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(Not So) Elementary, My Dear Watson: The Popularity of Sherlock Holmes

(Not So) Elementary, My Dear Watson: The Popularity of Sherlock Holmes

Presenter: Ann McClellan

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. Why is Sherlock Holmes so popular? Ann McClellan's presentation explores the origins of Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective and tracks his incarnations in literature, film, advertising, and modern media in order to crack the case of the most popular detective.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

12,000 Years Ago in the Granite State

12,000 Years Ago in the Granite State

Presenter: Robert Goodby

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. Robert Goodby discusses how the real depth of Native history was revealed when an archaeological study prior to construction of the new Keene Middle School discovered traces of four structures dating to the end of the Ice Age. Undisturbed for 12,000 years, the site revealed information about the economy, gender roles, and household organization of the Granite State's very first inhabitants, as well as evidence of social networks that extended for hundreds of miles across northern New England.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

A History of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary

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 twentieth century, through its evolution to the most important step toward being elected President of the United States. Based around segments from the documentary "The Premier Primary, New Hampshire and Presidential Elections" this program focuses on several memorable moments such as Senator Muskie crying in front of the Union Leader office, and who paid for Ronald Reagan's microphone. Clips from the documentary are interspersed with discussion and questions about how New Hampshire came to hold this important political event every four years. Led by John Gfroerer, who has produced several documentaries about New Hampshire's political history, including "The Premier Primary."

This program is also available as an online presentation.

A Practical Experiment: School Desegregation on Trial in Antebellum Boston

A Practical Experiment: School Desegregation on Trial in Antebellum Boston

Presenter: Kabria Baumgartner

Racial school segregation has been an ongoing national issue, and it dates back to the early nineteenth century. This program narrates the half-century struggle to desegregate Boston's public schools. In the 1840s, the school desegregation campaign hit its stride, as African American activists deployed numerous strategies, from petitions to boycotts to lawsuits like Sarah C. Roberts v. City of Boston. The decision among activists to pursue a case on behalf of Sarah, a five-year-old black girl, was a conscious one meant to garner public sympathy and legal victory by casting Sarah as an innocent and respectable child in need of protection. Though the Massachusetts Judicial Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Boston school committee in 1850, African American activists soon declared victory after the passage of the 1855 state law prohibiting racial discrimination in Massachusetts public schools. Sarah C. Roberts v. City of Boston was a significant case for a host of reasons, not least of which was the transformation of a black girl into an icon for educational justice.

A Soldier's Mother Tells Her Story

A Soldier's Mother Tells Her Story

Presenter: Sharon Wood

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.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

A Taste of the Old Country in the New: Franco-Americans of Manchester

A Taste of the Old Country in the New: Franco-Americans of Manchester

Presenter: Robert Perreault

Manchester is one example of the many industrial cities that attracted immigrants from Quebec in numbers large enough to warrant the creation and maintenance of an infrastructure of religious, educational, social, cultural, and commercial institutions that helped preserve this community's language and traditions. Robert Perreault shares stories about life in one of America's major Franco-American centers.
A Visit with Abraham Lincoln

A Visit with Abraham Lincoln

Presenter: Steve Wood

Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by Steve Wood, begins this program by recounting his early life and ends with a reading of the "Gettysburg Address." Along the way he comments on the debates with Stephen Douglas, his run for the presidency, and the Civil War.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

A Visit With Queen Victoria

A Visit With Queen Victoria

Presenter: Sally Mummey

In 1837, teenaged Victoria ascended to the British throne, untrained and innocent. Those who would try to usurp her power underestimated this self-willed intelligent young woman whose mettle sustained her through her 63-year reign. Using Queen Victoria's diary and letters, this program reveals the personal details of a powerful yet humane woman, who took seriously her role as monarch in a time of great expansion. She and her husband, Albert, set an example of high moral character and dedication, a novelty in the royal house after generations of scandal. Through her children she left a royal legacy; an era bears her name. Sally Mummey performs this living history in proper 19th century clothing resplendent with Royal Orders.
A Walk Back in Time: The Secrets of Cellar Holes

A Walk Back in Time: The Secrets of Cellar Holes

Presenter: Adair Mulligan

Northern New England is full of reminders of past lives: stone walls, old foundations, a century-old lilac struggling to survive as the forest reclaims a once-sunny dooryard. What forces shaped settlement, and later abandonment, of these places? Adair Mulligan explores the rich story to be discovered in what remains behind. See how one town has set out to create an inventory of its cellar holes, piecing together the clues in the landscape. Such a project can help landowners know what to do if they have archaeological sites on their land and help stimulate interest in a town's future through its past.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Abby Hutchinson's Sweet Freedom Songs: Songs and Stories of the Struggle for Abolition and Woman Suffrage

Abby Hutchinson's Sweet Freedom Songs: Songs and Stories of the Struggle for Abolition and Woman Suffrage

Presenter: Deborah Goss

Deborah Anne Goss appears as Abby Hutchinson Patton, recalling mid-19th-century U.S. and New Hampshire history and performing rousing anthems, heartfelt ballads, and humorous ditties sung during anti-slavery and early women's rights struggles. In the 1840s and 1850s the Hutchinson Family Singers strongly influenced the opinions of the era with their popular songs promoting healthy living and social justice-most prominently the abolition of slavery. Participants are encouraged to join in the singing on several choruses or read a poem or political diatribe of the time.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Abolitionists of Noyes Academy

Abolitionists of Noyes Academy

Presenter: Dan Billin

In 1835, abolitionists opened one of the nation's first integrated schools in Canaan, NH, attracting eager African-American students from as far away as Boston, Providence, and New York City. Outraged community leaders responded by raising a mob that dragged the academy building off its foundation and ran the African-American students out of town. New Hampshire's first experiment in educational equality was brief, but it helped launch the public careers of a trio of extraordinary African-American leaders: Henry Highland Garnet, Alexander Crummell, and Thomas Sipkins Sidney. Dan Billin plumbs the depths of anti-abolitionist sentiment in early nineteenth-century New England, and the courage of three young friends destined for greatness.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

African American Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire During the American Revolution

African American Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire During the American Revolution

Presenter: Glenn Knoblock

One of the most interesting aspects of the American Revolution is the role played by African Americans in the fight for independence. Both free African Americans and those that were enslaved were key in manning state militias and Continental Army units, as well as serving on the high seas in the Navy and on privately armed ships. Indeed, their service to the colonies was crucial in a conflict that lasted nearly seven years. Prohibited from serving in military units and largely considered "undesirable elements," how is it that these African-American soldiers came to fight for the cause of liberty, even when their own personal liberty was not guaranteed? Glenn Knoblock examines the history of African-American soldiers' service during the war, including how and why they enlisted, their interaction with white soldiers, service on the battlefields, how they were perceived by the enemy and the officers under whom they served, and their treatment after the war.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

All Eyes Are Upon Us: Racial Struggles in the Northeast, from Jackie Robinson to Deval Patrick

All Eyes Are Upon Us: Racial Struggles in the Northeast, from Jackie Robinson to Deval Patrick

Presenter: Jason Sokol

From Brooklyn to Boston, from World War II to the present, Jason Sokol traces the modern history of race and politics in the Northeast. Why did white fans come out to support Jackie Robinson as he broke baseball's color barrier in 1947 even as Brooklyn's blacks were shunted into segregated neighborhoods? How was African-American politician Ed Brooke of Massachusetts, who won a Senate seat in 1966, undone by the resistance to desegregation busing in Boston? Is the Northeast's history a microcosm of America as a whole: outwardly democratic, but inwardly conflicted over race?

This program is also available as an online presentation.

An Introduction to Sufism, the Spiritual Path in Islam

An Introduction to Sufism, the Spiritual Path in Islam

Presenter: Mohamed Defaa

Sufism is the inner dimension of Sunni Islam. Taking its source in the Quran and the Prophetic tradition, it has often been defined as "the science of spiritual states." Proficiency in this practice should enable the initiated to overcome his ego to achieve the knowledge and contemplation of God. Basically, the Sufi aspires to draw from the spiritual influx (baraka) of the Prophet Muhammad, handed down for centuries from master to disciple, to fight against the passions and delusions that beset him. This talk by Mohamed Defaa will highlight the universality of Sufism, and explain how, over the centuries, the great teachers have adapted the doctrines and practices of initiation to the transformations of the Muslim world. It will also show why Sufism plays an increasing role as an antidote against fundamentalism and radicalism.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Banjos, Bones, and Ballads

Banjos, Bones, and Ballads

Presenter: Jeff Warner

Traditional songs, rich in local history and a sense of place, present the latest news from the distant past. They help us to interpret present-day life with an understanding of the working people who built our country. Tavern songs, banjo tunes, 18th century New England hymns, sailor songs, and humorous stories about traditional singers and their songs highlight this informative program by Jeff Warner.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Before Peyton Place: In Search of the Real Grace Metalious

Before Peyton Place: In Search of the Real Grace Metalious

Presenter: Robert Perreault

Grace DeRepentigny Metalious believed that in rejecting her own ethnic and religious heritage, she would come closer to inheriting the "American Dream." Her Quebecois ancestry and her formative years in Manchester reveal aspects of the author that the public rarely knew. Robert Perreault focuses on Metalious's most autobiographical and ethnically-oriented but little-known novel, No Adam in Eden.

Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor?

Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor?

