Fall 2023 Recorded Series

Recordings are available for the following Faculty at Home webinars that have already happened.  Recordings are usually available about two weeks after the webinar.

John Elder-How to Read a Poem Together, and Why

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 

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

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 other book, The President Who Would Not Be King, by Michael McConnell.


Molly Costanza-Robinson - Sources and Ecological Consequences of Salting Vermont’s Streams

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.

How Terrorist Groups Exploit Natural Disasters

This talk examines the multiple strategies through which terrorists exploit conditions created by natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and tsunamis (amongst other such catastrophes). These strategies include participating in disaster relief activities with the expectation that it will lead to increased fundraising and enhanced recruitment.

Alexis Mychajliw - Learning to Live with Carnivores: Stories of Extinction and Survival from the Fossil Record

Nearly 150 years have passed since the last mountain lion was seen in Vermont, yet the panther persists as Middlebury’s mascot. Similar tales can be found across North America, ranging from the ubiquitous grizzly bear on the California state flag to the ghostly sea mink of the Maine coastline. What can we learn from these stories of predator loss, and how can they help guide human-carnivore coexistence today? 

Phil Chodrow - A Critical Citizen's Guide to ChatGPT

Large language models (LLMs) power modern chatbots and text generators. How do they work and what do they mean for human society? We’ll begin by describing next-token-prediction and reinforcement learning with human feedback, the two technical tasks that underlie contemporary LLMs. 

Megan Mayhew Bergman - Landscape and Memory: Examining the Flow between Person and Place

In Vladimir Nabokov’s memoir of estrangement—Speak, Memory—he writes: “I see again my schoolroom in Vyra, the blue roses of the wallpaper, the open window…. Everything is as it should be, nothing will ever change, nobody will ever die.” This talk examines the flow between person and place.

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