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

**POSTPONED** Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Couple in Early Vermont

April 8
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
Drawing from the Sheldon Museum collections, archivist Eva Garcelon-Hart presents the story of two extraordinary women, Charity Bryant and Sylvia Drake, who were accepted in early 19th-century rural Vermont as a married couple. Read More »
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Wed 15

**DIGITAL ONLY** “We Are All Fast Food Workers Now”

April 15
7:00 pm
On Facebook and the Portable Humanist podcast series: labor historian Annelise Orleck provides a close look at globalization and its costs, from the perspective of low-wage workers themselves—berry pickers, fast food servers, garment workers, cashiers, hotel housekeepers, home health care aides, and even adjunct professors—who are fighting for respect, safety, and a living wage. Read More »
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Wed 06

**POSTPONED** Einstein in a Nutshell

May 6
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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Wed 06

**POSTPONED** Life in the Studio

May 6
7:00 pm
David Macaulay, award-winning author and illustrator of Castle, Cathedral, and The Way We Work, traces the development of his books and discusses current projects and the challenges in his work. Read More »
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Wed 06

**POSTPONED** Writing the Life of Frederick Douglass

May 6
7:00 pm
Yale historian David Blight, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History for his biography Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, 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 06

**POSTPONED** The Making of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

May 6
7:00 pm
Middlebury professor Tim Spears looks at the 1941 publication of "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men." Depicting the lives of southern sharecroppers, writer James Agee and photographer Walker Evans resisted journalistic conventions to produce a book that raises important questions about the nature of documentary work and art. Read More »
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Wed 06

**POSTPONED** The Salt of the Earth: The Rhetoric of White Supremacy

May 6
7:00 pm
In 2014 in Grand Saline, Texas, a 79-year-old white Methodist minister named Charles Moore set himself on fire as a final protest against the community’s racism. Drawing from his documentary film Man on Fire, Middlebury professor James Sanchez discusses the rhetoric of white supremacy and suggests ways communities might address bigotry. Read More »
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Wed 06

**POSTPONED** Why We Need Artemisia

May 6
7:00 pm
Who was Artemisia Gentileschi, and why does she elicit such a wide range of critical responses? As a female artist working in 17th-century Rome, Artemisia was already exceptional. But as Middlebury professor Katy Smith Abbott explains, it is Artemisia’s personal history with violence and misogyny, and her exploration of these themes in paint, that resonates most deeply with contemporary audiences. Read More »
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Wed 06

**POSTPONED** Conspiracy Theory and Democracy Today

May 6
7:00 pm
Conspiracy theories are as old as politics. Dartmouth professor Russell Muirhead explores how “conspiracy without theory” has moved from the fringes to the heart of government within the last decade. He discusses how this new form differs from classic conspiracy theory and suggests what can be done to resist it. Read More »
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