Presenter: George Morrison

We all think we know the story of Benedict Arnold, the American Revolutionary War general who fought for the Continental Army but then defected to the British. Recalled mainly as a traitor for his 1780 defection, Arnold had risked his life and fortune for American freedom in courageous exploits between 1775 and 1778, when the dream of independence was at its most fragile. As an officer in the Continental Army, Arnold ably led American forces in desperate circumstances against impossible odds, in a blinding snowstorm, through a howling wilderness, and against the extraordinary might of the Royal Navy. George Morrison will take you on a journey through New England, Canada, and New York tracing the complex story of this infamous American icon.
Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn: The Connected Farm Buildings of New England

Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn: The Connected Farm Buildings of New England

Presenter: Thomas Hubka

Through architecture unique to northern New England, this illustrated talk focuses on several case studies that show how farmers converted their typical separate house and barns into connected farmsteads. Thomas Hubka's research in his award-winning book, Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn: The Connected Farm Buildings of New England, demonstrates that average farmers were, in fact, motivated by competition with farmers in other regions of America, who had better soils and growing seasons and fewer rocks to clear. The connected farmstead organization, housing equal parts mixed-farming and home-industry, was one of the collective responses to the competitive threat.
Brewing in New Hampshire: An Informal History of Beer in the Granite State from Colonial Times to the Present

Brewing in New Hampshire: An Informal History of Beer in the Granite State from Colonial Times to the Present

Presenter: Glenn Knoblock

Glenn Knoblock explores the fascinating history of New Hampshire's beer and ale brewing industry from Colonial days, when it was home- and tavern-based, to today's modern breweries and brew pubs. Unusual and rare photos and advertisements document this changing industry and the state's earliest brewers, including the renowned Frank Jones. A number of lesser-known brewers and breweries that operated in the state are also discussed, including the only brewery owned and operated by a woman before the modern era. Illustrations present evidence of society's changing attitudes towards beer and alcohol consumption over the years. Whether you're a beer connoisseur or a "tea-totaler", this lecture will be enjoyed by adults of all ages.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Caesar: The Man from Venus

Caesar: The Man from Venus

Presenter: Sebastian Lockwood

Meet Caesar, who is descended from the Goddess Venus. This program introduces Caesar as a young boy living with his Mother, Aurelia, and his Aunt Julia, two women who will shape the boy who will be the most powerful man on earth. Using a rich variety of texts, Sebastian Lockwood shows Caesar as a man who clearly saw his destiny and fulfilled that destiny with the help of remarkable women - Cleopatra amongst them. A poet, historian, linguist, architect, general, politician, and engineer, was he truly of the Populi party for the People of Roma? Or a despot and tyrant? This performance shows Caesar as a remarkable genius who transformed his world in ways that still resonate today.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Case Closed on the 1873 Smuttynose Ax Murders

Case Closed on the 1873 Smuttynose Ax Murders

Presenter: J. Dennis Robinson

For almost 150 years the moonlight ax murder 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. If you read the bestselling novel Weight of Water or saw the Hollywood film -- that's not what happened. A longtime summer steward of Smuttynose Island, Robinson lays out the facts based on his book-length study, Mystery on the Isles of Shoals.
Civil War Soldiers' Quilts

Civil War Soldiers' Quilts

Presenter: Pamela Weeks

Quilts made for use by soldiers during the Civil War are very rare-only twenty 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. The stories of fourteen actual Civil War soldiers' quilts will be highlighted in this program.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Comics in World History and Cultures

Comics in World History and Cultures

Presenter: Marek Bennett

Marek Bennett presents a whirlwind survey of comics from around the world and throughout history, with special attention to what these vibrant narratives tell (and show) us about the people and periods that created them. Bennett engages and involves the audience in an interactive discussion of several sample comics representing cultures such as Ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, the Ancient Maya, Feudal and modern Japan, the United States in the early 20th century, and Nazi Germany during World War II. The program explores the various ways of creating and reading comics from around the world, and what these techniques tell us about the cultures in which they occur.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

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

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. Predictably, this transatlantic narrative is dominated by Catholic-centered political activism and expression. However, the history of Irish-American nationalism should also acknowledge the contribution of Protestant advocates for the cause. This talk focuses on Protestant involvement in 1916-era nationalist activism. The Easter Rising prompted Protestants of various denominational affiliations to stamp their imprint on the nationalist narrative at a crucial juncture in its evolution. In addition to addressing 1916-centered campaigns, this talk probes Protestant deliberation on thorny issues of Ulster's fate and Ireland's contending religious traditions, and culminates with the concerted labors of these partisans in the Protestant Friends of Ireland organization of 1919-22.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Contra Dancing In New Hampshire: Then and Now

Contra Dancing In New Hampshire: Then and Now

Presenter: Dudley Laufman

Since the late 1600s, the lively tradition of contra dancing has kept people of all ages swinging and sashaying in barns, town halls, and schools around the state. Contra dancing came to New Hampshire by way of the English colonists and remains popular in many communities, particularly in the Monadnock Region. Presenter Dudley Laufman brings this tradition to life with stories, poems and recordings of callers, musicians, and dancers, past and present. Live music, always integral to this dance form, will be played on the fiddle and melodeon.
Digging Into Native History in New Hampshire

Digging Into Native History in New Hampshire

Presenter: Robert Goodby

Abenaki history has been reduced to near-invisibility as a result of conquest, a conquering culture that placed little value on the Indian experience, and a strategy of self-preservation that required many Abenaki to go "underground," concealing their true identities for generations to avoid discrimination and persecution. Robert Goodby reveals archaeological evidence that shows their deep presence here, inches below the earth's surface.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Discovering New England Stone Walls

Discovering New England Stone Walls

Presenter: Kevin Gardner

Why are we so fascinated with stone walls? Kevin Gardner, author of The Granite Kiss, explains how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, the ways in which they and other dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time and their significance to the famous New England landscape. Along the way, Kevin occupies himself building a miniature wall or walls on a tabletop, using tiny stones from a five-gallon bucket.
Ethical Aspects of Converging Technologies

Ethical Aspects of Converging Technologies

Presenter: Herman Tavani

Information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology are converging in ways that were not easily anticipated. We now have distinct new fields such as bioinformatics, computational genomics, nanocomputing and ubiquitous computing. These converging and emerging technologies also introduce a cluster of ethical problems that were not easy to predict or anticipate. Herman Tavani examines a range of issues -- from privacy and informed consent to autonomy and freedom to property rights involving the ownership of genetic information that resides in databases.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Exemplary Country Estates of New Hampshire

Exemplary Country Estates of New Hampshire

Presenter: Cristina Ashjian

In the early 20th century, the New Hampshire Board of Agriculture launched a program to boost the rural economy and promote tourism through the sale of abandoned farms to summer residents. After introducing the country house movement, Cristina Ashjian focuses attention on some of the great country estates featured in the New Hampshire program between 1902 and 1913. Which private estates were recognized as exemplary, and who were their owners? Using historic images and texts, Ashjian discusses well-known estates now open to the public such as The Fells on Lake Sunapee, The Rocks in Bethlehem, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, and she includes local examples when possible.
Family Stories: How and Why to Remember and Tell Them

Family Stories: How and Why to Remember and Tell Them

Presenter: Jo Radner

Telling personal and family stories is fun - and much more. Storytelling connects strangers, strengthens links between generations, and gives children the self-knowledge to carry them through hard times. Knowledge of family history has even been linked to better teen behavior and mental health. In this active and interactive program, storyteller Jo Radner shares foolproof ways to mine memories and interview relatives for meaningful stories. Participants practices finding, developing, and telling their own tales.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Family, Memory, Place: Writing Family Stories

Family, Memory, Place: Writing Family Stories

Presenter: Maura MacNeil

What family stories do you carry with you? What story do you tell over and over? What landscape do you cherish the most? One of the deepest human instincts is to tell our life stories, to figure out who we are and what it means to be human. This interactive workshop led by Maura MacNeil explores how the landscapes of our lives shape the stories that we tell. Participants explore the themes of family, memory, and place through sample narratives and a series of short writing exercises, gaining a deeper awareness of how their stories can preserve personal, generational, and communal history.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Fierce Females: Women in Art

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 twentieth century. Artemisia Gentileschi, Mary Cassatt, and Frida Kahlo are some of the artists discussed in this program.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Flight of Remembrance: World War II from the Losing Side and the Dream that Led to Aerospace Engineering

Flight of Remembrance: World War II from the Losing Side and the Dream that Led to Aerospace Engineering

Presenter: Marina Dutzmann Kirsch

Flight of Remembrance is the true story of the speaker's family before, during, and after World War II in Latvia, occupied Poland, and Germany. None were members of the Nazi Party or Hitler supporters, but Marina Kirsch's father and grandfather, both technically skilled, were forced to serve in the German military after fleeing from Latvia to Germany before the first Soviet takeover of the Baltic States. By giving a face and name to "the enemy," this presentation offers a seldom-shared perspective on the most devastating world conflict of all time, and sheds light on what life was like for a German family during the war. Centering on the speaker's parents, Rolf and Lilo, Flight of Remembrance is a love story, a story of survival, and the story of Rolf's lifelong dream of a career in aeronautical engineering that expanded, after he immigrated to the United States, to a leadership role in the emerging U.S. space program.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

From Guns to Gramophones: Civil War and the Technology that Shaped America

From Guns to Gramophones: Civil War and the Technology that Shaped America

Presenter: Carrie Brown

Carrie Brown explores the technological triumph that helped save the Union and then transformed the nation. During the Civil War, northern industry produced a million and a half rifles, along with tens of thousands of pistols and carbines. How did the North produce all of those weapons? The answer lies in new machinery and methods for producing guns with interchangeable parts. Once the system of mass production had been tested and perfected, what happened after the war? In the period from 1870 to 1910 new factory technology and new print media fueled the development of mass consumerism. While this program tells a broad, national story, it focuses on the critical and somewhat surprising role of Vermont and New Hampshire in producing industrial technology that won the war and changed American life.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

From Mickey to Magoo: The Golden Age of American Animation

From Mickey to Magoo: The Golden Age of American Animation

Presenter: Margo Burns

From the 1920s to the 1960s, adult American theatergoers could anticipate a cartoon before each feature film. From Mickey Mouse to Donald Duck, Popeye, Betty Boop, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tom and Jerry, Mighty Mouse, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and Mr. Magoo, the beloved cartoon "stars" were every bit as memorable as the Hollywood actors who shared the marquee. Many of these cartoons were redistributed as Saturday morning shows for kids of the next generation. Margo Burns offers an introduction to the people and studios that made these films and the changing technology, aesthetics, music, politics, and economics behind them, showing stills, characters, and clips from many of these beautifully hand-drawn films. At the end of her program, participants are treated to one of the classics in its entirety.
Galileo Galilei, the Starry Messenger

Galileo Galilei, the Starry Messenger

Presenter: Michael Francis

The Starry Messenger, presented by Michael Francis, is a dramatic fun-filled adaptation of Galileo's short treatise "Siderius Nuncius." Galileo (dressed in 17th-century costume) arrives to present a public lecture on his most recent discoveries made using his newly-devised spyglass. As he describes those discoveries, Galileo's new method of observation and measurement of nature become apparent. Throughout the presentation audience members are actively involved in experiments and demonstrations. After the lecture, Galileo answers questions about his experiments, his life, and his times.
Global Banjar: International Voices in Antebellum Banjo Music

Global Banjar: International Voices in Antebellum Banjo Music

Presenter: Woody Pringle & Marek Bennett

The Hardtacks (Marek Bennett and Woody Pringle) deliver an engaging overview of global politics prior to the American Civil War through the lens of early banjo music. Between 1820 and 1860, the banjo transformed from a slave instrument found only on Southern plantations to an international pop phenomenon: songs and playing techniques carried far and wide in the emerging global economy, from the streets of New York's Five Points slum to the gold fields of California and the elite drawing rooms of London, from the battlegrounds of Nicaragua to official diplomatic receptions in Japan. How did this African-derived, slave-borne folk instrument come to symbolize all the best and worst of a young United States of America? (Please contact Woody Pringle to book this program.)

