UNH Civil War class to air on C-SPAN

December 6, 2017

photo of J. William Harris

A lecture by J. William Harris on the Civil War will air on C-SPAN 3 on Saturday, December 9 at 8 p.m. and midnight ET.

A C-SPAN crew filmed the class meeting at UNH earlier this semester. Harris, a professor of history, lectured on Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War Battle of Antietam and the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862. The lecture was part of Harris’ Civil War Era course.

The program will be available online for viewing on the C-SPAN website immediately after airing.  A podcast will be available starting on December 12.

The lecture appears as part of the Lectures in History series on C-SPAN’s American History TV, which airs for 48 hours each weekend on C-SPAN 3 from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday ET. American History TV programming also airs in the evenings on C-SPAN 3 when the U.S. Congress is out of session. The Lectures in History series airs every Saturday at 8 p.m. and midnight ET.

The series allows viewers to take a peek inside college classrooms around the country on a weekly basis to hear lectures on a variety of American history topics. Viewers have responded positively to the series, says producer Russell Logan, and the Lectures in History page at the American History TV website is the most visited.

Logan says that C-SPAN invited Harris to be part of the series because he is a former Pulitzer Prize nominee and a noted professor, adding “…everyone we tape for Lectures in History is recommended in some way, be it by a fellow professor, or by a C-SPAN producer who saw the person at another event we covered, or because they are particularly distinguished in some way like Professor Harris.”

Harris specializes in the history of the American South, the Civil War and African American history. He is the author of “The Hanging of Thomas Jeremiah: A Free Black Man’s Encounter with Liberty,” “The Making of the American South: A Short History, 1500-1877,” and “Deep Souths: Delta, Piedmont, and Sea Island Society in the Age of Segregation,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History, co-winner of the Organization of American Historians’ James A. Rawley Prize, and winner of the Agricultural History Society’s Theodore Saloutos Memorial Book Prize.

This is the second UNH classroom lecture that has been covered by C-SPAN. Political science professor Andrew Smith’s lecture on the History of the New Hampshire Primaries aired in September 2011.


Public Humanities

November 9, 2017

photo of six panelists at table

Six College of Liberal Arts faculty members presented on UNH’s innovative public humanities fellows program at the National Humanities Conference, held Nov. 2-5, 2017, in Boston, Mass.

The UNH Center for the Humanities annually awards up to three fellowships of $5000 each for publicly engaged humanities projects. The awards enable individual humanities scholars or teams to undertake collaborative projects, partnering with community or other public organizations, bringing humanities scholarship to bear in the context of advancing democracy, civic life and the public good.

Learn about the projects funded by the public humanities fellows program.

The faculty presenting at the Conference, pictured above, left to right, were Eleanor Harrison-Buck (anthropology), Christina Ortmeier-Hooper (English), Alecia Magnifico (English), Burt Feintuch (English and the Center for the Humanities), Nick Smith (philosophy) and Svetlana Peshkova (anthropology).

The conference, co-hosted with the Federation of State Humanities Councils, was the second in a series of three joint national meetings that bring the humanities community together as whole to consider how, by leveraging strengths, they can achieve broader public impact and showcase the fundamental role the humanities play in addressing both local and global challenges.

Nick Smith presenting

Professor Nick Smith

Svetlana Peshkova presenting

Professor Svetlana Peshkova


Lecture to Address Crimes Against Humanity at IG Farben Auschwitz, Nov. 14

November 6, 2017

drawing of production site at Auchwitz

Martin Rumscheidt will speak about his experience as the son of a man complicit in Nazi crimes as part of the Heilbronner Lecture series on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 at 5 p.m. in 115 Murkland Hall. The lecture, titled “White Collar Crimes Against Humanity: IG Farben Auschwitz, My Father’s Company,” is free and open to the public.

Rumscheidt is an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada and retired professor of historical theology at the University of Windsor, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Charles University, Prague. He is the translator of “Act and Being” (1996) in Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, English edition, and cotranslator with the late Barbara Rumscheidt of Soelle’s “Against the Wind” (1999) and “The Silent Cry” (2001).

Rumscheidt’s father was an employee of IG Farben, the chemical company and second largest producer in Hitler’s military-industrial complex. The senior Rumscheidt’s colleague and close friend Walter Dürrfeld was in charge of constructing and administering IG Farber Auschwitz-Monowitz, a production site that drew the majority of its workforce from the Birkenau concentration camp. Dürrfeld was sentenced to 8 years in prison by the Nuremberg court for his crimes, though he was released early. Rumscheidt’s father never addressed the implications of his work for IG Farben and its participation in the “extermination through labor” program the company implemented at Monowitz.

The Hans Heilbronner lecture series honors the memory of Hans Heilbronner, professor of history, who served the University of New Hampshire with distinction from 1954 until 1991. This event is sponsored by the Endowed Fund for Holocaust Education.

More information can be found at: https://cola.unh.edu/heilbronner2017


Caves of Dunhuang

November 2, 2017

men praying

The University of New Hampshire will host an exhibition of the caves at Mogao, a top United Nations World Heritage Site located in Dunhuang, China, Nov. 13-17, 2017, in Huddleston Hall. The site is famous for its caves featuring statues and wall paintings spanning 1,000 years of Buddhist art.

