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Maine Studies

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Welcome to Maine Studies

On April 8, Maine Studies MAIS graduate Phyllis vonHerrlich addressed the US Attorney’s office (Maine District) in Portland with a video broadcast to the Bangor Office. Her address, a slightly late observance of Women’s History Month, was based on her master’s thesis which examined the work of Gail Laughlin, one of the first women lawyers in the country and one of the first women in the Maine State legislature. Laughlin, born in Robbinston, Maine, and graduated from Portland High School, earned an A.B. from Wellesley College and her LL.B. from Cornell University Law School. She served in the Maine Legislature for six terms spanning the years 1929 to 1941, and was an ardent promoter of equal rights for women. Todd Lowell, an attorney in the Bangor office, heard Phyllis speak at the Common Ground Fair last fall and invited her to speak to the other attorneys in the AG’s office.

The Maine Studies program at University of Maine (UMaine) offers students the opportunity to pursue the study of Maine through courses in history, literature, women’s studies, art, political science, geology, geography, Franco-American studies, and Native-American studies. The program recognizes the value of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to understanding historical and contemporary issues such as developing Maine’s economy, protecting its environment, and appreciating the cultures of the state’s diverse population.

The Maine Studies program offers students three academic tracks: the 18 credit hour Minor in Maine Studies, the 18 credit hour Certificate in Maine Studies, and the 30 credit hours Maine Studies concentration in the MA in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Who should apply for the Maine Studies programs?

Students who plan to find a job in Maine in such fields as business, government, or social services will benefit from a multidisciplinary understanding of Maine. Education majors who expect to teach in Maine’s public schools will find the Maine Studies programs useful in preparing them to teach Maine Studies, a course mandated by the State of Maine through LD291. Students interested in Maine generally will enjoy a greater appreciation for the state’s cultural and physical landscapes.

All Maine Studies programs may be completed through distance technologies. Students in mid-coast Maine may also take Maine Studies courses at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast. Courses there are offered in a class room setting, online, or via video conferencing. The University of Maine System Centers also offer selected Maine Studies graduate seminars. Please contact the Maine Studies office for more information.

Image Description: Phyllis presentation

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Contact Information

Maine Studies
Chadbourne Hall, Room 323
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: (207) 581-3147E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469