Vermont Humanities

Virtual First Wednesdays

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

Many audience members have told us they liked viewing First Wednesdays talks from the comfort of their homes, especially during the winter months. After much discussion with our nine host libraries around the state, we’ve decided that the First Wednesdays talks in January, February, and March will be presented solely on Zoom. Three talks will be offered each of those months.

We’ve also added a digital event each month to complement the nine in-person events held in October, November, December, April, and May.

Virtual First Wednesdays Events

Soldiers and sailors statue in Barre, Vermont
Digital Event

Are Your City’s Monuments Worthy? Take the Quiz!

Many communities recently have questioned the value of long-standing monuments. These debates can strike at the heart of history and memory. Seeking dialogue instead of a shouting match, author Raffi Andonian suggests four simple questions for communities to consider as they evaluate historic sites, famous figures, and public monuments. 

a balck and white photo of men wearing hats heaving hay into a wagon
Digital Event

Haymaking, Barns, and Farm Memories

In his book The Haymakers: A Chronicle of Five Farm Families, Steven Hoffbeck shows that haymaking was more than just harvesting grass, alfalfa, and clover. It was about toil, fears, and the fragile nature of human life. Anyone who grew up on a farm—or wishes they had grown up on a farm—will enjoy the insights and humor of this multimedia presentation. 

An Arizona street with tents lined along each side
Digital Event

What is Trauma Informed Journalism?

Trauma-informed journalist and essayist Lori Yearwood explores what it means to be a trauma-informed journalist when reporting on difficult topics. Having experienced homelessness herself, she suggests key ideas to keep in mind as journalists engage with populations who face dire situations and systemic poverty. 

a volunteer conservationist hold hula hoops and stands in a forest wearing a mask
Digital Event

Biodiversity, Conservation, and Civic Participation in Paraguay

South America’s Atlantic Forest is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. Cristian Fretes Ojeda, technical trainer for Peace Corps Paraguay, discusses how civic participation is leading the effort to conserve crucial natural areas like the Atlantic Forest and the Gran Chaco, which span several South American countries. 

a group of workers stand facing a farm while holding shoulders
Digital Event

Youth in Agriculture: Why It Matters

Greenagers engages young adults in environmental conservation, sustainable farming, and natural resource management. Sarah Monteiro from the Massachusetts non-profit reflects on the importance of getting youth involved in environmental and agricultural industries. 

Cover of The People's Tongue with red and blue like the United States flag
Digital Event

The People’s Tongue: Americans and the English Language

Longtime First Wednesdays favorite Ilan Stavans discusses his new book, an anthology that tells the story of how the English language has been transformed in the United States. The People’s Tongue features essays, letters, poems, songs, speeches, stories, jeremiads, manifestos, and decrees across history, from Sojourner Truth and Abraham Lincoln to Henry Roth and Zora Neale Hurston and beyond.

An animal-decorated youth wheelchair sits on a beach at low tide
Digital Event

A History of Disability

Disability, as part of the human condition, has always been with us. But considering disability to be negative is a new concept, shaped by recent history. Professor of philosophy, author, and disability activist Patrick Standen unravels the complicated, fascinating, and controversial history of the concept of disability.

A woman holds a green sign that reads ERA YES at a Women's March in LA in 2019
Digital Event

Thriving Communities: The Winding VT Road to Abolition and Women’s Rights 

Ashley Messier leads this group discussion on how to achieve thriving communities while recognizing the ongoing marginalization of women and the continued use of punishment in the criminal legal system.

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

Program Underwriters: Anne Commire Fund for Women in the Humanities

Vermont Humanities*** September 7, 2022