First Wednesdays Lecture Series

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

Manchester First Wednesdays

Host: Manchester Community Library

Library phone: (802) 362-2607
Library website

Venue: First Congregational Church of Manchester

3624 Main Street, Manchester
Venue website
Directions to the venue


Pre-Register for Talks

Please note: due to the Covid-19 crisis, the October, November, and December 2020 First Wednesdays talks will only be offered online, via Zoom. Advance registration is required for these events.

Wed 02

*DIGITAL* Charlotte Brontë Before Jane Eyre: The Making of a Graphic Biography

December 2
7:00 pm
Cartoonist Glynnis Fawkes explains the research and design processes she followed to create her graphic biography, Charlotte Brontë Before Jane Eyre. Focusing on two segments of the biography, she illuminates moments in Brontë’s life that were key to her literary success. (Pre-registration required.) Read More »
Wed 06

How Yiddish Changed America and How America Changed Yiddish

January 6, 2021
7:00 pm
Yiddish is imprinted in American English in terms like chutzpah, kosher, bagel, and schmooze. And the work of Sholem Aleichem, Anzia Yezierska, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Grace Paley, and Irving Howe shows the deep impact of Jewish immigration on the United States. Amherst College professor Ilan Stavans surveys the journey Read More »
Wed 03

Slow Democracy and the Power of Neighborliness

February 3, 2021
7:00 pm
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 »
Wed 03

Roman Women

March 3, 2021
7:00 pm
Some might expect that the lives of women in the Roman world revolved entirely around the family and domesticity. But Roman women owned property, ran businesses, and represented themselves in court. Middlebury classics professor Jane Chaplin discusses the place of women in the Roman world, the sources about them, and the values attached to them. Read More »
Wed 07

US Immigration Policy in Historical Perspective

April 7, 2021
7:00 pm
It may seem that the current anxieties about immigration in the US have never been more intense, but history suggests otherwise. Dartmouth professor Richard Wright examines the present-day contradictions of US immigration policy and places them in historical perspective. Read More »
Wed 05

Domestic Soldiers: British Housewives and the Second World War

May 5, 2021
7:00 pm
How did British housewives experience the Second World War and contribute to the war effort? Saint Michael’s history professor Jen Purcell tells the stories of seven housewives from across Britain. They grappled with the challenges of wartime, navigated shifting relationships at home and in the community, and struggled to be recognized for their efforts. Read More »

Printed Manchester First Wednesdays brochure

Download the 2020-2021 Manchester Schedule (PDF)