First Wednesdays

A Humanities Lecture Series, October through May

Rutland First Wednesdays

Venue: Rutland Free Library

10 Court Street Library, Rutland
Library phone: (802) 773-1860
Library website
Directions to the library

Printed Rutland First Wednesdays brochure

Download the 2017-2018 Rutland Schedule (PDF)

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

Wed 04

Walt Whitman and the Civil War

October 4
7:00 pm
Whitman’s Civil War writings give us a dual portrait, first the war as “a strange, unloosen’d wondrous time,” and second the emergence of a new Whitman. UVM professor Huck Gutman examines some of the most remarkable poems about war ever published and looks at Whitman’s remarkable development. Read More »
Categories:
Wed 01

The Roots of Fascism

November 1
7:00 pm
Dartmouth professor Graziella Parati tells the history of fascism and its roots in Italy in 1919, and explores similarities and differences in the fascist regimes of Adolf Hitler and Francisco Franco. Read More »
Categories:
Wed 06

Charles Dickens and the Writing of A Christmas Carol

December 6
7:00 pm
Dickens scholar Barry Dietz considers Dickens’s career up to the publication of A Christmas Carol in 1843, what the novella’s success meant to Dickens’s life and work, and how the story has resonated since, including in films. Read More »
Categories:
Wed 10

Aaron Copland’s America

January 10, 2018
7:00 pm
Pianist Michael Arnowitt performs and discusses the iconic and distinctly American music of Aaron Copland—including music from Four Piano Blues, Piano Variations, El Salon Mexico, Conversation at the Soda Fountain, his famous Appalachian Spring, and music he wrote for the film version of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Read More »
Categories:
Wed 07

The First Amendment in Action

February 7, 2018
7:00 pm
Federal District Judge William K. Sessions III describes the application of the First Amendment freedoms of religion, speech, press, and assembly with a close examination of landmark cases. Read More »
Categories:
Wed 07

Science and Democracy

March 7, 2018
7:00 pm
The scientific method has been heralded as inherently democratic, but with scientists carrying a kind of authority based on their specialized knowledge, the relationship between science and democracy is more complex. Middlebury professor Heidi Grasswick examines the challenges of integrating the goals of democracy with the practices of science. Read More »
Categories:
Wed 04

Reinventing the Family Home

April 4, 2018
7:00 pm
Middlebury College professor Erin Sassin examines how American reformers and homeowners have, in pursuit of “the simple life,” attempted to reinvent the form and idea of the single-family home, from farmhouses and communal experiments to the current tiny house phenomenon. Read More »
Categories:
Wed 02

“A Republic, If You Can Keep It…”

May 2, 2018
7:00 pm
After the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of government we had. His famous reply speaks to the fragility of our constitutional form of government. Middlebury Professor Emeritus of Political Science Eric Davis explores how the brilliant foundational concepts established in 1787 remain just as essential—and fragile—today. Read More »
Categories: