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


Statewide Underwriters: The Institute of Museum & Library Services through the Vermont Department of Libraries; The Alma Gibbs Donchian Foundation.

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 2020-2021 First Wednesdays talks will only be offered online, via Zoom. Advance registration is required for these events.

Wed 03

*DIGITAL* Shakespeare and the History of Fish

February 3
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. (Registration required.) Read More »
Wed 03

A History of the Concept of Race

March 3
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 »
Wed 07

Nerds and Geeks: A New Update on an Old Idea

April 7
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 »
Wed 05

Compassion and Its Aftermaths

May 5
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 »

Printed Rutland First Wednesdays brochure

Download the 2020-2021 Rutland Schedule (PDF)