Speakers for Fall 2013

The Landmark College Academic Speaker Series enhances and promotes the College’s intellectual environment and facilitates discussion of important issues for the community.

Cultural [R]Evolution
“We are the change that we seek.”
—Barack Obama

Environmental science, democracy politics, gender studies, religion, and fine arts are diverse cultural and academic traditions—with wildly different styles, but they share importance as locations for social transformation.  With compelling messages that invite audiences to think and feel outside contemporary boundaries, experts in the 2013 – 2014 Landmark College Speaker Series ask challenging questions about our responsibilities to the planet and to each other.  Armed with insight and an edge of social criticism, their explanations of current change open up the potential inherent in evolution—that of a better future.  

Janice Perry

(Sept. 16th, 7 p.m., Fine Arts Building, Greenhoe Theater)

Performance artist and activist Janice Perry takes us through her vibrant collection of social criticism and political satire—from Marilyn Monroe through a few Gulf Wars, High Fashion, Erotica, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mapplethorpe’s naked men and Arts Censorship.

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Mansour Farhang

The Struggle for Democracy in the Arab World: Cultural Impediments to Pluralism
(Oct.7th at 7p.m., East Academic Building, Brooks M. O'Brien Auditorium)

The contentious political developments following the promise of “Arab Spring” have compelled the peoples of the region to face the fact that obstacles to pluralist democracy cannot be reduced to the fall of autocratic rulers. There is a growing recognition among both native and international observers that traditional cultures in nations without democratic experience can put complex obstacles on the road to the creation of an inclusive and tolerant political order.

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Bill McKibben

bill mckibbenOil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist (Oct. 22nd, 7 p.m., Fine Arts Building, Greenhoe Theater)

"I'll read from my new book about the climate fight—and about the finest beekeeper in the Champlain Valley." Bill McKibben is the author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with The End of Nature in 1989, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change.

He is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. Time Magazine called him "the planet's best green journalist" and the Boston Globe said in 2010 that he was "probably the country's most important environmentalist." Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College, he holds honorary degrees from a dozen colleges, including the Universities of Massachusetts and Maine, the State University of New York, and Whittier and Colgate Colleges. In 2011 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Watch as Bill McKibben inspires the Landmark College Community and guests from around southern Vermont with these thoughts:

(Thank you to our friends at BCTV for filming.)

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Dave Cole

Craft and Craftsmanship in Contemporary Art
(Nov. 11th, 7 p.m., East Academic Building, Brooks M. O'Brien Auditorium)

Over the past decade the world of contemporary art world has felt the influence of—and borrowed the materials and techniques from—the world of Craft to an unprecedented degree. One of the artists at the center of this phenomenon (and Landmark College alumnus), Dave Cole, will present his work and discuss the intersection of these once very separate ideas.

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