Thursday, April 30, 2009

White Huts, Conspiracy theories, Peace Corps, and Mocha Joe's Coffee...all in May @ Your Library

Wednesday, May 6, 7 PM, The Appalachian Huts.

Dartmouth professor Allen Koop explains how the history of the huts reflects the larger issues of American history, but also how the huts and their people have formed a society with its own history, traditions, and legends.

Professor Allen koop earned his Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania. He lectures in the History Department at Dartmouth College, primarily on 20th century European history and on the American health care system.

The Vermont Humanities Council's First Wednesdays series is held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May, featuring speakers of national and regional renown. The program is free, accessible to people with disabilities and open to the public.

This lecture is part of the First Wednesdays Lecture Series sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council and underwritten by Brattleboro Savings & Loan, Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC, Entergy Vermont; Friends of Brooks Memorial Library, and Merrill-Lynch, Brattleboro. The Vermont Department of Libraries and Windham Foundation are the statewide underwriters of First Wednesdays. "The White Mountain Huts" is sponsored by The Woodstone Company.

Wednesday, May 13, 7 PM,Conspiracy Theories in Film, Television, and Politics

Montserrat College Professor Gordon B. Arnold, author of the recently published Conspiracy Theory in Film, Television, and Politics, will discuss his book in the library's Meeting Room.

Conspiracy theory has captured the American imagination for more than two generations. Once at the fringes of society, the conspiracy-theory mindset is now a mainstream phenomenon. This is not surprising, as Americans have been bombarded with the conspiracy message since the middle of the last century.

In this new book, Arnold explores how Hollywood has perpetuated conspiracy culture in the United States.

Dr. Arnold is professor of liberal arts at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Mass., where he has taught courses in film, media, and politics for many years. He was previously a reference librarian and library director at public and academic libraries. His publications include the book The Politics of Faculty Unionization (2000), as well as articles in Library Journal, Change, and Labor Studies Journal.

Thursday, May 14, 7 PM, Former Senior Peace Corps Volunteer Lawrence Siddall will speak about his recent memoir, Two Years in Poland and Other Stories.

In his newly-published memoir, Lawrence Brane Siddall describes his "late-life adventure" as a Peace Corps volunteer in Poland where he taught English in a high school from 1997 to 1999 following his retirement. As a 67-year-old grandfather, Siddall was one of only 450 senior Peace Corps volunteers out of 6,500 worldwide.

With an eye for detail, the author vividly describes the challenges he faces in his Polish classroom, his struggle to learn the language, his initial feelings of isolation in adjusting to a new culture, and the close friends he eventually makes. He has since returned to Poland twice to visit friends, participate in a school reunion, and attend two weddings.

Siddall's most recent adventure is only one of many in his active lifetime. He weaves these stories into his narrative as flashbacks. These include a glimpse into his own high school years and a vignette about the death of his mother in China in 1932.

In the longest flashback, the author tells of an amazing 11,000-mile overland trek from Europe to India in a VW Beetle in 1956 at a time of political Mid-East instability. With the events of that time still reverberating today, Siddall's keen observations are as relevant now as they were then. His account of working his way back to the U.S. on a freighter is a colorful final chapter to this five-month-long odyssey.

Born in China where his father was a medical missionary, Lawrence Siddall grew up in Oberlin, Ohio. He is a 1952 graduate of Oberlin College and holds advanced degrees from the University of Connecticut and the University of Massachusetts. A retired psychotherapist, he lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Thursday, May 21, 7 p.m.Coffee Tasting and Talk: Farmer Direct Purchased Coffee.

Mocha Joe Coffee Tasting. Pierre Capy and Ari B. Reis of Mocha Joe's, will be on hand to offer us tastings and education on the coffee that they buy and roast.

Owner Pierre Capy of 10-year-old Brattleboro-based

Mocha Joe's, along with sales manager Ari Reis, will present a talk on "Beyond Fair Trade: Farmer Direct Purchased Coffee," accompanied by a tasting. Capy and Reis will discuss their recent trips to Central America and Cameroon to set up direct contacts and purchases from the farmers who produce the coffee in these regions-a totally different model of coffee purchasing than most in existence now.

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