God, the Early Years: A Brief History of God in the Rise of Judaism, Christianity and Islam

God, the Early Years: A Brief History of God in the Rise of Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Presenter: Nicole Ruane

Do the three major monotheistic religions worship the same deity? Nicole Ruane traces the rise of the deity who comes to be known as The Lord, God the Father, and Allah from his earliest form as a young god (known as Yah, Yahu or Yahweh) in the area of Syria-Palestine, later merged with the father deity of the local pantheon known as El, and on across the Middle East and through the centuries. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam spread knowledge of this deity, in his various forms, throughout the world. The program will end by examining the question of whether these three religions worship the same deity or whether their understandings of the divine are sufficiently different that they refer to different gods.

Granite Gallows: The Origins of New Hampshire's Debate over the Death Penalty

Granite Gallows: The Origins of New Hampshire's Debate over the Death Penalty

Presenter: Chris Benedetto

As one of the last northeastern states with capital punishment still on the books and with its first person on death row since 1939, New Hampshire continues to struggle with this controversial issue. Chris Benedetto examines the history of the death penalty in New Hampshire and the major legal and social issues which challenged our predecessors, revealing that many of these issues still haunt us today.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

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

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 will consider works by itinerant and folk painters, landscape artists drawn to the state's scenic vistas, and modern artists that adopted bold styles to depict everyday life in the Granite State. Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Childe Hassam, and Maxfield Parrish are some of the artists discussed in this program.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Harnessing History: On the Trail of New Hampshire's State Dog, the Chinook

Harnessing History: On the Trail of New Hampshire's State Dog, the Chinook

Presenter: Bob Cottrell

This program looks at how dog sledding developed in New Hampshire and how the Chinook played a major role in this story. Explaining how man and his relationship with dogs won out over machines on several famous polar expeditions, Bob Cottrell covers the history of Arthur Walden and his Chinooks, the State Dog of New Hampshire.
Having a Fine Time in Manchester: Vintage Post Cards and Local History

Having a Fine Time in Manchester: Vintage Post Cards and Local History

Presenter: Robert Perreault

Post cards have many a story to tell about the built landscape, disastrous events such as fires or floods, daily folk customs, and the identity of place. During the golden age of the post card, before telephones, personal messages could contain anything from the mundane, "Having a fine time, wish you were here..." to more profound reflections on family life or colorful portraits of towns and cities from the perspective of newly-landed immigrants. Robert Perreault presents vintage post cards of Manchester offer a lively, nostalgic adventure through a major industrial center, home to people from around the world.
Heroes and Homecomings: Norman Rockwell and World War II

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.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Homer's Odysseus

Homer's Odysseus

Presenter: Sebastian Lockwood

Using the well known scenes of The Odyssey, Sebastian Lockwood delivers the passion and intensity of the great epic that deserves to be heard told as it was by bards in the days of old. Lockwood says, "The best compliment is when a ten-year-old comes up and says, 'I felt like I was there.'" That is the magic of the performance that takes students and adults alike back into the text.The following Q & A can focus on translations and the storytelling techniques used by Homer.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Hooked: Narratives of Addiction, Recovery, and Redemption

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. Narratives of addiction and recovery have become their own genre, with familiar shapes and forms that reflect deep cultural ideas about morality, free will, and social responsibility. The popularity of such narratives has created opportunities for empathy and understanding; they have also fostered particular beliefs about how addiction and recovery work. This talk will explore some of the most common stories about addiction, providing tools for understanding on a narrative and structural level. From this foundation, we will explore whether the familiarity of some stories might create barriers to recognizing different experiences of addiction or approaches to recovery, and think about where we might find more diverse accounts to inform our understanding of and response to addiction.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

How Did the Greeks Believe Their Myths?

How Did the Greeks Believe Their Myths?

Presenter: R. Scott Smith

Greek myth exerted a powerful influence on the Greeks and Romans, and as cultures and circumstances changed, different methods developed to incorporate mythology. Perhaps most notably, says presenter R. Scott Smith, Christians adopted and adapted Greek myths by allegorizing the stories, seeking to uncover the real-and Christian-truths underneath the facade of pagan gods and heroes. Some Greeks tried to rationalize the stories, imagining that they were simply ordinary events that were blown out of proportion. Others saw myth as pseudo-history, or sometimes pseudo-science. This program will investigate the major ways that the Greeks tried to explain and interpret their own mythical past over the course of a thousand years.

How Fresh Water Has Shaped New Hampshire

How Fresh Water Has Shaped New Hampshire

Presenter: James Rousmaniere

Granite Staters' impact on fresh water - and, conversely, inland waters' impact on Granite Staters - has evolved over time. Our pollution has changed, as has our hydro-power, our experiences with floods, our watershed protections, our exposure to invasive vegetation, and our use of water in the home. This illustrated presentation by Jim Rousmaniere explores the roles of industry, innovation, and citizen action in assuring clean and plentiful water supplies in a state that in many ways has been defined by water.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

I Can't Die But Once - Harriet Tubman's Civil War

I Can't Die But Once - Harriet Tubman's Civil War

Presenter: Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti

Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti's characterization of Harriet Tubman is a lucid, well-researched biography about the remarkable life of an enduring warrior. As Harriet Tubman, she weaves a tale of truth, pain, courage and determination in the quagmire of racial exploitation. The United States Government enlisted Tubman as a scout and spy for the Union cause and she battled courageously behind enemy lines during the Civil War, but Tubman is best known for her role as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Though she is one of the most famous women in our nation's history, we have come to know her life through fictionalized biographies written for school children. Quezaire-Presutti separates reality from myth to reconstruct a richer and far more accurate historical account of Tubman's life.
Imperial Russian Fabergé Eggs

Imperial Russian Fabergé Eggs

Presenter: Marina Forbes

This illustrated presentation by Marina Forbes focuses on the life and remarkable work of Russian master jeweler and artist, Peter Carl Fabergé. The program features a photo-tour of Fabergé collections at the Constantine Palace in St. Petersburg and from major museums and private collectors around the world. Explore the important role of egg painting in Russian culture and the development of this major Russian art form from a traditional craft to the level of exquisite fine art under the patronage of the tsars. Forbes also discusses the fascinating history of these eggs, their role in the dramatic events of the last decades of Romanov rule in Russia, and in the years following the Bolshevik Revolution.

In the Evil Day: Individual Rights, Town Government, and the Crime that Stunned the Nation

In the Evil Day: Individual Rights, Town Government, and the Crime that Stunned the Nation

Presenter: Richard Adams Carey

On August 19, 1997, in little Colebrook, New Hampshire, a 62-year-old carpenter named Carl Drega, a man with long-simmering property rights grievances, murdered state troopers Scott Phillips and Les Lord at a traffic stop in a supermarket parking lot. Then Drega stole Phillips's cruiser and drove downtown to settle some old scores. By the end of the day three more were dead, Drega among them, and four wounded. Occurring on the eve of America's current plague of gun violence, this tragic event made headlines all over the world and shocked New Hampshire out of a previous innocence. Touching on facets of North Country history, local governance, law enforcement, gun violence, and the human spirit, Richard Adams Carey describes a community that was never a passive victim but rather a brave and resilient survivor.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

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

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

Presenter: Mary Kelly

Drawing on material from her book Ireland's Great Famine in Irish-American History, Dr. Kelly will discuss 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. Referencing contemporary press accounts and the writings of Famine survivors and their descendants, Dr. Kelly shows how interrogating Famine memory enables the Irish on both sides of the Atlantic to deal with the material and emotional inheritance of this tragic experience.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Italian Americans in History and Film

Italian Americans in History and Film

Italian American culture is part of our everyday lives and has contributed to American culture for almost a century and a half. But who are those Italian Americans? What’s their history? We have seen them in movies, mostly as mafia men, what about the women? This talk looks at Italian American culture, the movies it has inspired, and the politics of Italian American-ness. Presented by Dr. Graziella Parati, Professor of Italian Studies at Dartmouth.


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Jennie Powers: The Woman Who Dares

Jennie Powers: The Woman Who Dares

Presenter: Jennifer Carroll

Jennie Powers took a stand against social vices in New Hampshire and Vermont in the early twentieth century. She was a humane society agent in Keene from 1903-1936 and one of the first humane society agents to become a deputy sheriff in New Hampshire. Jennie was known across the country as "The Woman Who Dares" cited by the Boston Post newspaper in 1906 as having arrested more men than any other woman in America. As a photographic activist, she used her camera to document animal cruelty, family violence, and wide-spread poverty in New Hampshire's Monadnock region and beyond. This one-hour illustrated presentation from Jenna Carroll introduces us to Jennie's life story, the work of humane societies at the turn of the twentieth century, and the politics of the Progressive Era (1890s-1920s) from a local perspective.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

John Winant: New Hampshire Man of The World

John Winant: New Hampshire Man of The World

Presenter: Richard Hesse

John G. Winant, three-time governor of New Hampshire went on to serve the nation in several capacities on the national and international scene. In the process he became a hero to the British in World War Two and to the common man throughout the developed world. His life, marked by highs and lows, ended tragically in his mansion in Concord. The program examines his life and measures his impact at home and abroad.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Lafayette and Human Rights

Lafayette and Human Rights

Presenter: Alan Hoffman

Lafayette's first foray into human rights work was during the American Revolution which he saw as a cause important to all people. He continued to promote universal natural rights throughout his life. During the French Revolution he drafted "the Rights of Man and the Citizen" and later supported other revolutions in Europe and South America as well as causes designed to deliver human rights to the oppressed. In particular, the abolition of slavery engaged Lafayette continuously, from the American Revolution and his return tour of the United States until his death in 1834. Lafayette 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."

