The Humanities to Go speakers bureau brings high-quality cultural programming to local venues all over the state. Our presenters are performers of living history, faculty members at our state's colleges and universities, and independent scholars. HTG programs come in many formats, including first-person living history presentations, lecutures with Q&A, illustrated talks, musical history tours, and documentary films. Explore the catalog!
During the fall of 1796, George Washington’s final months in office, Ona Judge, a slave in his household, escaped the Executive Mansion in Philadelphia. For every significant historic figure there is a complex story, sometimes a more unpleasant, less-known side that must be understood to provide a complete portrait of that person. Washington was incensed by Ona's escape and expended considerable effort to recapture her. She ultimately fled to Portsmouth, where she was protected by the residents, and went on to live her life in freedom in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire has lost many of its important historic buildings to fire, neglect, intentional demolition and re-development. In some cases, a plaque or marker provides a physical reminder of what was, but in other examples, no tangible evidence remains.
"Your Hit Parade" aired on radio and then on television from 1935 to 1959. It set the standard for American popular music. Calvin Knickerbocker outlines a quarter century of the show's history as a "tastemaker" featuring songs inspired by the Great Depression and on through the advent of rock and roll. He explores the show's relationship with sponsor American Tobacco and Lucky Strike cigarettes and shares stories about the artists the show helped launch and promote, from Frank Sinatra to Elvis.
The recent spate of Sherlock Holmes movies, television shows, and literary adaptations indicate the Great Detective is alive and well in the 21st century. Holmes is the most portrayed literary character of all time, with over 230 film versions alone in several different languages. Over the past century, Sherlockians created societies like the Baker Street Irregulars, wrote articles sussing out the "sources" of Doyle's works, and, most recently, developed an entire online world of Holmesian fan fiction. Sherlock Holmes is now a multi-million dollar industry.
The native Abenaki people played a central role in the history of the Monadnock region, defending it against English settlement and forcing the abandonment of Keene and other Monadnock area towns during the French and Indian Wars. Despite this, little is known about the Abenaki, and conventional histories often depict the first Europeans entering an untamed, uninhabited wilderness, rather than the homeland of people who had been there for hundreds of generations.
The year is 1835 and John Marshall has been Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court since 1801. He had fought, literally and figuratively, to establish a strong national government, opposed in that effort by powerful politicians including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and Andrew Jackson. Although his opponents controlled Congress and the White House for all but four years of Marshall’s tenure on the Court, Marshall prevailed in advancing his views on the law and the Constitution.
The history of Native American site desecration and looting in the Americas is well known. New Hampshire has its share of similar stories, but the valuing and protection of these historic sites in NH did not just begin with the passage of a Native burial protection law in the early 1990s. In the 1820s the "giant by the lake," the remains of an Abenaki man found in Melvin Village on Lake Winnipesaukee, was carefully reburied near his original burial location. John and Donna Moody explore the history of burial and site destruction, repatriation, and site protection in the Granite State.
Over the centuries immigrants from the British Isles have come to the Americas bringing with them their musical styles and tastes as well as their instruments. With the concertina, bodhran, mandolin, octave mandolin, guitar, and banjo, Emery Hutchins and Jim Prendergast sing and play this traditional Celtic music, but they also perform American country music in the way it was conceived in the early twentieth century.
The foundation of Western civilization rests on three monotheistic faiths - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The interaction between and among these systems of belief continues to impact events in daily life and politics on the world stage. Following an outline of Islamic beliefs and practices by Charles Kennedy, discussion turns to how Islam is practiced in the United States.
Speaking as Betsey Phelps, the mother of a Union soldier from Amherst, New Hampshire who died heroically at the Battle of Gettysburg, Sharon Wood offers an informative and sensitive reflection on that sacrifice from a mother's perspective. Wood blends the Phelps boy's story with those of other men who left their New Hampshire homes to fight for the Union cause and of the families who supported them on the home front.
Patrick D. Anderson, Gibney Distinguished Professor at Colby-Sawyer College, is a cultural historian who teaches American studies, film, and Native American studies courses. His research on indigenous peoples has taken him to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, the American Southwest, and Central and South America. In Peru, he lived in the jungle with a Mayan family. Anderson has also written about Hollywood filmmaking and the Academy Awards and hosted a televised film review program, "Reel Talk." He has degrees from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan.
Cristina Ashjian is an art historian and an independent scholar based in Moultonborough, where she is presently the chair of the Moultonborough Heritage Commission. Her current research focuses on late 19th and early 20th century country estates. Ashjian holds an MA in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London and a PhD in Modern Art and Architecture from Northwestern University.
Plymouth State University, Professor of History, Emeritus; Vice President, New England Ski Museum; author of several books, including From Skisport to Skiing: One Hundred Years of an American Sport.
Chautauquan; M.A. in Teaching of English, Teachers College at Columbia University; award-winning musician and storyteller with over 20 years experience in education and the arts; selected seven times as a granted artist for the NH State Library's ″Kids, Books, and the Arts″ program; committed to sharing traditional folklore and history with audiences of all ages.
Chris Benedetto has taught history courses at Granite State College since 2009. He has published numerous articles on New Hampshire history and co-authored the book Union Soldier of the American Civil War: A Visual Reference (The Countryman Press, 2012). In 2013, Chris was presented with a "Good Steward" Award from the Campus Compact for New Hampshire for his continuing contributions to community education and historical preservation. Chris has also been a member of various American Revolution and Civil War re-enactment organizations for over twenty years.
Raised in the Lakes Region, Dan Billin earned a BA in Communications from Brigham Young University. He worked as a newspaper reporter for the Valley News in Lebanon, New Hampshire for seventeen years. Billin's passion for history and nose for a story led him to uncover a wealth of detail about the shocking and largely forgotten tale of the birth and death of Noyes Academy. He is working on a book about the legacy of three of the students.
Adam Boyce, a 10th generation Vermonter and lifelong student of history, has been a popular Humanities to Go presenter since 2005. Beginning in 1991, when Boyce started dancing, fiddling, calling and playing the piano, he has made a study of nearly every aspect of traditional New England dancing and music history. Boyce has also been a regular on fiddle contest circuits as a judge, piano accompanist, and as a competitor.
Margo Burns is the 10th generation great-granddaughter of Rebecca Nurse, who was hanged in Salem in 1692 on the charge of witchcraft. She is the project manager and an associate editor of Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt, published in 2009 by Cambridge University Press. This work is the definitive collection of transcriptions of the legal records of the episode. Burns currently works at St. Paul's School, where she is the director of The Language Center.
Marcia Schmidt Blaine is a historian of New Hampshire and New England history and Chair of the Department of History, Philosophy and Social Studies at Plymouth State University. While her academic work focuses on the development of American identity, eighteenth-century New Hampshire women, and Anglo captives of the Abenaki, Blaine also explores various aspects of White Mountains history through her work with the Museum of the White Mountains in Plymouth.
Carrie Brown holds a PhD in American Literature and Folklore from the University of Virginia. She is an independent scholar who also works as a freelance history curator for museums in New England. She has curated two exhibitions on the Civil War for the American Precision Museum, as well as exhibitions on the history of aviation, the early years of the automobile, and the bicycle. The author of two books and many articles and exhibit catalogs, Brown delights in finding connections between changing technology and the evolution of popular culture.