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Winter Carnival Vintage Films Premiere and Hot Chocolate Bar, February 13

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Recently rediscovered films in the College Archives from the 1940s will be shown for the first time in more than sixty years.

See Winter Carnival the way it was, before Gore-Tex and fiberglass: ski jumps on Chipman Hill, races at the Snow Bowl, aero-skijoring, and more.

When: Friday, February 13, 2015, 4:30 – 6pm

Where: McCullough Crossroads Cafe (The Juice Bar)




“Joseph Battell: A Centennial Appreciation,” a talk by David Haward Bain, Monday, February 23rd

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Joe Battell, ca. 1860 -HSM, Stewart Papers, vol. 9

February 23, 2015 is the centennial of Joseph Battell’s (Class of 1860) death. Bread Loaf land baron (in his day the largest private landowner in Vermont), environmentalist, crusading newspaperman, Middlebury College trustee, philanthropist, unreadable novelist, eccentric Joseph Battell left his stamp on his homeland.

David Haward Bain presents an illustrated “magic lantern” talk on Joseph Battell’s life and works.

When: February 23, 2015, 4:30pm

Where: Abernethy Reading Room, The Axinn Center at Starr Library, Middlebury College

Refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives, the Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, the Environmental Studies Program, Middlebury History Department, and the Stewart-Swift Research Center, Henry Sheldon Museum.

David Haward Bain has taught creative writing and literature at Middlebury College for 28 years, and has been affiliated with the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference for 35 years since his first-book fellowship in 1980. His books include Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad, Bitter Waters: America’s Forgotten Naval Mission to the Dead SeaThe Old Iron Road: An Epic of Rails, Roads, and the Urge to Go West, and Sitting in Darkness: Americans in the Philippines, as well as The College on the Hill: A Browser’s History for the Bicentennial of Middlebury College and Whose Woods These Are: A History of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, 1926-1992.

Photo credit: Joseph Battell circa 1860. Courtesy of the Henry Sheldon Museum, Stewart-Swift Research Center

The Hillel Homepage

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

–To view recent posts about Hillel’s upcoming events, look up and click the What’s New This Week? to find interesting content!–


Who are we? A group of enthusiastic, fun-loving students on campus who enjoy each other’s company at Friday night services and dinners, on various Jewish holidays, and at other fun Hillel-sponsored events.  Members are predominantly (but not exclusively) Jewish, and share a love for fresh-made Challah (chocolate chip and regular…chocolate chip highly recommended).

What are we? An organization that aims provide an outlet for those interested in Judaism and Jewish issues. Such outlets may include, but are not limited to, the provision of religious services, the maintenance of a kosher kitchen, the sponsorship of educational events relating to Jewish issues, and the support of events whose purpose is to bring together Jewish students on campus in a social environment. In addition Hillel strives to promote social justice and Israel awareness. Hillel will endeavor to address the needs of Jewish students on campus.

When do events take place? The most regular Hillel event is Friday night services.  The student-led services begin at 5:30 pm in the Jewish Center and are followed by a delicious student-cooked kosher meal around 6:30 pm.  Other events such as additional services, seders, dinners, challah-making workshops, community service opportunities, apple-picking trips, alternative spring break, and hillel-sponsored parties will be posted in advance on the blog.

Where do these events take place?The organization’s designated space, The Jewish Center, is located on campus in the Freeman International Center.  It has its own kitchen and dining space, and all school-sponsored Hillel dinners are held here.  High holidays are often catered and held in alternate locations on campus.  Students can attend services for these holidays at Mead Chapel, Middlebury Campus’s non-denominational Church.  Services held here are open to members of the town, as well.  Hillel also sponsors an annual Spring Break trip that involves some form of community service and allows students to travel together (usually somewhere warm!).  See the “Small and Mighty” quicklink for details.

Why do we exist? To discuss and debate contemporary Jewish issues, to practice familiar and meaningful traditions, to give students an opportunity to explore their Jewish identity, and to enjoy the company of great people on campus!

How is Hillel run? A board of students meets weekly to plan events. Associate Chaplain/Rabbi Ira Schiffer serves as the Hillel advisor.

The Language Pledge and Spring Semester Students

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

All incoming, 2nd semester students to Bordeaux, Paris and Poitiers just signed the Language Pledge or, as we call it in French, “l’engagement linguistique”, and have committed to only communicating in French for the duration of the program and their stay in France.  Bon courage à toutes et à tous!  May you all have an exciting linguistic and cultural immersion experience thanks to the Pledge!

