First Wednesdays Lecture Series

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

St. Johnsbury First Wednesdays

Venue: St. Johnsbury Athenaeum

1171 Main Street, St. Johnsbury
Library phone: (802) 748-8291
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: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Pulitzer Prizes, Passumpsic Savings Bank-Member FDIC, Peter Gilbert Endowment Fund, Bill Mares & Chris Hadsel, Middlebury College and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, University of Vermont Humanities Center

Library Sponsors: Adler and McCabe, plc; Friends of the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum

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* Orozco’s American Epic

February 3
7:00 pm
"The Epic of American Civilization" is a 24-panel mural painted by Jose Clemente Orozco at Dartmouth College between 1932 and 1934. Mary Coffey, Dartmouth professor and the author of "Orozco's American Epic: Myth, History, and the Melancholy of Race," explores one of the Mexican muralist’s greatest works. (Registration required.) Read More »
Wed 03

Lowest White Boy: On the Hidden Forces of American Racism

March 3
7:00 pm
Lyndon Johnson once observed, “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket.” UVM English professor Greg Bottoms discusses his memoir, "Lowest White Boy," which explores the powerful historical, cultural, social, and political forces behind white supremacy. Read More »
Wed 07

How China Became Buddhist and Buddhism Became Chinese

April 7
7:00 pm
Chinese society never became exclusively Buddhist, but other religious traditions had to respond as Buddhist ideas, practices, and institutions permeated the country. Middlebury religion professor Elizabeth Morrison discusses how the Buddhist tradition came to China, how it was received, and the distinctive Chinese forms of Buddhism that emerged. Read More »
Wed 05

Einstein in a Nutshell

May 5
7:00 pm
Einstein’s most famous contribution to science—his theory of relativity—is based on an idea so simple it can be stated in one sentence. Yet from that simple idea, explains Middlebury professor Richard Wolfson, follow conclusions that have revolutionized our notions of space, time, and causality. Read More »

Printed St. Johnsbury First Wednesdays brochure

Download the 2020-2021 St. Johnsbury Schedule (PDF)