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Norwich Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

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15 Church St
Norwich, VT 05055 United States

February 2016

“In This Here Place”: Race, Nation, and Toni Morrison’s Beloved

February 3, 2016
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Image of Toni Morrison

UVM professor Emily Bernard explores how Beloved argues that America must reckon with the consequences of our nation’s original sin—slavery. Read More »

March 2016

Gothic Magnificence

Image of interior of Gothic chapel

Dartmouth professor Cecilia Gaposchkin discusses the power of Gothic architecture in thirteenth-century Paris, including the cathedrals of Notre-Dame and Sainte-Chapelle. Read More »


April 2016

“You Are Not Special” . . . and Other Encouragements

Expanding on his popular commencement speech, viewed by millions on YouTube, high school English teacher and father of four David McCullough Jr. considers how we raise our kids today, and why passionate engagement—rather than success for its own sake—is critical to a fulfilling, happy life. Read More »


May 2016

The Unlikely Making of an Environmental Leader

Gus Speth, founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council and World Resources Institute, White House advisor, head of the UN’s development efforts, and academic leader, reflects on his southern roots and very American story. Read More »


October 2016

Beethoven’s Sketchbooks

In this performance lecture, pianist Michael Arnowitt considers Beethoven’s creative process by exploring Beethoven’s sketchbooks. Read More »


November 2016

Pursuing Happiness through the Ages

Dartmouth professor Darrin McMahon explores the pursuit of happiness, past and present and in other cultures, and discusses how the recent “science” of happiness is consistent with truths long understood by the world's major religious and wisdom traditions. Read More »


December 2016

Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art

New York Times journalist Virginia Heffernan considers the Internet as a vast, collective work of art—a masterpiece made and remade by over three billion of us inhabiting our digital civilization. Read More »


January 2017

The Voyage of the St. Louis and American “Refugee” Policy

Keene State professor Paul Vincent shares the story of the May 1939 voyage of the St. Louis—carrying mostly Jewish refugees fleeing Germany but denied entry into the US—and argues that many historians have failed to account for the event’s complex political context or the history of US immigration in their criticism of the Roosevelt’s Administration’s actions. Read More »


February 2017

Picturing Frederick Douglass: The Nineteenth Century’s Most Photographed American

Professor of English and African American Studies at Harvard John Stauffer shares excerpts and images from his new book Picturing Frederick Douglass, presenting Douglass as a pioneer in photography, both as a stately subject and prescient theorist who understood the power of the nascent art form. Read More »


March 2017

Celebrating E. B. White

Image of EB White with dog

From Charlotte’s Web to his exquisite essays in The New Yorker, E.B. White remains the master’s master of elegant prose, sophisticated wit, and graceful irreverence. Read More »


April 2017

Paul Revere’s Ride: A New Look at an Old Story

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Hackett Fischer looks at what actually happened the night of April 18, 1775, and examines the character and actions of Paul Revere, a far more complex man than the myth suggests. Read More »


May 2017

A History of the Republican Party

Boston College professor Heather Cox Richardson considers how, through its 150+ year history, the GOP has alternately focused on property rights and on equal opportunity, and what that might mean for its future. Read More »


October 2017


Image of Fallingwater exterior

Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece Fallingwater is often ranked number one in the AIA ratings of America’s most important structures. Former Executive Director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, H. Nicholas Muller III, shares stories about this legendary property and its creator. Read More »


November 2017

Rowing Against Wind and Tide: The Journals and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Image of Anne Morrow and Charles Lindbergh

Author Reeve Lindbergh discusses collecting four decades of her mother’s previously unpublished diaries and letters—shedding light on her mother’s marriage to Charles Lindbergh and her take on world events. Read More »


December 2017

J. D. Salinger’s Family Dramas

Image of painting of JD Salinger

Why did Salinger write novels that sound like plays, begging to be acted out? Yale Professor of English and Dean of Humanities Amy Hungerford explores the voices and dramas of the Glass family at the heart of Salinger’s work and his themes of love, religion, and the power of human performance. Read More »


January 2018

The Indian World of George Washington

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 »


