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Upcoming and Ongoing Events

March 2015

March 30, 2015

The Constance H. Carlson Public Humanities Prize

The Constance H. Carlson Public Humanities Prize honors an individual, institution, or group in recognition of exemplary contributions to public humanities in Maine. In 2015, Donald Soctomah will be the recipient.

March 25, 2015 to March 27, 2015

Oxford Conference for the Book Returns for 22nd Year

The 2015 Oxford Conference for the Book will be the 22nd annual event to celebrate books, reading, and writing, while also examining the practical concerns on which the literary arts and the humanities depend, including the process of finding publication, writing methods, and the state of publishing. The conference convenes fiction and non-fiction writers, journalists, poets, publishers, teachers, students, librarians, and literacy advocates for three days of readings, lectures, panels, workshops, and social events celebrating the written word.

March 24, 2015

Trains Across Iowa

The program explores Iowa's unique position in the construction of the first transcontinental railroad and Iowa's great contribution to railroad safety.

March 22, 2015

"Where Have You Gone Joe Dimaggio," Jackie Robinson, and Hank Greenberg: Ethnic Heroes in Baseball's Melting Pot

As a means of illuminating America's racial and ethnic past, this lecture examines and compares an iconic baseball triumvirate: Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, and Hank Greenberg. Prior to the sport's travails of recent years, baseball long reigned as the undisputed "national pastime." Then, the microcosm of baseball reflected the main currents of American life and culture. We explore the game's golden age, when it possessed the power to dramatize the imperfections of the nation's melting pot.

March 21, 2015

The African Presence in Spanish Florida: Black Seminoles

African slaves have often risked life and limb to escape southern slavery, but their options for sanctuary were extremely limited. Some fled to the Caribbean, while others fled south and joined forces with another group of freedom-seekers: the Seminoles.

March 20, 2015

Meet Eleanor Roosevelt

This program offers a frank and often humorous look at the struggles and personal fulfillment of a shy young woman who metamorphosed into a strong voice for social justice and universal human rights and was witness to the tumultuous events of her day.

Funded project of the New Hampshire Humanities Council.  The New Hampshire Humanities Council is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

March 19, 2015

From Garden to Table

This PowerPoint presentation is based on a 17th-century Dutch gardening- and cookbook, which features a calendar for gardening activities and a cookbook that explains how to use the fruits and vegetables grown in the garden to best advantage. The 400-year old book with its contemporary theme helps in understanding the kitchen gardens of the early Dutch settlers of the Hudson Valley and gives insight in our colonial diet.

March 19, 2015

The Triple Nickel: Black Paratroopers in Washington State during World War II

What is Operation Firefly? It was May of 1945, when an elite unit made up of some of the Army’s best trained paratroopers were assigned to a remote airstrip in Oregon as part of a highly classified mission known as Operation Firefly. This first all-black paratrooper unit’s mission and service involving Washington state made quiet history and is all but forgotten. In a surprising and insightful presentation, Robert L. “Bob” Bartlett tells the tale of the “555,” paratroopers who, despite being prevented from serving in Europe or realizing some of the same privileges and rights granted white soldiers at home, served with distinction when cross-trained to become “Smokejumpers.”

March 16, 2015 to May 9, 2015

Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy

In the early 1970s, Bill Wittliff visited a ranch in northern Mexico where the vaqueros still worked cattle in traditional ways. Wittliff photographed the vaqueros as they went about daily chores that had changed little since the first Mexican cowherders learned to work cattle from a horse's back. Wittliff captured a way of life that now exists only in memory and in the photographs included in this exhibition.

March 14, 2015

The Underground Railroad in Quilts?

The Underground Railroad, the secret paths traveled by African Americans who escaped slavery in the South, is well documented by historians. Far more elusive is evidence that slaves used quilts as signals to guide their way to freedom. This hands-on talk and demonstration engages in the ongoing debate between historians and the public - did quilts guide escapes? Authentic 19th century quilts and modern reproductions are used to explore some of the ways in which women may have stitched their politics, history and mythology into quilt designs.

March 12, 2015

George Washington Spied Here: Spies and Spying in the American Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)

The Father of our country was also our first Intelligence Chief. The program is illustrated with images of the main places and dramatis personae of this unusual network of patriot secret agents and couriers.

March 11, 2015

On Hemingway: Three Views

This chautauqua program by Betty Jean Steinshouer examines the author of machismo, from a woman’s point of view.

March 10, 2015

The Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. To this day, no other literary work from Illinois has had an impact more radical than that of the Spoon River Anthology. In Masters' 243 thinly veiled epitaph-poems, people from all walks of life come forward from their graves and share compelling stories of their hopes, dreams, tragedies, and joys, not to mention their advice and warnings to those still living.