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Liberty Is Our Motto!: Songs and Stories of the Hutchinson Family Singers

Liberty Is Our Motto!: Songs and Stories of the Hutchinson Family Singers

Presenter: Steve Blunt

The year is 1876, and New Hampshire's own John Hutchinson sings and tells about his famous musical family "straight from the horse's mouth." Originally from Milford, NH, the Hutchinson Family Singers were among America's most notable musical entertainers for much of the mid-19th century. They achieved international recognition with songs advancing social reform and political causes such as abolition, temperance, women's suffrage, and the Lincoln presidential campaign of 1860. In this living history program, Steve Blunt portrays John Hutchinson. He tells the Hutchinsons' story and shares their music with lyrics provided. Audience members are invited to sing along on "The Old Granite State," "Get Off the Track," "Tenting on the Old Campground," and more.
Life Downstairs: British Servant Culture in Fact, Fiction, and Film

Life Downstairs: British Servant Culture in Fact, Fiction, and Film

Presenter: Ann McClellan

While servant narratives have been popular for centuries, there seems to be a resurging interest in these stories in recent decades. Many contemporary British and North American writers, filmmakers, and television executives have turned to master/servant relationships as their subject matter. Films like The Remains of the Day and Gosford Park garnered numerous Oscar nominations and substantial box office profits. PBS created such classics as Upstairs, Downstairs and Manor House, as well as the phenomenally successful Downton Abbey! Even mainstream American television has piloted its own versions of the British servant in shows as wide-ranging as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air to reality TV's Supernanny. Join Ann McClellan as she explores the history behind the rise and fall of British servants and why Americans are so fascinated by their stories on page and screen.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

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

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

Presenter: Nicole Ruane

Mary Baker Eddy was New Hampshire's most important and most innovative religious thinker. Mark Twain called Eddy "the most interesting woman that ever lived, and the most extraordinary." 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. This program discusses the ways in which Eddy's experience as a woman in Victorian-era America influenced her gendered understanding of God as well as the nature of humanity, the body, health, and the place of women in powerful organizations. In Eddy's theology, the divine was not punishing but welcoming and caring; not a domineering father but a loving father-mother -- a perspective that uplifted the feminine in both the divine realm and the human world. Although Eddy's perspectives on healing have always been controversial, her rejection of medicine stemmed from encounters with nineteenth-century physicians that she felt were demeaning and violating. Eddy instead advocated a patient-centered method of self-empowered healing, a perspective that has much in common with later views of positive psychology and the power of the mind over the body.

Mary Todd Lincoln: An Unconventional Woman

Mary Todd Lincoln: An Unconventional Woman

Presenter: Sally Mummey

Raised in a slaveholding family, Mary Todd Lincoln evolved into an advocate for abolition. The intellectual equal of well-educated men, she spoke her mind openly in an era when a woman's success in life was measured by marriage and motherhood. Against her family's wishes, she married the man she loved and partnered with him to achieve their goal of becoming President and First Lady. Sparkling with humor and insight, Sally Mummey as Mary Lincoln shares stories of their life and love, triumphs and challenges, and life in the White House during the tumultuous years of the Civil War.
Meet Lucy Stone: Enter the Antebellum World of the Abolition and Women's Rights Movements

Meet Lucy Stone: Enter the Antebellum World of the Abolition and Women's Rights Movements

Presenter: Judith Black

In this first-person interpretive program, Judith Black introduces American Lucy Stone, the first woman hired by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society as a public speaker and the "Shining Star" of the Abolition and Women's Rights Movements. The presenter dispels well-worn platitudes about the antebellum North by interjecting historic and personal truths about these social reform movements. Her presentation also paints a dynamic and detailed picture of what it takes to change the world you are born into. Follow Lucy as she makes her case for tax resistance, her challenges to marriage laws and motherhood, and her pro-Emancipation response to the Civil War. Go with her to The American Equal Rights Association Convention in May 1869, where she eloquently supports the 15th Amendment, which gave African-American men the vote.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Moved and Seconded: Town Meeting in New Hampshire

Moved and Seconded: Town Meeting in New Hampshire

Presenter: Rebecca Rule

Drawing on research from her book, Moved and Seconded: Town Meeting in New Hampshire, the Present, the Past, and the Future, Rebecca Rule regales audiences with stories of the rituals, traditions, and history of town meeting, including the perennial characters, the literature, the humor, and the wisdom of this uniquely New England institution.
Movie Mavericks: Filmmakers Who Challenge the Hollywood System

Movie Mavericks: Filmmakers Who Challenge the Hollywood System

Presenter: Patrick Anderson

Patrick Anderson focuses on contemporary film directors and screenwriters in the United States whose originality, independence and unconventional approaches to the medium have contributed to the evolution of the industry. The program enables a greater understanding of and appreciation for both the content and form of movies made outside the mainstream Hollywood system, and considers some of the key differences in theme, style and narrative format between these works and the more conventional fare of so-called "classic cinema." Among the filmmakers to be examined are Steven Soderbergh, David Lynch, John Sayles, Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, the Coen brothers, Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, P.T. Anderson, Jim Jarmusch and Charlie Kaufman. Patrick Anderson urges participants to view and analyze a variety of film clips carefully so that, by the end of the session, they will be more visually articulate and critically aware of how one "reads" a film.

Music in My Pockets: Family Fun in Folk Music

Music in My Pockets: Family Fun in Folk Music

Presenter: Jeff Warner

Singing games, accessible "pocket instruments" like spoons and dancing puppets, tall tales, funny songs, old songs and songs kids teach each other in the playground-all "traditional" in that they have been passed down the generations by word of mouth-will be seen, heard and learned. We will revisit 1850 or 1910 in a New England town, with families gathered around the kitchen hearth, participating in timeless, hearty entertainment: a glimpse into how America amused itself before electricity. This program is recommended for adults and children ages 6 and above.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

New England Lighthouses and the People Who Kept Them

New England Lighthouses and the People Who Kept Them

Presenter: Jeremy D'Entremont

Everyone knows that there's "something about lighthouses" that gives them broad appeal, but their vital role in our history and culture is little appreciated. Our early nation was built on maritime economy, and lighthouses were part of the system that made that possible. Due to automation, traditional lighthouse keeping is a way of life that has faded into the past. Jeremy D'Entremont tells the history of New England's historic and picturesque lighthouses primarily focusing on the colorful and dramatic stories of lighthouse keepers and their families.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

New England Quilts and the Stories They Tell

New England Quilts and the Stories They Tell

Presenter: Pamela Weeks

Quilts tell stories, and quilt history is full of myths and misinformation as well as heart-warming tales of service and tradition. Nearly every world culture that has cold weather uses quilted textiles-quilting is NOT just an American art. Pam Weeks weaves world history, women's history, industrial history and just plain wonderful stories into her presentation. Participants are invited to bring one quilt for identification and/or story sharing. Prompted in part by the material culture at hand, the presenter may speak about fashion fads, the Colonial Revival, quilt-making for Civil War soldiers, and anything else quilt-related she can squeeze in.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

New England's Colonial Meetinghouses and their Impact on American Society

New England's Colonial Meetinghouses and their Impact on American Society

Presenter: Paul Wainwright

New England's colonial meetinghouses embody an important yet little-known chapter in American history. Built mostly with tax money, they served as both places of worship and places for town meetings, and were the centers of life in colonial New England communities. Using photographs of the few surviving "mint condition" meetinghouses as illustrations, Paul Wainwright tells the story of the society that built and used them, and the lasting impact they have had on American culture.
New Hampshire Abolitionist Nathaniel Peabody Rogers

New Hampshire Abolitionist Nathaniel Peabody Rogers

Presenter: Rebecca Noel

Successful attorney--and father of eight--Nathaniel Peabody Rogers walked away from his Plymouth, NH, law practice in the 1830s for a dangerous and nearly unpaid gig editing a Concord-based anti-slavery newspaper, the Herald of Freedom. Plymouth State University historian Rebecca R. Noel tells the story of this feisty Granite State native, one of the so-called New Hampshire radicals. Rogers' dedication to abolition and racial inclusion took several forms in his relatively short life. He sheltered fugitives in Plymouth and Concord, co-founded the integrated Noyes Academy in Canaan, networked with major abolitionists including Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, and above all wrote passionate, searing essays against slavery and racism. Henry David Thoreau admired Rogers' political zeal and his beautiful nature writing about the White Mountains, published under the pseudonym "The Old Man of the Mountain," and abolitionist poet John Pierpont called Rogers the best newspaper writer in the United States. Rogers' story shines a light on this lively reform era, and his contributions to the crusade for social justice still resonate today.

New Hampshire Cemeteries and Gravestones

New Hampshire Cemeteries and Gravestones

Presenter: Glenn Knoblock

Rubbings, photographs, and slides illustrate the rich variety of gravestones to be found in our own neighborhoods, but they also tell long-forgotten stories of such historical events as the Great Awakening, the Throat Distemper epidemic, and the American Revolution. Find out more about these deeply personal works of art and the craftsmen who carved them with Glenn Knoblock, and learn how to read the stone "pages" that give insight into the vast genealogical book of New Hampshire.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

New Hampshire on High: Historic and Unusual Weathervanes of the Granite State

New Hampshire on High: Historic and Unusual Weathervanes of the Granite State

Presenter: Glenn Knoblock

This program offers a fun and engaging look at the historic and unusual weathervanes found on New Hampshire's churches, town halls, and other public buildings from earliest times down to the present. Highlighted by the visual presentation of a sampling of the vanes found throughout the state, Glenn Knoblock's program will trace the history of weathervanes, their practical use and interesting symbolism, as well as their varied types and methods of manufacture and evolution from practical weather instrument to architectural embellishment.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

New Hampshire on Skis

New Hampshire on Skis

Presenter: E. John Allen

Take Scandinavian and Austrian immigrants, the Dartmouth Outing Club, the Cannon Mountain Tramway, the muscular Christian, amateur tinkerers, and Professor E. John B. Allen. Cover it with snow and shake, and you have all the makings of a unique New Hampshire history. 

New Hampshire Roads Taken Or Not

New Hampshire Roads Taken Or Not

Presenter: Stephen Taylor

Following World War II, New Hampshire embarked on an extensive program of constructing new highways and improving existing roads to accommodate explosive growth in passenger vehicles and the need for better infrastructure to accommodate commercial traffic. Hundreds of millions in federal, state, and local tax dollars would be expended on this initiative over the second half of the 20th century and road construction would become an enduring part of the state's economy. Decisions about when and where highway projects would be undertaken were often driven by political considerations as well as by policy dictated from Washington. Frequently, choices not to build or improve certain roads would generate as much conflict and controversy as would the proposals that would eventually be implemented. Either way, decisions about highways would come to have profound and lasting impacts upon communities and entire regions of the state. In this program, Steve Taylor reviews some of New Hampshire's most significant highway choices in the 20th century, followed by discussion of the economic, social, and cultural changes that followed decisions to build or not to build.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

New Hampshire's Long Love-Hate Relationship with its Agricultural Fairs

New Hampshire's Long Love-Hate Relationship with its Agricultural Fairs

Presenter: Stephen Taylor

The first agricultural fair in North America was held in what is now Londonderry in 1722, and it would become a wildly popular event lasting for generations until it came to be so dominated by gambling, flim-flam, and other "scandalous dimensions" that the legislature revoked its charter in 1850. But fairs have always had strong supporters and eventually the state came around to appropriating modest sums to help them succeed. Temperance groups and others would continue to attack the fairs on moral grounds and their close connection to horse racing was a chronic flashpoint. Steve Taylor will discuss the ups and downs of the fairs down through years and how public affection for rural traditions helps them survive in contemporary times.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

