Events for May 2018

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Public Scholars Project

May 2, 2018 at 1:30 PM | Pitman, NJ | United Methodist Communities at Pitman

Revolutionary Tea: An 18th Century Tea Experience

Why was tea so important in the lives of 18th-century people that fashion-conscious families posed for portraits with their tea sets? Did Great Britain lose her American Colonies over “the cup that cheers?” Through a discussion and demonstration lead by a costumed scholar, participants can find out more about tea lore, history, songs, and poetry in this unique session.

Stacy Roth
Historical Interpreter and Educator

Public Scholars Project

May 3, 2018 at 6:30 PM | West Caldwell, NJ | West Caldwell Public Library

Springsteen and his Layered Lyrics

Bruce Springsteen expects attentiveness of his listeners. How do we know this? Over the past 50 years, Springsteen has written songs and created music that have been experienced by countless fans. But many don’t know the extent to which his work has been influenced by the American folk tradition. Through experimental reinterpretation and the creation of new traditions, The Boss has worked within known folk traditions, but at the same time, created new sounds and messages. In this session, participants can learn about some of the works that have influenced one of Jersey’s most celebrated musical artists.

Prudence Jones, Ph.D.
Professor at Montclair University

Public Scholars Project

May 4, 2018 at 7:00 PM | Roebling, NJ | Cranbury Public Library

Living and Laughing by The Chopsticks-Fork Principle

From a place of delight and good humor, the Chopsticks-Fork Principle encourages people to realize and understand (and laugh about) how we are all at least bi-cultural in a way that shatters stereotypes yet explains the generalizations. The talk is an invitation to first wonder “Can the Tooth Fairy survive the Melting Pot?” “Can you fail or succeed simultaneously in two cultures?” and “What happens when you have a sub-conscious but your (grand)mother doesn’t?” and then to explore how the discussion help listeners re-think their own cultural heritages.

Cathy Bao Bean
Chair, Society for Values in Higher Education

Public Scholars Project

May 6, 2018 at 2:00 PM | Bridgewater, NJ | Heritage Trail Association (Van Horne House)

New Jersey, Pre & Post Revolution

Have you ever thought about how New Jersey was created? Perhaps you’ve wondered about how East and West Jersey came to be? Or you’ve considered how life changed for landowners as the American Revolution intensified? The way the state developed before, during, and after the revolution, including some of its distinctive features that still remain today, is fascinating. In this session, significant topics like New Jersey’s role in politics, transportation, trade, and agricultural on the eve of revolution will be explored.

Jonathan Mercantini, Ph.D.
Acting Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Associate Professor of History at Kean University

Public Scholars Project

May 6, 2018 at 2:00 PM | Perth Amboy, NJ | Kearny Cottage Historical Association

Jersey’s Most Famous Road, the Turnpike

Think back to your last Turnpike experience. For some, it’s an occasional ride, for others it’s part of the daily grind. Have you considered what it took to create that road? New Jersey was a pioneer in major highway innovation (the Turnpike even predates the interstate highway system). In this interactive discussion, participants will be encouraged to consider its execution, significance in travel, aesthetics, and impact and how it can be seen as an emblem of American ideas and values.

Angus Kress Gillespie, Ph.D.
Professor of American Studies and Urban Studies

Grant Deadlines

May 7, 2018 - June 1, 2018 | Trenton, NJ | New Jersey Council for the Humanities

2018 Incubation Grant (Round 2) Intent to Apply period (required)

Potential applications are required to submit an Intent to Apply though our online application system by June 1, 2018.

To learn more visit: http://njhumanities.org/grants.

Public Scholars Project

May 8, 2018 at 7:00 PM | Chester, NJ | Chester Public Library

Theodore Roosevelt: “American in the Arena”

Bringing his vigorous persona (and his boisterous family) to the White House, “TR” helped catapult the U.S. into a new century. War hero to Nobel Peace Prize winner, naturalist to imperialist, The 26th President promoted progressive reform and stronger government control of business. Believing that the security of the American People would be achieved through leadership on the World Stage, President Roosevelt expanded U.S. influence around the globe.