The exhibit is free and open to the public Nov. 13 from 4:40-8 p.m.; Nov. 14-16 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Nov. 17 from 10 a.m.-noon.

Dunhuang was at the crossroads of trade, cultures, ethnicities and religions along the ancient Silk Road from 300 BCE to about 1400 CE. Approximately 700 caves were hollowed out along a mile-long stretch that housed thousands of square feet of ancient murals and colored Buddhist statues, as well as tens of thousands of ancient scrolls, paintings, religious texts/sutra and government documents. The caves offer a rare glimpse into the lives of the diverse people who traveled along the ancient Silk Road.

The exhibition at UNH includes photos, multimedia, and original-scale replicas of dozens of murals and the entirety of Cave 285, a painstakingly recreated work of art in its own right. The cave contains images of Chinese and Indian deities and a visualization of a tale of Buddhist redemption known as the “500 Robbers.” The replicas are the work of artists and scholars from the Dunhuang Research Academy, the institution responsible for the conservation, management and research of the World Heritage Site.

Two lectures will accompany the exhibition:

“The Art of Dunhuang” by Huaqing Luo, deputy director of Dunhuang Research Academy, will take place Nov. 13, 2017, from 2-3 p.m. in the Memorial Union Building Theatre II.

“The Murals of Dunhuang” by Yige Wang, co-director of the Confucius Institute at UNH; Brian Chu, UNH professor of art; and Julee Holcombe, UNH associate professor of art; will take place Nov. 16, 2017, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Building’s Granite State Room.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Confucius Institute at UNH and made possible by Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters), Dunhuang Research Academy, the UNH College of Liberal Arts, Bryant University and Chengdu University.

Photo: Worshipping Bodhisattva, mural, Cave 285, Wei Dynasty (535-556 A.D.)


GeoBowl Champs

October 25, 2017
photo of student team

Pictured left to right: Evan Collins ’18, Stephen Geis ’20, Drew Guilbault ’18, Cara Buccini ’18 (courtesy photo)

A team of UNH geography students won the World Geography Bowl contest at the annual conference of The New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society (NESTVAL), which is a regional division of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). This year’s conference was held at Central Connecticut State University.

Six teams, comprised of 4 students each, competed in the Bowl this year — two each from New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The UNH team members were Cara Buccini ‘18, Evan Collins ‘18, Stephen Geis ‘20 and Drew Guilbault ‘18. Jennifer Brewer, associate professor of geography, was the organizer.

UNH students have taken part in this competition for the last ten years, placing second twice, but this is the first time the UNH team has won.

The highest scoring students from all of the teams are invited to join a NESTVAL team to compete against the other AAG regions at the national conference in the spring. Collins and Buccini both qualified based on points scored. Collins also qualified last year and attended the national competition in Boston.

“We are one of the smaller geography programs in the region, and, as undergraduate-only department, it is really exciting to get our first Geography Bowl win,” said Mary Stampone, chair and Class of 1941 Associate Professor of Geography.

“We did well because each team member had a complementary knowledge base in a geographic subfield — human rights, international, remote sensing, environmental, etc.,” said Buccini. “So among all of us, we made a strong team, whereas no single one of us knew all the answers.”

The World Geography Bowl is intended to provide fun and friendly academic competition among college and university students based on geographic fundamentals and concepts.


The Fiery Trial

October 11, 2017

Eric Foner photo

Eric Foner, renowned historian, will speak as part of the Rutman Distinguished Lecture Series on the American Presidency at the University of New Hampshire Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, at 7 p.m. in the Huddleston Hall Ballroom. His talk is titled The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and Slavery. The event is free and open to the public but registration is required.

Foner is one of America’s most prominent historians, writing and speaking widely on the intersections of intellectual, political and social history, and the history of American race relations. He is the author of over 20 books, including “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery,” which won the Bancroft Prize, the Pulitzer Prize for History and The Lincoln Prize, among other awards. His 1988 book, “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877,” won the Bancroft Prize, the Parkman Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, among others. Foner is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University.

Housed in the College of Liberal Arts at UNH, the Rutman Distinguished Lecture Series on the American Presidency is generously supported by J. Morgan ’84 and Tara Rutman. The series focuses on American political history with an emphasis on the modern and historical context of the American presidency. The 2017 Rutman Lecture is part of Celebrate 150: The Campaign for UNH, celebrating 150 years of success at UNH and setting a bold course for the next 150 years.

For more information and to register, visit cola.unh.edu/eric-foner.


The Business Case for Humanities Education

September 29, 2017


Heidi Bostic, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and Ross Gittell, chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH), have written an article for New Hampshire Business Review about the importance of humanities skills to employers, and the steps UNH and CCSNH are taking to develop the competencies in students that businesses want. Surveys indicate that employers look for a broad set of skills, which include communication, critical thinking, empathy, ethical judgment and the ability to work well in teams — precisely the skills that liberal arts majors develop.

Read the article in New Hampshire Business Review:

The business case for humanities education: New university-community collaborative focuses on meeting the need for employees with a broader set of skills


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