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.

A note about webinar times: All webinars are 45 minutes long and all, except one, begin at 4:15 p.m. Eastern Time. The webinar on February 15, 2022, will begin at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. 

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.

See the list on the left of this page to find recordings of webinars that have already occurred. Recordings are posted about a week after the live event.

Tuesday, February 15

Embracing Tradition, Memories, and Reconciliation for Intercultural and Cross-Generational Empowerment and Transformation  

Green tea plantation - Tenryumura, Japan
This mountain slope is a green-tea plantation located in Tenryumura, Japan.

Sanae Eda, Kristen Mullins, Hideko Russell, and Linda White

Embracing Tradition, Memories, and Reconciliation for Intercultural and Cross-Generational Empowerment and Transformation is a project at Middlebury College that involves the translation, analysis, and archiving of historical records of Tenryumura, a mountain village in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Tenryumura is a community whose history includes a complex and acknowledged role in wartime Japan, and a desire to understand and keep this history, and its lessons, known. The scope and goals of the project are being developed in collaboration with, and at the request of, leaders of Tenryumura. The webinar will include discussion about how this project and the relationships that make it possible have developed over the past years, and the potentially broad implications of this work.

Sanae Eda (MA, University of Puerto Rico; PhD, The Ohio State University), associate professor and director of the Middlebury College School in Japan, began her career at Middlebury in the Language Schools in 1994. She has served as director of the School in Japan since 2010. 

Kristen Mullins, assistant director of Middlebury College Center for Community Engagement (CCE) and specialist of Intercultural and Global Programs and the CCE, has been partnering with the School in Japan since 2016 to offer collaborative community-connected opportunities for Middlebury students.

Hideko Russell (BA, University of Sacred Heart, Japan; MA, Middlebury Institute of International Studies), associate professor and program head of Japanese Translation and Interpretation, began her career as a freelance translator and interpreter in Japan. She lives in Monterey and focuses on translating nonfiction books.

Linda White (BA, Michigan State University; MA, Cornell; PhD, University of Colorado), associate professor of Japanese, wrote Gender and the Koseki in Contemporary Japan: Surname, Power, and Privilege, a book that analyzes feminist activism to change the household registration law in Japan. She teaches in international and global studies and is a core member of the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies program.

Hosted by Sarah Stroup, associate professor of political science.

Please note time for this webinar. 

Tuesday, March 1

The Loneliest Heretic  

Louisa Burnham photo

Louisa Burnham

Limoux Negre struck out on his own in the early 14th century. Calling the Church a bunch of cheaters, he rejected orthodox beliefs and replaced them with a heretical hodgepodge that astonishes us as much as it horrified the contemporaries who burned him at the stake. Mary was a surrogate mother, Jesus was a murderer, and the world was created from coagulated urine. In an age of intolerance, Limoux espoused equal salvation for Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Who was Limoux Negre? What stories lay in his past?
Louisa Burnham (AB, Harvard; PhD, Northwestern) teaches all things medieval in the History Department but has a particular passion for heretics.  

Hosted by Caitlin Myers, John G. McCullough Professor of Economics.

Tuesday, March 15

Behind the Scenes at the Tokyo Olympics: The View from the Interpreter’s Booth  

4 interpretation booths

Laura Burian, Andrea Hofmann-Miller, Chiyo Mori, and Nanako Komatsubara

Professors Laura BurianAndrea Hofmann-Miller, and Chiyo Mori and second-year MA student Nanako Komatsubara from the Translation and Interpretation program at the Middlebury Institute are proud to represent over 30 Middlebury Institute faculty, students, and alumni who organized language services and provided interpretation for the Tokyo 2020+1 Olympics. Among other pandemic adaptations, interpreters for the first time in history performed interpretation remotely (from all over the world) and from an onsite hub (in Tokyo) rather than going to the competition venues to provide language services.  The panel will discuss how the interpreters prepared for and performed remote interpretation at the Olympics, reflecting greater global trends in the field of interpretation.

