Young woman with hands out in front of line of police

Merely Bystanders: The Psychology of Courage and Inaction

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.

Cover of "My Brigadista Year" book

My Brigadista Year: A Democratic Ideal Amidst a Movement

Katherine Paterson, the author of “Bridge to Terabithia,” “The Great Gilly Hopkins” and other beloved books, joins Vermont Humanities Executive Director Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup to talk about her trips to Cuba and her 2017 Young Adult novel, “My Brigadista Year.“

Person standing on a dock in the rain

NPR’s Eric Westervelt on Bigger Fires, Hotter Days, and Drier Lands

NPR national correspondent Eric Westervelt describes how mega fires, excessive heat and widening drought all underscore how climate change is fueling the routinization of extreme weather, with consequences for all of us.

Group of peddlers in desert

Roads Taken: The Great Jewish Migrations to the New World

Video: As immigrants, Jewish men from the middle of the nineteenth century into the twentieth sought to make a living and establish new homes in America by means of an old and familiar Jewish occupation. By doing so they learned much about America and Americans learned about them.

George Floyd memorial wall in Minneapolis

Say Their Names, A Personal Story of Artistic Activism

In response to the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, Dr. Matthew Evan Taylor from Middlebury College created a musical composition. This video features selections from that recording as Dr. Taylor discusses his journey towards using music as an avenue for advocacy and activism.

Image of crowd outside of bank

The American Pendulum and the Renewal of American Democracy

Video: Heather Cox Richardson explores how the economic and political crises of the 1850s, 1890s, and 1920s each created a backlash that inspired Americans to reclaim government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Image of freeway cloverleaf

The Pace of Innovation and Other Drags on Future Economic Growth

Video: The debate about future U.S. economic growth has been framed as a conflict between techno-optimists and techno-pessimists. But there are other powerful forces in addition to the pace of innovation that are pushing downward on economic growth.

Climate advocate Elizabeth Yeampierre

The Path to Climate Justice is Local

Puerto Rican climate justice leader Elizabeth Yeampierre has helped pass climate legislation at all levels, including New York’s progressive Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. In this talk she describes how intergenerational BIPOC activists are changing the landscape of national climate priorities by speaking up for themselves and their neighborhoods.

Podium at the White House

The Presidents vs. the Press with Harold Holzer

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.

Woman walking through a maze beside a seaside cliff

The Zone is Us: Sacrifice in the Space-Time of Climate Change

Gleaning from classical mythology, UVM professor Adrian Ivakhiv suggests three paths for navigating climate-related trauma: those of Chronos (science), of Aion (arts and humanities), and of Kairos (action without guarantee).

Author and environmental activist Bill McKibben. photo by Nancie Battaglia

Thinking Through the Future with Bill McKibben

Author Bill McKibben shares how the humanities can help us understand climate change, the greatest crisis we’ve ever found ourselves in. From the biblical book of Job to the latest science fiction, literature gives us clues to how we might shrink ourselves and our society a little.

Image of painting of Henry V

Thinking with Shakespeare; or, What Can We Learn from Him

Video: With David Scott Kastan. By actually reading Shakespeare, rather than merely cherry-picking phrases, we discover that leadership turns out to be something rare, necessary, often painful, and almost inevitably compromised and compromising.

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