Dear Friends, 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the health of our civic life, and I’m worried. Worried that we’re unable to hear each other’s concerns underneath the personal attacks. Worried that complex issues are being reduced to simplistic sound bites. And worried that we’re not treating our fellow Americans with empathy and respect – whether we agree with them politically or not.

What does New Hampshire Humanities do to improve our civic life? Lots, actually.

Dennis Britton is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of New Hampshire, where he has taught since 2006. He earned a B.A. in English from the University of Southern California, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a specialist in English Renaissance literature, and at UNH he regularly teaches courses on Shakespeare, early British literature, and religion and literature.

Traveling, tented “chautauquas” were an immensely popular form of American adult education in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Today’s Chautauquas feature scholars portraying significant historical figures in first-person performances followed by a question-and-answer period with the character and the scholar. New Hampshire Humanities brought the modern Chautauqua movement to New Hampshire in the 1990s with week-long festivals in Portsmouth and Keene.

Where do the observational skills of an artist and a scientist intersect? How do art and science inspire and expand larger conversations about the world? AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon, recipient of a New Hampshire Humanities grant, will host an opening reception for an exhibit that runs from September 9 through October 12 featuring works by photographer Rob Kesseler and sculptor Gar Waterman.

For fourteen years, America has been mired in war, war being waged by less than one percent of the population. The relatively small number of active military service members has widened a cultural gulf between the military and civilian sectors.

John Steinbeck’s classic novel The Grapes of Wrath has stirred and inspired readers for 77 years. The centerpiece of a multi-town community read funded in part by New Hampshire Humanities, this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel chronicles one family’s forced migration to California – a microcosm of the widespread devastation of the Great Depression.

Michael Francis auditions Gilileo Galilei, the Starry Messenger

Join us for the Humanities to Go Catalog Launch Celebration!

Wednesday, October 5 at 1:00 p.m. at the New Hampshire Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord

Word garden

Wordplay and wit will sprout as guests enjoy nature-inspired activities when they take A Walk in the Words at Bedrock Gardens in Lee, supported by a grant from New Hampshire Humanities.

Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School, and a Professor of History at Harvard University. She received the 2008 National Book Award and the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in History for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (2008).

Celebrating the power of the humanities, New Hampshire Humanities will welcome renowned historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed to present the keynote address at our 2016 Annual Dinner on Thursday, September 22 at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester. Our 2016 Annual Dinner continues the celebration of the Pulitzer Prize Centennial taking place across the nation this year and we hope you will join us for our annual celebration of the humanities.

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