March 9, 2015

The Ripple Effect: How Saving a River Revitalized a Community

This exhibit tells the story of the Reedy River and Lake Conestee, Greenville’s own environmental crisis and the community’s response to it. Decades of industrial waste polluted the Reedy’s water and created hazardous conditions in Lake Conestee.

March 7, 2015

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

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.

March 5, 2015

Defeating Racism Today: What does it Take?

Does the eradication of racist laws really combat institutionalized racism? How does subtle and sometimes hidden institutionalized racism affect the citizens, economy, and future of Washington state?

March 4, 2015

GO! Sense of Place Lecture Series: Oregon’s Special History in Conserving its Environment

Sense of Place is an annual lecture series produced by Gorge Owned that seeks to foster a deeper understanding of and connection to our landscape and to one another. Lectures explore natural history, cultural history, art, and other humanities-related topics.

March 3, 2015

Evolving English: From Beowulf & Chaucer to Texts & Tweets

The program includes a brief, illustrated historical overview of the events that sparked linguistic transitions from the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman eras to the Middle English era, including the Norman Invasion, the Black Death, and the invention of the printing press.

March 2, 2015 to April 13, 2015

Changing the Face of Power: Women in the U.S. Senate

An exhibition.  Melina Mara began photographing the thirteen women in the U.S. Senate in 2001, continuing as their number grew to fourteen in 2003.

March 2, 2015 to May 31, 2015

Images of Valor: U.S. Latinos and Latinas of World War II

This Humanities Texas traveling exhibition provides a historical overview of U.S. Latino participation in World War II and features historical photographs from the U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project archives and contemporary photographs of men and women of the WWII generation by photojournalist Valentino Mauricio.

March 1, 2015

Reno Chamber Orchestra: Pre-Concert Talk and Concert

A pre-concert talk will begin at 1:15 p.m. and end at 1:40 p.m. Moderated by RCO Associate Executive Director Chris Morrison and featuring Music Director Theodore Kuchar and the concert’s guest artist, the conversations are non-technical, designed for a general audience, and typically include a question-and-answer segment for audience participation. The talks and program notes provide information on the music to be performed, the composers, and the historical and cultural background of the music.

March 1, 2015

Theodore Roosevelt - Rough Rider President

Darrel Draper portrays Theodore Roosevelt in a 45 minute, costumed re-enactment of Roosevelt on the campaign trail in his bid for the presidency as the 1912 Progressive "Bull Moose" Party candidate. He reviews his life from his asthma-plagued childhood, his days at Harvard, personal tragedies and victories, military success, and rise to the White House.

February 2015

February 28, 2015

The Secret Life of Henry VIII

Henry VIII was both Renaissance Man and brutal tyrant. He raised England up from the Middle Ages but set the stage for revolution and civil war two generations later. He is famous for his serial matrimony, but as this presentation shows, there’s more to his majesty than lust and worries over an heir. Henry describes his upbringing and his motives for breaking from the Church of Rome as well as his dreams for his people and his realm.

February 27, 2015

Reverend Newton Bush: Terrible Price for Freedom

January 1, 1863 was an historic day in United States history. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation took effect, freeing most slaves in the United States. But for enslaved men living in Kentucky and other border states, it was a bittersweet occasion. Lincoln desperately wanted to keep Kentucky loyal to the Union. It was not until 1864, when Kentucky became the last state allowing their enlistment that slaves could join the Union Army. Like many Kentucky-owned slaves, Newton Bush risked his life to escape from his owner and travel to Camp Nelson and enlist in Company E of the 5th Regiment United States Colored Cavalry.

February 27, 2015

The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters

This lively PowerPoint-assisted talk relates the story of these now-acclaimed artists, who taught themselves to paint idyllic versions of the Florida landscape and sell their creations door-to-door during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Their paintings have become the measure of indigenous Florida art and are now celebrated and widely collected. Having written the seminal book that introduced the Highwaymen to the world, Gary Monroe successfully nominated them into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.

February 26, 2015

Digging Into Native History in New Hampshire

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.

February 25, 2015

Rap 101: The Message behind the Music

If all art is political, what are the political, cultural, and societal implications of rap? What does rap convey about the state of society today? Using music as a catalyst for discussion, Rap 101 explores contemporary popular culture, diversity issues, and social justice through the lyrics of popular rap music. Sometimes called modern day poetry, rap is an integral part of modern culture. There is no question that music provides a social commentary. It has been said that if you want to understand what is going on in any community, listen to its music.

February 24, 2015

"Map of My Kingdom"

"Map of My Kingdom" will resonate with those who have been or are working through challenging land transfer issues. It will inspire the hesitant and the fearful to start the conversation that cannot wait.

