Fall Conference 2017

The Double-Edged Sword of Technology

November 17-18, University of Vermont

Conference Schedule

Friday, November 17

3:30 p.m.

Registration Desk open

4:00 to 5:15 p.m.

Friday Afternoon Breakout Sessions

See list of breakout sessions.

5:15 to 6:15 p.m.


6:15 to 7:30 p.m.

Buffet dinner, optional, reservations required

7:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Will Technology Save Us?

Will technological progress continue to drive progress and economic prosperity or are our best innovations behind us? Northwestern University economics professors Robert Gordon and Joel Mokyr will present profoundly different outlooks for America’s economic future and the role of technological innovation in that future in this conversation moderated by Rutland Herald/Times Argus Editorial Editor and VHC board member David Moats. Details.

Saturday, November 18

7:15 to 8:30 a.m

Registration Desk open and continental breakfast

8:30 to 9:00 a.m.

Welcome and presentation of 2017 Victor R. Swenson Humanities Educator Award.

9:00 to 10:15 a.m.

Sociable Solitude

Sociable solitude—whether we find it in being alone with a book, or alone in prayer, alone with our phones—is an ancient human experience and pervasive element of contemporary life. Amy Hungerford, literature professor and Dean of Humanities at Yale, explores the history, practice, and meaning of sociable solitude in the internet age. Details.

10:15 to 10:35 a.m.


10:35 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.

Saturday Morning Breakout Sessions

See list of breakout sessions.

12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Buffet lunch

1:00 to 2:15 p.m.

Saturday Afternoon Breakout Sessions

See list of breakout sessions.

2:15 to 2:35 p.m.


2:35 to 3:50 p.m.

Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art

The Internet has morphed from being, at its inception, merely an extension of traditional media to being its own full-fledged civilization. Writer and cultural critic Virginia Heffernan presents an original and far-reaching analysis of what the Internet is and does. Details.