Mayor’s Office

Mayor Miro Weinberger, UVM Humanities Center, Community Members to Meet for Inaugural City-Wide Mayor's Book Group Discussion


November 10, 2014
Mayor’s Office Contact: 
Mike Kanarick

UVM General Information Contact:
Professor David Jenemann

UVM Media Contact:
Jeff Wakefield

Mayor Miro Weinberger, UVM Humanities Center, Community Members to Meet for Inaugural City-Wide Mayor’s Book Group Discussion

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger, the University of Vermont Humanities Center, and the UVM Political Science Club invite the Burlington community, including UVM students and staff, to participate in the inaugural discussion of the Mayor’s Book Group on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. The group will discuss An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, journalist Todd S. Purdum’s dramatic non-fiction account of the creation of U.S. Civil Rights Act.  

“The Mayor’s Book Group will explore thought-provoking ideas relevant to civic life, culture, and history,” said Mayor Weinberger. “This exciting partnership between the City and UVM’s Humanities Center is a great opportunity to enhance the social and cultural fabric of Burlington by bringing engaged citizens together for lively, respectful dialogue about big ideas and the joy of reading.”

The Mayor’s Book Group, a partnership between Mayor Weinberger and the UVM Humanities Center, will include interactive presentations by the Mayor, UVM faculty, and guests, followed by group discussions facilitated by scholars. The event will run from 5:00-6:30 pm at UVM’s Billings Library, North Lounge.

Mayor Weinberger announced An Idea Whose Time Has Come as the first selection on July 2, 2014, the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1964 legislation, which outlawed discrimination on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.

“The UVM Humanities Center works to build civic and intellectual communities by bringing people together to explore topics and ideas that impact today’s real-world issues,” said Professor David Jenemann, co-director of the Humanities Center. “We see the humanistic disciplines – with their skills in critical-thinking, historical perspective, persuasion, debate, and ethics – as essential to that engagement.”

“We are committed to dispelling the misperception that the humanities and arts have somehow lost their relevance,” added Professor Luis Vivanco, co-director of the Humanities Center. “The truth is, we need the humanities now more than ever to explore the big and enduring questions and dilemmas that face us, which are exactly the types of issue we plan to explore in the Mayor’s Book Group.”

To join the Mayor’s Book Group, participants can pick up their free book before the event at the Fletcher Free Library or UVM’s Old Mill building, Room A506. A limited number of books will be available at the event on a first-come, first-served basis. All are welcome to attend and enjoy this event even if you have not read the book. To join the conversation online, participants may post comments or questions before the event on the UVM Humanities Center Facebook page or on Twitter using the hashtag #BTVUVMreads.

The Mayor’s Book Group will meet approximately three times per year. Learn more about the UVM Humanities Center’s new community programing efforts by visiting its website.

Event Details
What:                  Inaugural Meeting of the Mayor’s Book Group
When:                 Wednesday, November 12, 5:00-6:30 pm
Where:               UVM Billings Library, North Lounge
48 University Place, Burlington

Founded in 1994, the UVM Humanities Center is a hub for more than 250 UVM faculty in the humanities and fine arts. It serves to connect these scholars – in disciplines ranging from history, languages, religious studies, and classics to philosophy, linguistics, music, art, theatre, film, and cultural anthropology – to the community, other scholars, and educational and funding opportunities.

The Mayor’s Book Group is one of several new efforts launched by the Center, which has been reinvigorated under new leadership. Mayor Weinberger will be joined at Wednesday’s City-wide discussion of an engaging account of a pivotal moment in American history by UVM professors Emily Bernard (English), Alec Ewald (Associate Dean of the Honors College), Luis Vivanco (Anthropology), and David Jenemann (Film and Television Studies), as well as Fletcher Free Library Director Rubi Simon and other special guests.

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Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office