Brattleboro Lecture Series

Spring 2017

The Concept of Race

Presented by William Edelglass

The first European to divide the peoples of the world into distinct races, in the seventeenth century, claimed that the Sami people of northern Scandinavia were one of four races on earth. Native Americans, Europeans, South Asians, and North Africans together were considered a second race.  How did such a bizarre distinction among groups of people develop into one of the most historically significant ideas of the modern world?  These lectures will address this question through an intellectual history of the concept of race in the West, from its prehistory to today.  Additionally, we will look at some of the terms and categories that contemporary scholars of race employ to analyze how the concept of race functions.

Mondays, 10:00 a.m. to Noon

MARCH 27 - The prehistory of the concept of race and the beginnings of racial classification.

APRIL 3 - The rise of racial thinking in nineteenth-century science, philosophy, and law (I).

APRIL 10 - The rise of racial thinking in nineteenth-century science, philosophy, and law (II).

APRIL 17 - The concept of race in the twentieth century. APRIL 24. Contemporary philosophy of race: ethnicity, identity, culture, populations, and ideology.

MAY 1 - A conceptual toolbox for understanding race and how it functions.

William Edelglass is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Environmental Studies at Marlboro College.  His research is primarily in the areas of Buddhist philosophy, environmental philosophy, and twentieth-century French and German thought.  He holds degrees from St. John’s College and Emory University.

Solving Conflicts

with Three Presenters

Conflicts are part of life. They are everywhere. Practical approaches to resolving them are also abundant, though perhaps less well understood. Three lecturers with expertise in conflict resolution discuss means of settling conflicts and suggest applications to a variety of situations.

Presented by:

  • Melvin Shakun
  • John Ungerleider
  • Bruce Dayton

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

MARCH 27 - Lecturer: Melvin Shakun. Introduction: Conflict resolution as problem solving. The “Connectedness Decision Paradigm” (CDP). Mel is an emeritus professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

APRIL 3 - Lecturer: John Ungerleider. Conflict styles. Competition, accommodation, avoidance, compromise, collaboration. Communication skills: active listening and authentic expression. Negotiation. John is a professor at the School for International Training in Brattleboro (SIT). APRIL 10. Conflict and Identity. John examines social-psychological dynamics of enemy-making. Stakeholders and conflict mapping.

APRIL 17 - Lecturer: Bruce Dayton. Principles of constructive conflict management. Cycles of conflict escalation, de-escalation, and settlement. Application to a case. Bruce is a professor at SIT.

APRIL 24 - Conflict and Peace. Bruce introduces macro-approaches to understanding and promoting peace. Principles of peacebuilding: strategies for change agents.

MAY 1 - Mel presents more on the CDP: Advances for solving conflicts. Applications. Overview of the lectures.

Membership Information

Individual lectures are open to nonmembers for a fee of $6 per lecture. We encourage attendees to pre-register by mail so as to avoid delays at on-site check-in.

All lectures will take place at the Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 Vermont Route 5, Dummerston. Light refreshments will be served at all lectures. For general information on the Brattleboro OLLI chapter, please call Julie Lavorgna (802) 365-7278, or by e-mail:

For membership, complete the form on the site brochure or click on this membership form. Mail your completed form with your payment to:

(payable to “The University of Vermont”)
UVM OLLI Registration Office
460 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05401

For information on cancellations and rescheduling, please listen to WTSA radio (96.7 FM); call (802) 257-8600 or toll-free (866) 889-0042; consult; or call the organizers at (802) 387-5387 or (802) 257-7623. For general information on the Brattleboro OLLI chapter, use the first two numbers above.


The Learning Collaborative is located just north of Brattleboro on Route 5 between Vermont Exits 3 and 4 of Interstate 91. We are 1.8 miles north of the rotary at Exit 3 (Brattleboro) and 4.1 miles south of Exit 4 (Putney). Look for a single-story brick building on the west side of the road. Parking and entry are at the back of the building. Handicapped-accessible parking, ramp, and door are available on the north side of the building. For a complete listing of all programs, see our listing in a pdf format.

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