Upcoming Events


  • Nana-Ama Danquah,“The Beautiful Deception of Wellness”

    The line between wellness and illness seems thick, well drawn, and impermeable. We believe ourselves, and others, to be firmly situated on one side or the other. But that is not true. We all come to realize this about physical illness. We come to realize that eventually it will touch and alter our lives, either through our own direct experience or that of a loved one. So, we begin to learn the language of cancer, of Alzheimer’s, of Parkinson’s. What of mental illness, though?

    Axinn Center 229

    Open to the Public

Past Events

  • Book cover of 'Brothers on Three' by Abe Streep. Text reads: 'A true story of family, resistance, and hope on a reservation in Montana.' Background is a photograph of a group of people playing basketball, silhouetted against a dusk sky.

    Author Talk by Abe Streep '04 about Brothers on Three

    Award-winning journalist Abe Streep (‘04) will be in conversation with esteemed sports writer, Alexander Wolff to discuss his first book, Brothers on Three: A True Story of Family, Resistance, and Hope on a Reservation in Montana (Celadon Books, 2021). The book follows the boys basketball team from Arlee High School as they defend their state championship. Streep reports on the place of basketball in the lives of members of the Flathead Reservation’s Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

    Franklin Environmental Center, The Orchard-Hillcrest 103

    Open to the Public
  • Book covers of 'The Wandering' by Intan Paramaditha and 'The Memory Police' by Yoko Ogawa

    Conversations in Translation: Two Translators Discuss Their Work

    This event will place in conversation two high profile translators of Asian novels. Stephen Epstein, translator of The Wandering by Intan Paramaditha, and Stephen Snyder, translator of The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa will discuss their work as professional translators of novels in Asian languages. Epstein, Director of the Asian Languages and Cultures Programme at Victoria University in Wellington has translated multiple novels from Korean and Indonesian to English.

    Axinn Center 229

    Open to the Public
Learning Through Ledgers: Henry Sheldon & His Museum

Learning Through Ledgers: Henry Sheldon and His Museum

A webinar with Middlebury College students in American Studies 314, Vermont Collaborations Public Humanities Lab, taught by Associate Professor Ellery Foutch

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 12:15-1:30 eastern - zoom and go/ledgers

For the past few months, students enrolled in the Vermont Collaborations Public Humanities Lab have mined the Archives of the Sheldon Museum for information about the early years of the museum’s establishment, exploring institutional history, histories of collecting, and local history, along with a critical investigation of how archives and collections are formed, developed, and made legible (or illegible) to broader publics. In this webinar, they will share the methods and process of transcribing one of Henry Sheldon’s original collection ledgers as well as the insights they gleaned during the course of the semester.

This class has been supported by the Axinn Center for the Humanities and the staff of the Henry Sheldon Museum.


Professor Susan Burch to deliver McNutt Lecture in History at Indiana University’s History Department

October 25, 2022

7:00 PM

Talk Title: “Reimagining Disability, Reimagining History”

Click here to Register

Join the Indiana University’s Department of History on Tuesday, October 25, 2022 for its 35th annual Paul V. McNutt Lecture with Middlebury College professor of American Studies Susan Burch.

In her lecture, Professor Burch will discuss how the evolving perceptions of disability shape our understanding of history. Following Professor Burch’s presentation, she will be joined by Associate Professor of History Ben Irvin for a moderated Q&A session.

Presentation Description: Disability is many things—a created and shifting concept, a lived experience, and a source of knowledge. Considering perspectives of disabled people expands standard ideas about citizenship, labor, care, power, and history itself. This interactive lecture asks: how does reimagining disability shape our understanding of history?

Speaker Biography: Susan Burch is a professor of American Studies at Middlebury College. Before joining the Middlebury faculty in 2009, she taught at Gallaudet University, King’s College (University of Aberdeen, Scotland), and the Ohio State University. Professor Burch also has worked as a research associate at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. She earned her BA degree in history and Soviet Studies from Colorado College and her MA and PhD in American and Soviet history from Georgetown University.

