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—all working from home.

Zoom webinar details will be provided after you register. 

Please note, all times listed are Eastern (EDT).  Recordings of previous webinars will be posted below several days after the event. 

Conor Quinn and Jesse Bruchac
Conor McDonough Quinn and Jesse Bowman Bruchac

August 19

Abenaki, In Relation to the Language

  • Jesse Bowman Bruchac and Conor McDonough Quinn

This summer, Middlebury added a pilot program in Abenaki to the Language Schools.  For the last three decades, Jesse Bowman Bruchac and Conor McDonough Quinn have worked both together and individually in Abenaki and other Eastern Algonquian language revitalization efforts.  They see this work as not only about language, but also about the strengthening of culture and community.  These efforts have led Dr. Quinn to develop and implement an Indigenous inspired relational approach to teaching language, in concert with Jesse’s culturally guided incorporation of music, and technology.  During their Faculty at Home presentation, they will be discussing formative experiences and methods, as well as reflecting on their extremely successful first session at the new Middlebury Language School of Abenaki earlier this summer.

In his quest to revitalize Abenaki, Jesse Bowman Bruchac has created multiple ways to make the language accessible including a website, a YouTube Channel, and recordings of teaching songs.

Jesse Bowman Bruchac is a Nulhegan Abenaki Citizen.  He is a traditional storyteller, musician, and educator.  He is the co-director of his family-run education center Ndakinna. He and Dr. Quinn co-teach a Wabanaki Language course at the University of Southern Maine.  He has also worked as a consultant, translator, composer and language coach for programs on AMC, National Geographic and PBS.

Conor McDonough Quinn received his PhD from Harvard University in Linguistics in 2006.  He is a sought after speaker and lecturer and currently teaches at the University of Southern Maine.  He has also taught at St. Thomas University and McGill University, University of Nizwa, Oman, and the University of California, Berkeley.  He has at least substantial working experience in over twenty languages. 

Link to Register

This event was rescheduled from a date in July.


Zoom webinar details will be provided after you register.

Please note, all times listed are Eastern (EDT). 

Recordings of previous webinars are available below.

Summer Series

A recording of Rebecca Ayako Bennette’s webinar will be posted soon.

Beyond the Page: Using theatre to transform the classroom

Beyond the Page is a new project at Middlebury College started by The Bread Loaf School of English and led by Craig Maravich. This project partners with professional actors/teaching artists, faculty and students to embed theatre arts practices across the undergraduate and graduate curriculum. This talk will explore how this pedagogy fosters creativity and critical thinking, and has the potential to revolutionize teaching in the liberal arts.
Beyond the Page is the evolution of the Bread Loaf School of English’s Acting Ensemble - a cohort of professional actors that serve as part of the Bread Loaf School of English teaching force. The ensemble collaborates with faculty to bring theater arts practices into educational spaces to catalyze cultural and literary inquiry. Watch a short video documenting the work of the Acting Ensemble by clicking the link above.

Assessing coral reef resilience to thermal stress in the face of climate change

Anthropogenic climate change threatens coral reef ecosystems in several ways. By comparing coral samples from a reef that experienced bleaching at high temperatures, and one that did not, we determined biological factors indicating temperature stress resilience. These data improve our biological understanding of these reefs, and provide insight for conservation efforts.

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Dreams and Deferrals: Listening to Langston Hughes and Toni Morrison

Professor Wood discusses what we may hear when we listen closely to the work of Langston Hughes and Toni Morrison, paying special attention perhaps to what they don’t say. It will also consider the effect of listening with them, tuning in to some of the unforgettable jazz that gave a title to a Morrison novel, and that was never far away from any of Hughes’ poems.

The perils of being black in public: a conversation with Carolyn Finney

A conversation with Carolyn Finney whose piece, “The perils of being black in public: we are all Christian Cooper and George Floyd”, recently appeared in The Guardian.  With Caitlin Myers and Sarah Stroup as moderators, Dr. Finney will address current issues around race and the environment.  Webinar attendees will be able to submit questions before and during the webinar. 

Afterlife: Julia Alvarez in Conversation with John Elder About Her Latest Novel

Julia Alvarez discusses her first novel for adults in fifteen years with John Elder. Afterlife — a novel about what happens when the life we plan goes awry, retirement after a long career teaching, and honoring the diversity in each other and ourselves — is especially timely in this moment in our national and global history. 
In the course of their discussion, John will invite Julia to place this novel in the larger context of her writing, to relate it to the place of Vermont in her life and work, and to reflect upon its implications for the stresses and opportunities of the present moment.