New Hampshire's One-Room Rural Schools: The Romance and the Reality

New Hampshire's One-Room Rural Schools: The Romance and the Reality

Presenter: Stephen Taylor

Hundreds of one-room schools dotted the landscape of New Hampshire a century ago and were the backbone of primary education for generations of children. Revered in literature and lore, they actually were beset with problems, some of which are little changed today. The greatest issue was financing the local school and the vast differences between taxing districts in ability to support education. Other concerns included teacher preparation and quality, curriculum, discipline, student achievement and community involvement in the educational process. Steve Taylor explores the lasting legacies of the one-room school and how they echo today.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Oil, Ice, and Bone: Arctic Whaler Nathaniel Ransom

Oil, Ice, and Bone: Arctic Whaler Nathaniel Ransom

Presenter: Helen Frink

In January 2016, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association announced the discovery of the wreckage of two sunken whale ships off the Alaskan coast. Oil, Ice, and Bone tells the story of these vessels and how they came to be lost in the greatest whaling disaster in American history. Arctic whaler Nathaniel Ransom served as third mate of one of the ships abandoned in 1871. In 1860, as a fourteen-year-old, he followed his five older brothers into the dank forecastle of a whaling vessel. For fifteen years he hunted seventy-ton bowheads in Arctic waters for the many uses of "bone." Blades of flexible baleen from the leviathan's enormous jaw raised its value, even as petroleum gradually replaced whale oil as a source of lighting. In 1871 Ransom survived the loss of thirty-two whaling vessels in the frigid waters off Alaska's Icy Cape. He kept a journal - and held onto it as he and his shipmates jettisoned weapons and warm clothing to save their very lives. His eyewitness account of whaling's brutal slaughter and sudden losses is enriched by presenter Helen Frink's affection for an ancestor she discovered through his journals a century after his death.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Old Time Rules Will Prevail: The Fiddle Contest in New Hampshire and New England

Old Time Rules Will Prevail: The Fiddle Contest in New Hampshire and New England

Presenter: Adam Boyce

Fiddle contests evolved from endurance marathons to playing a set number of tunes judged by certain specific criteria. Whether large or small, fiddle contests tried to show who was the "best," as well as preserve old-time fiddling and raise money for local organizations. In recent years, the fiddle contest has declined significantly in New England due to cultural changes and financial viability. The greatest legacies of these contests were recordings made during live competition. A sampling of these tunes is played during the presentation, as well as some live fiddling by the presenter, Adam Boyce.

Open Questions: Are We Working Too Hard?

Presenter: Kiki Berk & Joshua Tepley

Open Questions is a series of thought-provoking community conversations presented by New Hampshire Humanities. This series explores essential questions about meaning and life that are important to Granite Staters. Each program is facilitated by philosophy professors who will explore essential questions about meaning and life.

"Are We Working Too Hard?" is facilitated by Dr. Kiki Berk and Dr. Joshua Tepley.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Open Questions: Can Machines Think?

Presenter: Joshua Tepley

Open Questions is a series of thought-provoking community conversations presented by New Hampshire Humanities. This series explores essential questions about meaning and life that are important to Granite Staters. Each program is facilitated by philosophy professors who will explore essential questions about meaning and life.

"Can Machines Think?" is facilitated by Dr. Joshua Tepley

To book this Open Questions program, please contact Dr. Tricia Peone, Public Programs Manager, at tpeone@nhhumanities.org.

Open Questions: Does Truth Matter?

Presenter: Joshua Tepley

Open Questions is a series of thought-provoking community conversations presented by New Hampshire Humanities. This series explores essential questions about meaning and life that are important to Granite Staters. Each program is facilitated by philosophy professors who will explore essential questions about meaning and life.

"Does Truth Matter?" is facilitated by Dr. Joshua Tepley

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Open Questions: Is Capital Punishment Right or Wrong?

Presenter: Max Latona & Timm A. Triplett

Open Questions is a series of thought-provoking community conversations presented by New Hampshire Humanities. This series explores essential questions about meaning and life that are important to Granite Staters. Each program is facilitated by philosophy professors who will explore essential questions about meaning and life.

"Is Capital Punishment Right or Wrong?" is facilitated by Max Latona and Timm Triplett.

Open Questions: Is Privacy Dead?

Open Questions: Is Privacy Dead?

Presenter: Maria Sanders

Open Questions is a series of thought-provoking community conversations presented by New Hampshire Humanities. This series explores essential questions about meaning and life that are important to Granite Staters. Each program is facilitated by philosophy professors who will explore essential questions about meaning and life.

"Is Privacy Dead?" is facilitated by Maria Sanders.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Open Questions: Should We Fear Death?

Presenter: Kiki Berk

Open Questions is a series of thought-provoking community conversations presented by New Hampshire Humanities. This series explores essential questions about meaning and life that are important to Granite Staters. Each program is facilitated by philosophy professors who will explore essential questions about meaning and life.

"Should We Fear Death?" is facilitated by Dr. Kiki Berk.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Open Questions: What Does it Mean to be an American?

Presenter: Max Latona & Joshua Tepley

Open Questions is a series of thought-provoking community conversations presented by New Hampshire Humanities. This series explores essential questions about meaning and life that are important to Granite Staters. Each program is facilitated by philosophy professors who will explore essential questions about meaning and life.

"What Does it Mean to be an American?" is facilitated by Max Latona and Joshua Tepley.

Our National Thanksgiving: With Thanks to President Lincoln and Mrs. Hale

Our National Thanksgiving: With Thanks to President Lincoln and Mrs. Hale

Presenter: Sharon & Steve Wood

Sarah Josepha Hale, a Newport, NH native, tells the story of her 30 year effort to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday. President Abraham Lincoln enters at the end of her tale to read his 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation. Sharon Wood portrays Hale and Steve Wood portrays Lincoln in a living history presentation following background about their characters and the times.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Philosophy for Everyone

Philosophy for Everyone

Presenter: Timm A. Triplett

If you appreciate beauty, if you are still full of wonder, if you ponder the meaning of life, you will love this program.  Timm Triplett's hands-on philosophy inspires you to free your curiosity, re-affirm your sense of wonder, and convey your love of wisdom to children, who are themselves delightfully receptive to the excitement of philosophical questions.

Politics & Civil Rights: An Evening with Yamiche Alcindor

Politics & Civil Rights: An Evening with Yamiche Alcindor

Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour and a political contributor for NBC News and MSNBC. Previously, she was a national reporter for The New York Times, covering politics and social issues, and also a reporter with USA Today. Alcindor has reported extensively on the intersection of race and politics. Alcindor earned a master's degree in broadcast news and documentary filmmaking from New York University and a bachelor's in English, government and African American studies from Georgetown University. A native of Miami, FL, Alcindor is married to a fellow journalist and is the daughter of Haitian immigrants.


In this talk, Yamiche Alcindor looks at the current political issues facing America and shares her experiences in reporting on the 2016 and 2020 Presidential campaigns. She will discuss how her decision to pursue journalism came at 16 years old when she learned the tragic truth about the 1955 murder of Emmett Till and the launch of the civil rights movement. She also offers her observations on the White House, her thoughts on how social justice issues are impacting the country’s future, and her analysis of the latest stories surrounding the 2020 elections.

Poor Houses and Town Farms: The Hard Row for Paupers

Poor Houses and Town Farms: The Hard Row for Paupers

Presenter: Stephen Taylor

From its earliest settlements New Hampshire has struggled with issues surrounding the treatment of its poor. The early Northeastern colonies followed the lead of England's 1601 Poor Law, which imposed compulsory taxes for maintenance of the poor but made no distinction between the "vagrant, vicious poor" and the helpless, and honest poor. This confusion persisted for generations and led directly to establishment in most of the state's towns of alms houses and poor farms and, later, county institutions which would collectively come to form a dark chapter in New Hampshire history. Steve Taylor will examine how paupers were treated in these facilities and how reformers eventually succeeded in closing them down.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Present Moment, Prolific Moment: Using Mindfulness to Write

Present Moment, Prolific Moment: Using Mindfulness to Write

Presenter: Alexandria Peary

Writing can become much more fulfilling if we think of it as happening right Now. Much is lost when we overlook the present moment because we forfeit rewarding writing experiences in exchange for stress, frustration, boredom, fear, and shortchanged invention and creativity (it's a poor bargain). Through mindfulness, we can reduce our writing apprehension and the writing blocks that come from future- or past-oriented thinking. Every moment can become a prolific moment: we can write more quickly and with greater ease of mind. In this presentation, we discuss writing tools that emerge when present time is highlighted: impermanence, audience demons, monkey mind self-talk, and preconceptions about writing ability and writing task. Participants will learn basic strategies to incorporate mindfulness into their writing lives.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Putting Human Faces on the Textile Industry: The Workers of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company

Putting Human Faces on the Textile Industry: The Workers of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company

Presenter: Robert Perreault

Daily life for the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company's textile worker was not easy. Robert Perreault sheds light on how people from a variety of European countries as well as from French Canada made the transition from an agrarian to an industrial society and how that change affected families, cultures, the nature of work, and relationships among workers themselves.
Rally Round the Flag: The American Civil War Through Folksong

Rally Round the Flag: The American Civil War Through Folksong

Presenter: Woody Pringle & Marek Bennett

Woody Pringle and Marek Bennett present an overview of the American Civil War through the lens of period music. Audience members participate and sing along as the presenters explore lyrics, documents, and visual images from sources such as the Library of Congress. Through camp songs, parlor music, hymns, battlefield rallying cries, and fiddle tunes, Pringle and Bennett examine the folksong as a means to enact living history, share perspectives, influence public perceptions of events, and simultaneously fuse and conserve cultures in times of change. Showcasing numerous instruments, the presenters challenge participants to find new connections between song, art, and politics in American history.
Range the Wild Woods Over: Loggers' Songs and Stories

Range the Wild Woods Over: Loggers' Songs and Stories

Presenter: Jeff Warner

Loggers at the turn of the twentieth century cut the timber that built and warmed our houses and provided the ties for America's ever-expanding railroads. Timber established Portsmouth, Portland and Bangor as important ports, sending New England lumber around the world. Folklorist Jeff Warner relates the songs and stories of the people who worked the wintry woods, showing their humor and their grit, and giving us a glimpse into everyday life in long ago lumber camps.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Returning North with the Spring: Retracing the Journey of Naturalist Edwin Way Teale

Returning North with the Spring: Retracing the Journey of Naturalist Edwin Way Teale

Presenter: John Harris

In 1947, Edwin Way Teale, the most popular naturalist in the decade between Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, followed the progress of spring over four months from the Everglades to the summit of Mount Washington. His best-selling book, North with the Spring, recounts the epic journey he and his wife Nellie undertook. In 2012, John Harris set out to retrace Teale's route, stopping at unfamiliar wild places on the same calendar date on which Teale visited. Using Teale's journal notes and photographs, Harris examined and compared changes in the flora, fauna, and lives of the people along the way. His account documents the losses, details the transformations, and celebrates the victories, for a remarkable number of east coast refuges have grown wilder during the intervening years.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Rome and Pompeii: Discovering and Preserving the Past

