The Maine Studies (MES) Program explores the places, people, culture, history and stories of Maine. The program offers undergraduate and graduate options, including tracks in the Bachelor of University Studies (BUS) and Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) degrees, as well as a Minor in Maine Studies.
Our courses cover a wide range of topics and are taught by faculty from several departments, including Anthropology, History, English, Political Science, and others. Many courses are available through UMaineOnline, helping students throughout Maine and beyond explore the richness of the Pine Tree State.
The Program also sponsors and organizes events related to the study of Maine from a broad perspective. This includes the series Framing Maine: Conversations with Storytellers and Imagemakers from the Pine Tree State. We are also connected with the Maine Folklife Center, which conducts research and training in areas such as oral history, digital storytelling, and the vernacular arts and crafts of northern New England and the Maritimes.
We welcome you to explore this site to learn more about our programs, courses, faculty and students. To ask us questions, please use the Contact Us page.
New Courses for Fall: "Hunting in Maine" and "My Maine Experience"
Maine Studies is offering two new courses this fall: one about hunting, and the other a self-directed, one-credit travel course.
Hunting in Maine
Students interested in the history of hunting and its importance to Maine will have a chance to explore these subjects in a new course this fall. “Hunting in Maine” (MES 498 and MES 520) will provide an in-depth look at how people in Maine and elsewhere developed tools and techniques to harvest wild animals from the land, for food and income as well as sport. Debates over the ethics of hunting, as well as conflict over land uses and the role of hunting in conservation, will also be examined.
The course will be taught by Dr. Cristina Arrigoni Martelli, a historian from Italy whose doctoral dissertation examined the role of hunting in the Middle Ages in Europe. Martelli is also a registered Maine guide and hunting dog trainer who lives off the grid in rural Maine.
Anyone with an interest in hunting from a cultural, historical, economic and environmental perspective should consider taking this one-time special topics course.
My Maine Experience
A second new course is designed to give students credit for exploring the Pine Tree State and writing about their discoveries. “My Maine Experience” (MES 102) is a one-credit course being taught by MES instructor Dan Soucier. In the course, students travel to places of their own choosing in different regions of the state, then blog about these experiences.
This one-credit course is designed in part to help students reach 15 credits in their schedule, part of the Think 30 initiative, which encourages students to complete their undergraduate degrees in four years. It can also be seen as a lab for MES 101, Introduction to Maine Studies, which Soucier also teaches. The classes are scheduled back-to-back on Wednesday afternoons and evenings, with MES 102 meeting every other week.
The full schedule of Fall 2018 Maine Studies courses can be found HERE. There is a wide range of courses available, enough to complete the MES minor in one semester!
Singer David Mallett shares stories in second Framing Maine event
Critically acclaimed folk singer David Mallett brought his music and stories about Maine to the second Framing Maine event, held on April 7th at the Minsky Recital Hall on the UMaine campus. Mallett, who lives in his family’s homestead in Sebec, talked about what it means to be a songwriter and performer with strong Maine roots, as well as a national and global fan base.
Mallett and his quartet performed one set of Maine-inspired songs, including “The Garden Song,” sung by the likes of Pete Seeger and John Denver over the years. As Mallett described to WCSH’s Rob Caldwell in the onstage interview that followed his performance, this folk classic was only the second or third song he ever composed, inspired while working in the garden with his father. He also talked with Caldwell about his years at UMaine, where he “wasn’t the best student,” spending time instead honing his craft and performing at local venues like the Ram’s Horn.
Framing Maine is a series organized by the Maine Studies Program that features notable Maine writers, artists, musicians and others talking about their crafts and their careers telling Maine’s story through the arts and humanities. For more information on the series, including the first event with Bill Green, click HERE. To read more about the evening with David Mallett, click HERE. And check back for more information on Framing Maine 3 with Paul Doiron and Kristen Lindquist, tentatively scheduled for October 19th.