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Brooks Memorial Library

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224 Main St
Brattleboro, VT 05301 United States
www.brookslibraryvt.org

January 2016

Book Discussion: Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

January 20, 2016
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

This series deals with the experiences of Mexicans living in the United States, from the struggles of migrant farm workers and day laborers in California to coming of age stories of Chicanos as U.S. citizens. Read More »

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February 2016

The History of Health Care in the US

February 3, 2016
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Image of blood pressure cuff

Dartmouth professor Allen Koop describes how America’s troubled, promising, and unique health care system has been shaped not only by developments in medicine but also by social forces, economics, politics, and historical surprises. Read More »

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Book Discussion: Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes

February 17, 2016
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

This series deals with the experiences of Mexicans living in the United States, from the struggles of migrant farm workers and day laborers in California to coming of age stories of Chicanos as U.S. citizens. Read More »

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March 2016

Celebrating E. B. White

March 2, 2016
7:00 pm
Image of EB White with dog

Drawing on his stories, essays, poems, and letters, Dartmouth professor Nancy Jay Crumbine celebrates White’s versatility and enormous legacy. Read More »

Book Discussion: The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle

March 16, 2016
7:00 pm

This series deals with the experiences of Mexicans living in the United States, from the struggles of migrant farmworkers and day laborers in California to coming of age stories of Chicanos as U.S. citizens. Read More »

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April 2016

An Evening with Poet Major Jackson

April 6, 2016
7:00 pm

UVM professor Major Jackson reads from his new book, Roll Deep, and discusses how poetry not only serves as a record of our existence but also enlarges us as human beings. Read More »

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Book Discussion: Days of Obligation: An Argument with my Mexican Father by Richard Rodriguez

April 20, 2016
7:00 pm

This series deals with the experiences of Mexicans living in the United States, from the struggles of migrant farmworkers and day laborers in California to coming of age stories of Chicanos as U.S. citizens. Read More »

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May 2016

What the Buddhists Teach: Finding Clarity in Everyday Life

May 4, 2016
7:00 pm

How do we develop mindfulness and a compassionate optimism about a highly imperfect world? Author Dr. Polly Young-Eisendrath discusses the Buddhist model for remaining fully engaged in the ups and downs of everyday life. Read More »

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A Playground for Empire: Historical Perspectives on Cuba and the U.S.A.

May 8, 2016
3:30 pm

The 1959 Cuban Revolution is one of the great underdog stories in history, in which a tiny band of young rebels prevailed against all odds. This nationalist revolution quickly fell under the sway of the USSR and Cuba’s previously close ties with the U.S. were abruptly severed. This illustrated presentation by novelist and lecturer Tim Weed, a long-time observer of the island, will highlight recent changes in light of Cuba’s long struggle for sovereignty. Read More »

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October 2016

The Science of Happiness

October 5, 2016
7:00 pm

Amherst College professor Catherine Sanderson describes cutting-edge research from the field of positive psychology on the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and shares practical ways to increase one’s own psychological well-being. Read More »

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December 2016

William Carlos Williams: America’s Most Revolutionary Twentieth Century Poet

December 7, 2016
7:00 pm

UVM professor Huck Gutman considers how William Carlos Williams changed American and world poetry forever by creating a new poetic language and new poetic forms. Read More »

January 2017

Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: Still Funny After All These Years

January 4, 2017
7:00 pm

Dartmouth professor Peter Travis discusses the genius, literary achievement, and enduring humanity of Geoffrey Chaucer, the fourteenth-century “Father of English Poetry.” Read More »

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February 2017

Building Monticello

February 1, 2017
7:00 pm
Image of Monticello

Jefferson never knew the Monticello of today—in perfect condition, impeccably furnished. Dartmouth College senior lecturer Marlene Heck explains the lifelong project Jefferson called his “essay in architecture.” Read More »

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March 2017

Jane Austen in Her Time

March 1, 2017
7:00 pm

Jane Austen lived in exciting times, and yet until recently was considered "untouched by the political, intellectual, and artistic revolutions of her age." Drawing on Austen’s novels, Dartmouth visiting assistant professor Suzanne Brown shows how Austen was in fact a keen observer of her era’s values who both shared and critiqued them. Read More »

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April 2017

Reinventing the Family Home

April 5, 2017
7:00 pm

Middlebury College professor Erin Sassin examines how American reformers and homeowners have, in pursuit of “the simple life,” attempted to reinvent the form and idea of the single-family home, from farmhouses and communal experiments to the current tiny house phenomenon. Read More »

