First Wednesdays

A Humanities Lecture Series, October through May

Printed Middlebury First Wednesdays brochure

Download the 2018-2019 Middlebury Schedule (PDF)

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

Wed 03

Creativity and Historical Truths

October 3
7:00 pm
Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury
Despite journalism’s essential role in informing the public about significant events, Dartmouth professor Irene Kacandes argues that it’s memoir, fiction, music, and art that often best convey truth and leave lasting impressions. Read More »
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Wed 07

Political Activism and the Case for Hope

November 7
7:00 pm
Join Black Lives Matter advocate DeRay McKesson for an interactive program about political activism, as McKesson shares how his liberal arts education gives perspective and informs his approach to advocacy. Read More »
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Wed 05

The Wyeths: First Family of American Art

December 5
7:00 pm
Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury
Shelburne Museum director Thomas Denenberg discusses the Wyeths—N. C. (1882–1945), Andrew (1917–2009), and Jamie (b. 1946)—and offers new perspectives on these three painters who have shaped the way Americans view their world. Read More »
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Wed 09

Conversations with Frank Bruni

January 9, 2019
7:00 pm
Join New York Times columnist Frank Bruni for a wide-ranging conversation on topics including identity politics and its effect on campuses and communities, and the importance of free speech. Read More »
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Wed 06

What You Didn’t Know about Evangelicalism

February 6, 2019
7:00 pm
Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury
Most Americans associate evangelicals with the hard-right precincts of the Republican Party. But as Dartmouth religion professor Randall Balmer explains, evangelicalism in America has a much longer and more complex history, including a distinguished pedigree of working for progressive reforms. What happened? Read More »
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Wed 06

Where’s Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales?

March 6, 2019
7:00 pm
Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury
Dartmouth professor Peter Travis discusses the subtle irony with which Chaucer depicts his pilgrims, leaving us to judge them for ourselves. Read More »
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Wed 03

Slow Democracy and the Power of Neighborliness

April 3, 2019
7:00 pm
Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury
Author and advocate Susan Clark explains the Slow Democracy movement in which ordinary people mobilize to find local solutions to local problems. In the process some find they can bridge the “us-them” divide so prevalent in our national politics. Read More »
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Wed 01

Natural Icons and National Identity: Frederic Church’s Landscapes

May 1, 2019
7:00 pm
Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury
Frederic Church painted landscapes of distinctive American features, including Natural Bridge in Virginia and Niagara Falls in New York. Eleanor Jones Harvey, senior curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, explores how and why we used these American landscapes to distinguish the scale and scope of our cultural ambitions. Read More »
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