Vermont Humanities
Amazon Workers on strike during the pandemic, with one person in a mask holding a sign that reads UNION

An Injury to All: Labor Struggles During and Beyond the Pandemic

During the pandemic, workers fought back against dangerous workplaces, low wages, and polarizing politics. Jamie McCallum examines the long shadow of labor militancy and workplace organizing that began during the pandemic, building on hundreds of interviews with workers and a mountain of other data to look at the pandemic through the eyes of the American working class.

Sean Clute makes a sandwich on a table in front of a fireplace, wearing a white shirt and black tie, while John Killacky speaks into a microphone wearing glasses, a white shirt, and a vest.

The 1960’s Fluxus Art Movement: Blurring Art and Life

The 1960s Fluxus art movement included unconventional artists who created inter-media performative events that challenged the very notion of authorship and how art is made, presented, and received. Join Fluxus-era-inspired artists John R. Killacky and Sean Clute as they discuss this movement and the creation of their new video FLUX.

Rene Pellerin wears a baseball cap and dark winter clothing and stands between a woman with gray hair and a young boy with curly brown hair, all three standing in front of a horse on a city street

When Cultures Collide

Enter the world of the DeafBlind with René Pellerin as he recounts stories from his personal experiences as a DeafBlind person living with Usher Syndrome. “Rene The Unstoppable” uses humor to tell stories of his travels with and without support, frustrations and comic blunders experienced in both the hearing and Deaf worlds, and how he’s overcome obstacles along the way.

The leaves of an American Chestnut tree set against a light blue and orange sunset

Return of the American Chestnut Tree

In the early 20th century a blight accidentally spread to the United States and killed approximately 4-5 billion American Chestnut trees. Thomas Estill explores the historical uses, economic importance, and demise of the tree, as well as ongoing research to bring the American Chestnut back and possibly reintroduce the species into the wild in the near future.

An animal-decorated youth wheelchair sits on a beach at low tide

A History of Disability

Disability, as part of the human condition, has always been with us. But considering disability to be negative is a new concept, shaped by recent history. Professor of philosophy, author, and disability activist Patrick Standen unravels the complicated, fascinating, and controversial history of the concept of disability.

Cover of The People's Tongue with red and blue like the United States flag

The People’s Tongue: Americans and the English Language

Longtime First Wednesdays favorite Ilan Stavans discusses his new book, an anthology that tells the story of how the English language has been transformed in the United States. The People’s Tongue features essays, letters, poems, songs, speeches, stories, jeremiads, manifestos, and decrees across history, from Sojourner Truth and Abraham Lincoln to Henry Roth and Zora Neale Hurston and beyond.

a volunteer conservationist hold hula hoops and stands in a forest wearing a mask

Biodiversity, Conservation, and Civic Participation in Paraguay

South America’s Atlantic Forest is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. Cristhian Fretes Ojeda, technical trainer for Peace Corps Paraguay, discusses how civic participation is leading the effort to conserve crucial natural areas like the Atlantic Forest and the Gran Chaco, which span several South American countries.

Soldiers and sailors statue in Barre, Vermont

Are Your City’s Monuments Worthy? Take the Quiz!

Many communities recently have questioned the value of long-standing monuments. These debates can strike at the heart of history and memory. Seeking dialogue instead of a shouting match, author Raffi Andonian suggests four simple questions for communities to consider as they evaluate historic sites, famous figures, and public monuments.

An Arizona street with tents lined along each side

What is Trauma Informed Journalism?

Trauma-informed journalist and essayist Lori Yearwood explores what it means to be a trauma-informed journalist when reporting on difficult topics. Having experienced homelessness herself, she suggests key ideas to keep in mind as journalists engage with populations who face dire situations and systemic poverty.

A group of animated characters walk through a snowy landscape

Adapting Traditional Stories into Mainstream Literature

Author David A. Robertson examines his middle grade fiction fantasy novels, The Misewa Saga, and discusses what role traditional stories played in the development of the series. In this January of 2023 virtual event presented by the Norwich Public Library , he explains how he honored the richness, intent, and themes of those original stories.