More »
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Wed 02

*DIGITAL*: Walt Whitman: American Poet

February 2
7:00 pm
Manchester Community Library, Manchester Center
Walt Whitman was a great poetic innovator, the poet who best sums up what it is to be an American, and his Song of Myself is the most majestic poem written in our nation. And yet, for all this, UVM professor emeritus Huck Gutman finds Whitman to be wonderfully approachable. Read More »
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Wed 02

*DIGITAL*: Sermon From the Studio: Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”

February 2
7:00 pm
Fifty years after its release, vocalist/composer Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, an extended work addressing societal (and personal) challenges, has grown more pertinent and haunting with age. Jazz archivist and poet Reuben Jackson shares tracks from and discusses this riveting recording. Read More »
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Wed 02

*DIGITAL* Rethinking the Classics

February 2
7:00 pm
How does a book become a literary classic? And what do the classics say about who we are? Author Ilan Stavans meditates on how literary classics become the collective memory of a culture and suggests that as society changes so must our literary canon. Read More »
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Wed 02

*DIGITAL* My John Dewey Problem

February 2
7:00 pm
What are the ways that John Dewey, America’s greatest democratic philosopher, still speaks to us—or fails to speak to us—at a moment of great peril for our democratic society and political institutions? UVM professor Bob Pepperman Taylor explores the relevance of Dewey’s political and educational ideas in the 21st century. Read More »
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Wed 02

*DIGITAL* Lucy Terry Prince: Witness, Voice, and Poetics within the American Tradition

February 2
7:00 pm
Beginning with Vermonter Lucy Terry Prince, the first known African American poet in the U.S., poet Shanta Lee Gander explores creative lineage within poetics. Surveying the work of Phillis Wheatley, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Rita Dove, and slam poet Dominique Christina, Gander considers the poetic arc from the past to the modern moment. (Registration required.) Read More »
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Wed 02

*POSTPONED* John Lewis and RUN!

February 2
7:30 pm
Andrew Aydin, co-author of The March Trilogy with civil rights icon John Lewis, returns to Vermont to describe the creation of the next book in the series, RUN! In this Farmers' Night performance, the National Book Award winner relates becoming an author, how he became involved in politics, and his experiences working with Congressman Lewis. Read More »
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Thu 03

*DIGITAL* John Lewis and RUN!

February 3
7:00 pm
Andrew Aydin, co-author of The March Trilogy with civil rights icon John Lewis, describes the creation of the next book in the series, RUN! Aydin also relates becoming an author, how he became involved in politics, and his experiences working with Congressman Lewis. Read More »
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