Courses and Schedules
To register for these courses, please enroll using MaineStreet, call 207-581-3143, or see: https://online.umaine.edu/how-to-register-for-courses/
Maine Studies Course Descriptions
These courses are offered by the Maine Studies Program using the MES course prefix. Many of these courses are also cross-listed by other departments. Instructors include those teaching specifically for Maine Studies and those affiliated with other departments.
MES 101 – Introduction to Maine Studies
An interdisciplinary approach to the study of Maine through sources in history, literature, political science, Native American studies, Franco American studies, and other fields. The unifying theme is the significance of place in understanding the interaction between landscape and people. Course satisfies the general education Population and the Environment and Writing Intensive requirements. Credits: 3
MES 102 – My Maine Experience
In this course students spend time in the classroom learning about the landscapes, people, society, and culture of Maine. Students then immerse themselves through personal travel in the variety of local customs, cuisines, and cultures the state of Maine has to offer. Credit: 1
MES 201 – The Maine Coast
This course provides an interdisciplinary approach to the culture and environment of the Maine coast. How have Maine’s coastal geography, ecology and resources shaped human activity there? How have artists and writers helped construct the Maine coast in the popular imagination? We also consider how development, climate change and other forces threaten the coast’s fragile environment. Satisfies Population and Environment, Social Context and Institutions, and Writing Intensive Gen Ed requirements. Credits: 3
MES 301 – Rachel Carson, Maine, and the Environment
When Rachel Carson discovered the Maine coast, she found a place that nourished her writing, conservation ideals, and research goals. This course examines various facets of Carson’s life, focusing on her science writing, ethical engagement with the world around her, public reactions to her work, and place-based approach to the environment. Students will have the opportunity to pursue their own interests with an independent research and writing project. Course satisfies the general education requirements for Population and Environment and Writing Intensive. Credits: 3
MES 350 – Maine Women
This course explores women’s experiences in Maine using historical and current examples. Through readings and discussion, we analyze Maine women individually and collectively in such roles as workers, reformers, performers, writers, politicians, and mothers. How have Maine’s environment, culture, economy, and history shaped women’s experiences in the state? How have national movements shaped women’s lives in Maine? And how have economic class, race, ethnicity, language, age and other categories intersected with gender in Maine? This course satisfies the Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives and the Western Cultural Tradition Gen Ed requirements. Credit: 3
MES 498 – Advanced Topics in Maine Studies
Course topics using this number vary; see specific course listings in MaineStreet each semester, or our semester-by-semester listing of MES courses, to see what is currently being offered. Courses with this number may be taken more than once, if the topic differs each time. Courses using this designation have included Writers of Maine, Maine Women Writers, Folklore and the Environment, Native American Folklore, and others. For descriptions of these, see below. Credits: 3
Note: MES 520 is a general course designation, with multiple courses offered under this number. Students can take this course multiple times, as long as the topic differs each time.
MES 520/IDS 500 – A Sense of Place: Maine and Regional Identity
This interdisciplinary course explores Maine as a place with a unique identity and “sense of place.” We examine images of Maine from Vacationland to impoverished rural backwoods, from quaint fishing villages to declining mill towns, from wilderness to gentrified downtowns and suburbs. Drawing on poets, essayists, novelists and historians, we explore and challenge these constructed images. Required for students in the MAIS degree, MES track. Credits: 3
MES 520 – Maine Women
This course explores women’s experiences in Maine using historical and current examples. Through readings and discussion, we analyze Maine women individually and collectively in such roles as workers, reformers, performers, writers, politicians, and mothers. Credits: 3
MES 520 – Writers of Maine
An exploration of the varied nature of the Maine experience as exemplified by writers of fiction, poetry, essays, and other creative genres. Credits: 3
MES 520 – Maine Women Writers
This course is an exploration of the themes, issues, and approaches found in the novels, memoirs, and poetry of Maine’s women writers as they relate to capturing a sense of place. This course calls for extensive reading, participation in online discussions, and writing two or three short analytical papers, a book review, and a final synthesis paper. Credits: 3
MES 520 – Recorded Interviewing Techniques & Methods
This course introduces students to the theory and methods of ethnographic and oral history interviews. Students will learn to prepare research plans, develop questions, and conduct and record interviews. They will also learn practices of archiving materials and how to incorporate interview data into a research paper or documentary. Credits: 3
MES 520 – Folklore and the Environment
Examines the interaction of humans with the environment from the perspective of folklore, and reviews its impact on public policy at the local, state, federal and international level. Credits: 3
MES 520 – Native American Folklore
Students will learn about the folkloric traditions of indigenous peoples of North America, including the U.S. and Canada, with a focus on the Wabanaki peoples of Maine and the surrounding region. Credits: 3
MES 520 – Researching in the Digital Age
