Heritage New Hampshire Lecture Series
Professor Julie Ellison. "The Public Project: Making History in the Middle of Somewhere"
Monday, April 30, 2007.
Robert Faggen, "The Pleasures of Merely Circulating in the Vicious Circles of 'The Notebooks of Robert Frost'”
Monday, November 27, 2006, 5-6 p.m.
Robert Faggen will present “The Pleasures of Merely Circulating in the Vicious Circles of ‘The Notebooks of Robert Frost’” on Monday, November 27, 2006 in Dimond Library, Milne Special Collections, Level 1, as part of the Heritage New Hampshire Lecture Series. The lecture in free and open to the public, and it will be followed with discussion and refreshments.
Robert Frost kept notebooks from the 1890’s until his death in 1963. They are filled with aphorisms, epigrams, meditations, notes for talks, titles, drafts of plays, and poems. The notebooks reveal some of Frost’s most trenchant thinking about science, religion, politics, history, and, of course, poetics. Frost kept returning to certain thoughts, including the notion of having ideas, their origins, and their place in poetry. The “dark sayings” of Frost’s Notebooks bring us much closer to the mind of poet.
Robert Frost is one of the most widely read, well loved, and misunderstood of modern writers. In his day, he was also an inveterate note-taker, penning thousands of intense aphoristic thoughts, observations, and meditations in small pocket pads and school theme books throughout his life. These notebooks, transcribed and presented here in their entirety for the first time, offer unprecedented insight into Frost's complex and often highly contradictory thinking about poetics, politics, education, psychology, science, and religion--his attitude toward Marxism, the New Deal, World War--as well as Yeats, Pound, Santayana, and William James. Covering a period from the late 1890s to early 1960s, the notebooks reveal the full range of the mind of one of America's greatest poets. Their depth and complexity convey the restless and probing quality of his thought, and show how the unruliness of chaotic modernity was always just beneath his appearance of supreme poetic control.
Robert Faggen is the Barton Evans and H. Andrea Neves Professor of Literature and Chair of the Literature Department at Claremont McKenna College. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard University, his teaching interests include American Literature, Science and Literature, Polish Literature, Contemporary Irish Poetry, The Bible, Rhetoric and Oratory, and Milton. His selected publications include: Ken Kesey: An American Life(forthcoming), The Writings of Robert Frost, The Notebooks of Robert Frost (2007), Robert Frost and the Challenge of Darwin (1997), The Cambridge Companion to Robert Frost (2001), Striving Towards Being: The Letters of Thomas Merton and Czeslaw Milosz (1997), "Introduction" to 40th Anniversary Edition of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (2002), Selected Poems of Edwin Arlington Robinson (1997), Early Poems of Robert Frost (1998), and Paris Review Interviews with Ken Kesey, Czeslaw Milosz, and Russell Banks.
“This work deserves a place with other editions of major writers such as Emerson, Thoreau, and Twain. One measure of the importance of this edition is that it demonstrates that Frost belongs in the company of America's greatest writers, whose significance grows with our access to their complete works. It was a pleasure to read these notebooks.”
The Center for New England Culture’s Heritage New Hampshire Lecture Series is supported by an endowment from Heritage New Hampshire. The series annually presents lectures on the images, people, and places of New England, featuring the best of contemporary scholarship on the region. For further information, contact David H. Watters, Director, Center for New England Culture, University of New Hampshire (603-862-0353; firstname.lastname@example.org).
The speakers for the 2004-05 series will be posted in September, 2004. Previous presentations in the series include:
John McWilliams, “Abolition and New England Despair,” January 26, 2006
Professor McWilliams lecture will explore New England’s complex traditions of freedom and regional pride that fueled abolitionist rhetoric before the Civil War. The decline of New England political power in this era may have fueled the powerful and violent rhetoric of New Englanders. Professor McWilliams draws on a wide range of New England writers, including Thoreau, Garrison, Child, Beecher, and Emerson, and he traces the development of radical abolitionism in the region. Professor McWilliams has published New England’s Crises and Cultural Memory (2004), a wide-ranging study of the development of New England’s influential cultural identity. Through written responses to historical crises from early New England through the pre-Civil War period, McWilliams argues that the meaning of “ New England,” despite claims for its consistency, was continuously reformulated. Integrating history, literature, politics, and religion, this is one of the most comprehensive studies of the meaning of “ New England” to appear in print. The lecture is free and open to the public, and Professor McWilliams’ lively and engaging presentation will invite discussion from the audience.
John McWilliams is Abernethy Professor of American Literature at Middlebury College in Vermont. He is the author of Political Justice in a Republic: James Fenimore Cooper’s America (1972), Hawthorne, Melville and the American Character: A Looking-Glass Business (1984), and The American Epic: Transforming a Genre (1989).
Karen Halttunen, "Where Did the 'Vanishing Indian' Go?
Drum Rock, Annawon Rock, Wampum Rock: the nineteenth-century New England landscape was littered with variants on the theme of “Indian Rock”--glacial erratics, balance boulders, and rocky outcrops that were regarded by Euro-Americans as natural monuments to the region’s native peoples. This talk will explore the historical connections between geology--the search for New England’s ancient earth-history in the rocks and fossils of the region--and the widespread conviction that New England Indians were fast approaching racial “extinction.” It is part of a larger work-in-progress on natural history and memory in the making of New England.
