Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Toxic Dust: The Virginia Kepone Disaster
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Time: Noon–1:00 PM
Place: Conference Rooms, Free

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Fellow Dr. Gregory Wilson, professor of history at the University of Akron, will discuss his research into the Kepone disaster in Virginia. Kepone first came into the public consciousness as a dangerous toxin in July 1975. That month news broke about the poisoning of workers in Hopewell who made the insecticide, and the dumping of the substance into the James River and nearby tributaries by the two companies involved: Allied Chemical and Life Science Products. These discoveries generated fear and anger, as well as denial and disbelief. In the wake of this news, a number of significant and long-lasting political, legal, scientific, and other actions followed, from the local to the global. Yet until now the Kepone story remains largely unknown outside the region and untold by scholars in the humanities. Wilson's talk will explore the many facets of the Kepone disaster and highlight the contested values that continue to shape public health and our relationship with the environment.

First Freedom: Virginia's Statute for Religious Freedom
Monday, April 18, 2016 — Thursday, March 02, 2017
Place: Exhibition Gallery & Lobby, Free

No one familiar with today's public and political debates about religious liberty and the relationship of church and state can doubt that Thomas Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom holds lasting significance. The Library of Virginia's exhibition First Freedom: Virginia's Statute for Religious Freedom explores the intent and interpretation of the statute, one of the most revolutionary pieces of legislation in American history.

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