First Wednesdays

A Humanities Lecture Series, October through May

Printed Essex Junction First Wednesdays brochure

Download the 2017-2018 Essex Junction Schedule (PDF)

All First Wednesdays events are free and open to the public!

Wed 01

Einstein in a Nutshell

November 1
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
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

Reformation and Response: What Luther Did to Art

December 6
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
Dartmouth professor Jane Carroll examines how the Reformation, driven by Martin Luther’s rejection of the establishment Church, brought into question the assumptions by which most Europeans had lived, and how this played out in the art of the time. Read More »
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Wed 03

The Examined Life

January 3, 2018
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
Socrates famously proclaimed, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Philosophy scholar Suzanne Claxton explores what constitutes the examined life and how we may best pursue it. Read More »
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Wed 07

Transatlantic Traumas: Endangering the West

February 7, 2018
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
"The West" has been challenged by President Trump's policies, Russian covert actions, and domestic nativist and nationalistic tendencies. Stan Sloan, Visiting Scholar at Middlebury and author of Defense of the West, examines whether a perfect storm of external threats and internal politics is undermining Western values and interests. Read More »
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Wed 21

Self-Confessed: The Inappropriately Intimate Comics of Alison Bechdel

February 21, 2018
7:00 pm
Ira Allen Chapel, Burlington
From her long-running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For to her family memoirs Fun Home and Are You My Mother? Alison Bechdel has explored in graphic detail the overlap between the personal and the political, the domestic and the global. In this illustrated talk, she discusses how her cartooning has evolved over four decades. Read More »
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Wed 11

Building Monticello

April 11, 2018
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
Jefferson never knew the Monticello of today—in perfect condition, impeccably furnished. Dartmouth College senior lecturer Marlene Heck explains the lifelong project Jefferson called his “essay in architecture.” Read More »
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Wed 02

Love and Marriage in the 21st Century

May 2, 2018
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
Dr. Polly Young-Eisendrath looks at the transformation of marriage over the past century from a traditional contract between families to one that celebrates idealization in the form of “true love,” and suggests why the latter may be harder to fulfill than many thought. Read More »
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