Below is a listing of summer 2020 events open to the public. Please check back often, as events may be modified or added throughout the summer. Links to register to participate will be added closer to the dates of events. You will find links to recordings of many events within their listings. If you have questions, please contact us at

Summer of Writing Public Events

  • Cheryl Savageau

    Writer and author; Bread Loaf faculty.

Virtual Barn: Monday Reading Series

Out of the Crazywoods: Cheryl Savageau will be reading from her new memoir, Out of the Crazywoods, about her journey with bipolar/manic-depressive illness. Introduced by Amy Rodgers.

View a recording of this reading at

  • Emma Smith

    Tutorial Fellow in English, Fellow Librarian, and Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Hertford College, University of Oxford; former faculty and on-site Oxford campus director, Bread Loaf.

Virtual Barn: Elizabeth Drew Memorial Lecture

What Would Shakespeare Do? Plague, Protest and the Plays in 2020

‘What would Shakespeare do?’ is a common reaction to events in the UK and the US: did he write King Lear during quarantine? can Hamlet speak to us about BLM? was Shakespeare a liberal? can male roles be played by women actors in our theatres? to name a few op-eds and tweets from 2020. In this talk I discuss some of the ways in which ‘Shakespeare’ can be mobilised in the present, and identify some features of the plays and their reception that enable these reappropriations. But I also suggest some of the ways in which Shakespeare is the problem, not the answer. We need, in our classrooms, book groups, lecture halls, curricula and theatre programming, to hear and interrogate different voices. Shakespeare’s ‘myriad mindedness’ does not mean his works can effectively ventriloquise all experiences and problems.

Introduced by Emily Bartels.

Find a recording of this event at

  • Susan Choi

    Writer; Lecturer in English, Yale University; Bread Loaf faculty.

Virtual Barn: Monday Reading Series

A reading of selections from Susan Choi’s novel Trust Exercise, Winner, National Book Award 2019 for Fiction. Introduced by Michele Stepto.


  • Amy Hungerford

    Executive Vice President of Arts and Sciences, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University; Bread Loaf faculty.

Virtual Barn: Lecture

Solitude for the Masses: How does solitude become a collective
experience, and what can happen when it does?

Solitude crackles with possibility, though we are tired of it now, perhaps. Crowded solitude is a signal experience of modern life. From visionaries (Sojourner Truth) to ascetics (Thomas Merton) to the depraved (Fleabag) we’ll traverse the crowded world of human solitude.

Introduced by Sara Blair.

Find a recording of this lecture at

  • Craig Maravich

    Program Director of Beyond the Page; Middlebury Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre and company member of the Bread Loaf School of English’s Acting Ensemble

Middlebury Faculty at Home Series Lecture: Craig Maravich

Beyond the Page: Using Theater 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. Beyond the Page is supported by the Office of the Provost and Middlebury’s Performing Arts Council.

Event posted with full details and registration at

  • Froma Zeitlin

    Charles Ewing Professor of Greek Language and Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature, Emerita at Princeton University; Bread Loaf faculty.

Virtual Barn: Lecture

Homer’s Odyssey: A Vicarious Journey in a Time of Home Confinement, introduced by Kate Marshall.

Find a recording of this lecture at

  • Isobel Armstrong

    Fellow of the British Academy, Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of English Studies and Professor Emeritus of what is now the Geoffrey Tillotson Chair at Birkbeck University of London; Bread Loaf faculty.

Virtual Barn: Lecture

Jane Eyre: Diary of a Teaching Experiment
In 2015, my Bread Loaf class departed from customary ways of reading a text and interpreted Jane Eyre in four ways, through group artwork and installations, through photography (the art form the Victorians invented) and through sound and movement. This lecture is the story of some of our discoveries, our pains and our triumphs.

Introduced by Lyndon Dominique. 

Find a recording of this event at

Virtual Barn: Performance

Exploring Poetry through Song with the Moving Star Vocal Ensemble. Introduced by Bob Sullivan.

Find a recording of this event at