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 from Way Down East film
Live Event

Vermont vs. Hollywood: 100 Years of Vermont in Film

Vermont has been a featured location in Hollywood movies for nearly a century. It has represented many different ideals during that time, and its portrayal reflects both Vermont’s own history as well as American history. Examining those films provides interesting and fun insights into the hold Vermont has had on imagination in the media age.

Black and white photo from Vermont Lesbian and Gay Pride march in 1983
Live Event

Stories from the Vermont Queer Archives

Objects such as banners, T-shirts, and buttons in the Vermont Queer Archives at the Pride Center of Vermont reflect currents and changes in the lives of Vermont’s LGBTQ+ community. Meg Tamulonis, volunteer curator of the Archives, discusses how these objects mark various milestones, from Pride events to legal rulings, and considers why some parts of the queer community aren’t well-represented in the Archives.

Image of beekeeper with hive
Live Event

Bees Besieged: A History of Beekeeping

Bill Mares, writer, and a beekeeper for 45 years, will tell of the origins and evolution of beekeeping, sometimes referred to as “farming for intellectuals,” with a particular emphasis on his new book, with Ross Conrad, and others, “The Land of Milk and Honey, a History of Beekeeping in Vermont.”

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.

Suffragist standing on stump at Vermont State Fair
Live Event

From the Parlor to the Polling Place: Stories and Songs from the Suffragists

Singer and historian Linda Radtke, in period garb and a “Votes for Women” sash, celebrates the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave the right to vote to white women.

Silhouette pen-and-ink drawing of the historical lesbian couple Charity and Sylvia
Live Event

Comics and Queerness in Vermont and Beyond

Vermont Cartoonist Laureate Tillie Walden presents a look at the intersection of indie comics with queer identity through her many graphic novels—from science fiction to memoir to historical retelling. Explore process and power through visual narrative and learn why comics are relevant to Vermonters and beyond.

Live Event

Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era

What happened in Vermont when the anti-Communist fear known as the “Red Scare” swept the country? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Rick Winston, author of the book “Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era,” explores some forgotten history as we see how a small, rural “rock-ribbed Republican” state with a historically libertarian streak handled the hysteria of the time.

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.

Bill Mares and friend with beer
Live Event

From Homebrew to the House of Fermentology

Bill Mares began making his own beer 45 years ago, when home brewing was illegal and there were no microbreweries in America. In this presentation, he offers a short history of beer itself and discusses Vermont’s small but significant contribution to the American beer revolution.

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.

Live Event

Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era

What happened in Vermont when the anti-Communist fear known as the “Red Scare” swept the country? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Rick Winston, author of the book “Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era,” explores some forgotten history as we see how a small, rural “rock-ribbed Republican” state with a historically libertarian streak handled the hysteria of the time.

Image of Vermont field in winter
Live Event

Vermont, 1800 and Froze to Death: The Cold Year of 1816

1816 has long been known as the year without summer. Vermonters still call it “1800 and Froze to Death,” a year of frosts every month, dark skies, and mysterious lights that caused a widespread belief that a higher power was displeased. In this talk, historian Howard Coffin includes scores of anecdotes on the dark year of failed crops, scarce food, and religious revival.

Vermont Humanities*** December 9, 2021