First Wednesdays

Free Public Talks at Libraries around Vermont

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 08

Reinventing the Family Home

January 8, 2020
7:00 pm
Middlebury College professor Erin Sassin examines how American reformers and homeowners have, in pursuit of “the simple life,” attempted to reinvent the form and idea of the single-family home, from farmhouses and communal experiments to the current tiny house phenomenon. Read More »
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Wed 08

Finding Your Voice in 2020

January 8, 2020
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 08

Creativity and Historical Truths

January 8, 2020
7:00 pm
Despite journalism’s essential role in informing the public about significant events, Dartmouth professor Irene Kacandes proposes that memoir, fiction, music, and art not only leave lasting impressions but sometimes convey important truths that journalism and history cannot. Read More »
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Wed 08

The Science of Happiness

January 8, 2020
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
Amherst College professor Catherine Sanderson describes cutting-edge research from the field of positive psychology on the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and shares practical ways to increase one's own psychological well-being. Read More »
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Wed 08

Reading Thoreau in the 21st Century

January 8, 2020
7:00 pm
Henry David Thoreau advocated for both civil disobedience to unjust political authority and also for nature’s appropriate role in our economic, moral, and spiritual lives. UVM professor Bob Pepperman Taylor discusses the relationship between Thoreau's political and environmental messages and how they resonate today. Read More »
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Wed 08

How to Read a Renaissance Portrait

January 8, 2020
7:00 pm
Renaissance portraits were serious undertakings, carefully crafted to indicate wealth, status, interests, trade, and family ties of the subject. Dartmouth professor Jane Carroll leads a visual exploration of the messages encoded in these portraits. Read More »
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Wed 08

Lifting Shakespeare Off the Page

January 8, 2020
7:00 pm
In this interactive workshop, educator and author Peter Gould helps participants access their own powerful voice by reading, reciting, and performing Shakespeare. Learn how to bring new life to immortal characters! No previous theater training necessary; observers also welcome. Read More »
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Wed 08

The Sound of Music: Diamond Jubilee

January 8, 2020
7:00 pm
In 1959, Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre premiered a musical on an unlikely topic: an Austrian family who had become famous for escaping Nazi Germany. The Sound of Music went on to win five Tony Awards, along with five Academy Awards in its film adaptation. Pianist and scholar Robert Wyatt discusses the history of the musical as well as the audience’s reaction, then and now. Read More »
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Wed 08

The History and Structure of Stone Walls

January 8, 2020
7:00 pm
New England has thousands of miles of stone walls. Author and builder Kevin Gardner discusses the history of stone walls and how they became a significant element of our landscape, all while building a miniature New England wall in the library. Read More »
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