Spring Series

A Crisis Inside a Crisis: What COVID-19 Might Teach Us About Dealing with Climate

Environmentalist Bill McKibben says there are no silver linings to a pandemic, but if we’re going to go through this kind of trauma we might as well learn some things. Join him as he shares his sense of what we should be thinking as we come out of quarantine.

Coronavirus and the Science of Epidemic Disease

How does the coronavirus epidemic compare to others of the recent past? And how are scientists responding to this situation? Professor Cluss will share insights on the latest virus causing worldwide havoc.

Drum Making as a Way of Life in Southern Uganda

The village of Mpambire in southern Uganda is the epicenter of a vibrant community of instrument makers, musicians, and entrepreneurs. Drum making is a primary source of livelihood, culture, and community. It connects them to their ancestors, both through musical practice and spirit-medium rituals. Drum making also fosters kinship within families, as elders pass down their knowledge of the art. And it promotes cross-cultural and global connections, which sustain Mpambire’s economy and afford drum makers opportunities to gain national and international experience.

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Frankenstein: Still Coming Alive After 200 Years

For 200 years, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has proven itself a shape-shifting and always-relevant text, providing generations of readers with an allegory for human psychology, class relations, gendered identity, the consequences of colonialism, and racial conflict. Today, it might even have something to say about our struggles with a global pandemic.

The Bonefish—Using Animation to Explore the Emotional Complexity of Abortion Daniel Houghton

How might the visual medium of animation be used to address the complex topic of abortion? When the current national political struggle forces an over simplification of a complex topic, and the ferocity of the debate encourages participants to fully embrace one side or another in the name of political efficacy, something is lost. The director and the two leading undergraduate collaborators, Kaitlynd Collins ‘19 and Lily Shale ‘20, consider ways of inviting new participants to engage in a topic that is so often shrouded in silence or simplified into fighting terms.

Financial Fraud in the Time of COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous opportunities for criminal actors—cybercriminals using the pandemic as a ruse for their spearphishing campaigns, fraudsters setting up fake charities or taking advantage of the desperate scramble to acquire medical equipment and protective gear, or criminals using the new state of disorder to move their money with less risk of detection. Bad actors thrive in a state of chaos. Professor Ruehsen will first explain what you can do to protect yourself and then discuss what financial services firms can do to detect this criminal behavior.

Will Coronavirus Reshape Global Order?

The pandemic has and will continue to profoundly impact world politics and the economy. Ideas and policies developed over decades and the competence of national governments and international institutions have been shaken and tested. Join Professor Liang as she discusses what may be permanent shifts in how people (and nations) view sovereignty, freedom, democracy, market, and globalization.

Food System Transformation: What Do We Think We're Doing and Will It Work?

Calls to transform our food system are heard from every quarter now, especially given the connections between industrial agriculture and emergent infectious diseases. But what kinds of transformation are needed and how will they happen? Transformation to greater sustainability is essential for our own health and the health of ecosystems, but we can only accomplish this if we understand and deal with the current forms of power in the food system.

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Why Deny? The Psychology of Science Denial, Doubt, and Resistance

How do individuals decide whether to vaccinate their children, accept human causes of climate change, or practice social distancing during a pandemic? Democracies depend on educated citizens who can make informed decisions for the benefit of their health and wellbeing, their communities, nations, and planet. Understanding key psychological explanations for science denial and resistance can help provide a means for improving scientific literacy and understanding – critically important at a time when denial has become deadly.

The COVID-19 Recession: Economic Fallout and Prospects for Recovery

COVID-19 is first and foremost a public health crisis. The economic fallout from the virus is also staggering, and our economic policy decisions could ameliorate the degree of hardship or substantially impede our eventual recovery. Macroeconomist Andrew Fieldhouse discusses the COVID-19 recession in the United States, recent policy responses, prospects for recovery, and the risks ahead.

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U.S. Politics in a Pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis prompts two related questions for U.S. politics: First, has our system of government performed effectively in the face of a sudden disaster? And second, what will be the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for elections in November and beyond? Although definitive answers to these questions will only come over time, Professor Johnson will offer some preliminary thoughts on these topics and provide context from the perspective of a political scientist.

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