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 06

*DIGITAL* Daisy Turner’s Kin

October 6
7:00 pm
Folklorist Jane Beck shares the story of the Turner family, a saga that spans four generations and two centuries. This rare account of the Black experience in New England covers capture in Africa, the middle passage, two generations of enslavement, escape from bondage, and eventually a family farm on a Vermont hilltop. (Registration required.) Read More »
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Wed 06

*DIGITAL* All The Imagination Can Hold: The Other Side(s) Of Quincy Jones

October 6
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
While Quincy Jones may be best known as a record producer for superstars like Michael Jackson, jazz archivist and poet Reuben Jackson highlights Jones’ work as a film composer, a Big Band arranger, and a collaborator with legendary vocalists like Sarah Vaughan. (Registration required.) Read More »
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Wed 06

*DIGITAL* Bees Besieged by Our Changing Climate

October 6
7:00 pm
All 20,000 species of bees worldwide are at risk as global climate change affects their forage, reproduction, and behavior. Based on his 50 years as a backyard beekeeper, author Bill Mares addresses the macro and micro effects of a rapidly warming planet on Vermont’s bees, particularly Apis mellifera, the common honeybee. (Registration required.) Read More »
Wed 06

*DIGITAL* The Path to Climate Justice is Local

October 6
7:00 pm
Puerto Rican climate justice leader Elizabeth Yeampierre has helped pass climate legislation at all levels, including New York’s progressive Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. In this talk she describes how intergenerational BIPOC activists are changing the landscape of national climate priorities by speaking up for themselves and their neighborhoods. (Registration required.) Read More »
Wed 06

*DIGITAL* The Ethics of Vermont Eugenics: Past and Present

October 6
7:00 pm
In the name of “human betterment” a century ago, public institutions and private organizations in Vermont chose some of the state’s most marginalized persons for institutionalization, sterilization, and family separation. Harvard Medical School lecturer Charlene Galarneau explores the factors that led to Vermont’s distinct expression of eugenics, and its continuing legacies today. Read More »
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Wed 06

*DIGITAL* All The Imagination Can Hold: The Other Side(s) Of Quincy Jones

October 6
7:00 pm
While Quincy Jones may be best known as a record producer for superstars like Michael Jackson, jazz archivist and poet Reuben Jackson highlights Jones’ work as a film composer, a Big Band arranger, and a collaborator with legendary vocalists like Sarah Vaughan. (Registration required.) Read More »
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Wed 06

*DIGITAL* History in Hot Water: Climate Change and the Shipwrecks of Lake Champlain

October 6
7:00 pm
Lake Champlain is home to hundreds of well-preserved shipwrecks that help tell the story of our region. But climate change is altering the lake’s underwater cultural heritage. Susan Evans McClure and Christopher Sabick from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum consider the impact of historical objects changing before our eyes. (Registration required.) Read More »
Wed 06

*DIGITAL* Global Food Sovereignty, from Resilience to Reclamation

October 6
7:00 pm
The global food system is marked by Black land loss, the dispossession of Indigenous territory, and violence against land defenders. But grassroots movements around the world are building communities of care against these harmful systems. Foodways researcher Veronica Limeberry describes how these communities honor the sovereignty of their peoples and ecologies. Read More »
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Wed 06

*DIGITAL* Are “We the People” Up to the Task?

October 6
7:00 pm
In the United States, all power is derived from the people. While this sounds noble in theory, can we expect the American public to have the wits and self-control to meet the demands of climate change? Constitutional scholar Meg Mott explores the paradox of self-governance when the natural foundations of life itself are changing. (Registration required.) Read More »