Middlebury archives

The Axinn Center for the Humanities supports a yearly Humanities Faculty Research Seminar focused on a particular theme.

The seminar is designed to support faculty as they pursue their research projects and to create collaboration and community around those projects.

With input from the participants, the seminar leader develops a rough outline of thematic connections to explore in relation to the theme, along with a short bibliography. Seminar participants each work on a piece of scholarship connected to the chosen theme—an article, book chapter, or other defined scholarly product.

The seminar convenes at least monthly, following an agreed-upon schedule of readings and/or short presentations along with discussion. Participants then present their work in a panel presentation or series of talks either in the spring of their seminar year or during the following fall.

’The Body‘ Seminar Participants

Laurie Essig

Professor of Gender, Sexuality, Feminist Studies

Leader of the Seminar

Kristin Bright

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Madison Felman-Panagotacos

Visiting Assistant Professor of Luso-Hispanic Studies

Genie Giaimo

Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric; Director, Writing Center

Chronic: Narratives about Aging, Chronic Illness, and Disability in Academia shares findings from a field-wide survey and in-depth interviews of academic workers who are experiencing different life events (e.g., chronic illness, disability, new diagnosis, caretaking, aging) and how these impact their work. This project reveals deep and widespread systemic ablism in academia and offers ways in which we can make our workspaces more ethical and supportive.


Chong Han

Professor of Sociology

Rachael Joo

Associate Professor of American Studies

Cynthia Packert

Christian A. Johnson Professor of History of Art

Patricia Saldarriaga

Professor of Luso-Hispanic Studies

’Digital Humanities‘ Seminar Participants

Carrie Anderson

Associate Director of The Axinn Center for the Humanities, Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture

Leader of the Seminar

Ellery Foutch

Associate Professor of American Studies

Rebekah Irwin

Associate Director of the Twilight Project, 2019 - 2022

Marguerite Lenius

Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture

Elsa Barraza Mendoza

Assistant Professor of History

Kathryn Morse


John C. Elder Professor of Environmental Studies; Professor of History

I am working on a born-digital visual history of rural anti-poverty programs during the late New Deal Era, currently entitled After Migrant Mother.  Created on the digital publishing platform Scalar, this book combines images and text to explore the visual narratives created by Farm Security Administration supervisors, as well as the on-the-ground experiences of the rural Americans who sought loans and help from the government on small farms in the rural south and west.  Through these sources, I explore connections between and amongst ideas of land, family, race, class, and gender in rural America.  While exploring the ways in which the FSA itself used data to track and narrate the success of its programs I am also using U.S. Census data and even broader databases (ancestry) to place the individual families in FSA programs within the broader context of national patterns in rural population and agricultural production as the nation entered the Second World War.

Christopher Star

Professor of Classics

Axinn Center for the Humanities
Axinn Center at Starr Library
Middlebury, VT 05753