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Welcome to Maine Studies

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Jamie Carter (left) and Stephanie Leonard have completed the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Maine Studies.
Jamie Carter, (B.A., Catholic University of America), has completed the MAIS with a concentration in Maine Studies. Her thesis, titled “Family Ties and Cultural Persistence in the Little Italy of Portland, Maine,” examines the history of immigrant Italians in Portland. Jamie argues that despite urban renewal and other challenges to Portland’s Little Italy neighborhoods, the Italian culture persists and thrives in Portland as evidenced by the businesses, churches, festivals, restaurants, and close-knit Italian families that still live in the area. Jamie is a legislative aid in the Maine State legislature.
Stephanie Leonard (B.S., M.E., University of Maine) has also completed the MAIS with a concentration in Maine Studies. Her thesis, titled “Public Art and Public Education: Controversy and Connections” examines controversial public art in the U.S. with a focus on Maine’s public art. Her study includes post office murals dating from the New Deal era, the Maine labor mural of more recent times, and the granite sculptures created through the Schoodic Sculpture Symposium. She argues that public art, including controversial public art, reflects a sense of place and offers educators the opportunity to teach their students history, politics, and art.

The Maine Studies program at University of Maine (UMaine) offers students the opportunity to pursue the study of Maine through courses in history, literature, women’s studies, art, political science, geology, geography, Franco-American studies, and Native-American studies. The program recognizes the value of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to understanding historical and contemporary issues such as developing Maine’s economy, protecting its environment, and appreciating the cultures of the state’s diverse population.

The Maine Studies program offers students three academic tracks: the 18 credit hour Minor in Maine Studies, the 18 credit hour Certificate in Maine Studies, and the 30 credit hours Maine Studies concentration in the MA in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Who should apply for the Maine Studies programs?

Students who plan to find a job in Maine in such fields as business, government, or social services will benefit from a multidisciplinary understanding of Maine. Education majors who expect to teach in Maine’s public schools will find the Maine Studies programs useful in preparing them to teach Maine Studies, a course mandated by the State of Maine through LD291. Students interested in Maine generally will enjoy a greater appreciation for the state’s cultural and physical landscapes.

All Maine Studies programs may be completed through distance technologies. Students in mid-coast Maine may also take Maine Studies courses at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast. Courses there are offered in a class room setting, online, or via video conferencing. The University of Maine System Centers also offer selected Maine Studies graduate seminars. Please contact the Maine Studies office for more information.


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