February 23, 2015

The Green Man in Art, Architecture, and Folklore

This presentation will explore questions of origins, influences, contemporary significance, and the rich insights the character might grant us into the complex story of humankind's relationship with nature.

February 21, 2015

The Ethnic Musicals: Assimilation and Integration

A lecture by Marc Courtade.  The melting pot of America was reflected in the Broadway Musicals. The ethnic musicals of the 1960's and 1970's featured contrasting ethnic groups and wove them into the fabric of the American Musical, successfully and unsuccessfully.

February 20, 2015

Contra Dancing In New Hampshire: Then and Now

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.

February 19, 2015

The Harriet Tubman Living History Experience

The most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman helped thousands of enslaved Africans to escape to freedom. Her life story is a monument to courage and fearless resolve. This living history performance depicts this 19th century icon by blending accounts of Tubman's life with an acute sense of Tubman's personal qualities—her emotional depth, profound spirituality and immense intelligence.

February 19, 2015

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Comes to Life

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) was the founder of Bethune-Cookman University. She served as a New Deal government official — in one of the 20 highest-level offices held by women in the administration, and the highest held by an African American woman; was founder of FDR’s “black cabinet”; served as president of the National Association of Colored Women; founded and served as president of the National Council of Negro Women.

February 18, 2015

Teddy Roosevelt's Nobel Prize: New Hampshire and the Portsmouth Peace Treaty

The program willfocus on how ordinary people from throughout New Hampshire positively affected the Portsmouth negotiations. The program customizes each presentation to the program site's local history at the time of the treaty to encourage audiences to join the annual statewide commemoration of "Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day" on September 5.

February 18, 2015

Defeating Racism Today: What does it Take?

Eva Abram talks about the history of racism, and how it affects specific groups in our society today. She explores how the painful experiences of Jim Crow laws and slavery might ultimately support the pride and achievements of contemporary generations of African Americans. And she discusses how the invisible divide of racism – fed by both knowledge and ignorance – continues to exist despite progress to eradicate it made in recent decades.

February 17, 2015

Abraham Lincoln: "I, too, am a Kentuckian"

Born on a farm in what is now Larue County, Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln spent his early years in the Commonwealth.

February 17, 2015 to February 24, 2015

The Italian Americans

Trace the evolution of Italian Americans from the late 19th century to today, with Tony Bennett, David Chase, John Turturro, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Gay Talese and more with The Italian

February 16, 2015

Underground Railroad Exhibit: Confronting Our Legacy - Slavery and Anti-Slavery in the North

A renovated and expanded exhibition about slavery, abolition, and the Underground Railroad including hands-on interactives and audio elements.

February 16, 2015

Intrigue on the Village Green: The Election of 1733 at St. Paul's

Raising issues of freedom of the press, freedom of religion and voting rights, the canvass represents one of the earliest documented elections in colonial America, and offers a rare glimpse into the political culture of early America.

February 12, 2015

Understanding Racism through Historical & Contemporary Documents

A reading and discussion series for teens exploring the origins of racism to accompany an exhibit by artist Frohawk Two Feathers.

February 11, 2015

Islam 101: Perceptions, Misconceptions, and Context for the 21st Century

What does it mean to be Muslim in a modern world? What if much of what we believe about Islam is incomplete or simply wrong? For more than 1.3 billion people across the world and many people in Washington state, Islam is not only their religion but also a way of life. Led by scholar David Fenner, this presentation focuses on Islam and the many aspects that form the substance of a rich culture, traditions, and a way of life. Endeavoring to provide a complete and accurate view of Islam, Fenner creates an open atmosphere and encourages free dialogue specifically to promote greater understanding of Islam, its history and its place in the modern world.

February 10, 2015

Vanished Veterans - NH's Civil War Monuments and Memorials

Beginning with obelisks of the 1860s and continuing to re-mastered works of the 21st century, historian George Morrison presents a diverse selection of New Hampshire's commemorations.

February 9, 2015

Beyond 12 Years a Slave: The Influential Slave Narratives of Tar Heels Moses Roper, Harriet Jacobs, and William H. Singleton

In this presentation by history educator Laurel Sneed, the audience will learn about three courageous African American Tar Heels who escaped to freedom and authored slave narratives: Harriet Jacobs, of Edenton; Moses Roper, of Caswell County; and William H. Singleton, of New Bern. Sneed will discuss how these three slave narrative authors left their mark on the North American Slave Narrative Literary Tradition. Slave narratives' mission was to convert the hearts and minds of readers so they would become supportive of the anti-slavery cause.

February 8, 2015

Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon?

