First Wednesdays

A Humanities Lecture Series, October through May

Printed Manchester First Wednesdays brochure

Download the 2018-2019 Manchester Schedule (PDF)

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

Wed 05

Robert Penn Warren’s Timeless All the King’s Men

December 5
7:00 pm
Warren’s 1947 Pulitzer-winning novel chronicles the rise and reign of politician Willie Stark—based on Louisiana governor and senator Huey Long—who stirs class resentments and mesmerizes crowds. Middlebury professor Deborah Evans examines how the novel addresses the moral challenges of balancing populist desires with the lure of personal power and fame. Read More »
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Wed 02

The Music of the Late 1960s: Social Upheaval in Song

January 2, 2019
7:00 pm
Music historian David Tibbs shares and discusses music from this turbulent era and explores how its songs helped bring revolution into our living rooms. Read More »
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Wed 06

“There is Nothing Either Good or Bad, But Thinking Makes It So.”

February 6, 2019
7:00 pm
Is this famous quotation from Hamlet true? Catherine A. Sanderson, Amherst College professor and author of "The Positive Shift," outlines the significant difference we can make in our daily lives simply by adjusting our outlook. Read More »
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Wed 06

What Does Emerson’s Essay on “Self-Reliance” Mean?

March 6, 2019
7:00 pm
Emerson's "Self-Reliance" draws many more readers than his other works. The very idea of self-reliance is central to how many Americans define both themselves and our culture. But, as Amherst College professor Barry O’Connell explains, Emerson plays with the meaning of the term until he finally dismisses it altogether. What, then, are we to make of the essay? Read More »
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Wed 03

Life in the Studio

April 3, 2019
7:00 pm
David Macaulay, award-winning author and illustrator of Castle, Cathedral, and The Way We Work, discusses current projects and challenges. Read More »
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Wed 01

Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Revisited

May 1, 2019
7:00 pm
Historians rank Abraham Lincoln’s majestic second inaugural address as one of the greatest political orations in American history. But at the time, the speech generated entirely partisan responses even as the Civil War headed toward Union victory. Preeminent Lincoln biographer Harold Holzer revisits the unforgettable day of March 4, 1865. Read More »
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