Talk will examine the concept of race

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BENNINGTON — When did cultures first identify different races? What does that mean for us today?

Professor William Edelglass will speak on "A History of the Concept of Race" as part of the Talks of the Times: Exploring Critical Issues series. The talk, funded by the Vermont Council on the Huminites, will be on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bennington.

The program is co-sponsored by the Greater Bennington Peace and Justice Center, Community College of Vermont and the UU Fellowship. It is free and open to the public. The building is accessible and listening aids are available.

The first European to divide the peoples of the world into distinct races, in the seventeenth century, claimed that the Sami people of northern Scandinavia were one of four races on earth; Native Americans, Europeans, South Asians, and North Africans together were considered a second race. How did such a bizarre distinction among groups of people develop into one of the most historically significant ideas of the modern world?

Edelglass will trace the intellectual history of the concept of race in the West, from its prehistory to today. He has taught philosophy, environmental studies, and Buddhist studies at Marlboro College.

The Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse is at 108 School St., Bennington. www.uubennington.org.

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