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The Maryland Humanities Council’s Practicing Democracy Program uses the humanities to spur respectful civic dialogue among Marylanders with divergent viewpoints. This year, MHC will team up with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights in collaboration with local community partners for Defying Definitions, a project engaging communities in Southern Maryland in a series of public and online conversations about stereotypes and identity. MHC board member Dr. Christopher M.
Maryland’s experience as a divided state during the American Civil War was truly unique. Drastic steps were taken, such as moving the State legislature from Annapolis to Frederick, to keep Maryland from joining the Confederacy. An American Library Association and NEH sponsored program called Making Sense of the American Civil War, coordinated by the Maryland Humanities Council, offers participants literature rich for discussion at sites across the state.
The War of 1812 inspired an abundance of music. Ballads like “Madison’s March” and “Perry’s Victory” not only told the tale of famous battles, but captured the stirrings of party politics, and the hearts and minds of a young nation. Maryland Humanities Council Speakers Bureau Scholar Dr. David Hildebrand tells us about the origins of one tune, the Anacreontick Song.
This year marks the 250th Anniversary of the Mason-Dixon Line. While the Missouri Compromise of 1850 more accurately reflected the boundary between slave-holding and Free states during the American Civil War, the Mason Dixon Line is still seen by many as the demarcation line separating the north from the south. But few know about its beginnings, long before the Civil War. Maryland Humanities Council Speakers Bureau scholar Mike Dixon examines the origins of the Mason Dixon line as we commemorate its 250th anniversary.
Humanities Connection - Digging Into The Past: The Jefferson Patterson Park And Museum’s Archaeological Conservation Laboratory
The Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in Calvert County is Maryland’s State Archeology museum. It is host to the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory, known as the MAC lab, a state-of-the-art research, conservation, and curation facility, with holdings of some 8 million artifacts. Recently MAC lab staff worked with students from Huntingtown High School to investigate and analyze a mid-19th century privy in a working-class Baltimore neighborhood.
For the first time during World War II, African-American women were allowed to enter the military. The first contingent trained in Fort Des Moines, Iowa. Librarian, historian, and bibliographer and Speaker’s Bureau Scholar Janet Sims-Wood discusses the courageous example set by the first African-American WAC unit in Europe.
MHC’s One Maryland One Book program brings together diverse people in communities across the state through the shared experience of reading the same book. Readers participate in book-centered discussions and other programs at public libraries, high schools, universities, museums, bookstores, and community and senior centers. Additionally, MHC sponsors an author tour, giving participants an opportunity to engage with the author and book on a deeper level.
Maryland’s role in The War of 1812, also known as America’s Second War of Independence, can’t be denied, leaving its mark all over our state. Maryland Humanities Council Speakers Bureau scholar, Ranger Vince Vaise, who is the Chief of Interpretation at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine and Hampton National Historic Site, reflects on the war’s bicentennial.
(photo courtesy of Vince Vaise)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hear famous historical figures speak.. in real life? The Maryland Humanities Council, in partnership with hosts in six regions of the state, presents a free living-history performance series July 5-14, called Chautauqua. Audience members meet historical figures then participate in a thoughtful dialogue with each character. This year Chautauqua features Rachel Carson, Jackie Robinson, and Amelia Earhart.
The MHC grant-supported oral history performance project, Stories from The Struggle for Civil Rights, organized by the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture at UMBC, brought Baltimore-area seniors together to tell, write, and perform their stories. Seniors met regularly to create the show. In this segment, at the first meeting, one participant, Patricia Brown Leak, shares her perspective. Leak is the sister of 1960’s radical, H. Rap Brown.