March 2018

Memoirs of an Art Dealer

Former Head of American Paintings at Christie's and Sotheby’s James Maroney shares stories of his experiences in the art world of the 1970s when American art began to come into its own. Read More »


April 2018

The Different Strains of American Evangelicalism

Image of hands folded on the Bible

Dartmouth professor and historian of American religion Randall Balmer both looks at the internal diversity of American Evangelicalism, which is generally seen as monolithic but that includes a progressive strain focused on personal and social reform as opposed to theological orthodoxy, and reflects on its theological insights and contradictions. Read More »


May 2018

Mourning Lincoln

Image of Lincoln Memorial

Public responses to Lincoln’s assassination have been well chronicled, but New York University Professor of History Martha Hodes is the first to delve into personal and private responses—of African Americans and whites, Yankees and Confederates, soldiers and civilians. In this talk, she investigates the reaction on a human scale to America’s first presidential assassination, when the future of the nation was at stake for everyone whether they grieved or rejoiced at the news. Read More »


July 2018

Reading Frederick Douglass 2018: Norwich

Image of woman reading in Norwich

Join us as we read together the fiery July 5, 1852 speech in which the great abolitionist orator Frederick Douglass took exception to being asked to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This is a participatory event. Read More »

October 2018

US Immigration Policy in Historical Perspective

Image of the Statue of Liberty

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 »


November 2018

The Antislavery Press and the Road to Civil War

Image of The Liberator newspaper

University of Connecticut history professor Manisha Sinha explores the work and legacy of antislavery editors such as William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and Martin Delaney, whose journalism in the mid-19th century was critical to the abolition of slavery. Read More »


December 2018

Hamilton: The Man and the Musical

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 »


January 2019

My Antonia

Image of prairie

Amherst College professor Michele Barale explores how Willa Cather’s novel My Antonia brings alive immigrants’ experience in the American West and blazes new trails in depicting women as strong and independent role models. Read More »


March 2019

The Opioid Crisis: A Historical Perspective

Image of pill bottles

Today’s opioid epidemic is usually portrayed as a new and shocking development. Yet it is only the most recent crisis in more than a century of widespread addiction to pharmaceuticals. Historian David Herzberg tells the story of past epidemics of addiction and draws lessons from America’s long history of drug policy failures and occasional successes. Read More »


April 2019

Physicists’ Dream of a Theory of Everything

Image of a painting of a man sitting beside a mountain

Theoretical physicists have long dreamt of a theory of everything that encompasses all particles of matter and their interactions. Dartmouth professor Marcelo Gleiser describes how physics and astronomy obtain knowledge of the natural world and how their limitations preclude us from ever getting to a “final” theory. Read More »


May 2019

Prosecutors and the Battle to End Mass Incarceration

Image of flag behind chain link fence

Over the last 40 years, prosecutors have driven the country toward mass incarceration and a crisis of justice shot through with unfairness and racial discrimination. New York Times writer and Yale Law School lecturer Emily Bazelon considers the current movement to elect a new breed of prosecutor. Read More »


June 2019

*RESCHEDULED* Van Gogh’s Influence on Art, and Art’s Influence on Him

Image of Van Gogh self-portrait

Art historian Carol Berry considers the experiences, painters, and authors that influenced Van Gogh’s work, and looks at his influence on twentieth-century artists. Read More »


July 2019

Reading Frederick Douglass 2019 – Norwich

Image of woman reading in Norwich

Join us as we read together the fiery July 5, 1852 speech in which the great abolitionist orator Frederick Douglass took exception to being asked to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This is a participatory event. Read More »

October 2019

Churchill and Roosevelt: The Personal Element in Their Partnership

Image of Churchill and Roosevelt in Casablance

University of Vermont History Professor Emeritus Mark A. Stoler examines the important personal relationship between Britain’s Prime Minister and America’s President during their World War II alliance. Read More »


November 2019

The Ethics of Raising Children

Parenting can be a difficult, exhausting task. It is also morally fraught. UVM professor Tyler Doggett examines parenthood from a philosophical standpoint, covering ethical issues about how we treat young people and family relations in our society. Read More »