Her research and teaching interests focus on histories of deaf, disability, Mad, race, ethnicity, Indigeneity, and gender and sexuality. Material culture, oral history, and inclusive design play an important role in her courses. Burch is the author of Signs of Resistance: American Deaf Cultural History, 1900 to 1942 (2002) and a coauthor, with Hannah Joyner, of Unspeakable: The Story of Junius Wilson (2007). She has coedited anthologies including Women and Deafness: Double Visions (2006), Deaf and Disability Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2010), and Disability Histories (2014), and also served as editor-in-chief of The Encyclopedia of American Disability History (2009). Burch has received numerous grants and awards for her work, including an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, National Archives regional residency fellowship, National Endowment for the Humanities and Mellon Foundation grants, and a Fulbright Scholars award. Her latest book, which has recently received the National Women’s Studies Association Alison Piepmeier Book Prize, Committed: Native Families, Institutionalization, and Remembering (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) centers on peoples’ lived experiences inside and outside the Canton Asylum, a federal psychiatric institution created specifically to detain American Indians.

Moderator Biography: Benjamin H. Irvin is a social and cultural historian of British North America and the early United States. He is now writing a book about disabled Revolutionary War veterans and their efforts to obtain and eke their subsistence off of invalid pensions offered by state and federal governments in the early U.S. republic.

About the series: The Department of History’s annual McNutt Lecture honors Paul V. McNutt, who was dean of the Indiana University School of Law from 1925 to 1933, then became Indiana’s governor and later served as U.S. High Commissioner to the Philippines, director of the Federal Security Agency, and chairman of the War Manpower Commission during World War II.

Free and open to the public.


"Abolition and the Press: The Moral Struggle Against Slavery"

  • Image of people breaking the bonds of slavery

    American Studies Guest Lecture: Prof. Ford Risley, "Abolition and the Press: The Moral Struggle Against Slavery"

    Prof. Ford Risley, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Communications at Penn State University, will give a guest lecture titled, “Abolition and the Press: The Moral Struggle Against Slavery.” Abolitionist newspapers played an essential role in opposing slavery in the decades before the Civil War. Some 40 newspapers were founded with the goal of promoting emancipation of the more than three million slaves in the United States. At a time when most mainstream publications either supported slavery or ignored the subject, abolitionist newspapers were an unmistakable voice of outrage.

    Axinn Center 232

    Open to the Public
man in top hat with face obscured

Congratulations to Prof. Ellery Foutch

The American Studies Program congratulates Prof. Ellery Foutch on her new article that was published in Panorama - the Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art. The article is called “Iconoclasm on Paper: Resistance in the Pages of Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, 1849.” The work links to her Spring 2015 course at Middlebury: The American Civil War in Art and Visual Culture, Present.

“Curating as Praxis: Shattering the Myth of Neutrality”

La Tanya Autry

Wednesday, May 4, 7pm

Co-sponsored by the Henry Sheldon Museum and Middlebury College

Link to Register: https://www.henrysheldonmuseum.org/events/curating-as-praxis

In “Curating as Praxis: Shattering the Myth of Neutrality,” cultural organizer La Tanya S. Autry discusses dismantling oppressive forces through applying knowledge to real world conditions in museums. She highlights various curatorial strategies she has implemented to disrupt institutional violence and build care for those most harmed. Autry also indicates a range of approaches that students to museum professionals can engage to enact structural change. This event is held in conjunction with the Middlebury College American Studies course Viewer Discretion Advised: Controversies in American Art and Museums, 1876-present.

profile photo of LaTanya Autry

La Tanya S. Autry, cultural organizer and independent curator, has exercised her liberatory curatorial praxis through developing exhibitions and programming in institutional spaces, such as Yale University Art Gallery, moCa Cleveland, Artspace New Haven, and non-institutional collaborative freedom projects, including the Social Justice & Museums Resource List, The Art of Black Dissent, Museums Are Not Neutraland the Black Liberation Center. La Tanya, who is completing her PhD in art history at University of Delaware, is examining the interplay of race, representation, memory, and public space in her dissertation The Crossroads of Commemoration: Lynching Landscapes in America.