Rome and Pompeii: Discovering and Preserving the Past

Presenter: R. Scott Smith

Rome and Pompeii were part of the "Grand Tour" for upper-class elite from the 17th through the 19th centuries, and remain today the primary sites through which we reach back into the Roman empire's past. R. Scott Smith explores the archaeological remains of Rome, the "Eternal City," and Pompeii, the town that was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, and discusses the problems of preserving these ancient ruins. The latter issue is especially important as the great monuments that symbolize the past have recently been threatened (the Coliseum by frigid temperatures in 2011-12) or completely destroyed (The House of the Gladiator by torrential rains in 2010).
Rosie's Mom: Forgotten Women of the First World War

Rosie's Mom: Forgotten Women of the First World War

Presenter: Carrie Brown

One hundred years ago, a full generation before Rosie the Riveter, American women rolled up their sleeves and entered war industries where they had never been welcome before. They ran powerful machinery, learned new skills, and faced the sullen hostility of the men in the shops. In this illustrated lecture, historian Carrie Brown reveals their courage and their hard work, asks what impact "the Great War" had on their lives, and explores how these women helped shape the work that their more famous daughters would do in the next World War.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Rudyard Kipling Revisited

Rudyard Kipling Revisited

Presenter: Jackson Gillman

Rudyard Kipling was the most internationally-celebrated author of his day. The first four years of his marriage and fatherhood were spent in New England where he built his dream house - Naulakha in Dummerston, Vermont - now preserved as a Landmark Trust property. It was there that he penned The Jungle Book and other classics. These were productive and happy years for the young literary giant, but eventually deeply troubled. Although Kipling was an intensely private individual, Jackson Gillman's sensitive portrayal provides an inside look at the writer's experience in New England and some of the controversy surrounding this complex man. Part lecture, part living history, part storytelling, Jackson's presentation includes a selection of the classic Just So Stories.

Russian Daily Life and Culture

Russian Daily Life and Culture

Presenter: Marina Forbes

For the past 22 years, local Russian artist and lecturer Marina Forbes has presented her customized cultural tours designed for anyone interested in developing a first-hand understanding of Russian life and culture. Marina's illustrated and interactive presentations demonstrate her unique vision of how to experience the rich tapestry of her native Russia. Marina establishes a link between Russia's rich cultural heritage and the lives of Russians today. The fall of Soviet Communism in the early 1990s catapulted Russia into a new social order. The emergence of the "new rich," the evolving role of women, the revival of the Orthodox Church, the changing effects of Russian humor, family life, entertainment, 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. Topics also include the life of Russian retirees, public and private health services, civil and criminal legal procedures, real estate, the education system, and workplace issues.

Songs of Emigration: Storytelling Through Traditional Irish Music

Songs of Emigration: Storytelling Through Traditional Irish Music

Presenter: Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki

Through traditional music Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki relays some of the adventures, misadventures, and emotions experienced by Irish emigrants. The focus is on songs about leaving Ireland, sometimes focusing on the reasons for leaving (a man who is driven from his land by English persecution), sometimes revealing what happened upon arrival (an immigrant drafted into the Union army during the Civil War), and sometimes exploring the universal feeling of homesickness of a stranger in a strange land (a factory worker in London missing his home in County Clare). The presenter discusses the historical context of these songs, interspersing their stories with tunes from Ireland that made their way into New England's musical repertoire, played on his fiddle or guitar.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Songs of Old New Hampshire

Songs of Old New Hampshire

Presenter: Jeff Warner

Drawing heavily on the repertoire of traditional singer Lena Bourne Fish (1873-1945) of Jaffrey and Temple, New Hampshire, Jeff Warner offers the songs and stories that, in the words of Carl Sandburg, tell us "where we came from and what brought us along." These ballads, love songs and comic pieces, reveal the experiences and emotions of daily life in the days before movies, sound recordings and, for some, books. Songs from the lumber camps, the decks of sailing ships, the textile mills, and the war between the sexes offer views of pre-industrial New England and a chance to hear living artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Stark Decency: New Hampshire's World War II German Prisoner of War Camp

Stark Decency: New Hampshire's World War II German Prisoner of War Camp

Presenter: Allen Koop

During World War II, 300 German prisoners of war were held at Camp Stark near the village of Stark in New Hampshire's North Country. Allen Koop reveals the history of this camp, which tells us much about our country's war experience and about our state.
Storytelling in the Digital Age

Storytelling in the Digital Age

Presenter: Ann McClellan

More and more, the contemporary reading public is turning to digital technology as a means of experiencing literature. The Internet, hyperlink technology, the popularity of e-readers, and readers' desire for multimedia experiences seem, on the surface, to put the future of the book at risk. Scholars for decades have been lamenting the rise of technology and prophesying the death of the book and the humanities. However, rather than seeing one technology (the Internet) defeat another (the printed book), perhaps we are witnessing the dawn of a new genre: digital literature. In an interactive discussion, participants will explore how technology is affecting how we read, write, and experience stories. We will learn about the history and development of electronic literature and hypertext media, the rise of social media and how it affects digital literature (fan fiction, online role playing games, Twitterature, etc.); and the rise of the emerging field of transmedia storytelling where media conglomerates purposefully design texts to work across multiple media platforms.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Strange Terrain: How Not To

Strange Terrain: How Not To

Presenter: Alice Fogel

Alice Fogel takes you through seven simple steps, and one hard one, toward understanding and appreciating more elements of poetry than you ever thought you could. In the end you'll see that you already knew them all along. This workshop is your quick, self-help program for "getting" poems. Fogel helps you develop your own confident relationship with poetry's shapes, words, images, sounds, emotions, mysteries, and more.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Sustainability: An American Literary History

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 begins with a discussion of current ideas about sustainability. Then, we will go back in time to examine Thomas Jefferson's vision of American agricultural abundance, which he contrasted with an overpopulated and under-resourced Europe. Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, writers such as Walt Whitman and Charlotte Perkins Gilman drew on Jefferson's agrarian vision to respond to sustainability crises of their time. But in so doing, they depicted selective breeding and racial "improvement" as the solution to population crises and the path to agricultural plenty. We will explore this particularly eugenic conception of sustainability and discuss what new or different versions of sustainability might prove more useful in our current moment.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Tangled Lives: Native People and English Settlers in Colonial New England

Tangled Lives: Native People and English Settlers in Colonial New England

Presenter: Jo Radner

The stories we hear from our families tell us who we are and how we should view the world. What tales shaped New England identities in the 17th and 18th centuries? In this performance, storyteller/historian Jo Radner juxtaposes Native American oral traditions and stories told by her own New England ancestors to reveal a complex colonial "middle ground" in which English settlers and Native peoples saw one another as defenders and trespassers, pursuers and refugees, relatives and aliens, kind neighbors and ruthless destroyers.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Television: The Art & Ethics of Manipulation

Television: The Art & Ethics of Manipulation

Presenter: John Gfroerer

John Gfroerer explores the power of television as a communication medium and the ethical implications of manipulating the viewer by means of the choices made behind the camera through the final editing process. By examining the artistic techniques used to persuade, induce, and entice us, Gfroerer considers the extent to which television teaches or simply tantalizes us. Are ethical boundaries crossed by the use of these techniques, and to what extent as media consumers should we care?

This program is also available as an online presentation.

That Reminds Me of a Story

That Reminds Me of a Story

Presenter: Rebecca Rule

Stories speak to us of community. They hold our history and reflect our identity. Rebecca Rule has made it her mission over the last 20 years to collect stories of New Hampshire, especially those that reflect what's special about this rocky old place. She'll tell some of those stories - her favorites are the funny ones - and invite audience members to contribute a few stories of their own.
That the People May Live - The Life and Legacy of Nicholas Black Elk, Holy Man of the Lakota

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

Presenter: Damian Costello

This lecture explores the life and legacy of Nicholas Black Elk (c.1866-1950), the Lakota holy man made famous by the book Black Elk Speaks. I begin with Black Elk's Great Vision and his struggle to discern his calling during the events of the Great Sioux War. During his long life, Black Elk lived out his vision in three overlapping roles: as a traditional healer, a Catholic teacher, and a revivalist of Indigenous traditions. In the midst of great tragedy, Black Elk wove these three strands into one beautiful life exemplifying survival, hope, and reconciliation. We will 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. This talk is based on extensive historical research, extended residency in Indian Country, and continuing conversation with Lakota elders.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

The Ballad Lives!

The Ballad Lives!

Presenter: John Perrault

Murder and mayhem, robbery and rapine, love that cuts to the bone: American ballads re-tell the wrenching themes of their English and Scottish cousins. Transplanted in the new world by old world immigrants, the traditional story-song of the Anglos and Scots wound up reinvigorated in the mountains of Appalachia and along the Canadian border. John Perrault talks, sings, and picks the strings that bind the old ballads to the new.

The Capital Crime of Witchcraft: What the Primary Sources Tell Us

The Capital Crime of Witchcraft: What the Primary Sources Tell Us

Presenter: Margo Burns

On first impression, the witchcraft trials of the Colonial era may seem to have been nothing but a free-for-all, fraught with hysterics. Margo Burns explores an array of prosecutions in seventeenth century New England, using facsimiles of primary source manuscripts, from first formal complaints to arrest warrants, indictments of formal charges to death warrants, and the reversals of attainder and rescinding of excommunications years after the fact; demonstrating how methodically and logically the Salem Court worked. This program focuses on the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 and 1693, when nineteen people were hanged and one crushed to death, but also examines a variety of other cases against women in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
The Connecticut: New England's Great River

The Connecticut: New England's Great River

Presenter: Adair Mulligan

The largest river in New England rises in a small beaver pond near the Canadian border and flows over 400 miles through four states, falling 2,670 feet to the sea through America's only watershed-based national fish and wildlife refuge. Adair Mulligan leads an armchair tour of this great river in New Hampshire and Vermont, exploring its history and natural beauty through the seasons and among the communities that have sprung up along its banks. Next, the discussion will shift to how the river has influenced the lives of those who live there, and how they, in turn, have affected the river. Much more than a travelogue, this presentation explores the many issues involved in managing the health of this major river, and how citizens from all walks of life have created a vision for its future.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

The Epic of Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh

Presenter: Sebastian Lockwood

This is our earliest epic. It is at least four thousand years old, but in performance we discover a dynamic and thrilling tale of heroes, friendship, battles with a monster, and death, followed by a journey to the other world to meet Utnapishtin, whom we know as Noah. Gilgamesh will ask him about life and death and he will come home with a great story. In the Q&A after the performance, Sebastian Lockwood can tell the tale of how the tablets were found in Iraq and how scholars broke the code to reveal the story and its Biblical parallels.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

The Finest Hours: The True Story Behind the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue

The Finest Hours: The True Story Behind the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue

Presenter: Michael Tougias

On February 18, 1952, an astonishing maritime event began when a ferocious nor'easter split in half a 500-foot long oil tanker, the Pendleton, approximately one mile off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Incredibly, just twenty miles away, a second oil tanker, the Fort Mercer, also split in half. On both tankers men were trapped on the severed bows and sterns, and all four sections were sinking in 60-foot seas. Thus began a life and death drama of survival, heroism, and a series of tragic mistakes. Of the 84 seamen aboard the tankers, 70 would be rescued and 14 would lose their lives. Michael Tougias, co-author of the book and soon-to-be Disney movie The Finest Hours, uses slides to illustrate the harrowing tale of the rescue efforts amidst towering waves and blinding snow in one of the most dangerous shoals in the world.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

The First Amendment

The First Amendment

Presenter: Meg Mott

The First Amendment to the Constitution describes the process of becoming an actualized citizen. It begins with the freedom to follow a higher moral standard (freedom of religion) and ends with political protest (freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances). This talk, presented by Dr. Meg Mott, will consider how the Framers understood these First Freedoms and how we might think about them in the context of our current racial reckoning. Why does the First Amendment make it so hard to curtail offensive speech?

