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Academic Speaker Series

The mission of the Academic Speaker Series is to promote the intellectual environment of the College and to facilitate discussion of important issues in the community.

Fall 2017 Academic Speaker Series

Free and open to the public, these events are held on Mondays at 7 p.m. in the Brooks M. O’Brien Auditorium, located in the East Academic Building of Landmark College, unless otherwise noted.

Thank you to this semester's Academic Speaker Series sponsors.

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September 18: "We Cannot Escape Responsibility"..The broadcasts of Edward R. Murrow during the McCarthy era of the 1950's with Casey Murrow
October 2: "The Mentorships of Robert Frost" with Dan Toomey
November 6: "The Puppet as 'Other': How Sandglass Theater addresses social injustice"

Headshot of John Elder "We Cannot Escape Responsibility: The Broadcasts of Edward R. Murrow During the McCarthy Era of the 1950s"
 Casey Murrow
 Monday, September 18, 7 p.m.
 Brooks M. O'Brien Auditorium, East Academic Building

Ed Murrow, already a renowned radio and television broadcaster, confronted Senator Joseph McCarthy in a series of broadcasts in 1953 and ’54. McCarthy had been challenging the government and destroying careers, using Senate hearings and often-fabricated information.

In this presentation, Casey Murrow, Ed’s son, will discuss what his father faced in those troubled times and some reactions to his work. Casey will share historical sources, short video clips from that era, as well as a few minutes from George Clooney’s film, “Good Night, and Good Luck.”

Casey Murrow has devoted his career to public education as a teacher and leader in programs that support educators in Vermont and nationally.

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Headshot of Dan Toomey“The Mentorships of Robert Frost”
Dan Toomey
Monday, October 2, 7 p.m.
Brooks M. O’Brien Auditorium, East Academic Building

A study of Robert Frost’s friendships with younger men is important for a number of reasons. In addition to expressing the man’s virtues - loyalty, kindness, and generosity - that were passed over or else underplayed in Laurance Thompson’s still influential authorized biography, they can show us a great deal about friendship and what it means to be a teacher and a student.  Finally, these friendships on occasion brought forth something of significance that lived beyond both mentor and mentee. This talk will, among other things, speak in specific terms to how Frost’s mentorship of one young man laid the groundwork for Frost’s writing of “The Most of It,” called by eminent literary critic Irving Howe “one of the greatest poems ever written by an American.”

Dan Toomey has taught writing and literature at Landmark College for 32 years. He has published numerous articles on Robert Frost. His interest in Frost dates to his childhood, when he noted how accurately the imagery in the Frost poems he was learning in school was to be found in the New England woods and mountains where he spent so much of his time. He holds degrees from Marlboro College and the Bread Loaf School of English, both Vermont institutions that were influenced profoundly by Frost’s educational ideals and that graduated many students whom Frost mentored.

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Headshot of John Van Alstine“The Puppet as 'Other': How Sandglass Theater Addresses Social Injustice"
Eric Bass
Monday, November 6, 7 p.m.
Brooks M. O’Brien Auditorium, East Academic Building

Over the last decade, Sandglass Theater’s work has moved deeper and deeper into themes of social justice. As a puppet theater, Sandglass has opened discourse about these issues in ways that are specific to their art form. The puppet represents a being that is always “other” than the human world that animates it. As such, it is a metaphor for many stories of marginalization. Eric Bass will present clips from Sandglass’ five most recent show and collaborations, to explore and discuss the quite different ways in which the theater company has done this.

Eric Bass is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of Sandglass, and has worked for 30 years as a director, playwright, performer and mask and puppet maker. In 1982, Mr. Bass founded Sandglass Theater in Munich, Germany, with his wife, Ines Zeller Bass. As a director, Eric has worked in America, Australia, Poland, and Finland, as well as the United States. In 2010, Eric received the Vermont Governors Award for Excellence in the Arts. Eric is currently touring in the Sandglass production of D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks, a piece about people with dementia.  

This talk accompanies a week-long on-campus residency based on Sandglass Theater’s production of “Babylon” which “looks at the relationship of refugees to their homelands, lost and new, and the conflicts that exist within American communities to which they have fled.”

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Past Speakers

Our speakers' talks are recorded and broadcast by Brattleboro Community Television (BCTV).

Watch videos of past speakers

Watch a behind the scenes video about our speaker series

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