 Author and educator Walidah Imarisha will lead participants through a timeline of Black history in Oregon that speaks to the history of race, identity, and power in this state and the nation. Participants will discuss how history, politics, and culture have shaped—and will continue to shape—the landscape not only for Black Oregonians but all Oregonians.

February 7, 2015

"A Black Homesteader's Struggle"

Philip Burgess uses his poetry and storytelling skills to describe a black family's experience as early settlers in the Missouri River valley of eastern Montana. Seeking refuge from the lynch-mob racism of the post-civil war South, they found dignity and independence on a beautiful and isolated homestead.

February 7, 2015

"A Black Homesteader's Struggle"

Philip Burgess uses his poetry and storytelling skills to describe a black family's experience as early settlers in the Missouri River valley of eastern Montana. Seeking refuge from the lynch-mob racism of the post-civil war South, they found dignity and independence on a beautiful and isolated homestead.

February 5, 2015

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

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.

February 4, 2015

I’ll Fly Away: A Sojourn through Poetry and Spirituals

Award-winning poet, performer and distinguished scholar Gloria Burgess explores the rich, beautiful heritage of spirituals and poetry from the African-American tradition in a spirited sojourn through words and music. This interactive presentation covers the sometimes hidden meanings of specific spirituals and poems, including how the art helped people cope as they were transported from another culture.

February 3, 2015

Great American Novels: A Contemporary Perspective on Classic Works

A reading and discussion series exploring the characteristics that make works of literature last over time and what makes a novel uniquely American.

February 3, 2015

Guns and America

The topics of gun violence, gun control, and the right to bear arms are constantly in the news. The Second Amendment guarantees Americans the freedom to own guns. Why wasn’t this freedom incorporated into the First Amendment, along with freedom of the press, speech, religion, and right of assembly?

February 2, 2015 to February 27, 2015

Black Art—Ancestral Legacy: The African Impulse in African American Art

This exhibition provides a number of examples from twentieth-century African American artists—both trained and untrained—that visually respond to this question. These modern artists draw heavily on African influence, while simultaneously reinterpreting it for a different time and place. The exhibition surveys the work of forty-five artists, including unknown Africans and Haitians, through photographs, posters, and concise texts.

February 1, 2015

Rally Round the Flag: The American Civil War Through Folksong

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.

January 2015

January 31, 2015

Civil War in Missouri: A State Divided

Missouri’s status as a border state forced many of its citizens to make difficult decisions and choose sides in a complex situation that resulted in a bitter, divisive, brutal, and psychological war within a war. Organized along three broad themes, the exhibition looks at the contest for the hearts, minds, and bodies of Missouri’s citizens.

January 12, 2015 to February 7, 2015

The Way Things Were: Texas Settlers and Their Buildings, 1860s–1930s

This Humanities Texas traveling exhibition looks at early Texas buildings for information about settlers' visions of community and progress and their accommodation to the physical demands and economic realities of everyday life.

January 7, 2015 to March 1, 2015

Black Art—Ancestral Legacy: The African Impulse in African American Art

This exhibition addresses the question posed by African American poet Countee Cullen in 1926: “What is Africa to me?”  This exhibition provides a number of examples from twentieth-century African American artists—both trained and untrained—that visually respond to this question.

December 2014

December 29, 2014 to February 7, 2015

Miguel Covarrubias: Caricaturista

Miguel Covarrubias (1904–1957) was one of the foremost Mexican artists of the twentieth century.

November 2014

November 12, 2014 to June 14, 2015

Mendes Cohen Living History Character

Come meet the most interesting person you have never heard of!

October 2014

October 25, 2014 to May 17, 2015

La Belle: The Ship That Changed History

On October 25, 2014, the shipwreck La Belle will be reconstructed live at the Bullock Museum in the special exhibition,

September 2014

September 27, 2014 to February 1, 2015

Flint Hills Forces: The Shaping of Manhattan, Fort Riley and Kansas State University 1917-1963

Exhibition and series of public programs exploring the history of the region between 1917 and 1963.

September 26, 2014 to May 25, 2015

Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion

Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion chronicles the complex history of the Chinese in America, from the early days of the China trade to the history of Chinese immigration and the life of Chinese Americans.

June 2014

June 9, 2014 to February 1, 2015

Earthquakes, Chukars and Millionaires: The Mackay Mines Story

The exhibit celebrates Nevada's sesquicentennial, and it will be interactive and encourage visitor participation; for example, visitors will see and have an opportunity to attempt a 1920s geology exam.

January 2014

January 15, 2014 to December 31, 2017

In Pursuit of Freedom

Exhibition on the unsung heroes of Brooklyn’s anti-slavery movement