Fall Conference 2018

The Ebb and Flow of Optimism through American History

November 16-17, University of Vermont

Saturday Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Sat 17

Salvation or Slippery Slope: Women as Barometers of Democratic Enthusiasm in American History 

November 17, 2018
2:30 pm
- 3:45 pm
Democracy has been a core element of American identity, but enthusiasm for it has waxed and waned throughout American history. Leslie Butler explores why the campaign for women’s political rights emerged when it did, and why it took so long to succeed. (Registration required.) Read More »
Sat 17

A.R. Ammons’s Corson’s Inlet: American Optimism at the End of the 20th Century

November 17, 2018
2:30 pm
- 3:45 pm
Ammons’s poem is about taking a seaside walk. Referring to what he is seeing, Ammons considers the “opposite” of optimism. violence, destruction, and terror. But he rejects them for an openness to experience. Huck Gutman will walk both experienced and new poetry readers through the poem into the sun. (Registration required.) Read More »
Sat 17

The Ebb and Flow of Optimism in 20th-Century America

November 17, 2018
2:30 pm
- 3:45 pm
Mark Stoler will explore the ups and downs of American attitudes toward the future in what has been called “the American Century.” He will examine the various challenges to our national optimism, from the depths of the Great Depression in the 1930s through Vietnam and Watergate in the 1960s and 1970s, and our multiple responses to those challenges—responses that often succeeded in restoring optimism. (Registration required.) Read More »
Sat 17

Discussion and Reflection on the Theme

November 17, 2018
2:30 pm
- 3:45 pm
Adam Sargent engages a student-directed dialog using advance readings and student observations of the conference and its theme. (Registration required.) Read More »
Sat 17

Educator Discussion

November 17, 2018
2:30 pm
- 3:45 pm
Educators are invited to this facilitated session to discuss the conference themes and connections, using advance readings to explore and share potential classroom applications. (Registration required.) Read More »