First Wednesdays Lecture Series

Free talks on the first Wednesday of the month, 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

Underwriters

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

Program Underwriters: Jim Alic, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Pulitzer Prizes, Peter Gilbert Endowment Fund, The Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility, Middlebury College and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Nancy Linkroum Pennell, Phyllis Wells

Library Underwriters: Friends of Rutland Free Library

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 07

*DIGITAL* Night Moves: Discovering the Wonders of Bird Migration

October 7
7:00 pm
Many of us are dazzled by autumn colors during the daytime. But we can be just as dazzled by the night moves of thousands of birds passing quietly overhead during their fall migration. Join “bird diva” Bridget Butler to discover this almost-silent world. (Pre-registration required.) Read More »
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Wed 04

*DIGITAL* Emma Willard: Early Female Education and the Campaign for Women’s Suffrage

November 4
7:00 pm
Emma Willard founded the first school for women’s higher education in the United States. Saint Michael’s professor Susan Ouellette describes how the opportunities provided by Willard’s schools laid the groundwork for the early suffrage movement. (Pre-registration required.) Read More »
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Wed 02

*DIGITAL* Celebrating E. B. White

December 2
7:00 pm
From Charlotte’s Web to his exquisite essays in The New Yorker, E.B. White remains the master’s master of elegant prose, sophisticated wit, and graceful irreverence. (Pre-registration required.) Read More »
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Wed 06

China’s Belt and Road Initiative

January 6, 2021
7:00 pm
In making infrastructure developments and investments in nearly 70 countries, China is seeking to restructure the world economy and energetically expand its global influence. Derek Boothby, explores the breadth and depth of this massive global initiative, and considers what it might mean for America’s future. Read More »
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Wed 03

Shakespeare and the History of Fish

February 3, 2021
7:00 pm
The works of Shakespeare are full of salty metaphors that reveal a profound familiarity with the ocean and its creatures. Middlebury professor Daniel Brayton discusses the role of the sea in Renaissance literary culture in general and in Shakespeare’s plays in particular. Read More »
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Wed 03

A History of the Concept of Race

March 3, 2021
7:00 pm
The first European to divide the people of the world into distinct races did so in the 17th century. This bizarre categorization developed into one of the most historically significant ideas of the modern world. Marlboro professor William Edelglass traces the intellectual history of the concept of race in the West, from its prehistory to today. Read More »
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Wed 07

Nerds and Geeks: A New Update on an Old Idea

April 7, 2021
7:00 pm
American anti-intellectualism has a long and colorful history, but the triumph of Silicon Valley laid these prejudices to rest...or did it? Professor of psychology David Anderegg explores whether we really love nerds and geeks now. Read More »
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Wed 05

Compassion and Its Aftermaths

May 5, 2021
7:00 pm
How does one develop compassion, and what should one do when feeling it? Dartmouth professor Irene Kacandes explores these questions and examines how we can take action even when our movements are severely limited, such as during the Covid-19 pandemic Read More »
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Printed Rutland First Wednesdays brochure

Download the 2020-2021 Rutland Schedule (PDF)