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May 2017

The Indian World of George Washington

May 3, 2017
7:00 pm

Dartmouth College professor Colin Calloway discusses the first president’s relations with Indian peoples and considers how Native American nations and lands shaped the man who shaped the republic. Read More »

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October 2017

Nothing to Fear, But Fear Itself: FDR and the New Deal

October 4, 2017
7:00 pm
Image of FDR

From 1929 to 1939, the US experienced the longest and worst economic depression in its history and the first in which the federal government acted decisively to reverse it. UVM History Professor Emeritus Mark A. Stoler discusses how Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal changed the government’s role in the economy and affected the lives of Americans in ways that are still with us today. Read More »

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November 2017

Luther and the Reformation: A 500-year Appraisal

November 1, 2017
7:00 pm
Image of Martin Luther

Martin Luther’s posting of the Ninety-five Theses on the cathedral door at Wittenburg five hundred years ago launched a movement that utterly transformed Western society and our notions of authority, culture, art, and tradition. Dartmouth Religion professor Randall Balmer assesses the Protestant Reformation half a millennium later. Read More »

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December 2017

World War I and American Writers

December 6, 2017
7:00 pm
Image of World War I scene

Dartmouth professor Barbara Will discusses the effect of the war on American writers, particularly Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and T. S. Eliot, and explores how the war changed American literature and made it “modern.” Read More »

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January 2018

An Evening with Langston Hughes

January 3, 2018
7:00 pm
Image of Langston Hughes

In this dramatic rendition of Langston Hughes’ poems and short stories, actor and writer David Mills celebrates the life of the Harlem Renaissance writer. Read More »

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February 2018

The Legacy of Rachel Carson

February 14, 2018
7:00 pm
Image of Rachel Carson

Silent Spring not only launched the environmental movement but also identified fundamental problems with our relationship to nature. Dartmouth professor Nancy Jay Crumbine explores Carson’s clarity, courage, and brilliance. Read More »

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April 2018

An Emerson for Our Time

April 4, 2018
7:00 pm
Image of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Drawing on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays "The American Scholar," "Self-Reliance," and "Experience," Amherst professor emeritus Barry O'Connell explores the many ways Emerson’s writings continue to offer insights that can make our lives more open and fruitful. Read More »

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May 2018

Georgia O’Keeffe: A Critical Look

May 2, 2018
7:00 pm
Image of Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O'Keeffe lived 99 years and produced over 2,000 works in her 75-year career. James Maroney, the former Head of American Paintings at both Sotheby's and Christie's in New York who conducted her estate appraisal after her death, presents a critical evaluation of her best work. Read More »

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June 2018

The Known World and the Literary Character

June 6, 2018
7:00 pm

Amherst professor Judith Frank discusses Edward P. Jones’ 2003 Pulitzer-winning novel The Known World, described as “a masterpiece that deserves a place in the American literary canon,” and considers what its unusual approach to characterization can tell us about slavery, personhood, and novel-reading. Read More »

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October 2018

Hamilton: The Man and the Musical

October 3, 2018
7:00 pm
Image of Alexander Hamilton

From his birth in the Caribbean to death in a duel, Alexander Hamilton's life was part romance, part tragedy—and the inspiration for the blockbuster Broadway musical. Hamilton biographer Willard Sterne Randall discusses the man and the musical, with excerpts from its score. Read More »

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*PROGRAM CANCELLED:* The Public Option

October 3, 2018
7:00 pm
Image of US Capitol Building

The size and role of government has been an ongoing debate in this country. Big government began with Lincoln; it was essential to preserving the Union during the Civil War. Yale Law School professor Anne Alstott asks if there are challenges today best addressed by public solutions rather than private action. Read More »

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December 2018

Writing the Life of Frederick Douglass

December 5, 2018
7:00 pm
Image of Frederick Douglass

Yale historian David Blight, author of a new biography of Frederick Douglass, tells Douglass’s story: an escaped slave who became one of the leading abolitionists, orators, and writers of his era. Read More »

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January 2019

Finding Your Voice in 2019

January 2, 2019
7:00 pm
Image of woman writing in a notebook

For those with New Years’ resolutions to write or those just wanting to write more clearly and deliberately, Dartmouth writing instructor Julie Kalish leads an interactive exploration of the principles of context, audience, tone, purpose, and message. Read More »