Students in Paris read aloud and together the Pledge 1

Students in Paris read aloud and together the Pledge 1

Students in Paris read aloud and together the Pledge 2

Students in Paris read aloud and together the Pledge 2

Students in Bordeaux proudly display their signed copy of the Pledge

Students in Bordeaux proudly display their signed copy of the Pledge

For more information on Middlebury College’s Language Pledge, please see the following website : http://www.middlebury.edu/ls/approach/pledge .


Dissertation Defense for School in France Faculty Member

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Audrey Lasserre, a faculty member in French literature at Middlebury College School in France since 2003, brilliantly defended her doctoral thesis in French Literature at Civilization at the l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3 on December 3rd. Please click here for her dissertation defense details : http://www.univ-paris3.fr/soutenance-de-these-mme-audrey-lasserre-296151.kjsp?RH=1233068248160

We wish to congratulate her and wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors, which we hope will still include Middlebury in France. Her successful defense represents the culminating point of years of research and writing (the results of which take the form of a 711 page document) and are proud to share the fact the she already has a publisher interested in the manuscript.

Below you’ll find a short summary of her dissertation :

The Women’s Liberation Movement (MLF) was not only a political and social movement, but one of the last, if not the very last, literary avant-garde that France has experienced. From an international perspective, the activity of the literary women within the movement represents one of the fundamental principles of the fight for women’s rights in France. The demonstrators, who publicly placed a bouquet of flowers for the unknown wife of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe on August 26th 1970, are for some, and are soon to become for others, women writers. Ten years later, the MLF, a recently registered trademark with the National Institute for Intellectual Property Rights, belongs to the editor, Antoinette Fouque, promotor of female writing. Within the space determined by these two fixed points, there exists a collection of texts that adhere to two major trends – although antagonistic – of the movement, Feminism on one hand and Neofeminity, or the praise for “difference”, on the other hand. Mirroring each other, a dual editorial form develops, sharing publishers and scholarly journals, into two distinct literary and militant factions. For ten years, literature served the purpose of the Women’s Liberation Movement as much as the latter promoted literature, each influencing and informing the other by practice and thought. It is precisely this coexistence between literature and the Women’s Liberation Movement that the present dissertation proposes to examine, in order to trace the political movement that was and made itself literary, and, by the same token, a literature that was and made itself political. At the same time, the dissertation continues the question asked of literature by an entire women’s movement, challenging its assigned definitions and pushing back its boundaries.



Celebrating Student Volunteer Work in Bordeaux

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

DSCN0048 DSCN0086 DSCN0088 DSCN0091 DSCN0093 DSCN0095The city of Bordeaux and the Bordeaux chapter of France Bénévolat organized a reception on December 10th at the town hall in honor of our students who all volunteered their time this semester, in addition to a full courseload. In the presence of Philippe Chevalier, President of France Bénévolat Bordeaux Gironde (http://www.francebenevolat.org/), the Deputy Mayor of Bordeaux, Responsible for Community Engagement, Ms. Anne Drézillon (http://www.bordeaux.fr/ebx/LinkResolverServlet?classofcontent=eluCM&id=2629) individually recognized and thanked the following students for their active participation in and enthusiasm for their respective volunteering expériences : Yerlin Baez and Samuel Chase (Banque alimentaire 33) ; Jake Barker (GP IntenCité) ; Charlotte Fairless (Maison de Marie); Lauren Goff (Société Saint-Vincent de Paul) ; Halle Gustafson (Les Blouses Roses) ; Emilie Munson (Radio CHU) ; Katherine Tercek (Promofemmes) and May Harris (Centre d’Animation Jeunesse de Talence).  The School in France wishes to thank again the City of Bordeaux for a lovely evening had by all and especially the team of France Bénévolat in Bordeaux for making this opportunity possible for our students (current and future!) And last but not least a huge thank you to the students in question ; you made a difference this semester and your contribution was visibly much appreciated by your host organizations – merci!




Photo Story: An Afternoon at the Château Vaux le Vicomte

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Professor Xavier Le Person accompanied a group of students to the Château Vaux le Vicomte  (http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/) last Saturday where they explored the Château and its extensive gardens. We’ll let the photos of the visit speak for themselves! Photo credits: Xavier Le Person and Julia Seavey. image[2] image[6] image[9] image[10] image[13] image[17]