Butterfly with text "Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center"

Nathaly Martinez ‘24, will intern in inaugural Immigration Advocacy Internship

Nathaly Martinez ‘24, American Studies major, will participate in the inaugural Immigration Advocacy Internship Cohort program. She will be interning at Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center

This funded internship program was designed by recent alumni Olivia O’Brien ’21.5 and Alex Burns ’21.5 and will be funded this summer through Provost’s Council funding. She will join five other Summer 2022 interns who will be doing work related to immigration in the U.S.


Cheswayo Mphanza ‘16

Link to Zoom Event

Password 126102

Cheswayo Mphanza '16 - April 7, 2022 - 4:30 PM, Axinn Abernathy Room
A group of women meeting. Photo by Mary Ellen Mark, 1969 //Redstockings Archives
 Photo by Mary Ellen Mark, 1969 //Redstockings Archives

Undoing the Property Form: Feminist Consciousness Raising as a Practice of Freedom

A lecture and conversation with Liz Kinnamon (University of Arizona)

Thursday, April 7, 4:30pm

Robert A. Jones ’59 House (RAJ) Conference Room

This event will be livestreamed at the link below.


This talk examines 1960s and 70s feminist Consciousness Raising as an example of creating positive freedom—the “freedom to,” rather than the negative “freedom from.” Riffing off a tweet that went viral in 2019, Liz Kinnamon juxtaposes the model of the liberal subject created by pop therapeutic discourse with the work done by Second Wave feminists to forge liberation as a relational project. Kinnamon paints a picture of what radical feminist Consciousness Raising was; how it developed out of Third World liberation movements, such as in Vietnam and China, and Civil Rights; how it spread across the US and transnationally; and what kinds of effects these group practices had. If the tweet’s virality suggests a kind of tapping into the cultural zeitgeist, the talk asks what vision of social relations predominates today, and whether another form of relationship is possible. The talk draws from the Milan Women’s Bookstore Collective, an Italian feminist group; Indigenous critiques of European relationality; Marx; Freud; and primary Women’s Liberation documents from the US. 

Liz Kinnamon is a writer, teacher, and feminist historian, currently completing a PhD in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona. Their book manuscript explores “attention” from a Marxist feminist perspective, following the importance placed on attentive capacity from plantations, through scientific management and contemporary tech cultures, to social movements. They are currently working to publish, with Carol Giardina, The Consciousness-Raising Correspondence, 1968-69, a collection of letters written between founding members of Women’s Liberation when the movement was first cohering in the United States. The letters show the effervescent thinking, connection, and effort involved in developing some of the movement’s basic theories — from “the personal is political” to the practice of Consciousness Raising. Kinnamon has published in such venues as Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theoryBookforum, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Cosponsored by the History Department, Academic Enrichment Funds, American Studies Program, The Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies and The Feminist Resource Center at Chellis House, The Rohatyn Center and the Sociology Department

Photo of three women, the woman on the left is Mrs. Celine Novarro, who was tried in an open tribunal and upon being condemned was buried alive.

The Celine Archive

Tuesday, April 5, 2022 via Zoom 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Register at go.middlebury.edu/AMST-Events

Screening and Discussion with Filmmaker, Distinguished Professor of Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz and Dean of the Arts, Celine Parreñas Shimizu will discuss her documentary, The Celine Archive (2020, distributed by Women Make Movies) on Zoom.

The film centers on the life and legacy of Celine Navarro, a Filipina American woman who was buried alive by her Filipinx immigrant community in California in 1932. Focusing on inter-generational legacies of violence, the film suggests how seeking truth about the past can help survivors heal. The director presents the power of feminist filmmaking as Celine Parreñas Shimizu weaves in the narrative the painful loss of her own son, Lakas.


Cover image of Committed by Susan Burch

Congratulations to Professor Susan Burch

Professor Burch, whose book, Committed: Remembering Native Kinship in and beyond Institutions (UNC Press), was awarded the 2021 Alison Piepmeier Book Prize! Awarded annually by the National Women’s Studies Association, the prize recognizes groundbreaking work in women, gender, and sexuality studies that makes significant contributions to feminist disability studies scholarship. In Committed, Professor Burch tells the story of the Indigenous people—families, communities, and nations, across generations to the present day—who were and continue to be impacted by institutionalization at the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians, a federal psychiatric hospital that operated in South Dakota between 1902 and 1934.