Peyton Dixon
First Person Interpreterceste

Public Scholars Project

May 8, 2018 at 7:30 PM | Summit, NJ | Summit Free Public Library

Islam in/and America

In your eyes, what does it mean to be Muslim? How has the media and popular culture influenced how you see Muslims and Islam? In this session, participants will examine the history and presence of Islam in the United States, and the construction and evolution of U.S. Muslim identity, community, and culture from the colonial era to the present. The incredible racial and ethnic heterogeneity of American Muslim communities; the myriad of ways that Muslim practice (or do not practice) Islam; and how "Muslim" intersects with racial/ethnic categories such as "Arab," "Asian," and "Black” will all be explored through open, guided conversation.

Sylvia Chan-Malik, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in the Departments of American and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University

Public Scholars Project

May 9, 2018 at 6:30 PM | Woodbury, NJ | Gloucester County Historical Society

Stuff about Stuff

You can tell a lot about people from their stuff. You can tell a lot about a society too. The things we own, make, and desire give physical expression to our beliefs and values – even in ways we might not be conscious of. Focusing on the home, this program will take us on a tour through American history to demonstrate how cultural values are present in household furnishings. Then, we will apply this practice to ourselves to discover what our possessions reveal about us.

Briann G. Greenfield, Ph.D.
Executive Director of New Jersey Council for the Humanities

Public Scholars Project

May 10, 2018 at 7:00 PM | Pompton Plains, NJ | Pequannock Township Public Library

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: Preservation and Grace, and American Legacy

She was a Kennedy. She was an Onassis. She did not define herself by her husbands. Realizing that future generations would need the insights of the past for guidance, her preservation efforts galvanized the rest of the country to protect its historic monuments. Aided by her public profile, her work helped bring about the Historic Preservation Act of 1966: the most far-reaching preservation legislation ever enacted in the United States.

Jill Lawrence
First Person Interpreter

Public Scholars Project

May 10, 2018 at 7:00 PM | Jersey City, NJ | Apple Tree House

UrbEx 101: Investigating Abandoned New Jersey

When many think of adventure and exploration, exotic locations and ancient civilizations may come to mind. However, urban exploration, or “UrbEx,” can happen in our backyards. There’s a lot that can be learned from uninhibited and abandoned landscape. In this session, through case studies from the tristate area, participants will examine abandoned properties and the narratives that accompany them. The value of learning about these abandoned spaces in our backyards as well as the safety and ethical aspects of UrbEx will be discussed.

Luke Boyd
Public Historian

Public Scholars Project

May 10, 2018 at 2:00 PM | Lawrenceville, NJ | Mercer County Library, Lawrence Headquarters Branch

Over Here, Molly Pitcher

This interpretive storytelling program relates the legend of “Molly Pitcher” (Mary Hays McCauley), the heroine of the 1778 Battle of Monmouth Courthouse – and explores the daily lives of the “women of the army” who followed their husbands to war during the American Revolution. Molly reminisces about when she accompanied her husband through summer battles and winter encampments from Valley Forge to Monmouth to Morristown. Relating her tales of firing a cannon in the heat of battle to trudging “behind the baggage,” she provides a glimpse into what it was like to be a “camp follower” in the days when American independence was a dream rather a certainty.

Stacy Roth
Historical Interpreter and Educator

Public Scholars Project

May 11, 2018 at 6:30 PM | Port Norris, NJ | Bayshore Center at Bivalve

How New Jersey Photographers Captured Life Through Portraiture

In the 19th century, the world was introduced to the daguerreotype, ambrotype, the tintype, and other photography advancements. Photography exploded and transformed Americans’daily lives. Portraits became commonplace and many New Jersey photographers added to the collective production of images that tell the story of men and women in the 1800s. In this PSP session, images will showcase the photography of the time and enhance the discussion of the impact of photography.

Gary D. Saretzky
Archivist, educator, and photographer

Public Scholars Project

May 12, 2018 at 3:00 PM | Livingston, NJ | Livingston Public Library

The Missing Stories

In 1883, Anandibai Joshee, a young woman from a small city in western India arrived in Roselle, New Jersey. She had traveled thousands of miles, overcoming incredible physical and emotional hardships. She arrived with a purpose and eventually became the first South Asian woman in the world with a degree in western medicine. South Asians have been a presence in the US for more than 130 years, but their stories are mostly unknown. In this session, participants will engage in an interactive discussion about underepresented populations, specifically examining South Asians, and how sharing community stories can help create a more inclusive future.

