“2020 Visions: The Humanities at UMaine” event planned for January 31

The Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center invites community members, faculty and students to attend a showcase of current research and creative projects in the humanities. The event, “2020 Visions: The Humanities at UMaine,” will be held on Friday, January 31, 2020 at the Buchanan Alumni House from 2-5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“While the University of Maine’s STEM-related fields have been, rightfully so, attracting national attention recently, we want to make sure that the innovative, groundbreaking work being done in the humanities on campus is foregrounded. The humanities are an evolving, creative, forward thinking group of disciplines that train people to better understand the world and each other, in a way that is foundational to science and technology. We are planning an event that celebrates the great work being done in history, literature, philosophy, modern languages, the digital humanities, and other fields,” says humanities specialist Karen Sieber from the McGillicuddy Humanities Center.

The afternoon of events, which attendees can join at their leisure, will begin at 2:00 p.m. with a poster session and digital project display in the Andrews Leadership Hall. Attendees have the opportunity to converse one-on-one with students and faculty across diverse fields in the humanities about their research. Among the presenters is McGillicuddy Humanities Center undergraduate fellow Matthew Ryckman, presenting on his research related to book history during the transatlantic eighteenth-century world, using a 1732 edition of Euclid’s Elements by Isaac Barrow from Fogler Library as a case study. The area will also highlight work being done in the innovative and growing field of the digital humanities. Professor Anne Knowles and students from the History Department will be presenting their digital humanities project Holocaust Ghettos, a study of the spatial and temporal patterns of ghettoization in relation to individuals’ experiences. Professor Susan Pinette and Jacob Albert of the UM Franco American Program will be offering demonstrations of their digital project The Franco American Portal, and talking about the importance of a tool like this to research in the field.

A casual reception will be held concurrently in the McIntire Room, across the hall from the poster session. Students, faculty and community members will have the opportunity to network with others in the humanities, while students from the School of Performing Arts provide entertainment. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served.

At 3:00 p.m. Dean Emily Haddad from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Professor Margo Lukens, Director of the McGillicuddy Humanities Center, will welcome attendees and speak briefly about the strength of humanities related programs and facilities at UMaine, the mission of the MHC, and visions for future interdisciplinary collaboration.

The highlight of the event will be a PechaKucha-style slideshow, where faculty from ten different university departments will briefly present their humanities research with the support of up to 20 cogent images. This style of presentation allows scholars to get big ideas across in a short amount of time, and to convey their research findings in a concise and engaging manner. Among the presenters will be Liam Riordan (History) on his work on Maine Statehood and Bicentennial Commemoration; Constant Albertson (Art) speaking about her work with social justice art education; Doug Allen (Philosophy) exploring “The Decline and Potential for the Renewal of the Humanities: Scientific Reductionism and Gandhi-informed Humanities Research; Zachary Ludington (Modern Languages & Classics) presenting “On and Off the Clock: How Avant-Garde Poetry Can Teach Us What It Means to be Modern”; and Carlos Villacorta-Gonzales (Modern Languages & Classics) discussing his recently published Cuentos de ida y vuelta: 17 narradores peruanos en Estados Unidos, an anthology of Peruvian writers living in the USA.

The day’s events aim to highlight the diverse interdisciplinary expertise and interests of our academic faculty and staff involved in research and teaching on campus, and outward-facing humanities work. This afternoon will also familiarize the public with the roles of the McGillicuddy Humanities Center, from student fellowships and faculty grants to campus lectures, performances and community outreach.

Director Lukens sees this as an opportunity for scholars within and beyond the humanities to discover connections and mutual interests: “It’s my hope that UMaine faculty can begin to engage in broadly interdisciplinary work, especially as we pivot toward our thematic symposium on “The Story of Climate Change” for academic year 2020-2021.”

More information about the Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center is available online or by emailing mhc@maine.edu.