Category Archives: Culture

Talk TODAY: Bending the Moral Arc with Robin Pandoley


In light of the upcoming election cycle, our campus has turned its attention to the ways in which we can create meaningful change in our community. While the SGA is an important conduit, it’s important for us to remember that we are all capable of creating change outside of the institutional structures in place. Today, Robin Pendoley will be speaking about creating meaningful social impact. More on the lecture below!!

Creating social impact is easy. It happens all around us every day. Impact that — as Dr. King would say — bends the moral arc of the universe toward justice, is really hard to make. It’s not just aprofessional mountain to climb, but a personal one, too. Come hear how one educator is working to create a new generation of agents of change who are uniquely qualified to bend our universe toward justice. It’s a story of social innovation, personal struggle, and changing the world.

Robin Pendoley isn’t trying to solve the world’s biggest problems. He’s trying to prepare others to do it. As Founder & CEO of Thinking Beyond Borders — an educational non-profit offering gap year programs — Robin has led the development of innovative programs that are redefining social impact leadership. Sometimes labelled a social entrepreneur, he’s highly skeptical of that field and the start-up culture it has created in the social sector. Robin holds a BA in International Development from UCLA and an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Date: Today, April 24th
Time: 12:30 PM
Place: Axinn 229
Cost: Free and w/ PIZZA

Lecture TODAY: A Portrait of Madness and Tragedy in Unamuno’s Abel Sánchez

Screen shot 2015-04-24 at 8.48.18 AMToday, Assistant Professor of Spanish Marta Manrique Gómez will be giving a lecture as part of the International and Global Studies Colloquium. In this lecture, Professor Gómez will be comparing and contrasting Unamuno’s novel Abel and Sánchez and the biblical story of Saul of David. More on the lecture here:

In my presentation, I will explore the interplay between Unamuno’s novel Abel Sánchez and the biblical story of Saul and David as it is told in the Books of Samuel, focusing on some of their key players’ paths from envy to insanity, and the overall tragedy that results. Both Unamuno’s protagonist Joaquín and the biblical character Saul suffer from intense mental instability either brought on, or at least aggravated in part, by immense jealousy of their presumably more social, gifted counterparts, Abel and David, respectively. Both Unamuno and the authors of the Books of Samuel wrote during times of national crisis, and their solitary, mad figures reflect not only personal tragedy, but national tragedy as well.

Date: Today, April 24
Time: 12:15 PM
Place: RAJ Conference Room
Cost: Free


TONIGHT: Poor Form Poetry Show

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This week is rough work-wise, and the weather isn’t helping. BUT, we’ve got a great event to break up your mid-week studying woes–who doesn’t love a lil slam poetry on a Thursday night?! Grab some coffee in Crossroads and then head over to Axinn to check out Midd’s very own Slam Poetry Team, Poor Form Poetry, featuring performances from these fiiiiine MiddKids:

Carolyn Orosz ’15
Emily Luan ’15
Meagan Neal ’15
Claire Hodgdon ’15
Andrew Snow ’15
Michael Schermerhorn ’18
Lizzie Apple ’18
Joel Wilner ’18
Stefan Pla ’18
Naomi Eisenberg ’18

This is their last performance of the year and therefore your last chance to hear what these seniors have to say!! Come and be wooed by their sweet rhymes.

Date: Tonight, April 23
Time: 9pm
Place: Abernethy Room
Cost: Fo’ free!!!

Spring 5K Race

5K 2015 Poster (1) (1)Hey Middlebury! Looking for something to do this Saturday, April 25th? Come out to the GlobeMed annual 5K race (run, walk, skip, whatever). There will be live music by Iron Eyes Cody and a BBQ on Proctor Terrace afterwards. Cost for the race is $10, for the BBQ is a suggested donation of $5.

We’ll be tabling at the library every night if you want to stop by to sign up and pay in cash, or pay through this link:  or you’ll be able to sign up on Saturday before the race!

When: Saturday, April 25
Where: Proctor Terrace
Time: race starts at 11am

TODAY: Panama Dance Exchange Showing


Spring break may seem like a distant memory– many of us have moved on to thinking longingly about the summer in this final stretch. But tonight, we have the opportunity to hear from eight student dancers from the Middlebury College Dance Program who travelled to Panama City, Panama for an international dance exchange in support of arts education and cultural ambassadorship this past spring break. Come listen to their findings about movement, teaching, learning, and language, and watch a screening of the documentary-in-progress about this project: “dancers without borders, and moving to change.” Should be really cool, and a great way to fantasize about what you can do with your time off.

Date: Today, April 22nd
Time: 5 PM
Place: MCA Dance Theater
Cost: Free!

