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September 2020

*DIGITAL* The Informed Citizen, from Athens to Today

September 23
7:00 pm
The Parthenon in Athens, Greece

What does it mean to be an informed citizen? What, if anything, should we expect citizens to know before casting a ballot in an election? Melissa Schwartzberg will address these questions, with an eye toward the history of democracy, particularly in ancient Athens. Read More »

*DIGITAL* My Brigadista Year: A Democratic Ideal Amidst a Movement

September 30
7:00 pm
Cover of "My Brigadista Year" book

Join us for a conversation between Katherine Paterson and Vermont Humanities Executive Director Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup about Paterson's trips to Cuba and what compelled her to write about the Cuban literacy brigades of the early 1960s. Read More »

October 2020

*DIGITAL* Culture Wars

October 7
7:00 pm
Allan Ginsberg with puppet, by Dona Ann McAdams

In the 1990s, artists such as David Wojnarowicz, Karen Finley, and Ron Athey served as lightning rods for outrage over the appropriateness of their receiving support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Photographer Dona Ann McAdams and curator John Killacky discuss the culture wars of this era and McAdams’ exhibition at the Helen Day Art Center, “Dona Ann McAdams: Performative Acts.” Read More »

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

October 14
7:00 pm
Portrait of Alexander von Humboldt

Renowned Prussian naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt was one of the most influential figures of the nineteenth century. He visited the United States in 1804 and met with our leading thinkers. Eleanor Jones Harvey, senior curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, illuminates Humboldt's lasting impression on American visual arts, sciences, literature, and politics. Read More »

*DIGITAL* The Reporter: A Preview of the Vermont International Film Festival 2020

October 21
7:00 pm
Reporter holding a microphone and notebook

In partnership with the Vermont International Film Festival (VTIFF), we present a preview of the VTIFF 2020. Join us for previews and clips from the films and a discussion with director Orly Yadin. Read More »

*DIGITAL* Getting it Right: Reseach and Diligence in Reporting

October 28
7:00 pm
Reporter writing in a notebook

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, and about the importance of research and depth in journalism. Read More »

November 2020

*DIGITAL* Say Their Names, A Personal Story of Artistic Activism

November 4
7:00 pm
Mural of George Floyd on brick wall

In May 2020, Dr. Matthew Evan Taylor began a composition in response to the escalating uprising in the wake of the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery. Including selections from his recorded work, Dr. Taylor will discuss his journey towards using music as an avenue for advocacy and activism. Read More »

*DIGITAL* Say Their Names, A Personal Story of Artistic Activism

November 4
7:00 pm
George Floyd memorial wall in Minneapolis

In May 2020, Dr. Matthew Evan Taylor began a musical composition in response to the escalating uprising in the wake of the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery. Including selections from his recorded work, Dr. Taylor will discuss his journey towards using music as an avenue for advocacy and activism. Read More »

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*DIGITAL* The Presidents vs. the Press: The Endless Battle Between the White House and the Media

November 13
7:00 pm
Podium at the White House

How did we go from journalism as a trusted form of information to an era of “fake news” and “alternative facts”? Presidential historian Harold Holzer examines the tension between chief executives and their chief critics, from George Washington to the present. Read More »

December 2020

*DIGITAL* Chasing the Happily Neverafter

December 2
7:00 pm
Silhouette of couple kissing in front of cityscape

Americans love (and hate) romance. And when things get rough — a global pandemic, the threat of nuclear war and global climate collapse — we turn to Disney and the Hallmark channel. Middlebury professor Laurie Essig reviews the ideology that sells us hope for a better future if we only find “the one.” Read More »

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January 2021

*DIGITAL* Winslow Homer and the Poetics of Place

January 6, 2021
7:00 pm
Winslow Homer's The Reaper

The painter Winslow Homer (1836-1910) occupies an unusual and pivotal place in the history of American art. Thomas Denenberg, director of the Shelburne Museum, sketches Homer’s long and productive career, focusing on how he bridged the sentimental culture of the nineteenth century with the visual culture of the modern era. Read More »

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February 2021

*DIGITAL* Cannabis: Medical Uses and Public Safety

February 3, 2021
7:00 pm
Eyedropper and small bottle on background with marijuana leaf

UVM Pharmacology professor Dr. Karen Lounsbury reviews the history of cannabis and the medicinal products derived from it, as well as the benefits, risks, and the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis. She’ll include time for questions and open discussion after this interactive session. Read More »

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March 2021

*DIGITAL* Libraries in the Time of Covid

March 3, 2021
7:00 pm
Young woman walking into lit-up library building

Libraries have a central role in their communities, often being the only place to access free internet and other technology necessary for life in 2021. In the wake of the pandemic, libraries have had to both evaluate and rapidly respond to the changing world. Librarian Jessamyn West helps us to understand the role of the library in these unusual times.   Read More »

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April 2021

*DIGITAL* For the Love of N’dakinna: Abenaki Continuity and Adaptation

April 7, 2021
7:00 pm
Abenaki artists in front of Wall of Honor

Abenaki people have thrived within N’dakinna, their homeland, for more than 10,000 years. While the people and their culture have changed during this time, the core values of their ancestors have remained constant. Melody Walker Brook, citizen of the Elnu Abenaki Band of N’dakinna and former chair of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, describes how these core values can help shape a more beautiful future. Read More »

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May 2021

*DIGITAL* Television Cop Shows, Police Brutality, and Black Lives Matter

May 5, 2021
7:00 pm
Policeman from behind with close up of holster

How do television cop shows shape our understanding of police, race, and crime in America? Focusing on the television series The Wire, Middlebury professor Jason Mittell challenges our understanding of this television genre in the era of the Black Lives Matter movement. Read More »

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