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Adult Events

The Oliver Wolcott Library offers a wide range of programming for adults, from continuing series like Monday Scholars and Tea with TED,
to lectures, book discussions, and author talks. All events are free and open to all.

Continue your journey of lifelong learning with us!


A Conversation & Studio Tour with Jennifer Abbott-Tillou


An Instagram Live Event

Thursday, April 29 at 1:00 PM

Join Jennifer Terzian as she hosts this special Instagram Live Event! 
In a Conversation and Studio Tour with Jennifer Abbott-Tillou, Jennifer will guide you through her studio while discussing her process and current body of work. Viewers will have the opportunity to visually engage with Abbott-Tillou’s diverse oeuvre including sculpture, painting and installation and ask questions along the way.

About Jennifer Abbott-Tillou
With a background in physical therapy, yoga, and fitness, Jennifer’s work is informed by anatomy, kinesiology, and the beautiful ways the human body presents. "My love of the ocean and all things springing from nature are also represented. The work reflects my unique female experience, including violence and religious conflict, while also capturing a certain sensual whimsy. Conflict and juxtaposition of opposites are often prominent." Visit her website at:

About Our Host Jennifer Terzian
Jennifer has a degree in Art History from UCLA and MA in Post-war Contemporary Art from the Sotheby’s Institute London. Jennifer was director of a commercial art gallery in Los Angeles and has been an independent curator and art advisor for over a decade. Jennifer teaches 19th and 20th century art history at Miss Porter’s School. She is opening her eponymous contemporary art gallery in Litchfield this spring. 


What is an Instagram Live Event and how do I join?
Instagram is a visual media platform, owned by the Facebook company, through which users share photos and videos with their friends and with the greater Instagram community. Users can access Instagram by downloading the Instagram app to their mobile phone or by visiting the Instagram website on an internet browser. To view the content on Instagram, users will need to create an account. Click here for information on how to create an Instagram account.
Need more help? Book-a-Tech appointment with Ted our Technology Coordinator at [email protected]
What if I missed the conversation but still wish to watch?
No worries! We've dropped the video in below. Enjoy!



Fathoms: The World in the Whale with Author Rebecca Giggs


Live Zoom Event 

Wednesday, May 19 From 7:00 - 8:00 PM

Winner of the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction * Finalist for the 2020 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction * Finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award


When writer Rebecca Giggs encountered a humpback whale stranded on her local beachfront in Australia, she began to wonder how the lives of whales reflect the condition of our oceans. Fathoms: The World in the Whale is “a work of bright and careful genius” (Robert Moor, New York Times bestselling author of On Trails), one that blends natural history, philosophy, and science to explore: How do whales experience ecological change? How has whale culture been both understood and changed by human technology? What can observing whales teach us about the complexity, splendor, and fragility of life on earth? Fathoms is not just a book about whales and the oceans, more broadly it is a book about humanity, wonder, and our troubled connection to the animal kingdom.

Join one of Australia's most well-respected nature and science writers, Rebecca Giggs, for a special visual presentation that takes us into the depths of the sea.

About Rebecca Giggs 
Rebecca Giggs is an author from Perth, Australia. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, Granta, and in anthologies including Best Australian Essays and Best Australian Science Writing. Rebecca’s nonfiction focuses on how people feel towards animals in a time of technological and ecological change. Fathoms: The World in the Whale is her first book.



Roving Mars - The Red Planet with Pete Kandefer


Live Zoom Event 

Wednesday, May 26 From 2:00 - 3:00 PM

On February 18, 2021, the Perseverance rover – formerly called Mars 2020 – became the first artificial object to land on Mars since the Insight Mars lander in 2018. It was the first rover to land since Curiosity touched down in 2012. Perseverance is the largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world. It traveled 293 million miles (472 million km) – over 203 days – to get to Mars.

Join Pete Kandefer of the Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club in this informative talk about roving the Red Planet. 
Founded in 1956, the LHAAC promotes the enjoyment of amateur astronomy through public star parties, education, and meetings. They host 10 public star parties each year at White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, Connecticut. To learn more, visit their website at


  • To Join by Phone Dial
  • +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
  • Meeting ID: 867 1925 0977
  • Password: 995892



Monday Scholars: The Great Revolutions Of Modern History


LIVE Zoom Event - At The Time of Event...Click Here To Join On ZOOM

Mondays: 1:00 - 2:30 PM 
April 5 through June 28*

*No meeting May 31

About Monday Scholars:

Monday Scholars combines the best of online learning with live virtual discussion! All you need to do in advance is be eager to learn and discuss. Each week, you will log in and together, via Zoom, all of us will watch two video lectures presented by Lynne Ann Hartnett, PhD. Then, via Zoom, OWL's Karen Pasternak will lead everyone in a discussion of what we just watched.


About the course:

The great revolutions of the past 300 years have profoundly shaped the social, cultural, political, and military landscape of the 21st century. These epic changes tore down established orders and built new ones in their place. What drives individuals and groups to embrace revolution? At what point does a society decide to revolt? Is there such a thing as a peaceful revolution? Why have some revolutions failed while others changed the world?

Delve into these questions and more in The Great Revolutions of Modern History. Taught by Professor Lynne Ann Hartnett of Villanova University, these 24 eye-opening lessons will give you new insights into the forces that have shaped the political and cultural landscape of our world. You will travel back in time and across the globe to examine some of history’s most momentous and influential political transformations. Starting with the American Revolution and the French Revolution, covering world-changing movements in China, Mexico, India, Haiti, Africa, Russia, and more, Professor Hartnett surveys the shifting tides that inspired each of these revolutions.

