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All the events listed in this calendar are funded in whole or part by New Hampshire Humanities, and all are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Many of these events are Humanities to Go programs your organization can book, made possible in part by generous support from

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Jean Student Center at Saint Anselm College | Manchester, NH

With support from New Hampshire Humanities, on Wednesday, October 17th at 6:00 pm at Saint Anselm College, the Nigerian writer Helon Habila will give a talk on "Religion, Politics and the Literary Landscape in Contemporary Nigeria." Habila is an award-winning novelist, journalist, poet, and professor at George Mason University; his most recent book is a non-fiction study of the terrorist attack that resulted in the abduction of 276 schoolgirls in Northern Nigeria.

Fremont Public Library | Fremont, NH

Covered wooden bridges have been a vital part of the NH transportation network, dating back to the early 1800s. Given NH's myriad streams, brooks, and rivers, it's unsurprising that 400 covered bridges have been documented. Often viewed as quaint relics of a simpler past, they were technological marvels of their day. It may be native ingenuity and NH's woodworking tradition that account for the fact that a number of nationally-noted covered bridge truss designers were NH natives.

Chamberlin Free Public Library | Greenville, NH

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.

Old Webster Courthouse | Plymouth, NH

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.  

 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

New Hampshire Veterans Home | Tilton, NH

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.

Reed Free Library | Surry, NH

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.

Kimball Library | Atkinson, NH

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.  

 

Meredith Public Library | Meredith, NH

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.

Whipple Free Library | New Boston, NH

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.

Wolfeboro Town Hall, Great Hall | Wolfeboro, NH

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.

Greenfield Town Meetinghouse | Greenfield, NH

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.

Regional Economic Development Center | Raymond, NH

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.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Croydon Town Hall | Croydon, NH

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.

Canaan Town Library | Canaan, NH

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.

Summit by Morrisoin | Whitefield, NH

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. 

Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum | Warner, NH

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.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Unity Town Hall | Unity, NH

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.

Friendship House | South Newbury, NH

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.

Ray-Fre Senior Center | Raymond, NH

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.

Antrim Presbyterian Church | Antrim, NH

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.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Great Bay Community College Atrium | Portsmouth, NH

Hiphop culture grew out of the South Bronx in the 1970s and 1980s when young people of color combined their genius with available materials to produce the four original elements of hiphop: deejaying, graffiti art, breakdancing, and rapping. Since then, a confluence of young Blacks, American Indians, and Latino/as have used hiphop to reimagine everyday practices, discarded technologies, and public spaces.

Havenwood Auditorium | Concord, NH

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.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Goodwin Library | Farmington, NH

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.

Elkins Public Library | Canterbury, NH

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.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

George Holmes Bixby Memorial Library | Francestown, NH

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.

North Hampton Town Hall | North Hampton, NH

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.

Sherburne Hall | Pelham, NH

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.

Freedom Town Hall | Freedom, NH

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.

East Kingston Public Library | East Kingston, NH

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.