Spring 2020

All lectures will be on Wednesdays. Talks begin promptly at 1:00 p.m., in the second floor Conference Room of the Hebard Building, 100 Main Street, Newport, Vermont.

March 25, 2020

Emma Smith Morris, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, emeritus, University of Delaware
After Impeachment

An overview and assessment of Donald Trump’s impeachment, trial, and implications for the future of the presidency and the U.S. Constitution.

April 1, 2020

Dr. Ross Osmun, Professor of Music, Bishop’s University
The Sound of Cinema: Celebrating 125 Years of Music in Film

This talk will discuss how music has interacted with film over the course of its 125-year history, and will offer a guide for an enhanced viewing experience.

April 8, 2020

Professor Daniel Miller, Bishop’s University
From Falwell to FOX: The American Religious Right

In the early 20th century, a conservative movement emerged among American Protestants. After waxing and waning for several decades, in the late 1970s it found a standard-bearer, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, and became known as the Religious Right. In the 21st century, the Religious Right’s viewpoint has been disseminated by FOX NEWS, among other media. This presentation will examine the social, political and religious context in which the Religious Right emerged and has developed, and the effect it has exerted on politics in the United States.

April 15, 2020

Dr. Scott A. McLaughlin, Executive Director of the Vermont Granite Museum of Barre, Vermont
The Granite Cutters’ Story: A Brief History of Vermont’s 200-Year-Old Granite Industry

Dr. Scott McLaughlin will present a tale of hope and loss, of the eager immigrants chasing a dream who shaped our nation’s cemeteries, parks and public architecture.

April 22, 2020

Wolfgang Mieder, Professor, University of Vermont
“Us Have Faith that Right Makes Might”: Proverbial Rhetoric in Decisive Moments of American Politics

It is amazing that despite some isolated studies relatively little is known about the effective use of proverbs in the political fray. By way of some poignant contextualized examples from the past three centuries it will be shown that there exists an obvious predominance of proverbs in American political discourse. Some truly remarkable proverbial utterances by such renowned political figures as Abigail and John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama will serve to illustrate that proverbs can obtain incredible importance in political rhetoric that goes far beyond the almost subconscious use of a seemingly mundane proverb. There can be no doubt that proverbs as strategically used folk wisdom continue to be significant communicative devices that deserve close scrutiny.

April 29, 2020

Allan Smith, retired, Université de Montréal
Consciousness: How the Brain Makes a Mind

As a neuroscientist I have to assume that the conscious mind is a product of the brain. I want to explore the notion that consciousness emanating from the human or animal brain is actually the product of a confederation of independent modules working together. However as some famous neurological cases demonstrate, this confederation can be broken and fragmented. Finally, a recent re-analysis of the effects of psychedelic drugs tells us something new about how the structure of consciousness may be altered.

May 6, 2020

Bridget Butler, The Bird Diva
The Wonders of Wood Warblers

Who are the Wood Warblers and why do birders lose their minds over them each spring? These small songbirds are not only incredibly colorful with necklaces and eye-rings, but beautiful songsters as well. And, they’re maddening! They’re quick, sometimes elusive and everyone’s in a rush to get a glimpse of a little warbler eye-candy before all the trees leaf out for the summer. With forty-one species documented in Vermont, there’s a lot to be on the lookout for! Join Bird Diva Bridget Butler to learn more about warblers in Vermont, how to find them and some tips on how to look and listen for these winged jewels.

May 13, 2020

Samuel Gaudreau-Lalande, Director, Colby-Curtis Museum, Stanstead
Shaping Land with Pictures: the Invention of the Québec Landscape

Championed by the Group of Seven, the Romantic vision of the landscape as a rugged nature empty of human presence dominates Canada in the middle of the 20th century. In Quebec, however, representations of the landscape are very different: they are inhabited and shaped by human work. Anchored in the Catholic ethos of cooperation and following the British tradition of the picturesque, these landscapes aim to tame nature rather than conquer it.

May 20, 2020

Cyndy Bittinger, Historian and Author, the Community College of Vermont
Why Women March: The Stories of Those Who Fought for the Vote and Why the Story Continues

The campaign for a woman’s right to vote was a long one, from the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York to ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920. Even before 1848, there were examples of women’s power in Vermont and elsewhere. My program explores the key players in Vermont and the nation, the issues and obstacles they faced, the impact of World War I, and who was left out when women finally obtained this badge of citizenship.

May 27, 2020

Douglas Coutts, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Auburn University
Realities of Living and Working in North Korea

As the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in North Korea, Prof Coutts was living in Pyongyang and oversaw the largest humanitarian relief operation, at the time, for the UN World Food Program and cooperating UN agencies. He will deliver a presentation on the realities of living and working in North Korea with personal impressions and unique experiences from this period of extreme food insecurity which continues to this day.


Suzi Dix
Page Fairchild
Christine Gautier
John Logan
Ann Montgomery
Marvelene and Keith Richards
Annemarie Schadinger

For information on the Osher Institute or the semester’s lecture series, head to:

Membership Information

Membership dues will support the development of the Institute’s future programs, which are shaped by the interests of our members. Payment of membership dues entitles subscribers to attend all 10 sessions in Newport as well as at the seven other Osher sites in Vermont during the Fall 2019 semester. Your active membership also entitles you to the discounted member rate for the new OLLI program on the UVM campus. For membership, complete the form on the site brochure and send with your check for $40 USD (individual) or $70 USD (couple). Any two people who sign up for the semester as a team are considered a couple. Non-members may attend individual sessions for $5 per session.

Due to the current exchange rate we cannot accept Canadian currency.

For membership, complete the form on the site brochure or click on this membership form. Mail your payment to (payable to “The University of Vermont”):

UVM OLLI Registration Office
460 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05401

Become a member today!

Membership in the Newport Osher Lifelong Learning Institute entitles members to attend programs in other Osher Institutes established in seven other locations throughout Vermont, as well as EEE-Burlington (Elder Education Enrichment). Your active OLLI membership also entitles you to the discounted member rate for the OLLI on UVM campus programs. Simply present your membership card during the corresponding semester.

Special thank you to our community contributors:

  • Community National Bank
  • CCV – Newport
  • Goodrich Memorial Library
  • Newport Natural Market & Cafe
  • NEK-TV
  • Vista

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