The Portable Humanist
How to Boost Your Psychological Resilience in a Crisis

How to Boost Your Psychological Resilience in a Crisis

May 27, 2020
Amherst College psychology professor Catherine Sanderson examines what research in psychology tells us about how adverse events – such as a global pandemic – can lead to some positive outcomes.
 
Sanderson is the author of The Positive Shift: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health, and Longevity. She has spoken several times about the science of happiness and positive thinking for our First Wednesdays series of public lectures.
Politics and Proverbs from “Mud Season”

Politics and Proverbs from “Mud Season”

May 20, 2020

We’d like to share this Mud Season episode about politics and proverbs, which features Wolfgang Mieder, a professor of German and folklore at the University of Vermont. Wolfgang is the author of several books about proverbs, including one on Vermont proverbs in particular: Talk Less and Say More.

Mud Season produced by the Center for Research on Vermont. The episodes are created by students at the University of Vermont, or by recent graduates.

 

Writing the Life of Frederick Douglass

Writing the Life of Frederick Douglass

May 6, 2020

David Blight is one of the foremost authorities on the Civil War and its legacy. In 2019, he won the Pulitzer Prize for History for his biography, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.” Here he discusses Douglass’s life and explains why he calls him “The prose poet of American democracy.”

Katherine Paterson on “Bridge to Terabithia”

Katherine Paterson on “Bridge to Terabithia”

April 30, 2020

Katherine Paterson is the author of more than 30 books, including 16 novels for children and young people. She has twice won the Newbery Medal, for Bridge to Terabithia in 1978 and for Jacob Have I Loved in 1981. In 2000 she was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.

In this episode, she discusses and reads from Bridge to Terabithia. Her talk was recorded at our Fall Conference in 2015. The theme of the conference was “Why Do Stories Matter?”

“We Are All Fast Food Workers Now”

“We Are All Fast Food Workers Now”

April 15, 2020

A conversation with labor historian and Dartmouth professor Annelise Orleck, the author of We Are All Fast Food Workers Now, a book that provides a close look at globalization and its costs. She interviewed berry pickers, fast food servers, garment workers, hotel housekeepers and others who are fighting for respect, safety, and a living wage.

Daybreak Express: Reuben Jackson on Duke Ellington

Daybreak Express: Reuben Jackson on Duke Ellington

March 26, 2020

Many Vermonters know Reuben Jackson as the host of Vermont Public Radio’s Friday Night Jazz. He hosted that program from 2013 until 2018. Before that, Jackson served as archivist and curator with the Smithsonian Institution’s Duke Ellington Collection.

In this talk, Jackson shares some evocative Duke Ellington recordings, and discusses Ellington’s love for trains. He also describes the Ellington orchestra’s work in the segregated United States. 

This talk was recorded at the Rutland Free Library on February 5, 2020, for our First Wednesdays series of free lectures.

How the Great Migration Changed American History

How the Great Migration Changed American History

March 5, 2020

In the early 20th century, black southerners fled racial violence and sharecropping for steady work in northern cities like New York and Chicago. But these migrants still faced challenges once they arrived. In this episode, Dr. Harvey Amani Whitfield explores the Great Migration and its great influence on American history.

The talk was recorded at the University of Vermont on November 16, 2019 for our Fall Conference 2019.

Making Rumble Strip in My Closet

Making Rumble Strip in My Closet

February 11, 2020

Erica Heilman’s podcast Rumble Strip covers a range of Vermont-related topics, from mental health, hunger, and homelessness to deer hunting, cheerleading, and donut shops. In this talk, Heilman discusses the interview process and shares stories from her podcast, which she describes as “extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. Or that’s the goal.”

A Love Story from the Opioid Epidemic

A Love Story from the Opioid Epidemic

January 10, 2020

What if instead of stigmatizing and judging people with addiction, we loved and supported them, even if they’re not sober or trying to get sober?

In October 2018, a young mom named Madelyn Linsenmeir died after a long struggle with addiction. Her obituary was read online by millions of people. Madelyn’s sister, Kate O’Neill, wrote that obituary. In this episode, Kate shares her family’s experience loving and losing Maddie, the stories of other Vermonters impacted by this disease, and potential solutions to the opioid crisis.

The talk was recorded at the Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro on November 6, 2019 for our First Wednesdays program.