Fall Conference 2021: “This Mazéd World”

The Humanities and Climate Change
October 6 through October 23
Online and at various locations

“This Mazéd World:” The Humanities and Climate Change

As climate scientists warn of an escalating, and perhaps uncontrollable, catastrophe in the making and as Americans witness the intensity of climate disruption in western wildfires and eastern hurricanes, we need the humanities to help us make sense of our changing world, build resilience, and work to change the path we are on.

Join us online and in-person during the month of October for our 48th annual Fall Conference.

The conference will begin with four First Wednesdays talks related to the theme of climate change on Wednesday, October 6 and will conclude with a week of virtual and in-person events held from October 18 to 23.

Most of the Conference is free!

University of Vermont logoWe’re pleased to offer all of the Fall Conference 2021 events for no charge, with the exception of the in-person concert by the Fry Street Quartet at the UVM Recital Hall. The events offered on Zoom do require advance registration.

The Fall Conference 2021 is sponsored, in part, by the UVM Office for Engagement.

….the spring, the summer, 
The childing autumn, angry winter, change 
Their wonted liveries, and the mazéd world, 
By their increase, now knows not which is which. 
And this same progeny of evils comes 
From our debate, from our dissension; 
We are their parents and original.  

William Shakespeare 

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Act II, Scene 1

Upcoming Fall Conference events

Wed 06

*DIGITAL* Bees Besieged by Our Changing Climate

October 6
7:00 pm
All 20,000 species of bees worldwide are at risk as global climate change affects their forage, reproduction, and behavior. Based on his 50 years as a backyard beekeeper, author Bill Mares addresses the macro and micro effects of a rapidly warming planet on Vermont’s bees, particularly Apis mellifera, the common honeybee. (Registration required.) Read More »
Wed 06

*DIGITAL* The Path to Climate Justice is Local

October 6
7:00 pm
Puerto Rican climate justice leader Elizabeth Yeampierre has helped pass climate legislation at all levels, including New York’s progressive Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. In this talk she describes how intergenerational BIPOC activists are changing the landscape of national climate priorities by speaking up for themselves and their neighborhoods. (Registration required.) Read More »
Wed 06

*DIGITAL* History in Hot Water: Climate Change and the Shipwrecks of Lake Champlain

October 6
7:00 pm
Lake Champlain is home to hundreds of well-preserved shipwrecks that help tell the story of our region. But climate change is altering the lake’s underwater cultural heritage. Susan Evans McClure and Christopher Sabick from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum consider the impact of historical objects changing before our eyes. (Registration required.) Read More »
Wed 06

*DIGITAL* Are “We the People” Up to the Task?

October 6
7:00 pm
In the United States, all power is derived from the people. While this sounds noble in theory, can we expect the American public to have the wits and self-control to meet the demands of climate change? Constitutional scholar Meg Mott explores the paradox of self-governance when the natural foundations of life itself are changing. (Registration required.) Read More »
Mon 18

*DIGITAL* Thinking Through the Future with Bill McKibben

October 18
7:00 pm
Science can help us understand the greatest crisis we've ever found ourselves in—but so can the humanities. From the biblical book of Job to the latest science fiction, literature can help us learn what it means to have suddenly become so large and can also give us clues to how we might shrink ourselves and our society a little. (Registration required.) Read More »
Tue 19

*DIGITAL* The Zone is Us: Sacrifice in the Space-Time of Climate Change

October 19
7:00 pm
While some have sheltered themselves from the effects of climate change so far, others are already traumatized by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, rising seas, and wars over land and water. And for Indigenous groups, climate change follows centuries of world-destroying, identity-rupturing trauma. Gleaning from classical mythology, UVM professor Adrian Ivakhiv suggests three paths for navigating climate-related trauma: those of Chronos (science), of Aion (arts and humanities), and of Kairos (action without guarantee). (Registration required.) Read More »
Wed 20

*DIGITAL* Discussion: Are “We the People” Up to the Task?

October 20
7:00 pm
Join constitutional scholar Meg Mott for a lively discussion based on her October 6 First Wednesdays talk at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, which will be recorded and offered in advance of this event. Ask your questions of Meg and add to the conversation! (Registration required.) Read More »
Thu 21

*DIGITAL* Vermont Teen Shakespeareans Save the Planet

October 21
7:00 pm
In 2020 the Get Thee to the Funnery Shakespeare camp for teenagers studied Merchant of Venice to frame a discussion of prejudice and hate speech. And in 2021, the group discussed global warming and climate justice through Midsummer Night’s Dream. Funnery founder Peter Gould and a panel of informed, passionate, articulate, and wise campers describe their experience. (Registration required.) Read More »
Fri 22

*DIGITAL* NPR’s Eric Westervelt on Bigger Fires, Hotter Days, and Drier Lands

October 22
12:15 pm
Mega fires, excessive heat and widening drought all underscore how climate change is fueling the routinization of extreme weather, with consequences for all of us. (Registration required.) Read More »
Fri 22

*LIVE* Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project with the Fry Street Quartet

October 22
7:30 pm
UVM Recital Hall, Burlington
Confronting a planet under siege and a future in peril, the Crossroads Project creates live performance experiences that address global sustainability and provide a path toward meaningful response. With an original score by composer Laura Kaminsky as well as music by Haydn and Janáček, the Fry Street Quartet provides the backdrop to a compelling film and expert scientific storytelling by physicist Dr. Robert Davies of Utah State University. (Tickets required.) Read More »
A Midsummer Night's Dream. Illustration by Arthur Rackham (1867 - 1939) to the play by William Shakespeare.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream illustration by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939). Act 2 scene 1, Titania and Oberon: “And now they never meet in grove or green, / By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen / But they do square”