Fall Conference 2018

The Ebb and Flow of Optimism through American History

November 16-17, University of Vermont

Plenary Sessions

Fri 16

Racist Ideas in America: From Slavery to Black Lives Matter

November 16, 2018
7:30 pm
- 9:00 pm
Ira Allen Chapel, Burlington
Ibram X. Kendi will trace the history of racist ideas through American history, including the “dueling dualities” of racial progress and simultaneous progress of racism. He considers the relationship between those ideas and racial discrimination, and offers reasons for hope for the future. Read More »
Sat 17

“Composite Nation:” Can America Find a Unifying Historical Narrative Rooted in Progress?

November 17, 2018
9:10 am
- 10:25 am
Americans’ sense of hope or faith that tomorrow will be better than today has always depended upon not only when one lives, but also who one is. David Blight considers the ebb and flow of optimism throughout American history in light of this fact (Registration required.) Read More »
Sat 17

The American Pendulum and the Renewal of American Democracy

November 17, 2018
1:00 pm
- 2:15 pm
Heather Cox Richardson explores how the economic and political crises of the 1850s, 1890s, and 1920s each created a backlash that inspired Americans to reclaim government of the people, by the people, and for the people. (Registration required.) Read More »
Sat 17

Emerson and the Literary Landscape of Optimism

November 17, 2018
4:00 pm
- 5:15 pm
Emerson’s optimism remains revolutionary. Mary Lou Kete discusses the intersection of Emerson’s legendary faith in the future of America and his faith in the power of poetry. (Registration required.) Read More »