Brattleboro Lecture Series

Spring 2016 Lectures

The Politics of Addiction
Presented by Meg Mott

Meg Mott teaches politics at Marlboro College and is the director of the Speech Matters program, an intensive course that concentrates on a single issue. Last year’s program focused on addiction. Next year’s will focus on re-entry into society after incarceration. Meg’s writings have appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the New Yorker, among other publications.

Although a day hardly goes by without news of the problem of addiction in the headlines, there is not much discussion about the nature of addiction itself. If it’s a disease, what sort of disease is it? Do users become addicted because of a lack of will, or because of the nefarious strategies of dealers? Or could addiction be a symptom of a larger social disease, something Marx might call alienation? We’ll look at these larger questions to better understand the causes and contexts of this current epidemic.

Mondays, 10:00 a.m. to Noon

April 4
The Vermont Way.
Vermont uses treatment, law enforcement, prevention, and recovery to combat addiction. How is it working?

April 11
Drug Laws in History.
How has the US used drug laws to control certain populations?

April 18
“Just Say No.”
The consequences of the Reagan era anti-drug policies.

April 25
What Is It that Addicts?
We assume chemicals in heroin and other drugs are the physical causes of addiction; but recent brain science suggests otherwise.

May 2
Anonymous People. As the subject of addiction becomes less taboo, the faith of Twelve Step programs in anonymity comes into question.

May 9
Addiction and Polarization. Everybody, Right and Left, wants to end the War on Drugs. Could a new response to addiction help improve our democracy’s functioning?


Vermont and the Civil War

Four historians from the Brattleboro area will present a range of research-based, dramatic, and multimedia programs relating to events and figures of the nineteenth century, in particular the period of the Civil War.

Mondays, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

April 4
“Cyclone in Calico.” Jeanne L. Austin and Peter Nadolny present a dramatized interview with Mary Ann Bickerdyke (1817-1901), who left her home and family to care for the soldiers of the Union army in the Civil War. Jeanne has acted in regional, stock, and off-Broadway theater; and Peter writes and directs for HerStory Productions, presenting the stories of the women of yesterday to the women and men of today.

April 11
Fletcher Proctor, a Putney attorney with a lifelong interest in Vermont history, discusses the social, political, and theological elements at work in the minds of Vermonters just before the Civil War.

April 18 
Joe Rivers tells of Brattleboro in the Civil War, including individual stories, the military camp, and the hospital, with related topics. Joe is a member of the Brattleboro Historical Society and a social studies teacher at Brattleboro Area Middle School.

April 25
Joy Wallens-Penford celebrates the many-faceted life and work of Carl Sandburg, the Pulitzer Prize–winning “poet of the people” and biographer of Abraham Lincoln. Joy is the coordinator of Brattleboro’s monthly Gallery Walk, and has worked in publishing, education, and the arts for five decades.

May 2
Fletcher Proctor examines the Vermont home front and events of the Civil War that took place within our state.

May 9
“Duty’s Faithful Child: A Visit with Louisa May Alcott.” Jeanne Austin takes on the role of one of America’s favorite novelists. The life and writings of this remarkable woman, who worked from the age of seventeen to help support her family, have been shaped into an exciting theatrical experience.

Where: Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 Vermont Route 5, Dummerston. Handicapped accessible.

Questions: Please call the Learning Collaborative at (802) 257-8600 or toll-free (866) 889-0042.

For a complete listing of all programs, see our listing in a pdf format.

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