Vermont Humanities

Physicists’ Dream of a Theory of Everything

Painting of empty cafe tables in a French street, by van Gogh
First Wednesdays

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.

This video was recorded at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury, VT on December 6, 2017.

Recent First Wednesdays Videos

Dancer with arms spread wide, wearing a striped leotard

A Life in Art and Activism

Artist, legislator, and former director of the Flynn Center in Burlington, John R. Killacky draws on commentaries from his book Because Art to relate his experiences as dancer in New York in the late 1970s and ’80s, the maelstrom of the culture Wars of the 1990s, and his work advocating for artists with disabilities.

Image of painting of couple dancing

American Modernism

Video: Citing examples from the works of Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, Charles Sheeler, and others, former Head of American Paintings at Christie’s and Sotheby’s James Maroney provides an overview of American art from 1913 to 1949 and explains its importance and beauty.

Approaching Islam, Approaching Difference

Video: 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.

Young man holding an American flag jumping between rocks in a river

Are “We the People” Up to the Task?

In the United States, all power is derived from the people. While this sounds noble in theory, can we expect the American public to have the wits and self-control to meet the demands of climate change? Constitutional scholar Meg Mott explores the paradox of self-governance when the natural foundations of life itself are changing.

Image of man with bullhorn

Arguing about Civility

Video: Middlebury political scientist Sarah Stroup focuses on two questions for both local and national discourse: What topics are suitable for public discussion? And how can we facilitate productive disagreements?

Image of children walking in parade

Bread and Roses, Too

Video: Acclaimed children’s book author Katherine Paterson discusses her novel of historical fiction that tells the story of the 1912 “Bread and Roses” strike in the Lawrence, Massachusetts textile mills through the eyes of an Italian-American girl and a runaway boy.

Image of EB White with dog

Celebrating E. B. White

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

Glynnis Fawkes drawing of the Bronte sisters

Charlotte Brontë Before Jane Eyre: The Making of a Graphic Biography

Cartoonist Glynnis Fawkes explains the research and design processes she followed to create her graphic biography, “Charlotte Brontë Before Jane Eyre.” Focusing on two segments of the biography, she illuminates moments in Brontë’s life that were key to her literary success.

Image at Nazi record listening booth

Daily Life in Prewar Nazi Germany

Video: Focusing on the prewar experience of non-Jewish citizens, Keene State professor Paul Vincent examines how ideology and terror undermined human dignity, numbed self-awareness, and atomized German society.

Vermont Humanities*** January 10, 2018