‘2020 Visions: The Humanities at UMaine’ will be held Jan. 31

A showcase of current research and creative projects in the humanities, “2020 Visions: The Humanities at UMaine,” will be held on Jan. 31 from 2–5 p.m. at the Buchanan Alumni House. The event, sponsored by the Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center, is free and open to the public.

“We want to make sure that the innovative, groundbreaking work being done in the humanities on campus is foregrounded,” says humanities specialist Karen Sieber from the McGillicuddy Humanities Center. “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.” 

The afternoon begins with a poster session, digital project display and networking reception. Students and faculty from diverse humanities fields will be on hand to talk about their research. 

Among the presenters will be McGillicuddy Humanities Center undergraduate fellow Matthew Ryckman discussing his research related to book history during the transatlantic 18th-century world, using a 1732 edition of “Euclid’s Elements” by Isaac Barrow. UMaine student Nolan Altvater will be presenting on a collaboration with tribal members to examine how Western science is being applied to promote the sustainability of natural resources and Wabanaki sovereignty.

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. Professors Susan Pinette and Jacob Albert of the Franco American Studies Program will discuss The Franco American Portal Project and the importance of such tools in research. 

Students from the School of Performing Arts Opera Workshop will perform at 3 p.m., followed by brief remarks by Emily Haddad, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and professor Margo Lukens, director of the McGillicuddy Humanities Center.

From 3:30–5 p.m., a fast-paced slideshow will highlight faculty research in the humanities. Among the presenters: Liam Riordan, history, “Maine Statehood and Bicentennial Commemoration”; Zachary Ludington, modern languages and classics, “On and Off the Clock: How Avant-Garde Poetry Can Teach Us What It Means to be Modern”; and Carlos Villacorta-Gonzales, modern languages and classics, “Cuentos de ida y vuelta: 17 narradores peruanos en Estados Unidos,” his recently published anthology of Peruvian writers living in the United States.

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

“It’s my hope that UMaine faculty can continue 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,” Lukens says.

Feb. 1, the McGillicuddy Humanities Center is organizing the 8th Annual Bangor Humanities Day, a citywide celebration of off-campus humanities initiatives in the area. A news release about Bangor Humanities Day is online.

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, call 207.581.1848.

Contact: Karen Sieber, 207.581.1848