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New Hampshire History

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.

American History, New Hampshire History

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.

American History

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?

World History, Cultures and Religions

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.

Music History and Appreciation

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.

Language and Literature

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.

American History

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.

Art, Architecture and Film, New Hampshire History

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.

New Hampshire History

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.

Anthropology and Archaeology, Living History

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?

Carrie Brown holds a PhD in American Literature and Folklore from the University of Virginia. She is an independent scholar who also works as a freelance history curator for museums in New England. She has curated two exhibitions on the Civil War for the American Precision Museum, as well as exhibitions on the history of aviation, the early years of the automobile, and the bicycle. The author of two books and many articles and exhibit catalogs, Brown delights in finding connections between changing technology and the evolution of popular culture.

photo of Judith Black

Judith Black’s historic tales, commissioned by the US Dept. of the Interior, NPR, Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, the USS Constitution Museum and many others, have received standing ovations at the Smithsonian Institution and Storytelling Festivals worldwide. She has keynoted the National Interpreters Conference: a standing ovation met her address on discerning truths from exploring multiple vantage points on our national history.

Dr. Kiki Berk is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southern New Hampshire University and currently holds the Papoutsy Chair in Ethics and Social Responsibility. She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the VU University Amsterdam in 2010. Her current research interests include value theory (especially happiness), analytic existentialism (especially the meaning of life), and the philosophy of death. 

Dr. Berk is a presenter in our "Open Questions" Humanities to Go programs. For more information, click HERE

Kabria Baumgartner is an assistant professor of American studies at the University of New Hampshire at Durham where she teaches nineteenth century African American culture, history, and literature. Her book, In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America (New York University Press, 2019), explores the history of school desegregation in the nineteenth century Northeast by focusing on the educational experiences of African American girls and women. Her next book uncovers the lives of indentured African American girls in the antebellum Northeast. 

Chris Benedetto has taught history courses at Granite State College since 2009. He has published numerous articles on New Hampshire history and co-authored the book Union Soldier of the American Civil War: A Visual Reference. In 2013, Chris was presented with a "Good Steward" Award from the Campus Compact for New Hampshire for his continuing contributions to community education and historical preservation. He has also been a member of various American Revolution and Civil War re-enactment organizations for over twenty years.

Damian Costello received his Ph.D. in theological studies from the University of Dayton and specializes in the intersection of Catholic theology, Indigenous spiritual traditions, and colonial history. He is an international expert on the life and legacy of Nicholas Black Elk and the author of Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism. Costello was born and raised in Vermont and his work is informed by five years of ethnographic work on the Navajo Nation.

Bob Cottrell holds an MA from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture in Delaware. The founding director of the Remick Country Doctor Museum in Tamworth, he is now the Curator of the Henney History Room at the Conway Public Library, a Board member at the Conway Historical Society, and President ex-officio of the Tamworth Historical Society. He serves as an independent history and museum consultant.

Ann-Maria Contarino has taught in the English department at Saint Anselm College for over 20 years. She also currently serves as academic counselor and coordinator of the writing center at the college. In 2016 and 2017, she served as one of the facilitators on the Manchester team of From Troy to Baghdad: Dialogues on the Experience of War, and in 2017 trained the facilitators for the next phase of the program.

photo of Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins is a Shakespearean trained actor with 40 years of theatrical experience under his belt. He has performed as Walt Whitman over 1,000 times and been met with rave reviews. Mr. Collins’ performance does not just deliver the poetry; he brings the poet to life on the stage. The show conveys an understanding of the impact and the reactions of the characters to their respective times, giving the audience not just a performance, but an experience.

photo of Richard Adams Carey

Richard Adams Carey is a writer whose byline has appeared in magazines ranging from Alaska to Yankee. He is the author of four award-winning books of literary nonfiction, including Raven's Children: An Alaskan Culture at Twilight (a New York Public Library Book to Remember) and Against the Tide: The Fate of the New England Fisherman (the New Hampshire Literary Prize for Nonfiction).