UNH Center For New England Culture Hosts Teachers' Workshop

Contact: Erika Mantz
UNH Media Relations

June 23, 2005

DURHAM, N.H. -- The Center for New England Culture at the University of New Hampshire will bring area teachers together with scholars of African American literature and history for a two-day teacher workshop in Durham and Milford on “Teaching Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig (1859): An African American Novel in its New England Contexts.”
Teachers will work with scholars of African American literature and history and master teachers on strategies for teaching Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig: Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, In A Two-Story White House, North, Showing That Slavery’s Shadows Fall Even There (1859).  The first novel published by an African American woman, the book describes the life of Frado, a biracial girl left by her parents to be raised by a prominent Milford, New Hampshire, family in the 1830s and 1840s.  In a narrative based on her own life, Wilson chronicles the treatment she receives as an indentured servant and sketches the “shadow of slavery,” or racial prejudice, which overspreads a family and a community despite the presence of famous abolitionists and their activities in Milford. 
On July 7, teachers meet in the Memorial Union Building, room 338-340, on the Durham campus of UNH to hear presentations by UNH professors John Ernest and Barbara White, Professor Eve Raimon of the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College, and JerriAnne Boggis, project director of the Harriet Wilson Project. Master teachers will lead workshop sessions on such topics as teaching Our Nig, incorporating African American history and literature in the curriculum, and classroom dynamics and questions of race.
On July 8, the workshop will be in Milford for a tour by bus of Harriet Wilson and African American history and abolitionist sites in the town. There also will be workshop sessions and presentations on how to use local historical materials to teach history, social studies, and literature. The group will meet at First Congregational Church-UCC in Milford. For map, see http://www.firstccmnh.org/map.html.
Priority will be given to teachers who can attend both days, but teachers who can only attend one day are also welcome. The workshop registration fee is $20, and registered attendees must pay $20 for 1.2 CEUs (separate checks payable to UNH).  One graduate credit is also available for a fee of $256 for students who enroll in English 920: Issues in Teaching English and the Language Arts. Refreshments will be provided at each site, but participants will need to bring a lunch or purchase one at the sites.
For more information or to register, contact David Watters, director of the Center for New England Culture, at 603-862-0353; david.watters@unh.edu. For more information about the Harriet Wilson Project, visit: http://www.harrietwilsonproject.org/index.html.