This program is also available as an online presentation.

The Founding Fathers: What Were They Thinking?

The Founding Fathers: What Were They Thinking?

Presenter: Richard Hesse

In 1787 delegates gathered in Philadelphia to address a wide variety of crises facing the young United States of America and produced a charter for a new government. In modern times, competing political and legal claims are frequently based on what those delegates intended. Mythology about the founders and their work at the 1787 Convention has obscured both fact and legitimate analysis of the events leading to the agreement called the Constitution. Richard Hesse explores the cast of characters called "founders," the problems they faced, and the solutions they fashioned.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

The Grand Resort Hotels of the White Mountains: Architecture, History and the Preservation Record

The Grand Resort Hotels of the White Mountains: Architecture, History and the Preservation Record

Presenter: Bryant Tolles, Jr.

Architectural historian Bryant Tolles, Jr. shares the history and architecture of the grand resort hotel phenomenon and hospitality tourism in the White Mountains of New Hampshire from the pre-Civil War era to the present. The primary focus is on the surviving grand resort hotels: The Mount Washington Resort, the Mountain View Grand, the Balsams, the Eagle Mountain House, and Wentworth Hall and Cottages. Extensive illustrations document these buildings and others no longer in existence.
The Guitar in Latin America: Continuities, Changes and Bicultural Strumming

The Guitar in Latin America: Continuities, Changes and Bicultural Strumming

Presenter: Jose Lezcano

Jose Lezcano presents a multi-media musical program that showcases the guitar in Latin America as an instrument that speaks many languages. Lezcano presents a variety of musical styles: indigenous strummers in ritual festivals from Ecuador, Gaucho music from Argentina, European parlor waltzes from Venezuela, and Afro-Brazilian samba-pagode. He also plays pieces by Villa-Lobos, Brouwer, Lauro, Barrios, Pereira, and examples from his Fulbright-funded research in Ecuador.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

The History of Agriculture as Told by Barns

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. In the colonial period, New Hampshire was a rural, agrarian state and small subsistence farms dotted the landscape. An important part of these farmsteads was the barn, which housed animals and stored crops. Early barns used traditional building methods and followed the English barn style, with a low pitched roof and doors under the eaves. As time went on, the farms expanded to accommodate changes in agriculture. This presentation will follow 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. John C. Porter, author of Preserving Old Barns: Preventing the Loss of a Valuable Resource, will demonstrate how these majestic barn structures represent Yankee ingenuity, hard work, and skilled craftsmanship, as well as providing a link to our past that adds to the state's scenic beauty.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

The History of Gym Class

The History of Gym Class

Presenter: Rebecca Noel

Rebecca Noel explores the sometimes alarming, sometimes hilarious backstory of what we now know as gym class. Physicians worried since the Renaissance that the sedentary, scholarly life makes people sick. They focused on varying concerns over time: digestive woes, melancholy, tuberculosis, spinal curvature, reproductive weakness. The problem widened along with access to education during the Enlightenment and into the 1800s. Tracing this idea from Europe to the United States, from scholars to children, and from boys' to girls' education, the presentation shows how these fears inspired schools to get children moving. The (optional) interactive aspects of the presentation will include audience testing of historic exercise schemes, some done in pairs. The program concludes with audience discussion of the relevance of this problem to our own times-like the Enlightenment, a moment in history when suddenly many more people live the sedentary lives once limited to a few scholars.

The Making of Strawbery Banke

The Making of Strawbery Banke

Presenter: J. Dennis Robinson

Local legend says Strawbery Banke Museum began when a Portsmouth librarian gave a rousing speech in 1957. The backstory, however, is richly complex. This is a dramatic tale of economics, urban renewal, immigration, and historic architecture in New Hampshire's only seaport. J. Dennis Robinson, author of an award-winning "biography" of the 10-acre Strawbery Banke campus, shares the history of "America's oldest neighborhood." Tapping into private letters, unpublished records, and personal interviews, Robinson explores the politics of preservation. Using colorful and historic illustrations, the author looks candidly at mistakes made and lessons learned in this grassroots success story.
The Middle East

The Middle East

Presenter: Mohamed Defaa

The term "Middle East" is a changing geopolitical concept. Throughout recent history, this term referred to a political, a cultural, and a geographical region with no clear boundaries. Moreover, this concept serves to generate stereotypes and misunderstanding. This multimedia presentation by Mohamed Defaa provides an analytical framework to understand the histories, social identities, and cultures behind this complex concept of "Middle East."

This program is also available as an online presentation.

The Quest for Happiness

The Quest for Happiness

Presenter: Maria Sanders

The ancient Greek philosophers defined eudaimonia as living a full and excellent life. In this illustrated talk, Maria Sanders explores how ideas of happiness have changed in Western civilization through the ages, while comparing and contrasting major concepts of well-being throughout the world. Can money buy happiness? To what extent does engaging in one's community impact happiness? When worldwide surveys of happiness are conducted, why doesn't the United States make the top ten? Participants will be invited to discuss various definitions, current measures for assessing self-reported levels of happiness, specific findings reported as increasing people's levels of happiness, and happiness projects undertaken by entire communities - including a town-wide happiness quest in Plymouth, New Hampshire.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

The White Mountain Huts: Past & Future

The White Mountain Huts: Past & Future

Presenter: Allen Koop

The Appalachian Mountain Club's Hut System is a unique institution in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Allen Koop explores how the huts and the people who built, maintain and use them have formed a world apart, a mountain society with its own history, traditions, and legends.
Thirteen Days in October: The Untold Cuban Missile Crisis Story

Thirteen Days in October: The Untold Cuban Missile Crisis Story

Presenter: Michael Tougias

At the height of the Cold War, two things saved humanity: the strategic wisdom of John F. Kennedy and the U2 aerial spy program. Based on declassified intelligence and interviews with the pilots, Michael Tougias and co-author Casey Sherman's book Above & Beyond: John F. Kennedy and America's Most Dangerous Cold War Spy Mission grounds this conversation about presidential decision-making, nuclear containment, intelligence-gathering, and public information. It's a timely topic given today's concerns about the United States, North Korea and Iran. Tougias gives special emphasis to the U-2 pilots who flew unarmed over Cuba to secure photographic proof that the Soviets were installing nuclear missiles on the Island.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Town by Town, Watershed by Watershed: Native Americans in NH

Town by Town, Watershed by Watershed: Native Americans in NH

Presenter: John & Donna Moody

Every town and watershed in New Hampshire has ancient and continuing Native American history. From the recent, late 20th century explosion of local Native population in New Hampshire back to the era of early settlement and the colonial wars, John and Donna Moody explore the history of New Hampshire's Abenaki and Penacook peoples with a focus on your local community.

Traditional Matryoshka Nested Doll Making: From Russia to New Hampshire

Traditional Matryoshka Nested Doll Making: From Russia to New Hampshire

Presenter: Marina Forbes

Marina Forbes shares many examples of Matroyshka nested dolls, including examples of her own work and from her extensive collection, as she examines the rich folk tradition and symbolism of the dolls' appearance. She explores the link between doll making and other traditional Russian art forms. There will be a quick stop at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris that made Russian nested dolls and Fabergé eggs famous, followed by an illustrated tour of a working doll-making factory in rural Russia.

Treasure from the Isles of Shoals: How New Archaeology is Changing Old History

Treasure from the Isles of Shoals: How New Archaeology is Changing Old History

Presenter: J. Dennis Robinson

There is treasure here but not the pirate kind. Scientific "digs" on Smuttynose Island are changing New England history. Archaeologist Nathan Hamilton has unearthed 300,000 artifacts to date on this largely uninhabited rock at the Isles of Shoals. Evidence proves prehistoric Native Americans hunted New Hampshire's only offshore islands 6,000 years ago. Hundreds of European fishermen split, salted, and dried valuable Atlantic cod here from the 1620s. "King Haley" ruled a survivalist kingdom here before Thomas Laighton struck tourist gold when his family took over the region's first hotel on Smuttynose. Laighton's daughter Celia Thaxter spun poetic tales of ghosts and pirates. J. Dennis Robinson, a longtime Smuttynose steward, explores the truth behind the romantic legends of Gosport Harbor in this colorful show-and-tell presentation.
Understanding the Movies: The Art of Film

Understanding the Movies: The Art of Film

Presenter: Patrick Anderson

Film is a powerful medium, generating billions of dollars and untold hours of entertainment around the world. Understanding how film creates and delivers idea, and how it shapes and reflects popular attitudes, adds to our appreciation of the cinematic experience. Increase your film vocabulary and have fun discussing movies together with film buff and scholar Patrick Anderson.
Unlaunch'd Voices: An Evening with Walt Whitman

Unlaunch'd Voices: An Evening with Walt Whitman

Presenter: Stephen Collins

This program opens with the elderly Whitman on the evening of his seventieth birthday. The audience is a visitor in his room as he prepares for his birthday celebration. Whitman begins to reminisce during the telling. He transforms into his young vibrant self and we begin to trace back with him the experiences that led to the creation of Leaves Of Grass, his lifetime work. The first part of the performance explores Whitman's preoccupation with the self and his resolve to write with "free and brave thought…" In the second part of the performance, Whitman's life is changed forever by the Civil War. It is here that he finds "the most important work of my life," nursing the wounded soldiers in the hospitals. Through Stephen Collins' recitation of poetry and readings of actual letters, we experience Whitman's movement from selfishness toward selflessness and his growth into a mature artist who is at peace about "himself, God and death."

