Vermont Humanities

Fall Festival Videos

S statue of a woman with headphones and sunglasses set in front of a boom box, book, mirror ball, and vinyl record.
Fall Festival

Every fall since 1974, Vermont Humanities has explored a humanities topic in depth at our annual fall conference, re-imagined in 2022 as the Fall Festival of the Humanities. Browse videos below recorded at recent festivals, including our 2023 “Deep Cuts” Fall Festival.

From our 2023 Fall Festival

music scholars James Lockridge, Melo Grant, and Reuben Jackson

Vermont Humanities Listening Party

Through generations, there is always a band, song, or album that inspires a love of music. In this Fall Festival 2023 event at Vermont Humanities in Montpelier, music scholars Reuben Jackson, Melo Grant, and James Lockridge take us through the tracks of some of their favorite artists. From the songs of Phoebe Snow to the beats of Public Enemy, this event will span the many genres and decades that continue to inspire us today.

From Piano Playing to the Player Piano, 1900 Through the Roaring 20s

In this Fall Festival 2023 event at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction, Artis Wodehouse pianolizes (foot-pump) a representative group of piano rolls from the early 1910s to the 1920s on the Main Street Museum’s player piano. They provide musical guideposts for her description of the significant cultural and musical impact of the play piano’s unprecedented ability to deliver a musical performance.

2022 Fall Festival

A green hill spotted with small colorful doors for Hobbit homes

Tolkien and Goddess Worship

In this First Wednesdays event recorded on November 2, 2022 at the Rutland Free Library, UVM lecturer Chris Vaccaro explores J.R.R. Tolkien’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his occupation with female divinities such as Varda, Yavanna, Melian, Luthien, and Galadriel in his work. Vaccaro compares these divinities with goddesses within Greco-Roman, Celtic, and Norse mythologies and considers Tolkien’s influences.

Two elderly men sit in front of a white door on a red brick house while a dog watches through the window

Migration Pathways: Stories of Yesterday and Today

Andrew Ingall, creator of the project “Warlé, Yesterday, and Today,” presents a slide talk and storytelling exercise inspired by the lives and legacy of Warren Kronemeyer and Leon Ingall, a Vermont couple who were entrepreneurs and civic leaders in Townshend, VT during the 1980 and 1990s. Leon was a refugee twice: first fleeing the Bolsheviks in 1918 and then again from the Nazis in the late 1930s.

Illustration of people gathered around a document to discuss civics

Freedom and Unity Launch Party

Hosted by the Center for Cartoon Studies, this lively presentation about the making of Freedom and Unity, A Graphic Guide to Vermont Democracy features the cartoonists and scholars that helped create a comic book about the past, present, and potential of democracy and civics in Vermont.

A drone sits in a hangar looking out on a desert and mountain as a man in a jumpsuit walks towards it.

Dirty Work with Author Eyal Press

In his award-winning Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America, journalist Eyal Press examines the morally troubling jobs that society tacitly condones, and the hidden class of workers who do them. Press, a contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Times, discusses his reporting for the book, which won the 2022 Hillman Prize for book journalism and appeared on numerous “best books of 2021” lists.

All Fall Conference Videos

Illustration of people gathered around a document to discuss civics

Freedom and Unity Launch Party

Hosted by the Center for Cartoon Studies, this lively presentation about the making of Freedom and Unity, A Graphic Guide to Vermont Democracy features the cartoonists and scholars that helped create a comic book about the past, present, and potential of democracy and civics in Vermont.

Portrait of Alexander von Humboldt

Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture

Eleanor Jones Harvey, the author of “Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature and Culture,” illuminates Humboldt’s lasting impression on American visual arts, sciences, literature, and politics.

Young man holding an American flag jumping between rocks in a river

Are “We the People” Up to the Task?

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.

Quadrant of images from our fall conference

Democracy 20/20 Fall Conference Supercut

This Fall Conference “supercut” video selects the best clips from our Democracy 20/20 Fall Conference and presents them all in a 13-minute video. Our first-ever virtual Fall Conference was just one of the ways that we pivoted to meet the challenges that 2020 brought to us and our state.

State House knitting project with balls of yarn

Democracy Knitting Circle with Eve Jacobs-Carnahan

Knit Democracy Together is a modern take on historical knitting circles like those that supported the abolitionist and suffragist movements. At a time when people are losing confidence in government, this project creates a positive model of democracy.

Four members of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association

Democracy, Social Change, and Representation in N’dakinna (Our Homeland)

Beginning with a greeting and historic overview of democracy in N’dakinna (Abenaki for Homeland), this panel of Abenaki voices considers the threads of place, home, belonging, and representation in a time of great social change.

A drone sits in a hangar looking out on a desert and mountain as a man in a jumpsuit walks towards it.

Dirty Work with Author Eyal Press

In his award-winning Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America, journalist Eyal Press examines the morally troubling jobs that society tacitly condones, and the hidden class of workers who do them. Press, a contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Times, discusses his reporting for the book, which won the 2022 Hillman Prize for book journalism and appeared on numerous “best books of 2021” lists.

From Piano Playing to the Player Piano, 1900 Through the Roaring 20s

In this Fall Festival 2023 event at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction, Artis Wodehouse pianolizes (foot-pump) a representative group of piano rolls from the early 1910s to the 1920s on the Main Street Museum’s player piano. They provide musical guideposts for her description of the significant cultural and musical impact of the play piano’s unprecedented ability to deliver a musical performance.

Image of George C. Marshall

George C. Marshall: Soldier-Statesman of the American Century

Video: With Mark A. Stoler. Marshall was the architect of both the Allied World War II victory and key U.S. Cold War policies, most notably the European Recovery Program, known as “the Marshall Plan,” for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Journalists Yvonne Daley and David Moats

Getting it Right: Research and Diligence in Reporting

Author and longtime Vermont journalist Yvonne Daley interviews David Moats, her former colleague from the Rutland Herald, about Moats’ series of Pulitzer Prize-winning editorials on the divisive issues arising from civil unions for same-sex couples.

Image of boat under green water with a rope tied around the bow

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

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.

Image of painting of U.S. map and woman

How the Gilded Age Created the Progressive Era

Video: The voices of the Progressive Era, including Jane Addams, W. E. B. Du Bois, Theodore Roosevelt, and Zitkála-Šá, didn’t come from nowhere. Heather Cox Richardson explains how they articulated a vision for America that had its roots in the runaway capitalism of the Gilded Age.

Vermont Humanities*** December 1, 2021