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

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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.


The Magic Lantern from Theatre to Film  

Portrait of Paul Monod

Paul Monod

The magic lantern was a projection device invented in the 17th century. It was used in theatres to create illusions and special effects. Many of the glass slides used in lantern projection were based on stage productions, from serious plays to pantomimes. Home projection allowed adults and children—girls as well as boys—to create little theatres in domestic settings. Moralizing religious lectures became theatrical when delivered with the help of magic lantern projection. The glass slides reflected the class, gender, and racial attitudes found in popular theatres like vaudeville and music halls.  In the 20th century, however, the magic lantern was regarded as a precursor to the rise of cinema rather than a type of theatre, which has tended to distort its early history.

Paul Monod has taught at Middlebury College since 1984.  He grew up in Montreal and was educated at Princeton and Yale Universities.  He has offered courses in British History from 1485 to the present, European History from 1500 to 1800 and the History of the Atlantic World.  In addition, he has advised more than 100 senior theses on various topics.  His own area of specialization is 17th -18th century Britain, and he is now working on a study of the occult (alchemy, astrology, ritual magic) in the British Enlightenment.  He has been the recipient of fellowships from the NEH, the Huntington Library, the Getty Research Institute and the Leverhulme Trust.


The Art of Storytelling: Narratives, Culture, and Environmental Governance  

Photo of Kemi Fuentes-George

Kemi Fuentes-George

Environmental management is shaped by the stories people tell about nature. Imagine a hypothetical grove of trees. Is it a carbon sink, generating credits sold on the international market? Is it a habitat for endangered species? Or is it a sacred site for local communities? In global governance, the answers to these questions lead to different, sometimes incompatible approaches. Consequently, environmental governance stakeholders have always contested what stories should be told about nature and the environment. In the past three decades, indigenous, tribal, and local communities have gained growing, but still small-scale influence over environmental narratives, and thus policy.

Kemi Fuentes-George teaches political science and environmental studies at Middlebury College. His book, Between Preservation and Exploitation, explores the intersection of race and conservation in developing countries. His research draws from political science, gender studies, and critical race theory to highlight how environmental degradation both shapes and is shaped by racial hierarchies.


Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and the Wrestle with God  

Portrait of Brett Miller

Brett Millier

Both Emily Dickinson and Gerard Manley Hopkins lived their lives in relation to conservative Christian orthodoxy and wrote poems in constant conversation with God. The story of Jacob’s wrestle with the angel (Genesis 32: 24-32) was central to both, and yet they approach and address God quite differently.

Brett Millier is the Reginald L. Cook Professor of American Literature at Middlebury College. She is the author of Elizabeth Bishop: Life and the Memory of It (1993) and Flawed Light: American Women Poets and Alcohol (2009), and is the associate editor of The Columbia History of American Poetry (1994). She is co-editor of Adrienne Rich: Poetry and Prose (2018) and of Rich’s Selected Poems (2018), and is currently at work on a critical book about Rich.

Millier holds a Ph.D.  from Stanford University and a B.A. from Yale, and has taught at Middlebury since 1986.

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