From religious movements to economic overhauls, you will get an insider’s view of radicals, revolutionaries, and ideological visionaries, as well as the rulers and systems they sought to overthrow. You will also consider revolutions as a distinctly modern phenomenon. Riots, rebellions, and other forms of uprisings are inextricable parts of human history, but revolutions are something different. As you will learn, revolutions systematically alter the dynamic between the state, authorities, elites, and the people—and they attempt to fundamentally transform power relationships. We live in a precarious time in the 21st century, with uprisings constantly in the news. What you will learn in The Great Revolutions of Modern History is that revolutions often follow a similar pattern and arise from a similar source: masses of people dissatisfied with the status quo who decide they will sacrifice everything to affect fundamental change. Join Professor Hartnett for an exploration of political and cultural change—and see how our modern world was formed.


About the course Instructor:

Dr. Lynne Ann Hartnett is an Associate Professor of History at Villanova University, where she teaches courses on all facets of Russian history as well as on the social, political, and intellectual history of modern Europe. She earned her PhD in Russian History at Boston College. Dr. Hartnett’s research focuses on the Russian revolutionary movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and she has conducted archival research in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, and London. She regularly presents her research at international conferences in the United States and Europe.

Dr. Hartnett is the director of Villanova’s graduate program in History and the president of the Sigma of Pennsylvania Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. At Villanova, she has served as the director of the Russian Area Studies Program. Dr. Hartnett has been nominated three times for the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award and has received several teaching awards at both Villanova and Boston College.


  • To Join by Phone dial 1 646 876 9923 (New York)
  • Meeting ID: 814 2030 7545
  • Password: 736397



BFFs: Man & Dog in the Classical World with Michael Norris


Live Zoom Event 

Wednesday, June 9 From 2:00 - 3:00 PM

We have a history of loving and depending on our dogs! Join us for a historical perspective of our canine friends revealed through the ages in art. In BFFs: Man & Dog in the Classical World, Michael Norris will take us from Cerberus, the hound of Hades in ancient Greek mythology, to the war and hunting dogs of Rome and more. We'll explore examples in Classical art of  how man’s best friend preserved the life, limb, and property of his master.

Michael Norris received his BA in classics from the University of California at San Diego and his MA in classics and Ph.D. in art history at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has spent twenty years at the Cloisters Museum and teaching art history at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Additionally, he has lectured on trips all over the world. He currently lives in Teaneck, New Jersey. His website is


  • To Join by Phone Dial
  • +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
  • Meeting ID: 858 7089 0551
  • Password: 319423



Non-Fiction Discussion Group


Live Zoom Event 

Thursday, June 10


Lost in America: A Journey with My Father by Sherwin B. Nuland

This book about the mysteries of family centers on Nuland’s portrait of his father, a Jewish garment
worker who came to America in the early years of the last century but remained an eternal outsider.
Awkward in speech and movement, broken by the premature deaths of a wife and child, he ruled his
youngest son with rage, dependency, and helpless love that outlasted his death. The book also summons
up the warmth and claustrophobia of a vanished immigrant New York. Moderated by Valerie 


LIVE ZOOM Information:


Fiction Discussion Group


Live Zoom Event 
Thursday, June 10

Fiction Group: 3:30 pm At The Time of Event...Click Here To Join On ZOOM


Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

The main storyline spans 1952 to 1970, following Kya from ages 6 to 25 as she grows up alone in a shack
in the swamp lands of North Carolina after being abandoned by her family. The story is a mystery, a
heartbreaking coming-of-age story, a survival story, an exquisite ode to the natural world, and a
surprising tale of possible murder. Moderated by Curry 

LIVE ZOOM Information:


Jupiter: The King of Planets


Live Zoom Event 

Wednesday, June 16 From 2:00 - 3:00 PM

June is the very best time of year to view Jupiter! The Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club returns to speak about The King of Planets.

In addition, NASA's Europa Clipper will conduct detailed reconnaissance of Jupiter's moon Europa and investigate whether the icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life. This may move us closer to answering a fundamental question: Are we alone? The Europa Clipper is aiming for launch readiness by 2024 - just around the corner.


Founded in 1956, the LHAAC promotes the enjoyment of amateur astronomy through public star parties, education, and meetings. They host 10 public star parties each year at White Memorial Conservation Center here in Litchfield. To learn more, visit their website at
  • To Join by Phone Dial
  • +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
  • Meeting ID: 871 8899 4962
  • Password: 709309



MORE Information about Zoom:

All of our Virtual Zoom Events are live. They are not recorded. To participate/join the event, you need to use the exact link connected to the event. Once you click on the link at the specified date and time, you will be prompted to open Zoom, the virtual meeting program we are using. All you need is an internet connection and a device or computer with a webcam and audio. Most computers have built-in webcams. No passwords or confirmation codes, just click the link and follow the prompts.

Still having difficulty understanding how to access Zoom? Email OWL's Technology Coordinator Ted Moy at [email protected] to set-up a virtual Book-a-Tech session and he will go over it with you.

More security, more privacy: In response to concerns about privacy in a virtual meeting space, we have enabled additional security features in Zoom and updated our meeting links to be protected, private, and secure. These new, unique links can also be accessed through our e-newsletters.To receive secure information regarding these events, please subscribe to our e-newsletter! Click here to subscribe