UMaine event features pandemic research projects and creative endeavors of humanities scholars

Over the course of the last year, University of Maine scholars across academic fields have responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Three notable projects led by UMaine humanities scholars have stood out, receiving media attention noting their public service, and the essential relevance of the humanities and humanistic inquiry during the pandemic.

The projects will be the focus of “The Stories We’ll Tell Tomorrow: University of Maine Humanities Scholars and the COVID-19 Pandemic,” a free virtual event from 3:30–4:30 p.m. June 17, featuring thoughts, concerns, coping and hopes connecting Maine communities throughout this historical time. The event is co-sponsored by the UMaine Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, and the McGillicuddy Humanities Center. This is the event Zoom link:

Michael Socolow, associate professor of communication and journalism and director of the McGillicuddy Humanities Center, will moderate the event. He also will present on the center’s Maine Remembers the Coronavirus project, which collects oral history interviews about the pandemic’s impact on Maine’s society and economy, and is funded in part with a gift to the center by alumnus Doug Baston.

Kreg Ettenger, associate professor of anthropology and director of the Maine Folklife Center and Maine Studies Program, will present on The Jack Pine Project, a community arts project. The project featured a series of free, virtual, open-to-the-public workshops designed to help Mainers tell their coronavirus stories through the arts. It was organized by the Maine Folklife Center, Maine Studies Program and the UMaine Hutchinson Center.

Kathryn Swacha, assistant professor of English, developed Coping with COVID, a public storytelling project, to provide a space for people to share how they are dealing with COVID in their everyday routines.