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Uprooted: Heartache and Hope in New Hampshire

Uprooted: Heartache and Hope in New Hampshire

Presenter: Krueckeberg, John, Withers, Sarah, Howarth, Whitney

Uprooted is a 30-minute documentary based on interviews collected during New Hampshire Humanities' Fences & Neighbors initiative on immigration. It tells the story of five refugees who escaped from war-torn countries to resettle in New Hampshire. The film explores what it means to be a refugee and how it feels to make a new life in a strange place, often without English language skills, family, a job, or community contacts. The film leaves us pondering questions of belonging and citizenship. What does it mean to be an American? Once a refugee, are you destined always to be a refugee? What are our responsibilities toward one another? A New Hampshire Humanities presenter introduces the film and leads a post-film discussion. See bios and contact information in Presenter Directory for Whitney Howarth, John Krueckeberg, and Sara Withers.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Vanished Veterans - NH's Civil War Monuments and Memorials

Vanished Veterans - NH's Civil War Monuments and Memorials

Presenter: George Morrison

New Hampshire towns did not erect monuments to prior wars, but the emotional and family toll, unprecedented in American history, drove the decision to honor our local soldiers and sailors of the War of Rebellion. From Seabrook to Colebrook, Berlin to Hinsdale, along Main Streets and 19th-century dirt roads, in city parks and on town greens, in libraries and town halls, and in cemeteries prominent and obscure, George Morrison located, inventoried, and photographed the fascinating variety of New Hampshire's Civil War memorials. He shares his discoveries, from the earliest obelisks, to statuary and artillery, to murals, cast iron, stained glass, and buildings from the 1860s through the 1920s.
Vietnam: Video and Discussion

Vietnam: Video and Discussion

Presenter: Aaron Blais, Suzanne Brown, Ann-Maria Contarino, Bill Donoghue, Mark Gilbertson, Jack Mallory

The Vietnam War film and discussion program utilizes short videos and a trained facilitator to prompt discussion about the Vietnam era. Content is culled from Ken Burns' and Lynn Novick's PBS documentary, THE VIETNAM WAR, which tells the story of one of the most consequential and divisive events in American history. The videos explore the human dimensions of war that still haunt us today. Witnesses from all sides give their personal testimonies-Americans who fought in the war, those who opposed it, as well as combatants and civilians from North and South Vietnam. These programs are offered in partnership with New Hampshire PBS:

Program 1: THE VIETNAM WAR: Diverse Perspectives This 28-minute video includes war stories told by an American journalist; an anti-war activist; an American author and combat soldier; a Vietnamese author and soldier of the North Vietnamese Army; Hero Mothers; a South Vietnamese refugee; an ARVN officer; and several U.S. Marines.

Program 2: THE VIETNAM WAR: Veteran Voices This 21-minute video features war stories told by American, North Vietnamese, and South Vietnamese soldiers. One story explores moral injury by following a disabled Vietnam Marine veteran who supports young warriors deployed during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

The two videos must be booked as separate Humanities To Go programs. The host site must provide a DVD or Blu-ray player.

Facilitators include: Aaron Blais (the only facilitator who will present online); Suzanne Brown; Ann-Maria Contarino; Bill Donoghue; Mark Gilbertson; Jack Mallory

This program is also available as an online presentation. 

Votes for Women: A History of the Suffrage Movement

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. Who were the key players in New Hampshire and the nation? What issues and obstacles did they face? How did suffragists benefit from World War I in the final push for passage of the women's suffrage amendment? Who was left out when women got the right to vote? Using historic photos and documents, Liz Tentarelli will guide us on the journey. Liz is president of the League of Women Voters NH, a non-partisan organization that is the direct descendant of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

War, Justice, and Non-Violence: Perspectives and Paradoxes

War, Justice, and Non-Violence: Perspectives and Paradoxes

Presenter: Kent McConnell

How and why are wars fought? What exactly is a just war? This program looks at the history of "just war theory," starting in antiquity and following the development of three major elements of just war thinking: jus ad bellum (the right to war), jus in bello (the laws of war), and jus post bellum (justice after war). Highlighting the work of philosophers Larry May, Michael Walzer, and Richard Norman, Kent McConnell focuses discussion on the philosophical and theological foundations of just war thinking and non-violence.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Wit and Wisdom: Humor in 19th Century New England

Wit and Wisdom: Humor in 19th Century New England

Presenter: Jo Radner

Whatever did New Englanders do on long winter evenings before cable, satellite and the internet? In the decades before and after the Civil War, our rural ancestors used to create neighborhood events to improve their minds. Community members male and female would compose and read aloud homegrown, handwritten literary "newspapers" full of keen verbal wit. Sometimes serious, sometimes sentimental but mostly very funny, these "newspapers" were common in villages across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and revealed the hopes, fears, humor and surprisingly daring behavior of our forebears. Jo Radner shares excerpts from her forthcoming book about hundreds of these "newspapers" and provides examples from villages in your region.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

Yankee Ingenuity: Stories of Headstrong and Resourceful People

Yankee Ingenuity: Stories of Headstrong and Resourceful People

Presenter: Jo Radner

Jo Radner shares a selection of historical tales-humorous and thought-provoking-about New Englanders who have used their wits in extraordinary ways to solve problems and create inventions. The stories are engaging and entertaining, but also may raise some profound questions about our admiration of ingenuity and about the ethics of pursuing discoveries without taking their potential outcomes into account. The performance will include discussion with the audience, and may introduce a brief folktale or a poem about inventiveness and problem-solving.

This program is also available as an online presentation.

`If I Am Not For Myself, Who Will Be for Me?` George Washington's Runaway Slave

`If I Am Not For Myself, Who Will Be for Me?` George Washington's Runaway Slave

Presenter: Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti

Oney Judge Staines, according to the Constitution, was only three-fifths of a person. To her masters, George and Martha Washington, she was merely "the girl." All she wanted was the freedom to control her own actions, but her account of escaping the Executive Mansion in Philadelphia, fleeing north and establishing a life in New Hampshire is not a typical runaway story. Portrayed by Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti, Oney's tale provides an alternative perspective on the new nation's social, political, and economic development, from one whose personal experience so contradicted the promise of the principles embodied in the nation's founding documents.

Back to Humanities to Go Details

Humanities to Go Events
Present Moment, Prolific Moment: Using Mindfulness to Write
Virtual
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Hanover, NH
Present Moment, Prolific Moment: Using Mindfulness to Write
Family, Memory, Place: Writing Family Stories
This event has been cancelled
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Chesterfield, NH
Family, Memory, Place: Writing Family Stories
Present Moment, Prolific Moment: Using Mindfulness to Write
Virtual
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Milford, NH
Present Moment, Prolific Moment: Using Mindfulness to Write
Italian Americans in History and Film
Virtual
Friday, November 6, 2020
,
Italian Americans in History and Film
Songs of Emigration: Storytelling Through Traditional Irish Music
This event has been cancelled
Monday, November 9, 2020
Newmarket, NH
Songs of Emigration: Storytelling Through Traditional Irish Music
Banjos, Bones, and Ballads
This event has been cancelled
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Hampton, NH
Banjos, Bones, and Ballads
Rosie's Mom: Forgotten Women of the First World War
Virtual
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Pembroke, NH
Rosie's Mom: Forgotten Women of the First World War
A Soldier's Mother Tells Her Story
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Winchester, NH
A Soldier's Mother Tells Her Story
Heroes and Homecomings: Norman Rockwell and World War II
Virtual
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Laconia, NH
Heroes and Homecomings: Norman Rockwell and World War II
Abolitionists of Noyes Academy
Virtual
Thursday, November 12, 2020
New London, NH
Abolitionists of Noyes Academy
Votes for Women: A History of the Suffrage Movement
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Plainfield, NH
Votes for Women: A History of the Suffrage Movement
Imperial Russian Fabergé Eggs
Monday, November 16, 2020
Laconia, NH
Imperial Russian Fabergé Eggs
Heroes and Homecomings: Norman Rockwell and World War II
Virtual
Monday, November 16, 2020
Stratham, NH
Heroes and Homecomings: Norman Rockwell and World War II
The History of Gym Class
Virtual
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
New Hampton, NH
The History of Gym Class
Wit and Wisdom: Humor in 19th Century New England
Virtual
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Rye, NH
Wit and Wisdom: Humor in 19th Century New England
The Connecticut: New England's Great River
Virtual
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Keene, NH
The Connecticut: New England's Great River
(Not So) Elementary, My Dear Watson: The Popularity of Sherlock Holmes
Virtual
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Deerfield, NH
(Not So) Elementary, My Dear Watson: The Popularity of Sherlock Holmes
Comics in World History and Cultures
Virtual
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Atkinson, NH
Comics in World History and Cultures
Fierce Females: Women in Art
Virtual
Monday, November 30, 2020
Conway, NH
Fierce Females: Women in Art
Life Downstairs: British Servant Culture in Fact, Fiction, and Film
Virtual
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Durham, NH
Life Downstairs: British Servant Culture in Fact, Fiction, and Film
Wit and Wisdom: Humor in 19th Century New England
Virtual
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Exeter, NH
Wit and Wisdom: Humor in 19th Century New England
Virtual
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Nashua, NH
Open Questions: What Does it Mean to be an American?
Present Moment, Prolific Moment: Using Mindfulness to Write
Virtual
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Keene, NH
Present Moment, Prolific Moment: Using Mindfulness to Write
Wit and Wisdom: Humor in 19th Century New England
Virtual
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Durham, NH
Wit and Wisdom: Humor in 19th Century New England
Votes for Women: A History of the Suffrage Movement
Virtual
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Plymouth, NH
Votes for Women: A History of the Suffrage Movement
Hooked: Narratives of Addiction, Recovery, and Redemption
Virtual
Monday, January 11, 2021
Conway, NH
Hooked: Narratives of Addiction, Recovery, and Redemption
(Not So) Elementary, My Dear Watson: The Popularity of Sherlock Holmes
Virtual
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Durham, NH
(Not So) Elementary, My Dear Watson: The Popularity of Sherlock Holmes
Songs of Old New Hampshire
Friday, March 19, 2021
Melvin Village, NH
Songs of Old New Hampshire
Town by Town, Watershed by Watershed: Native Americans in NH
Virtual
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Exeter, NH
Town by Town, Watershed by Watershed: Native Americans in NH
Digging Into Native History in New Hampshire
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
North Sutton, NH
Digging Into Native History in New Hampshire

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