Karen Halttunen, Professor of History and the Program in American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, is one of the leading scholars of American cultural history and current President of the American Studies Association. Professor Halttunen is the author of Confidence Men and Painted Women: A Study of Middle-Class Culture in America, 1830-1870 (Yale University Press, 1983) and Murder Most Foul: The Killer and the American Gothic Imagination (Harvard University Press, 1998), and she is editor of the OAH Magazine of History special issue on teaching American history through criminal cases and coeditor of Moral Problems in American Life: New Essays on Cultural History (Cornell University Press, 1998).
Laura A. Smith, “The Fabric of Shaker Women’s Lives,” October 27, 2005
Ms. Smith’s lecture surveys textile-inspired literature produced by Canterbury
Laura A. Smith is the recipient of the first Elder Henry C. Blinn Research Fellowship which supports research by academics, museum and library professionals, independent scholars, and doctoral candidates in the collections of Canterbury Shaker Village and in The Shaker Collection in the University of New Hampshire Library, Milne Special Collections. She has published “Negotiating Property Rights in Sapphira and the Slave Girl” in the Willa Cather Newsletter and Review and written articles on Connie Porter, Charles Lenox Remond, and Sarah Parker Remond in the Encyclopedia of African American Literature.
Donna M. Cassidy, "Yankee Queer: Marsden Hartley, Region, and Sexuality," September 29, 2005
Professor Cassidy’s lecture will explore the images of New England, particularly its local Maine folk, in terms of Hartley’s presentation of the region in his paintings of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Her study of Hartley breaks exciting new ground in the study of this important artist, and her book was recently featured in the New York Times Sunday book review section. Professor Cassidy is the “first scholar to reassess his late work in light of contemporary American perceptions of race, ethnicity, place, and history.” Professor Wanda Corn calls the book “a fresh and forceful study. Cassidy places Hartley’s writings and paintings of the late 1930s and early 1940s within the discourses of New England tourism, primitivism, Regionalism, and Nazism, giving us a complex picture of the aging artist seeking to become ‘the painter from Maine.’” The lecture is free and open to the public, and even those previously unaware of Hartley’s work will find the subject and Cassidy’s presentation lively, engaging, and informative.
Donna Cassidy is a Professor of American & New England Studies and Art History at the University of Southern Maine. She has served as the Director of American & New England Studies, 2003-05. Professor Cassidy received her Ph.D. in 1988 in Art History, Boston University, her M.A. in 1982, in Art History, Boston University, and her B.A., in 1979, in American Studies, University of Massachusetts ( Lowell). She is the author of Painting the Musical City: Jazz and Cultural Identity in American Art, 1910-1940 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997), “Picturing Place: Portland and the Visual Arts,” in Creating Portland: History and Place in Northern New England, edited by Joseph A. Conforti ( Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 2005), and many other studies of the art of New England. She served as the editor of the Art Section of the Encyclopedia of New England, eds. Burt Feintuch and David H. Watters (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005).
"Recontacting Native American New England: An Abenaki Speakers Series", April 5-28, 2004, Dover and Durham, N.H.
This series gathers leading Abenaki writers and scholars to explore Native American culture in New Hampshire, past and present. Presenations include: John and Donna Moody, co-founders of the Winter Center for Indigenous Traditions, "Reinterpreting Local Native History: Community Responsibility and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act"; Dr. Lisa Brooks, Harvard University, "Early Native American Writers"; Suzanne Rancourt, author of Billboard in the Clouds, poetry reading. This series is sponsored by the Heritage New Hampshire Lecture Series, the University of New Hampshire American Studies Program, and the New Hampshire Humanities Council.
Professor Adam Sweeting, "Beneath the Second Sun: A Cultural History of Indian Summer," November 14, 2003
Professor Sweeting's book on this subject chronicles the invention of Indian Summer as a season particularly identified with New England culture. Professor Sweeting teaches at Boston University, and he is also the author of Reading Houses and Building Books: Andrew Jackson Downing and the Architecture of Popular Antebellum Literature, 1835-1855.
"Locating New England: The Mythology of Place": A Special Issue of the Colby Quarterly, Friday, May 2, 2003
The panelists will discuss their essays appearing in a special issue of the Colby Quarterly. The essays consider the ways in which writers and artists, past and present, have created a mythology of place for New England. The special issue editor is poet Wesley McNair, of the University of Maine, Farmington, whose most recent book is Mapping the Heart: Reflections on Poetry and Place. Poet Cynthia Huntington, Director of the Creative Writing Program at Dartmouth College, is also a contributor, and her new collection of poems, The Radiant, won the Levis Prize.
Other panelists are Donna Cassidy and Kent Ryden of American & New England Studies, University of Southern Maine. Professor Cassidy has published widely on early twentieth century art, and Professor Ryden is the author of two books exploring the meanings of place in American and New England culture. David H. Watters is the coeditor of the Encyclopedia of New England Culture, and he directs The Center for New England Culture at the University of New Hampshire.