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February 2019

The Making of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

February 6, 2019
7:00 pm
Image of family in rough cabin

Middlebury professor Tim Spears looks at the 1941 publication of "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men." Depicting the lives of southern sharecroppers, writer James Agee and photographer Walker Evans resisted journalistic conventions to produce a book that raises important questions about the nature of documentary work—and art. Read More »

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March 2019

Wordsworth: Plain and Simple

March 6, 2019
7:00 pm
Image of painting of William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was a strange yet pathbreaking poet who resisted writing poems that preened in being poems. UVM professor emeritus Huck Gutman discusses how someone so “plain” and “simple” became the most revolutionary, and probably most influential, poet of the past 250 years. Read More »

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April 2019

Two Lives

April 3, 2019
7:00 pm
Image of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Reeve Lindbergh, daughter of aviator-authors Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, discusses the intersection of fame and privacy as the spokesperson for one of the most famous families of the 20th century. Read More »

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Lincoln Memorial Sculptor Daniel Chester French: The Making of an Icon

April 30, 2019
7:00 pm
Image of Minuteman statue

Biographer Harold Holzer tells the story of how Daniel Chester French became one of the great sculptors of the 19th century—sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial, “The Minute Man” of Concord, Massachusetts, and the “Spirit of Life,” which was created for Brattleboro’s park, stolen, and recovered.  Read More »

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June 2019

*RESCHEDULED* The New World We Face: America Alone?

June 5, 2019
7:00 pm
Image of Trump boarding airplane

The current administration’s inclination to go it alone risks isolating the US from both allies and adversaries, thus making America less relevant and China more influential. Veteran diplomat George Jaeger considers a world in which America chooses unilateral action but not leadership in the international community. Read More »

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October 2019

Approaching Islam, Approaching Difference

October 2, 2019
7:00 pm

The Qur’an states that God created differences not only as a test for humanity but also as a path toward self-knowledge. Marlboro College professor Amer Latif considers how the Qur’an frames the perennial problem of living more harmoniously in a diverse world. Read More »

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November 2019

Junkie, Sister, Daughter, Mom: A Love Story from the Opioid Epidemic

November 6, 2019
7:00 pm

In October 2018, a young mom named Madelyn Linsenmeir died after a long struggle with addiction. Her obituary was read online by millions of people. Madelyn's sister, writer Kate O'Neill, shares her family's experience loving and losing Maddie, the stories of other Vermonters impacted by this disease, and potential solutions to the crisis. Read More »

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December 2019

US Immigration Policy in Historical Perspective

December 4, 2019
7:00 pm

One would think that current anxieties about immigration in the US have never been more intense, but history teaches us otherwise. Dartmouth professor Richard Wright examines the present-day contradictions of US immigration policy and places them in historical perspective. Read More »

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January 2020

The History and Structure of Stone Walls

January 8
7:00 pm
Stone wall with park sign

New England has thousands of miles of stone walls. Author and builder Kevin Gardner discusses the history of stone walls and how they became a significant element of our landscape, all while building a miniature New England wall in the library. Read More »

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February 2020

Refugee Theater: Kurdish and Yazidi Women Speak Out

February 5
7:00 pm
Four Kurdish refugee women

Rojava, a revolutionary experiment in Kurdish Syria, attempts to create an inclusive democracy safe from ISIS, Turkish incursion, and Syria’s civil war. Smith College professor Ellen W. Kaplan discusses the process of interviewing women, activists, refugees, and fighters from the Rojava region, and transforming their experiences into theater. Read More »

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March 2020

Come and Listen

March 4
7:00 pm

In this interactive “listening party,” archivist Andy Kolovos and producer Mary Wesley share audio clips from the Vermont Folklife Center’s archives that showcase Vermont’s past and present diversity. Read More »

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April 2020

**POSTPONED** Mindfulness: Its History, Practice, and Meaning

April 1
7:00 pm

Marlboro College professor William Edelglass traces the history of mindfulness from multiple traditions, starting with early Buddhist texts and ending with the secularization of mindfulness in contemporary American society. Read More »

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October 2020

*DIGITAL* Merely Bystanders: The Psychology of Courage and Inaction

October 7
7:00 pm
Young woman with hands out in front of line of police

Amherst College psychology professor Catherine Sanderson examines the factors that lead most of us to stay silent in the face of bad behavior, and how this tendency to stay silent allows such acts to continue. Sanderson will provide practical strategies that we can all use to speak up and take action. (Pre-registration required.) Read More »

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