Join some of Middlebury’s expert and engaging faculty members for interactive talks—from home.

Faculty at Home Logo

Faculty at Home extends Middlebury’s academic reach to our community around the world. This webinar series invites you to engage in the digital space, to stay connected with faculty members, with big ideas, and with each other.

Moderated by Caitlin Knowles Myers, John G. McCullough Professor of Economics, and Sarah Stroup, associate professor of political science, this series will stimulate thought-provoking online conversations for the benefit of the Middlebury community far and wide. Faculty at Home is supported by numerous staff members—some of whom are still working from home.

Generally, we open up the webinar 5 – 10 minutes ahead of the start time. This offers attendees the chance to let everyone know (via Zoom chat) that they are present and where they are joining from. Zoom settings only allow attendees to see the chat activity from the time they log in, so if you’d like to say hello, consider logging in early.

Recordings are posted about a week after the live event.


Choral Commission During Conflict: singing awareness and support with Dmytro Malyi’s “Salve Regina” (2022)  

Jeff Buettner in blue-and-white checked shirt and navy jacket

Jeffrey Buettner

In May of 2022, Jeffrey Buettner commissioned Ukrainian composer Dmytro Malyi for a work to be performed in 2022-2023 season of the Middlebury College Community Chorus. In this talk, Jeff discusses the process of this commission, the present circumstances of this composer and other musicians in Ukraine, and elements of the text and music. The presentation will feature recordings from recent rehearsals in preparation for the premiere of the work on Sunday, December 4 in the Mahaney Arts Center. The commission is made possible by the Jane Stevens Alloo Music Library Family Fund. Learn more about the piece and the upcoming free performance at

Jeffrey Buettner is the Christian A. Johnson Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Middlebury College, where he conducts the College Choir and teaches conducting, vocal ensemble performance, and the seminar Singing Communities. In 2010, he was as a Fulbright Scholar to Kharkiv State University of Arts, Ukraine, where he conducted the university choir and taught conducting and American choral traditions. His research includes Romani music of Ukraine and he presently advocates for Ukrainian choral and Romani music and culture. Jeff received his doctorate in musical arts from Michigan State University, master’s degree in music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and bachelor’s degree in music from St. Olaf College.


Migration response to the COVID-19 pandemic  

Pete Nelson in short sleeved yellow button-up shirt against grey background

Pete Nelson

As the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, the media began reporting stories of people leaving cities to shelter in place in smaller towns and rural regions. Pete Nelson analyzed data collected monthly from mobile devices to examine migration patterns during the first nine months of the pandemic. The analysis reveals clear migration shifts out of the largest metropolitan core regions into “micropolitan” centers, small towns, and rural regions, especially after states began lifting stringent interstate travel restrictions. There is also strong evidence these migration shifts have set off a period of frenzied real estate activity.

Pete Nelson is a professor of Geography who has been teaching at Middlebury since 1999. His research examines urban to rural migration in the United States, and over the course of his career he has explored the implications of the aging baby boom population on urban-to-rural migration, the impacts of subprime lending on rural housing markets, and processes of rural gentrification. He lives in Weybridge with his wife and has two sons (19 and 15). When not knee deep in migration data, you can often find Pete knee deep in a stream with fly-rod in hand, knee deep in the brush at Ralph Myhre in search of his golf ball, or knee deep in fluffy snow enjoying a good ski.



How China Made the "New Right" New: A Brief History  

Joyce Mao in floral pattern blouse

Joyce Mao

After Japanese bombs hit Pearl Harbor, the American Right stood at a crossroads. Generally isolationist, conservatives needed to forge their own foreign policy agenda if they wanted to remain politically viable. Joyce Mao, Associate Professor of History, will discuss how foreign policy changes following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and during the Cold War led to American conservatism as we know it today.

Born and (mostly) raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Joyce Mao received her BA, MA, and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the intersections between American foreign affairs and national politics during the Cold War era, with special attention to US-Asia relations. She is the author of Asia First: China and the Making of Modern American Conservatism, while her current project “Porcelain and Steel” examines the role of Chinese economic development in American grand strategy. A member of the Middlebury History Department since 2008, she teaches courses that explore topics such as the U.S. and the World since 1898, Pacific Rim relations, the Cold War at home and abroad, and American conservatism since the New Deal.


Pedagogies of Interdisciplinarity: Possibilities and Prospects for the Social Issues of Our Time  

Netta Avineri in pale pink blazer and teal glasses

Netta Avineri

In this talk, Netta Avineri will explore how dialogue among different experiences and identities can create new avenues for hope and change. She highlights the ‘pedagogies of interdisciplinarity’ she uses in her coursework and community engagement at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS). She will discuss case studies including educational/language inequities, housing insecurity, immigration, Indigenous representation, and public health. By bringing together a range of viewpoints, recognizing the conflicts involved, and ‘coalescing’ around common intentions and goals, these intercultural exchanges can foster students’ critical abilities to address the world’s most complex problems.

Dr. Netta Avineri is a Language Teacher Education and Intercultural Communication Associate Professor at MIIS. She serves as the Intercultural Competence Committee Chair, Kathryn Wasserman Davis Collaborative in Conflict Transformation Graduate Education and Research Pillar Lead, CoLab Co-Director, and Social Impact Corps Faculty Director. Netta is also a Critical Service-Learning and Teacher Education Lecturer at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). She is a researcher, consultant, and trainer in the areas of language and social justice, critical interculturality, heritage language socialization, and ethical community partnerships. Her forthcoming co-authored book is entitled Language and Social Justice: An Applied Linguistic Anthropological Approach (Routledge).

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