In this participatory methods-based course, students learn about the tools and theories of social science research and education in the digital era. Students will create their own projects using audio, video, photography, and other digital media. Projects will change each semester. Credits: 3
MES 530 – Maine Politics and Public Policy
This seminar examines contemporary issues confronting the State of Maine and the politics that surround such issues. Particular attention is given to Maine’s role in national affairs, its unique environment, political parties and elections, the dynamics of the legislative, executive and judicial branches, the structure and operation of local institutions, and the formulation and administration of state and local policies. Credits: 3
MES 540 – Maine and the Northeast Borderlands
This course examines Maine, Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces as borderland regions that share both cultural and natural characteristics. Students learn about the concept of borderlands in literature, history, economics, public policy, anthropology, and political science. The course examines the meaning of the border, how its permeability changed over time, and how governmental and non-governmental agencies regulate natural resources as well as the movement of people and trade in the border region. Credits: 3
MES 598 – Directed Study in Maine Studies
This course is for individual students seeking to explore a subject of their own interest in more depth. This can include readings-based courses as well as project courses. Interested students should contact the Coordinator of Maine Studies for more information or to propose a course idea. Credits: 1-3
Courses in Other Programs and Departments
Students in the BUS and MAIS degrees and the Maine Studies Minor may take relevant courses from other departments, with the approval of their advisor. The following is a partial listing of undergraduate Maine-related course offered by other departments at the university. For longer course descriptions, see the relevant department websites or the UMaine Undergraduate Catalog. For graduate courses, see the UMaine Graduate Catalog. You can search for courses using “Maine” as a keyword in either catalog, or browse under subject areas that interest you. Please note that many of these courses will not be offered online, however, so that will limit access for those taking courses as distance learners.
ERS 102 – Environmental Geology of Maine
After developing an understanding of rocks, minerals and geologic time, the course explores the modern distribution of natural geologic resources that limit human activity and influence political and economic decision-making. The emphasis in the course is on the Maine geologic environment.
FAS 101 – Introduction to Franco-American Studies
This course introduces the French cultures of North America, emphasizing the people of Maine and the Northeast region. It examines European origins and later migrations, the impact of gender and class, the social significance of language, individual and collective expression, the effects of assimilation, and the challenges faced today.
FAS 230 / WGS 235 – Franco American Women’s Experience
Examines the immigration experience and subsequent lifestyles of present-day Franco American women and their cultural ancestors. Students will learn about the historical and cultural implications of immigration for these women and the definition they imparted to the culture.
GEO 212 – Geography of Maine
A survey of spatial relationships and characteristics with a brief study of the development of Maine’s landscapes and focus on land use change and conflict, regional inequalities, locational decision-making, environmental management and planning and the personality of places.
HTY 210 – Maine History
This course examines the social, economic, and political history of Maine from prehistoric times to the present. We will discuss the politics and economy of Maine’s past, and also the everyday lives of ordinary people – women, workers, immigrants, Native Americans, rural people and others.
HTY 400 – Doing Nearby History and Folklore in the Classroom
This course provides hands-on workshops for students and especially those in the education field who wish to focus on historical research techniques that can be used in the classroom and elsewhere.
HTY 211 – Maine and the Sea
An overview of Maine maritime history from aboriginal uses through the current state of maritime Maine. Emphasis on the coast’s history, inland Maine’s relationship with the sea, Maine’s maritime relationship to the world, and current historical and archaeological research.
HTY 213 – History of the Maine Woods
Surveys the history of the Maine woods from postglacial times to the present. Topics include alterations in the forest ecology, Native American and colonial settlement, and changing economic, industrial, and recreational uses of the woods, as well as spiritual and literary interpretations ascribed to the forest environment.
NAS 102 – Introduction to Wabanaki Culture and History
This course focuses on the tribes that make up the Wabanaki Confederacy: Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot. The course examines in detail the worldviews, ways of life, art, literatures, and contemporary issues of the Native Nations which make up the Confederacy.
NAS 230 – Maine Indian History in the Twentieith Century
This course introduces students to the Wabanaki history of Maine and eastern Canada in the twentieth century. “Wabanaki” refers primarily to Miíkmaqs, Maliseets, Passamaquoddies, and Penobscots, along with other Abenaki groups. Their tribal homeland encompasses present-day northern New England, the Maritime Provinces, and southern Quebec.
POS 203 – American State and Local Government
This course surveys the approximately 80,000 subnational governments in the United States, giving special focus to Maine politics and government. The aim is to provide a base of factual information and political ideas to enable students to understand the politics and policies of state and local governments generally, and the processes of Maine politics in particular.