FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2012

CONTACT: Sylvia Plumb, Director of Communications, 802.262.2626 x302



Vermont Humanities Council Presents First Wednesdays Lecture


Historian Considers the Rewards of Studying the Past at Middlebury’s Ilsley Public Library




Middlebury ~ Historian and professor Woden Teachout will discuss the value of studying history in a talk at Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury on January 2. The talk, “What We Learn When We Learn about History,” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series and takes place at 7:00 p.m.


Henry Ford famously said, “History is more or less bunk.” Teachout will discuss why history actually does matter, exploring the intellectual skills and larger cultural understandings that come from studying the past.


Vermont author and historian Woden Teachout is the author of Capture the Flag: A Political History of American Patriotism. She has taught at Harvard College where she received her BA, MA, and PhD degrees. Her areas of interest and specialization include 19th-century American history and culture, historical memory, women’s studies, and patriotic culture.


The Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays series is held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May, featuring speakers of national and regional renown. Talks in Middlebury are held at Ilsley Public Library unless otherwise noted. All First Wednesdays talks are free and open to the public.


Upcoming talks in Middlebury include “Who Were Our Worst Presidents?” with UVM History Professor Emeritus Mark A. Stoler on February 6; “Painting Ordinary People” with James Maroney, former head of American Paintings at Sotheby’s and Christie’s, on March 6; and “Knight to Queen: Chess, Courtly Life, and the Game of Love in the Middle Ages” with Dartmouth professor Jane Carroll on April 3.


The Vermont Department of Libraries is the statewide underwriter of First Wednesdays. The First Wednesdays 2012-2013 series in Middlebury is sponsored by The Lodge at Otter Creek and The Lodge at Shelburne Bay.


Ilsley Public Library is sponsored by Friends of Ilsley Public Library.


For more information, contact the Ilsley Public Library at 802.388.4095 or contact the Vermont Humanities Council at 802.262.2626 or [log in to unmask], or visit


First Wednesdays is also presented in eight other communities statewide: Brattleboro (at Brooks Memorial Library); Essex Junction (at Brownell Library); Manchester (at First Congregational Church, hosted by Mark Skinner Library); Montpelier (at Kellogg-Hubbard Library); Newport (at Goodrich Memorial Library); Norwich (at Norwich Congregational Church, hosted by Norwich Public Library and Norwich Historical Society); Rutland (at Rutland Free Library); and at St. Johnsbury Athenaeum. The program is free, accessible to people with disabilities and open to the public. 


Middlebury First Wednesdays listing


First Wednesdays Brochure


The Vermont Humanities Council is a private nonprofit working to bring the power and the pleasure of the humanities to all Vermonters—of every background and in every community. The Council strives to make Vermont a state in which every individual reads, participates in public affairs, and continues to learn throughout life.


 #  #  #