Carol Rifelj Faculty Lecture Series 2017-2018

Join faculty, staff, and community members at the Carol Rifelj Faculty Lecture Series to hear faculty members discuss their research.


This lecture series is named for the late Carol de Dobay Rifelj, who came to Middlebury in 1972 as an Assistant Professor, serving also at that time as Director of the Château, and of the French House. Carol received tenure in 1979, was promoted to the rank of Full Professor in 1985, and was named Jean Thomson Fulton Professor of French in 1993. She retired from Middlebury in spring 2010 after 38 years on the faculty. An energetic scholar, Carol was the author of several books and numerous articles and essays. She was also active and innovative in electronic publication, producing a significant website, Le Lexique, that won a prize in 1996 from the American Association of Teachers of French and has continued to be an influential resource for French teachers worldwide.

During her time on the faculty, Carol served on all of the College’s major committees, and she held numerous administrative posts, serving as Dean of the French School from 1985 to 1987, as Dean of the Faculty from 1991 to 1993, and as the Dean for Faculty Development and Research from 2004 to 2007. Carol was an unstinting supporter and advocate for the faculty and their professional development. It is thus richly appropriate that this lecture series, which features Middlebury's own faculty, bears her name.

All are welcome to attend

All lectures will be held in The Orchard (Room 103), The Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest. Please note that a class is in session in this room until 4:15 p.m.


Wednesday, September 20, 4:30 p.m. *(Will be held in Dana Auditorium)

Jonathan Miller-Lane, Education Studies Program, “Discourse and Discord at Middlebury: A Way Forward”

Wednesday, October 4, 4:30 p.m.

David Miranda-Hardy, Department of Film and Media Culture, “Representing trauma: from Testimony to (Post)memory in my own artistic practice”

Wednesday, October 18, 4:30 p.m.

Karl Lindholm, Emeritus Dean of Advising and Program in American Studies, “Also Plays: Stories from a Middlebury Life”

Wednesday, October 25, 4:30 p.m.

Erick Gong, Department of Economics, “Poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa”

Wednesday, November 8, 4:30 p.m.

Erik Bleich, Department of Political Science, “What is Hate Speech?”

Wednesday, November 15, 4:30 p.m.

Laurel Jenkins, Program in Dance, “Rigorous Play: Choreographing Theory and Practice”

Wednesday, November 29, 4:30 p.m.

Brandon Baird, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, “Unequivocally Authentic: Mayan Language and Identity in Modern Guatemala”

Wednesday, January 17, 4:30 p.m.

David Dorman, Department of Mathematics, “Right Triangles, Elliptical Curves, and the Conjecture of Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer”

Wednesday, February 21, 4:30 p.m.

Sarah Stroup, Department of Political Science, “The Authority Trap: Strategic Choices of International NGOs”

Wednesday, February 28, 4:30 p.m.

Rebecca Gould, Program in Environmental Studies, “Rethinking Thoreau: Race, Religion and Renewal”

Wednesday, March 14, 4:30 p.m.

Bill Hart, Department of History, “To ‘construct a virtuous…community in Africa’: Extending the Great Redeemer’s Kingdom through the American Colonization Society”

Wednesday, March 21, 4:30 p.m.

Erica Morrell, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, “First Food Justice: Why Infant Feeding is a Central Social and Environmental Equity Issue in the United States”

Wednesday, April 4, 4:30 p.m.

James Davis, Department of Religion, “Is Civility Dead? Religion, Political Virtue, and Deliberative Democracy in the Age of Trump”

Wednesday, April 25, 4:30 p.m.

Shelby Kimmel, Department of Computer Science, and Paul Hess, Department of Physics, “Infinity Machines: Will Quantum Computers Live up to the Hype?”