Photo by James Hardman

There’s something irresistible about an anniversary. Maine’s bicentennial, the centennial of women’s suffrage, the upcoming 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence: All invite public commemoration. But what are we doing when we mark these anniversaries? Celebrating our past? Interrogating it? Something else entirely?

Presented in partnership by the Maine Humanities Council, Maine Suffrage Centennial, and Maine Historical Society.

Winter Weekend 2018-234Professor of English at Wellesley College, Timothy Peltason writes and teaches on nineteenth and twentieth-century British and American literature and Shakespeare. His essays on Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, focuses on its relationship to Wilde’s life, its origins in earlier Victorian literature, and its extraordinary afterlife in 20th and 21st century literature and culture. He has also written a sequence of web-based commentaries on five plays by Shakespeare and other essays about the place of value judgments in contemporary academic criticism.

Each year, on the third Saturday of October, The Big Question brings people together with expert guides to grapple with question.

In 2017, we asked the question “How can we know?"  Listen to MHC Program Officer Meghan Reedy  talk to folks about how they know things in the work they do.

As you listen, you may find yourself wondering "Who is the 'we' in the question 'How can we know?'" That's the next question! Join us on October 20 for the 2018 Schwartz Forum question "Who is we?"

Each year, on the third Saturday in October, The Big Question brings people together with expert guides to grapple with a question. In 2017, the question we asked ourselves was ‘How can we know?’ One of the most exciting things about asking this question was getting to talk with all sorts of people about how this crazy big question arises for them in the work that they do. In preparing for 2018's big question, MHC program officer Meghan Reedy talked birds and citizen science with Maine Audubon’s Doug Hitchcox.
Violence & Belonging: The 14th Amendment and American Literature” is a Let’s Talk About It book and discussion series that addresses issues of diversity, identity, and inequality. For many Americans, the promises of citizenship fall short of reality, and the books in this series remind us that the more expansive version of American citizenship brought about by the Fourteenth Amendment was formed in the wake of violence and historical trauma. Tune in to this new audio story and  hear perspectives on Let’s Talk About It and “Violence & Belonging” from South Berwick Public Library and Norway Public Library, both of which have recently offered the series in their community.
Khaled Fahmy is a Professor of History at the American University in Cairo. With a BA in Economics, an MA in Political Science from AUC and a DPhil in History from the University of Oxford, Fahmy taught for five years at Princeton University, then for eleven years at New York University before joining AUC in Sept 2010. He is currently the Shawwaf Visiting Professor in Modern Middle Eastern History at Harvard University. His research interests lie in the social and cultural history of modern Egypt. Specifically, he has been conducting research in the Egyptian National Archives for the past twenty years on such diverse topics as the history of law (Islamic shari’a), medicine and public hygiene. He is currently finishing a manuscript on the social and cultural history of Egypt in the 19th century as well as an edited book on the history of Egyptian law from the Mamluks to the present. Since the outbreak of the January 25 Revolution, he has been a regular contributor to Egyptian and international media.