Vermont Humanities

Speakers Bureau Events

Man giving a talk in a bike shop
Speakers Bureau

These Speakers Bureau events are hosted by non-profits across Vermont. All are open to the public. Vermont organizations can book talks through our Speakers Bureau catalog, which offers thought-provoking presentations by scholars on diverse humanities topics.

Upcoming Speakers Bureau Events

Image of painting of medieval kitchen helpers
Live Event

Soup to Nuts: An Eccentric History of Food

The history of what and how we eat encompasses everything from the prehistoric mammoth luau to the medieval banquet to the modern three squares a day. Find out about the rocky evolution of table manners, the not-so-welcome invention of the fork, the awful advent of portable soup, and the surprising benefits of family dinners – plus some catchy info on seasonal foods.

Detail of cover of The Most Costly Journey, showing a drawing of a Mexican man holding a paintbrush and a photo of his family
Live Event

“The Most Costly Journey” Latin American Migrant Workers, Health Care, and Collaborative Non-Fiction Comics

In this presentation, Andy Kolovos from the Vermont Folklife Center and Julia Grand Doucet from the Open Door Clinic provide an overview of the goals of the El Viaje Más Caro Project, the collaborative methods that define its approach, and insight into the lives and experiences of the workers whose labor supports the continued viability of dairy farming in Vermont.

Image of Abner Doubleday
Live Event

Green Mountain Civil War Roundtable: Double-Talk on Doubleday

Norwich University Professor Rowly Brucken will explore the founding myths of baseball’s real and fictional origins, and will consider the broader context of the age of imperialism in America, New England sports history, and Victorian scandals. The talk will conclude with an exploration of the early days of baseball in Vermont.

Image of Vermont forest in winter
Live Event

Murder in the Vermont Woods: A Story About Race, Class, and Gender in the 19th Century

Historian Jill Mudgett tells the story of an Indigenous man from southern New England who came to central Vermont during the late 19th century and was the victim of a murder. Recreating community connections in a rural Vermont hill town, this story is about poverty, racism, disability, and gendered violence against women, but is also an account of Indigenous movement and choice despite great obstacles.

Image of 1893 bicycle club
Live Event

Of Wheelmen, The New Woman, and Good Roads: Bicycling in Vermont, 1880-1920

During the 1890s, enthusiasm exploded statewide as bicycles became safer, women took to the wheel, roads improved, and retailers developed novel advertising techniques to draw in buyers. By 1920, popular interest in bicycles had waned, but it had not just been a fad: the bicycle was tied to important changes in industrial production, consumerism, new road policies and regulations, gender relations, and new cultural ideas about auto-mobility and effortless speed.

Image for Alfred Hitchcock and the Art of Suspense
Live Event

Alfred Hitchcock and the Art of Suspense

Hitchcock famously said “Some films are slices of life; mine are slices of cake.” His career spanned forty years and many film eras. Film expert Rick Winston will discuss the evolution of Hitchcock’s craft, exploring his favorite themes, his relationship with his collaborators, and his wry sense of humor no matter how grisly the subject matter.

Image of theater curtain
Live Event

Vermont’s Historic Theater Curtains

Between 1880 and World War II, painted theater curtains were artistic features of most New England villages and towns. Christine Hadsel provides a glimpse into the world of talented and often sophisticated artists who were part of the rural cultural scene, illustrating the rich cultural history of small-town Vermont before World War I.

Image of old postcard of maple syrup gathering
Live Event

The Many Meanings of Maple

This presentation examines the many meanings of maple sugaring. Maple is enormously important to Vermont’s economy, ecology, and heritage. Champlain College professor Michael Lange will discuss sugaring ethnographically, based on over five years of research among sugarmakers all over the state, to learn from them what sugaring really means to Vermont.

Image of Morgan Horse
Live Event

Justin Morgan’s Horse: Making an American Myth

All Morgan horses today trace their lineage back to a single horse: a mystery stallion named Figure, owned by singing teacher Justin Morgan in the late 18th century. But who was Figure, really? What stories have people told about him in the two centuries since he lived and worked in Vermont?

Image of parade
Live Event

Movements of the Soul: The Role of Religion in Nonviolent Struggles for Peace

The 20th century saw the rise of religious faith-based organizations and groups working to advance the cause of peace. They addressed such issues as conscription, nuclear weapons, war and US foreign and military policy.

Image of garden vegetables
Live Event

Wolf Peaches, Poisoned Peas, and Madame Pompadour’s Underwear: The Surprising History of Common Garden Vegetables

Common garden vegetables have long and fascinating histories. Science and history writer Rebecca Rupp will discuss the stories behind many of our favorites, among them the much-maligned tomato and potato, the (mostly) popular pumpkin, and Vermont’s dynamic duo of kale and Gilfeather turnip. Find out why a lot of us don’t like beets, how a 17th-century pirate named the bell pepper, how carrots won the Trojan War, and how George Washington was nearly assassinated with a plate of poisoned peas.

Vermont Humanities*** December 9, 2021