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, Sarah Stroup, associate professor of political science, and Bert Johnson, professor of political science, this series stimulates thought-provoking online conversations for the benefit of the Middlebury community far and wide. 

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 two weeks after the live event. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

How to Read a Poem Together, and Why  

John Elder
  • John Elder

I often found in classes at Middlebury and Bread Loaf that a group’s close consideration of a single poem could generate sustained and authentic conversations of a quality rare in daily life. My aim in this event is to share some of my related strategies and experiences as a teacher and at the same time to facilitate a rewarding discussion of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30. Sonnet 30: When to the sessions of sweet silent… | Poetry Foundation 

From 1973 through 2010, John Elder taught English and environmental studies at Middlebury College and the Bread Loaf School of English. His last four books have combined memoir with discussions of poetry and the Vermont landscape. In retirement, he and his wife, Rita, have enjoyed pursuing their shared interest in Ireland’s traditional music, she on the concertina and he on the flute and the uilleann pipes. Delving into the classical poetry of China has also become a strong interest of his.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Presidency and the Constitution: The Founders’ Views and the State of the Office and its Powers Today  

Murray Dry in dark blue suit with light blue shirt and red tie, with Middlebury campus in early spring behind him
  • Murray Dry

This talk takes its points of departure from two books on the American presidency that were published in 2020.

The first is After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency, by Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith,. The authors provided a roadmap for reform of the presidency in the post-Trump era. The book was written in 2020; the authors did not consider that Donald Trump, who has steadfastly denied his defeat in 2020, would be running for re-election in 2024 while under indictment in three different jurisdictions. The indictment handed down on August 1, 2023, charged the former president with a conspiracy to subvert legitimate election results.

The other book, The President Who Would Not Be King, by Michael McConnell, addresses the relationship between the framers’ construction of the office and powers of the president and its current condition, in political and legal terms. 

Drawing on these two books, the indictments, and other materials, I will describe the relationship between the founders’ Constitution and the American Constitution today.

Murray Dry is a Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science at Middlebury College. He received his BA, MA, and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago. He offers courses in political philosophy, American political thought, and American constitutional law.
He has been teaching at Middlebury since the fall of 1968.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Sources and Ecological Consequences of Salting Vermont’s Streams  

Molly Costanza-Robinson
  • Molly Costanza-Robinson

I will share work from an ongoing collaborative project in which we seek to understand the magnitude, source(s), and ecological consequences of elevated salt levels in Lake Champlain Basin streams.

Molly Costanza-Robinson is an environmental chemist who specializes in the transport and remediation of chemical pollutants in natural and engineered systems. Her recent work includes investigating lead, a potent neurotoxin, in Vermont’s school drinking water and supporting the 2019 passage of Act 66 to protect schoolchildren from lead exposure. She is happiest when she’s collaborating across scientific disciplines on policy-relevant projects … and doing anything active out-of-doors.

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