Laura Burian (BA in Comparative Area Studies, Duke University; MATI, Middlebury Institute of International Studies) is the dean of the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation, and Language Education (GSTILE) and a professor of Chinese/English translation and interpretation at the Institute. She is an active Chinese-English conference interpreter. Tokyo 2020+1 was her first Olympic experience.
Andrea Hofmann-Miller (BA in Economics, Universität Regensburg, Germany; MATI, Middlebury Institute of International Studies) is an associate professor and the program head of the German Translation and Interpretation program at the Institute. She is an active English-German translator and conference interpreter who has served as an official interpreter at the Olympics since 1996.
Chiyo Mori (MA in Applied Linguistics, University of Hawaii at Manoa; MACI, Middlebury Institute of International Studies) is a visiting assistant professor of Japanese/English interpretation at the Institute. She is an active English-Japanese conference interpreter who worked remotely for the Tokyo 2020+1 Olympics and ran training sessions for many of the Japanese-English junior interpreters at the Games.
Nanako Komatsubara (BA in Linguistics, Bryn Mawr College; MATI in progress, MIIS) is a second-year student of the Japanese Translation and Interpretation program at the institute. She worked remotely for nonmedal round conferences as a junior interpreter at the Tokyo 2020+1 Olympics. She has held multiple internships as an interpreter, and is looking forward to pursuing a career in translation and interpretation after her graduation in May.

Hosted by Caitlin Myers, John G. McCullough Professor of Economics.

Tuesday, March 29

Teaching and Learning across Difference: The Bread Loaf Teacher Network (BLTN)  

BLTN Photo Collage
South Carolina youth learn documentary video techniques with Vermont peers as part of BLTN’s Next Generation Leadership Network and BLTN members discuss academic year collaboration plans in a weekly meeting on Bread Loaf’s Vermont campus.

Emily Bartels, Beverly Moss, and Tom McKenna

How do free-verse poetry nights, donated pears, Indigenous survival stories, graduate Shakespeare courses, and documentary film point toward a more just and equitable world? Anchored in graduate study at the Bread Loaf School of English, BLTN teachers in public schools across the U.S. and abroad share practice for transformative teaching and learning. Join Bread Loaf Teacher Network’s leaders to learn the enduring features and practices of a professional learning network focused on advocacy literacy and youth engagement. 

Emily C. Bartels (BA, Yale; PhD, Harvard) is dean of the Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English and professor of English at Rutgers University (New Brunswick). A Shakespearean scholar specializing in representations of race, Emily came to BLSE in 1995 and, well, never went home.  

Beverly J. Moss (BA, Spelman; PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago) is director of the Bread Loaf Teacher Network and associate professor of English in the Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy program at The Ohio State University. Beverly’s scholarship and teaching focus on literacy in African American community contexts. She spent several years as a BLSE faculty member before transitioning to directing BLTN

Tom McKenna (BA, Middlebury; MA, Bread Loaf) is BLTN director of communications. Tom’s affiliation with BLTN spans 30 years, from his earliest years teaching in rural Alaska through later years in urban Alaska classrooms, school administration, and university teaching. 

Hosted by Sarah Stroup, associate professor of political science.

Monday, April 11

How Was the Qur’an Compiled?  

Ata Anzali photo

Ata Anzali

In this lecture, Professor Anzali will first share the most commonly accepted view among Muslims regarding the process by which the Qur’an came to be the book that it is now. He will then compare and contrast this view with the latest academic theories that have been developed to shed light on the intricate process that led to the formation of the most sacred source of Islamic faith, the Qur’an.

Ata Anzali (PhD, Rice University, Houston), associate professor of religion, has been teaching at Middlebury since 2012. He has had extensive traditional training in Islamic seminaries in Iran and received his PhD in the study of religion after he moved to the United States. He is the author of ‘Mysticism’ in Iran: The Safavid Roots of a Modern Concept.

Hosted by Caitlin Myers, John G. McCullough Professor of Economics.

Monday, April 25

How Do Fruit Flies See, and What Does Computer Science Have to Do with It?  

Andrea Vaccari

Andrea Vaccari

All animals have visual systems that allow them to process relevant visual stimuli to inform their behaviors. In mammalians, these systems are very complex and often show the presence of retinotopy, a mechanism by which specific regions of the retina (the light-sensitive part of the eye) are mapped onto corresponding locations in the brain, helping preserve spatial information about the visual stimulus. But what about fruit flies? How do they process visual stimuli? In this talk, I will take you on an excursion into the fruit fly’s visual system and show you how, using data from the fruit fly’s connectome (a dataset providing a comprehensive map of the wiring in their brain) and machine learning techniques (clustering and classification), we can start to make sense of how the fruit fly’s brain interprets spatial information.

Andrea Vaccari (MS, Università degli Studi di Milano; PhD, University of Virginia), assistant professor of computer science, began his career as an electronics engineer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory before realizing how much he enjoyed teaching. His research focuses on model-based analysis of datasets with the goal of detecting, tracking, and analyzing “objects” or “events” within such datasets; extracting and analyzing their most important features; and achieving a better understanding of their behavior. He especially loves to play with biomedical and biological as well as remote sensing imagery … although he finds intriguing any problem that deals with images or videos.

Hosted by Sarah Stroup, associate professor of political science.

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