Samip Mallick
Co-Founder and Executive Director of SAADA

Public Scholars Project

May 14, 2018 at 11:00 AM | Scotch Plains, NJ | Jewish Community Center of Central NJ

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: "An Arsenal for Democracy"

The date is December 29, 1940. Franklin Delano Roosevelt has just been re-elected to an unprecedented third term in office. But the world is in a crisis. Nazi Germany has blazed the path of destruction across Europe, and America may soon be drawn into war. Meet with the President just prior to his delivery of the famous “Arsenal for Democracy” speech.


Neill Hartley
First Person Interpreter

Public Scholars Project

May 15, 2018 at 7:00 PM | Ewing, NJ | Mercer County Library, Ewing Branch

The Legend of the Jersey Devil

In 1735, Mother Leeds was about to deliver her thirteenth child. Feeling tired and weary of the burden, she cursed the unborn child. According to the folklore, she gave birth to the devil’s child at their home in the Pine Barrens. Today, the tale of Jersey Devil is often discussed as just that – a tale. However, during the time of the fabled Jersey Devil’s reign of terror, South Jersey residents were truly frightened. How the accounts were reported on and the folklore that developed will be discussed during this session.

Angus Kress Gillespie, Ph.D.
Professor of American Studies and Urban Studies

Public Scholars Project

May 15, 2018 at 7:00 PM | Warren, NJ | Somerset County Library, Warren Branch

Write Your Memoir Five Minutes at a Time

Unlike autobiography, memoir is based on the idea that everyone has a story to tell, a story that matters. Writing memoir asks that one awaken and be guided by empathy towards oneself and others. In this way, memoir prompts a journey of self-discovery that enables writers to gain insights into their past. Through lessons in the craft of memoir, the exploration of editorial revisions, and invaluable writing suggestions, participants learn how to develop a writing practice and continue their writing life beyond the session.

Edvige Giunta, Ph.D.
Professor of English at New Jersey City University

Public Scholars Project

May 15, 2018 at 12:00 PM | Spotswood, NJ | Spotswood Office on Aging and Senior Resource Center

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: "An Arsenal for Democracy"

The date is December 29, 1940. Franklin Delano Roosevelt has just been re-elected to an unprecedented third term in office. But the world is in a crisis. Nazi Germany has blazed the path of destruction across Europe, and America may soon be drawn into war. Meet with the President just prior to his delivery of the famous “Arsenal for Democracy” speech.

Neill Hartley
First Person Interpreter

Public Scholars Project

May 15, 2018 at 2:00 PM | Allentown, NJ | Allentown First Aid Squad Building

The World Changed, so Did the Music

Did Prohibition change the music of the 1920s? And did the Cold War impact the music of the 1950s? Yes, music - concert and popular - music was influenced by the technological and political changes. From the late 1800s to today, the times have shaped what and how American hear and experience opera, concert works, musicals, jazz, country and folk music, and rock and roll. In this session, participants can tune into a discussion about the sounds, aesthetics, and auras of each decade in the modern era.

Robert W. Butts, Ph.D.
Conductor & Educator

Grant Deadlines

May 15, 2018 at 10:00 AM | Haddonfield, NJ | Saxbys Coffee Haddonfield

NJCH Open Office Hours

Have you been thinking about a humanities project for your organization or have questions about how to find the right scholar to help explore a humanities concept? Perhaps you’d like to know more about the grant application process or other NJCH programming. "Open Office Hours" may be a great option for you.

Can’t make it to the "Open Office Hours," but still want to connect with Gigi? You can always reach out via phone or email - 609.695.4838 or gnaglak@njhumanities.org.

Community Events

May 17, 2018 at 11:30 AM | Newark, NJ | Newark Public Library

Telling Untold Histories Unconference: Sanctuary Spaces. Where’s Yours?

Every place, every person, and every object has a history, but not all histories are told.

Telling Untold Histories – New Jersey’s annual unconference that looks for human stories yet to be told – explores these histories and asks why some stories remain untold. Our theme for this year is sanctuary spaces. How can our institutions be sanctuary spaces for diverse communities?

