Vermont Humanities

St. Johnsbury First Wednesdays

A person in a kayak rowing on a lake in front of a rock face with green folaige on it
First Wednesdays

Venue: St. Johnsbury Athenaeum

1171 Main Street, St. Johnsbury
Library phone: (802) 748-8291
Library website
Directions to the library

St. Johnsbury First Wednesdays Events

Maple Sugaring Tools hang on the wall of a sugar shack in New Hampshire
Live Event

Maple, Vermont’s Medicine of Connection

Author and theologian Damian Costello explores how the practice of maple sugaring in Vermont connects us to the land, our ancestors, and all that surrounds us. In conversation with the bestselling book “Braiding Sweetgrass,” he suggests that sugarmaking—which is informed by Indigenous wisdom—is a communal medicine of connection that teaches mutual reciprocity with the land.

Two Cosplayers at the New York ComicCon in 2016 are dressed as Mr. Freeze and Black Panther and stand facing each other against a gray wall
Live Event

Diasporic Immigrant Superheroes: From Foreign to BIPOC & LGBTQ+

Middlebury College professor Enrique García reviews the American superhero genre and how it has served as a tool to disseminate utopian ideas about immigration and the American Dream. While discussing characters such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Black Panther, and La Borinqueña, García reflects on comic artists’ struggles to overcome imperial ideas of white supremacy, heteronormativity, and American exceptionalism.

The golden dome atop the captial building in Montpelier, Vermont sits agains an overcast sky
Live Event

Changing Times: Reconciliation or Retribution

Changing racial demographics predict that those who identify as white will be in the minority by 2050. Rev. Thomas considers whether Vermont—one of the whitest states in the nation—is prepared to confront the growing presence of people of color within its own borders. He reflects on the recent ideological civil war that aims to maintain the status quo.  

A document sits on the pavement and the headline reads IMMIGRATION
Digital Event

“The Other Side of Hope:” Films About Immigration

Filmmakers have tackled issues of displacement, discrimination, exploitation, and assimilation in movies like The Other Side of Hope (Syrians in Finland) and Dirty Pretty Things (West Africans in London.) Film history expert Rick Winston shares clips from fifteen works that address one of the most pressing issues of our times. 

A character stretches out while sitting on the floor next to a bicycle pump and a pair of skis
Live Event

The Secret to Superhuman Strength 

Celebrated cartoonist Alison Bechdel discusses her work as an illustrator and memoirist, including her most recent book, The Secret to Superhuman Strength, a graphic memoir about her lifelong love affair with exercise that won the 2021 Vermont Book Award. 

Middle-aged man in World War Two uniform with helmet
Live Event

War Reenactors: Who Gets to Tell History?

Artist Ed Gendron shares and discusses images from his photo project about World War II reenactors in the United States. Gendron later produced Playing Soldier, a feature-length documentary on the same topic. “The re-enactors assert that ‘history is a personal thing,’ says Gendron. “And for them, it may be quite true.”

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

Program Underwriters: Anne Commire Fund for Women in the Humanities; Chris Hadsel and Bill Mares; Middlebury College and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Passumpsic Savings Bank-Member FDIC

Library Sponsors: Friends of the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum

Printed St. Johnsbury First Wednesdays brochure

We’ll share the PDF of the St. Johnsbury First Wednesdays talks by September 21.

Vermont Humanities*** November 21, 2014