December 2019

Making Rumble Strip in My Closet

Erica Heilman’s podcast Rumble Strip covers a range of Vermont-related topics, from mental health, hunger, and homelessness to deer hunting, cheerleading, and donut shops. In this talk, Heilman discusses the interview process and shares stories from her podcast, which she describes as “extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. Or that’s the goal.” Read More »


January 2020

Creativity and Historical Truths

Image of Picasso's Guernica painting

Despite journalism’s essential role in informing the public about significant events, Dartmouth professor Irene Kacandes proposes that memoir, fiction, music, and art not only leave lasting impressions but sometimes convey important truths that journalism and history cannot. Read More »


February 2020

Building Monticello

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 »


March 2020

Read to Live

National Book Award winner Katherine Paterson speaks on the importance of literacy and developing a love for reading, which was the inspiration for her latest novel My Brigadista Year, the story of a Cuban teenager who volunteers for a national literacy campaign to teach others how to read. Read More »


April 2020

**CANCELLED** Art, Technology, and Connected Learning

Champlain College professor emerita Ann DeMarle examines how computing straddles art and technology, the challenges this can pose to education, and what she has learned in creating groundbreaking degree programs that merge these disciplines. Read More »


May 2020

**POSTPONED** Why We Need Artemisia

Who was Artemisia Gentileschi, and why does she elicit such a wide range of critical responses? As a female artist working in 17th-century Rome, Artemisia was already exceptional. But as Middlebury professor Katy Smith Abbott explains, it is Artemisia’s personal history with violence and misogyny, and her exploration of these themes in paint, that resonates most deeply with contemporary audiences. Read More »


October 2020

*DIGITAL* “2020 Vision:” Visual Art and Technology Before and After Covid-19

Black Waves by teamLab, 2016

In January 2020, a coalition of Vermont curators launched “2020 Vision: Seeing the World Through Technology,” exploring how technology shapes the way we see our state and the world. Curator Andrea Rosen speaks to the prescience of this theme after the Covid-19 pandemic. (Pre-registration required.) Read More »


November 2020

*DIGITAL* The Story of Water in Times of Crisis

Image of hands under a stream of water

What does water tell us about who we are? Dartmouth professor Tarek El-Ariss examines our relationship to water in times of crisis, linking war in the Middle East with regional water shortages and pandemics. (Pre-registration required.) Read More »


December 2020

*DIGITAL* Martin Luther King: Dare to Dream

Actor David Mills portrays Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. surmounting his early uncertainties and transforming into a world-renowned civil rights icon. Be reawakened and elevated with highlights from Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” “I Have a Dream,” and “Promised Land.” (Pre-registration required.) Read More »


February 2021

*DIGITAL* Ancient Eyes – Ageless Skies

Shooting star over purple mountain

Meteorologist Mark Breen explains how people have gazed into the heavens since the dawn of human civilization, trying to find meaning and connection to their lives. (Registration required.) Read More »


March 2021

*DIGITAL* Various Useless and Pleasing Things: Crafty Children in the Nineteenth Century

Painting of children working on crafts in the 1800s

Crafts for children as an activity were invented in the decades after the Civil War. Saint Michael’s professor Maura D'Amore shares scenes of planning, cutting, pasting, and constructing from the 1860s and 1870s that show a new appreciation for guided childhood tinkering. (Registration required.) Read More »


April 2021

*DIGITAL* When the Bicycle Came to Vermont

Frank Lane Bicycles in Burlington, 1901

UVM professor Luis Vivanco explores the fascinating early history of the bicycle in Vermont, an invention that generated widespread curiosity when it arrived in the 1880s—helping spark important changes in industrial production, consumerism, road policies, gender relations, and cultural ideas. (Registration required.) Read More »


May 2021

*CANCELLED* In Loco Parentis

Shadows of people fighting

Documentary filmmakers James Sanchez and Joel Fendelman explore the history of rape, sexual assault, and cover-up at a prestigious New England boarding school, while unpacking the cultural and social dynamics that lead to administrators protecting their institutions over the safety of their students. Read More »

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