Public Scholars Project

May 18, 2018 at 8:00 PM | Highland Park, NJ | Reformed Church of Highland Park

Jerusalem: Holy – and Wholly Complex - City

Why can Jerusalem be thought of as a city of both joy and sorrow? And what does it mean to be at the intersection of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world, influenced heavily by the convergence of differing religious views, is a truly unique city that allows a look at the past and the present simultaneously. In this session, participants will explore the rich and complex history and how thousands of years have shaped how we see, understand, and experience Jerusalem today.

Christopher M. Bellitto, Ph.D.
Professor of History at Kean University

Public Scholars Project

May 19, 2018 at 1:00 PM | Belvidere, NJ | Warren County Library Headquarters

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: Preservation and Grace, and American Legacy

She was a Kennedy. She was an Onassis. She did not define herself by her husbands. Realizing that future generations would need the insights of the past for guidance, her preservation efforts galvanized the rest of the country to protect its historic monuments. Aided by her public profile, her work helped bring about the Historic Preservation Act of 1966: the most far-reaching preservation legislation ever enacted in the United States.

Jill Lawrence
First Person Interpreter

Public Scholars Project

May 19, 2018 at 3:00 PM | Cape May Court House, NJ | The Museum of Cape May County

Someone Must Wash the Dishes: An Anti-Suffrage Satire

For decades, countless American women fought for the right to vote. But many others—like the costumed fictional Anti-Suffragist portrayed in this program—fought against it. Written by pro-Suffragist Marie Jenney Howe in 1912, this witty, insightful satire sheds light on some of the apparently absurd arguments offered by those opposed to the Suffragist movement. Anti arguments like “If given the ballot, would she destroy civilization by voting with—or by voting against !—her own husband ?” will be explored, while insight about the sociological, historical, and political context informs the arguments against Suffrage.

Michèle LaRue
First Person Interpreter

Public Scholars Project

May 19, 2018 at 1:00 PM | Carneys Point, NJ | Salem Community College

Revolutionary Tea: An 18th Century Tea Experience

Why was tea so important in the lives of 18th-century people that fashion-conscious families posed for portraits with their tea sets? Did Great Britain lose her American Colonies over “the cup that cheers?” Through a discussion and demonstration lead by a costumed scholar, participants can find out more about tea lore, history, songs, and poetry in this unique session.

Stacy Roth
Historical Interpreter and Educator

Grantee Events

May 19, 2018 at 1:00 PM | Bloomfield, NJ | Bloomfield Public Library

Hiding in Daylight, a new play by Gregory G. Allen

Set in a dystopian future, HIDING IN DAYLIGHT is a story about two couples who come together to remember life before the gay purge and must decide if they can continue the risk of a weekly dinner together.

Public Scholars Project

May 21, 2018 at 12:30 PM | Piscataway, NJ | Piscataway Township Senior Center

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: Preservation and Grace, and American Legacy

She was a Kennedy. She was an Onassis. She did not define herself by her husbands. Realizing that future generations would need the insights of the past for guidance, her preservation efforts galvanized the rest of the country to protect its historic monuments. Aided by her public profile, her work helped bring about the Historic Preservation Act of 1966: the most far-reaching preservation legislation ever enacted in the United States.

Jill Lawrence
First Person Interpreter

Public Scholars Project

May 22, 2018 at 7:30 PM | Scotch Plains, NJ | Shady Rest at Scotch Hills Country Club

New Jersey, Pre & Post Revolution

Have you ever thought about how New Jersey was created? Perhaps you’ve wondered about how East and West Jersey came to be? Or you’ve considered how life changed for landowners as the American Revolution intensified? The way the state developed before, during, and after the revolution, including some of its distinctive features that still remain today, is fascinating. In this session, significant topics like New Jersey’s role in politics, transportation, trade, and agricultural on the eve of revolution will be explored.

Jonathan Mercantini, Ph.D.
Acting Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Associate Professor of History at Kean University

Public Scholars Project

May 23, 2018 at 2:30 PM | Westfield, NJ | Westfield Senior Citizen Housing One

The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln

Discover the personal side of Abraham Lincoln. The program covers the great man’s formative years, his courtship and marriage, the beginnings and development of his abolitionist view point, and his first – though not very successful – trip to Congress. Discussion points also include the causes of the Civil War, major events and turning points within the war, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Gettysburg Address.

