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.
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.
Image Description: Erin-Kate Sousa (left) and Lisa Lavoie have completed the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Maine Studies. Erin-Kate Sousa, who works in the University of Maine's Intensive English Institute, completed her final project titled "Service-Learning as an ESL Course Component." This study included a service learning project that linked international students with a local 3rd grade class. She found that the 3rd graders enjoyed learning about other cultures, and the international students improved their English skills while learning more about Maine schools and communities. Erin-Kate earned her BA in Spanish from the University of Maine. Lisa Lavoie, from Fort Kent, wrote a thesis titled "The Effect of 9/11 on a Borderlands Community: Fort Kent, Maine, and Clair, New Brunswick." Lisa argues that people in Fort Kent and Clair have enjoyed a shared community, linked by history and culture, despite the fact that the two communities are in two separate countries. However, since 9/11 and the US movement toward increased border security, the border crossing is more difficult and even at times intimidating. Despite the fact that the border is now more of a barrier than in the past, the deep cultural links between the two communities continue to bind the communities together. Congratulations to these two 2015 Maine Studies graduates!
Image Description: Michael Bailey (left) and Amy Hinkley are the 2015 Maine Studies Research and Creativity Award winners. Not pictured: Hilary Warner-Evans. (read more) When readers click on read more, they get this: The 2015 Maine Studies Research and Creativity Award went to graduate student Amy Hinkley for her research titled "The Settled Landscape: Understanding Place" in which she "reads the landscape" in Waldoboro by walking the lands she studies, looking for clues to past land usage in cellar holes, stone walls, and old buildings. She combines this method with an examination of relevant land deeds, geological surveys, and tax records to understand how nature and culture combine to create a sense of place. The undergraduate winners are Michael Bailey and Hilary Warner-Evans. Bailey's research paper, "Republican Ascendancy and the Origins of the Gilded Age: The Gubernatorial Career of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 1867-1871," is a creative work that examines Chamberlain's years as governor rather than his more-frequently researched years as Civil War general. Bailey finds that Chamberlain's politics contributed greatly to the post-Civil War climate of capital accumulation that led to the inequalities of the Gilded Age. Hilary Warner-Evans examines a more recent topic, "The North Pond Hermit as Outlaw: Reactions to the Challenge of Maine Identity." Warner-Evans considers the polarized reactions of Maine people that included those who criticized the hermit as a petty thief as well as those who romanticized his behavior as an example of Mainers' self-sufficiency. The Maine Studies Research and Creativity Awards are funded thanks to the generosity of the University of Maine Foundation.
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