First Wednesdays Lecture Series

Free talks on the first Wednesday of the month, October through May.

Essex Junction First Wednesdays

Venue: Brownell Library

6 Lincoln Street, Essex Junction
Library phone: (802) 878-6955
Library website
Directions to the library

Underwriters

Statewide Underwriters: The Institute of Museum & Library Services through the Vermont Department of Libraries;

Program Co-Sponsors and Underwriters: Husky Injection Molding Systems Inc.; Lisa Schamberg and Pat Robins; Middlebury College and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Peter Gilbert Endowment Fund; University of Vermont Center for Community Engagement

Library Sponsors: Brownell Library Foundation, The Essex Agency, Inc., Home Care Assistance of Greater Burlington, Kolvoord, Overton & Wilson, P.C., the Media Factory, Northfield Savings Bank, RETN

Wed 03

*DIGITAL* Why We Eat What We Eat at Thanksgiving

November 3
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
How did America’s most iconic food holiday come to include green bean casserole? What did the Wampanoag people and the Pilgrims really eat in 1621? Susan Evans McClure, executive director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, serves up the story of Thanksgiving foods and how they help us understand our American identity. (Registration required.) Read More »
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Wed 01

*DIGITAL* What Inspires the Mind to Create?

December 1
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
Olympic fencer and author Geza Tatrallyay draws on his writing across multiple genres and his varied life experiences to explore the nature of creativity. Referencing his short stories, poetry, memoirs, and thrillers, he shows how deeply an author’s life is interwoven with the works they create. (Registration required.) Read More »
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Wed 05

*DIGITAL* From German Expressionism to Film Noir: How the Extraordinary Weimar Directors Forever Changed Hollywood

January 5, 2022
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, Ernst Lubitch, and Josef von Sternberg were all extraordinary film directors who fled from Germany during the rise of the Nazis. Natalie Neuert, director of UVM’s Lane Series, explores how these filmmakers profoundly influenced Hollywood and made movies that altered the American cultural landscape. (Registration required.) Read More »
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Wed 02

Vermont Hairwork: Connecting Past and Present

February 2, 2022
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
19th century Americans often saved or exchanged locks of hair, constructing jewelry or keepsake wreaths of their kinship networks. In more recent decades, hair has become a powerful political medium. Middlebury professor Ellery Foutch shares the research about hair-based works in local collections and explores the meanings of hair in American culture, past and present. Read More »
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Wed 02

(Un)Common Spaces

March 2, 2022
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
People gather in public spaces for many reasons, including expressing pride in their community, celebrating major milestones, and protesting. Jay Wahl, executive director of the Flynn, considers how the arts can rewrite the cultural memory of public spaces and help overcome barriers of access and equity. Read More »
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Wed 13

Vermont Reads: We Contain Multitudes

April 13, 2022
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
Author and professor Sarah Henstra visits Vermont to discuss her novel in letters, We Contain Multitudes. Our Vermont Reads 2021 choice tells how two very different teenage boys fall in love after being paired as pen pals. While it touches on domestic violence, bullying, and opioid addiction, the novel is also a beautiful story of friendship. Read More »
Wed 04

The Power of Persuasion

May 4, 2022
7:00 pm
Brownell Library, Essex Junction
Members of Dartmouth’s National Championship policy debate team and director John Cameron Hart discuss the role of research and persuasion in a liberal arts education. They’ll describe how students explore topics related to our responsibilities as informed citizens and delve into how rhetoric intersects with the humanities and social sciences. Read More »
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Printed Essex Junction First Wednesdays brochure

Download the 2021-2022 Essex Junction Schedule (PDF)