Bob Gleason
First Person Interpreter

Public Scholars Project

May 23, 2018 at 7:00 PM | Somerset, NJ | Franklin Township Public Library

From Shtetl to Ghetto: Jewish Women on the Lower East Side

How did life in the shtetls of Eastern Europe prepare Jewish women for life in the New World? Even though they were two very different worlds, there were some significant similarities. In the shtetls Jewish women worked to support their families, spoke the native language as well as Yiddish, were familiar with the marketplace and interacted with gentiles. This discussion explores how, in America, these women profited from more opportunities but suffered in their personal lives.

Leslie Fishbein, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of American Studies at Rutgers University

Public Scholars Project

May 23, 2018 at 1:00 PM | Township Of Washington, NJ | Township of Washington Municipal Building

Remember Your First Baseball Game?

Baseball is a national pastime. It holds a special place in the hearts of many Americans. Why? An interactive look at the history - did you know that the first baseball diamond was in Hoboken? – and an exploration of why many associate so many memories and emotions with the game will spark conversation and camraderie. Bring the peanuts and the crackerjacks and learn more about why many think so fondly back to that first game.

Stanton Green, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology at Monmouth University

Public Scholars Project

May 24, 2018 at 7:00 PM | Piscataway, NJ | Piscataway Public Library

The Missing Stories

In 1883, Anandibai Joshee, a young woman from a small city in western India arrived in Roselle, New Jersey. She had traveled thousands of miles, overcoming incredible physical and emotional hardships. She arrived with a purpose and eventually became the first South Asian woman in the world with a degree in western medicine. South Asians have been a presence in the US for more than 130 years, but their stories are mostly unknown. In this session, participants will engage in an interactive discussion about underepresented populations, specifically examining South Asians, and how sharing community stories can help create a more inclusive future.

Samip Mallick
Co-Founder and Executive Director of SAADA

Grantee Events

May 24, 2018 at 7:00 PM | Teaneck, NJ | Teaneck Public Library

Garden to Nurture Human Understanding: Planning Phase

You're invited to join us for a joint design presentation featuring the architects of The Garden to Nurture Human Understanding: Anthony Lovino, Rodney Leon, and Alan M. Hantman. Introductory remarks by Senator Loretta Weinberg and Teaneck Mayor Mohammed Hameedudin.

The Garden to Nurture Human Understanding is a unique cooperative project between The Enslaved African Memorial Committee, the Northern New Jersey Holocaust Memorial & Education Center, and the Teaneck Library. The Garden will feature a memorial to enslaved Africans commemorating the
sacrifices and history of slavery in this region, along with a memorial & education center to teach about the history and lessons of the holocaust. These outdoor exhibits will be complemented by designated spaces within the Teaneck Library. The purpose of the Garden is to memorialize the past and teach the lessons of tolerance and mutual respect for a better society.

Public Scholars Project

May 26, 2018 at 11:00 AM | Medford, NJ | Medford Leas Theater

Springsteen and his Layered Lyrics

Bruce Springsteen expects attentiveness of his listeners. How do we know this? Over the past 50 years, Springsteen has written songs and created music that have been experienced by countless fans. But many don’t know the extent to which his work has been influenced by the American folk tradition. Through experimental reinterpretation and the creation of new traditions, The Boss has worked within known folk traditions, but at the same time, created new sounds and messages. In this session, participants can learn about some of the works that have influenced one of Jersey’s most celebrated musical artists.

Prudence Jones, Ph.D.
Professor at Montclair University

Public Scholars Project

May 30, 2018 at 7:00 PM | Lavallette, NJ | Ocean County Library, Upper Shores Branch

Annie Oakley: "Aim for a High Mark"

Annie Oakley, a diminutive sharpshooter and exhibition shooter, competed in a sport and in a world dominated by men. She felt strongly that women were just as capable as men and insisted that they should strive to achieve any goal or occupation that interested them. Her motto was to “Aim for a high mark…for practice will make you perfect.” and her hope was that all women would reach the “Bulls-eye of Success.”

Kim Hanley
First Person Interpreter

Community Events

May 30, 2018 - June 1, 2018 | , |

New Jersey Library Association Conference

Each and every year, NJLA and NJASL invites all types of librarians and library workers, supporters and vendors to participate in engaging discussion, thoughtful workshops and presentations, networking and professional development during this three-day conference. On this website, you'll find details for Conference attendees, tips for program organizers and speakers, and information for vendors, nonprofit organizations and potential sponsors.