Our Newest Humanities to Go Programs!

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We’re excited to announce these brand new programs in our Humanities to Go speakers bureau! The programs discuss important themes in the history of New Hampshire and the United States: race, immigration, voting rights, and religious pluralism. Hear the stories of the New Hampshire primary, Mary Baker Eddy, the Irish diaspora, and school desegregation. We’ve also added new programs focusing on our current moment—join us for compelling discussions about storytelling in the digital age, sustainability, and the opioid crisis. You can read full descriptions of these programs on our website. As always, be sure to check our online calendar regularly for events near you!

“A Practical Experiment”: School Desegregation on Trial in Antebellum Boston
Presenter: Kabria Baumgartner
Racial school segregation was not just a 20th century southern phenomenon; it has been an ongoing national issue, dating back to the 19th century and stretching into the present. In this presentation, Professor Kabria Baumgartner narrates the 15-year struggle to desegregate Boston public schools, beginning in 1840. 

Jennie Powers: The Woman Who Dares

Presenter: Jenna Carroll
Jennie Powers took a stand against social vices in New Hampshire and Vermont in the early 20th century. This illustrated presentation introduces us to Jennie’s life story, the work of humane societies at the turn of the 20th century, and the politics of the Progressive era from a local perspective.

"That the People May Live": The Life and Legacy of Nicholas Black Elk, Holy Man of the Lakota

Presenter: Damian Costello
Explore the life and legacy of Nicholas Black Elk, the Lakota holy man made famous by the book Black Elk Speaks. We’ll discuss the relevance of Black Elk’s legacy for broader questions of Abenaki survival in Northern New England, hope in the face of global environmental problems, and reconciliation in the midst of growing political and religious sectarianism. 

Russian Daily Life and Culture

Presenter: Marina Forbes
In this illustrated and interactive program, Marina establishes a link between Russia's rich cultural heritage and the lives of Russians today. The emergence of the “new rich,” the evolving role of women, the revival of the Orthodox Church, and the new emphasis on consumerism are all revealed as she brings personal experience and research to bear in this fascinating look at contemporary Russian life. 

Hooked: Narratives of Addiction, Recovery, and Redemption

Presenter: Kate Gaudet
In the midst of New Hampshire’s opioid crisis, we are far from the time when addiction was an unfamiliar and even taboo subject. This talk explores some of the most common stories about addiction and recovery, providing tools for understanding on a narrative and structural level. 

A History of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary

Presenter: John Gfroerer
This program presents a brief history of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary, from its origins during the Progressive era of the early 20th century, through its evolution as the most important step toward being elected President of the United States.

Sustainability: An American Literary History

Presenter: Abby Goode
What is sustainability? And how has American literature shaped our understanding of this concept, in ways both surprising and disturbing? This interactive program includes a discussion of current and historical ideas about sustainability. 

Lafayette and Human Rights

Presenter: Alan Hoffman
General Lafayette’s first foray into human rights work was during the American Revolution which he saw as a cause important to all people. Lafayette later became an advocate for abolition and said: “I would never have drawn my sword in the cause of America, if I could have conceived that thereby I was founding a land of slavery.” 

Ireland’s Great Famine in Irish-American History: Fateful Memory, Indelible Legacy

Presenter: Mary Kelly
Dr. Kelly discusses the role of the Famine in shaping Irish-American ethnic identity. Focusing on the long-term impact of the episode between the 1840s and 1990s, she explores the shadowed landscape of Famine legacy and its status in Irish-American culture today. 

Confounding Crusaders: The Protestant Friends of Ireland in Irish-American Diaspora Nationalism

Presenter: Mary Kelly
One of the most striking aspects of the Irish-American historical landscape is the enduring bond between immigrant community and ancestral home. This talk focuses on Protestant involvement in 1916-era nationalist activism.

Storytelling in the Digital Age

Presenter: Ann McClellan
More and more, the contemporary reading public is turning to digital technology as a means to experience literature. In an interactive discussion, participants explore how technology is affecting how we read, write, and experience stories. 

Fierce Females: Women in Art

Presenter: Jane Oneail
Women have long been the subject of art, often depicted as nothing more than objects of desire. How do images of women change when women become the creators? This program examines the history of women in art in brief and then explores the lives, careers, and works of several major women artists from the Renaissance to the 20th century. 

Granite State Gallery: New Hampshire Art and Artists Through the Years

Presenter: Jane Oneail
New Hampshire has attracted and inspired artists since the colonial era. What is distinctive about the art made here? This program considers works by itinerant and folk painters, landscape artists drawn to the state's scenic vistas, and modern artists who adopted bold styles to depict everyday life in the Granite State. 

Heroes and Homecomings: Norman Rockwell and World War II

Presenter: Jane Oneail
America's most beloved illustrator created dozens of images related to the second World War. What happens when an artist known for his use of humor tackles the serious subject of war? This program explores how Norman Rockwell's work departs from earlier artistic interpretations of American conflicts and considers how and why he chose specific wartime themes to present to the millions of readers of The Saturday Evening Post.

The History of Agriculture as Told by Barns

Presenter: John C. Porter
Barns can tell us a great deal about the history of agriculture in New Hampshire. This presentation follows the progression of barn styles that evolved to handle the increased productivity required to meet the needs of a growing population and respond to changes in society caused by the railroad and the Industrial Revolution. 

Case Closed on the 1873 Smuttynose Ax Murders

Presenter: J. Dennis Robinson
For almost 150 years the moonlight ax murders of two Norwegian women on the rocky Isles of Shoals has haunted New England. Popular historian and lecturer J. Dennis Robinson cuts through the hoaxes, lies, rumors, and fiction surrounding the arrest, trial, and execution of 28-year old Louis Wagner, who claimed his innocence to the end.  

Mary Baker Eddy: New Hampshire's Most Important Religious Thinker

Presenter: Nicole Ruane
Mary Baker Eddy was New Hampshire's most important and innovative religious thinker. The church she founded, The Church of Christ, Scientist, profoundly affected both American ideologies of religion as well as public opinion of the role of women in society. 

Votes for Women: A History of the Suffrage Movement

Presenter: Liz Tentarelli
The campaign for women’s right to vote was a long one, from the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York to ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920. This program explores the key players in New Hampshire and the nation, the issues and obstacles they faced, the impact of World War I, and who was left out when women got the right to vote.

Civil War Soldiers' Quilts

Presenter: Pam Weeks
Quilts made for soldiers during the Civil War are very rare—only 20 are known to exist, and Pam Weeks has studied most of them in person. This illustrated lecture outlines the origins of the U.S. Sanitary Commission at the beginning of the Civil War and examines the roles women played on the home front, and as nurses. 

New Hampshire Humanities programs are made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this these programs do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or New Hampshire Humanities.