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Humanities for Everyone

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Randal Smathers

(802) 773-1860

February 2020

Daybreak Express: Duke Ellington’s Train-Inspired Compositions

February 5
7:00 pm

Reuben Jackson, jazz scholar and former host of VPR’s Friday Night Jazz, shares some evocative Ellington recordings and discusses Ellington's love for trains and the role they played in his orchestra's work in the then-segregated United States. Read More »


March 2020

I Am a Man: Martin Freeman, Colonization, and Identity

March 4
7:00 pm

Martin Freeman was the second black graduate of Middlebury College (1849) and the first black president of an American college. But he left to teach at Liberia College in Monrovia, Liberia. Middlebury professor Bill Hart discusses what eventually convinced Freeman that he could only experience freedom, full citizenship, and self-determination in exile in a black republic. Read More »


April 2020

A Slight Sound at Evening: Why Thoreau’s Quiet Writing Endures Today

April 1
7:00 pm

Drawing upon Thoreau’s journals and letters, Dartmouth professor Nancy Jay Crumbine examines the spirituality, inherent and explicit, in his walking and writing life. Read More »


May 2020

Edward Gorey’s Morbid Nonsense

May 7
7:00 pm

Critics never knew quite what to make of Edward Gorey (1925-2000), the author and illustrator whose picture books full of murder, mayhem, and discreet depravity influenced Tim Burton, Lemony Snicket, and Guillermo Del Toro. In this illustrated lecture, cultural critic Mark Dery reveals the surprisingly serious themes woven through Gorey’s whimsically sinister work. Read More »

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