Screening: An American Ascent

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This Wednesday, April 22nd in Dana Auditorium there will be a screening of the documentary film An American Ascent, a film that chronicles the thrilling journey of the first full African-American expedition team to attempt to summit Mt. Denali, the tallest peak in North America. The group sets out with the goal of leaving a legacy that paves the way for young people of color to explore the outdoors and change the face of the outdoors. Through the journey of these 13 amazing individuals, the film captures the deeply rooted connections of privilege, gender, and the continued fight for civil rights in and out of the mountains. Below is the trailer for the film:

When: Wednesday, April 22
Where: Dana Auditorium
Time: 7-8:30pm

Jeffrey Alexander “Cultural Trauma, Social Solidarity, and Moral Responsibility: Reactions to the Holocaust and other Modern Mass Murders”

JeffreyAlexanderToday at 4:30 in Axinn 229 acclaimed sociologist Jeffrey Alexander, Co-Director of the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale, will be presenting his research on cultural reactions to mass murders and the Holocaust. Alexander is perhaps best known for his work on the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns and political performance, and has made significant contributions to the fields of theory, culture, and politics. For those of us soc. nerds out there, this is a big deal event, a must see talk that has appeal that transcends the discipline. For those without a background in sociology, the talks promises to provide a deeper under-standing of how we have come to understand event like the Holocaust from one of the great social thinkers of our time. Make sure to get there early, the Axinn 229 will be packed.

When: Today, 4/20 at 4:30 PM
Where: Axinn 229
Cost: Nope

Lecture TODAY: No Brokeback for Black Men

Screen shot 2015-04-17 at 8.56.31 AMToday, Assistant Professor of Sociology Chong-suk Han will be giving a lecture entitled “No Brokeback for Black Men: Pathologizing Black Homosexuality through Down Low Discourse.” In this lecture, Professor Han will discuss the down low phenomenon, for which little has been written aside for its implication in the spread of HIV. More on the lecture from Professor Han here:

In recent years, the down low phenomenon has received unprecedented attention in both the popular and academic press. However, much of this work has focused on exploring whether men on the down low present a unique threat for HIV infection to black women. Currently, there exist very few scholarly popular works exploring the meaning attached to the down low, not only by those who promote the label for academic studies or for media dispersal. In this talk, I shed new light on the meanings attached to the down low by the popular press, critically evaluating how it is used to create a category that is marked by an undesirable categorization of black men, and provide and argument as to why black men who have sex with men may adopt the label for themselves.

Date: Today, April 17th
Time: 12:15
Place: RAJ conference room
Cost: Free and free lunch woo!


“Central Park Five” Screening!

DgDO4XAN-C7sdqFBcBu0gci7The Annual Gensler Symposium presents “The Central Park Five”, a harrowing documentary that follows the conviction of five innocent teenagers accused of raping and murdering a white woman in Central Park in 1989.  The group was exonerated after a serial rapist admitted to the crime, but the effect the trial and public reaction would have on these teens’ lives would be indelible.  Directed by the notorious Ken Burns, known for documentaries like The Civil War and The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, this film does not stray from his in-depth and thorough nature.
Date: Today, April 14th
Time: 7-9:30 pm
Place: Gifford Annex Classroom (156)

Some Thoughts As We Register

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Registration is upon us! If you’re thinking “whaaaat.. there’s still snow on the ground (sort of),” you’re not alone. Most likely, your next thoughts are something along the lines of oh shit what am I going to take, do I need an alternate pin???, fuuuck still need that CW etc etc until you enter a state of anxiety-filled denial. You’ll deal with that when you have to.

Even though we all register for different courses (duh), I’d venture to guess that our processes of selection are probably pretty similar. See if I’m right… does it go a little something like this?

1. What do I absolutely have to take? (That class I need for my major, that class I need to go abroad, that pre-req I need before taking what I really want to take, etc…)

2. How are my distribution requirements going? (Well, okay, I’m missing an AAL and a PHL so… Confucious maybs?) 

3. What professor/class is a must-take before graduation? (I’ve heard Professor Dry is the bomb but can I really handle the workload of a poli sci class right right now?)

4. Please let there be a class I can take with no homework… 

There it is. That 4th bullet point. The fourth class.

Every time I have gone to meet with a professor about signing up for courses, I have consistently been advised to take a “fourth class” that deals with a subject “out of my comfort zone.” Now, the ‘liberal arts admissions catalog’ interpretation of that advice is I’m a Bio major but I’m going to go out of my comfort zone and take 19th Century British Lit because I’m supa smart and well rounded. There absolutely is value in this pursuit, I’m not disputing that. Going outside of our comfort zone or the confines of our major can lead to new interests that might change our entire academic experience at college. It’s certainly happened to me! So, yes, taking a fourth class that’s a little different is very important and should be encouraged.

But here’s the kicker. Just because you’re used to labs doesn’t mean that reading a book every week and writing four essays for an English class is going to be a walk in the park just because it’s a little different. Sure, taking a math class might be new and interesting to you, but it’s not as though you can forgo your two hour problem sets because you’re not a math major.

So, say what you will, but there’s some subtext in the suggestion of the fourth class. The fourth class is usually a class that involves non-traditional, more creative learning. You know what I’m talking about. Acting I, Intro to Dance, The Creative Process. These classes are consistently sited as ones Midd students take to balance their course loads a little. They’re also held up as some of the most enjoyable, enlightening classes offered at our school.

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