Events for April 2019

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Public Scholars Project

April 2, 2019 at 6:30 PM | Stanhope, NJ | Roxbury Public Library

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

April 2, 2019 at 7:00 PM | Basking Ridge, NJ | Bernards Township Library

Clara Barton: Angel of the Battlefield

Clara Barton was born on December 25, 1821, in Massachusetts. In 1852 she founded one of the first free public schools in New Jersey. During the American Civil War, she headed for the front lines, taking supplies to wounded soldiers and earning the title “Angel of the Battlefield.” She established the first chapter of the American Red Cross. Clara’s example of indomitable strength, dogged determination and boundless good will is a model for all Americans.

Pat Jordan
First Person Interpreter

Public Scholars Project

April 2, 2019 at 7:00 PM | Chester, NJ | Chester 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

April 2, 2019 at 1:30 PM | Edison, NJ | Jewish Community Center of Middlesex County

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

April 3, 2019 at 7:30 PM | Lavallette, NJ | Ocean County Library, Upper Shores Branch

Martin Luther King Jr.: "A Man of Conscience"

Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the world’s greatest orators, as well as a pastor, activist, and humanitarian. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work combating racial inequality through the use of nonviolent civil disobedience. His most famous speech, (“I Have a Dream”) was first delivered at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

Keith Henley
First Person Interpreter

Public Scholars Project

April 4, 2019 at 7:00 PM | Waldwick, NJ | Waldwick Public Library

Rosa Parks: First Lady of Civil Rights

On a December day in 1955, this tired seamstress and NAACP secretary refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery Alabama Bus. Rosa Parks' story will serve to remind all who hear it that we cannot always stand by and observe the status quo. We all bear the responsibility to bring about the changes that will help "We the People..." form that "...more Perfect Union" that is our Nation's promise.

Alex Ford
First Person Interpreter


Grant Deadlines

April 4, 2019 | Trenton, NJ | New Jersey Council for the Humanities

2019 Action Grant application deadline (required)

Final applications must be submitted through our online system by the 11:59 p.m. on April 4, 2019. Materials submitted late will not be considered.

To learn more visit: https://njhumanities.org/grants/action-grants/

Public Scholars Project

April 5, 2019 at 10:30 AM | Short Hills, NJ | Quail Brook Senior Center

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

April 5, 2019 at 7:00 PM | Moorestown, NJ | First Presbyterian Church, Moorestown, NJ

The Tribal Realities of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape

Refusing to leave their ancestral homeland, Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape family clans remained in South Jersey when other Native American tribes were forced west. Fast forward to today, the history of the tribe continues to unfold. During the 1970s, self-governance shifted from tribal churches to a constitutional form of government. In this session, the last forty years will be considered, while paying attention to the cultural traditions that are being reclaimed in the present. Also, the tribe’s relationship with Christianity and their political status with the state and federal governments will be explored.

Jeremy Newman
Associate Professor of Communications at Stockton University

Public Scholars Project

April 5, 2019 at 8:00 PM | Highland Park, NJ | Reformed Church of Highland Park

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

April 6, 2019 at 2:00 PM | Stratford, NJ | Stratford Public Library

Walt Whitman: "The Good Grey Poet"

Whitman sought to create “a new gospel of beauty”: a uniquely American voice. He escaped the Classic Structures demanded of verse, and gave us the free form voice that has become standard today. Whitman, a volunteer in military hospitals during the civil war, mourned the assassination of President Lincoln with the well-known “Oh Captain! My Captain!” His last days were spent in Camden, NJ and in his refuge in nature at the Stafford Farm and Timber Creek.

David Scott Taylor
First Person Interpreter

Public Scholars Project

April 7, 2019 at 1:00 PM | Mountainside, NJ | Deacon Andrew Hetfield House

Maizie Brews a Tea Business

What if it was 1925 and you wanted to open a Tea Room? What if you were a…woman that wanted to open a business? In this dramatic presentation, Maizie Stanton will explain how her husband reacted and what she needed to do to prepare for this undertaking. During this PSP session, the challenges faced by women who were stepping out of their homes and into the business world will be explored. Participants will engage in a lively discussion about the Tea Room craze and the evolution of women as entrepreneurs.

Maureen O'Connor Leach
First Person Interpreter

Public Scholars Project

April 8, 2019 at 1:00 PM | East Brunswick, NJ | East Brunswick Public Library

Purity Crusades vs. Prostitution

Ending prositution at the turn of the twentieth century was a priority in many American cities. Gender, race, ethnicity, and class all played into addressing this particular vice as purity crusades grew in force. Women in the work force, cheap amusements, slumming, the emergence of the flapper, and greater openess about sex all influenced how the public viewed sex and stigmatized sexual behavior. In this session, participants will explore attemps at sex regulation in the twentieth century and draw comparisions to todays views on sex and prostitution.

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

Public Scholars Project

April 9, 2019 at 7:30 PM | Summit, NJ | Summit Free 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

April 9, 2019 at 7:00 PM | Livingston, NJ | Livingston Public Library

How We See Ourselves in What We Read

Do children, maybe your children or your students, see themselves in the books they’re reading? What do you see in those books? What they’re reading may be representative, but then again, it may not be. It’s important to identify the harmful representations overall and ensure exposure to diversity for growth and development. Reading plays such a huge role in developing critical thinking skills and empathy. In this session, a guided discussion will explore aspects of social justice and representation through a look at a variety of carefully chosen texts.

Laura Nicosia, Ph.D.
Associate Professor at Montclair State University

Public Scholars Project

April 10, 2019 at 7:00 PM | Cherry Hill, NJ | Springdale Farms Conservatory

Writing About Other People's Memories

Consider how the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of Holocaust survivors have a living connection to the memories that were passed on to them. Survivors’ memories become their memories, and to some degree, they bind them to the past. In fact, many of us are caught between our elders’ history and the lives we are living. The legacy that binds us to the past also inspires us to pass these memories on. Building a foundation of understanding through the narratives of others, like those of descendants of survivors, this session will explore why and how we share generational stories.

Ellen G. Friedman, Ph.D.
Professor of English at The College of New Jersey

Public Scholars Project

April 10, 2019 at 6:00 PM | Elizabeth, NJ | Elizabeth Public Library

Immigrant State: Jersey’s Influential Gate

New Jersey has a big story about immigration, packed into a small state. Many may not immediately think of New Jersey, but it is a gateway state that holds an important part of America’s immigration history. Immigrant histories in Jersey have been and continue to be distinct by region and in comparison to the rest of the country. Considering and learning more about what this means can lead to more informed communities. Through the examination of film clips, texts, and media coverage, participants will have a candid discussion about issues that are being examined and debated, nationally and in local communities, by many today.

Carlos Ulises Decena, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair of Latino and Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University

Public Scholars Project

April 11, 2019 at 6:30 PM | Hillside, NJ | Hillside Public Library

The Life and Writing of James Baldwin

The influence of writer and social critic James Baldwin reached far and wide. In this unique exploration of Baldwin’s groundbreaking literary and social justice work, actor/comic Grant Cooper and scholar Dr. Lindsey Swindall engage participants in an interactive dialogue that unravels the truths of racism in this country and examines other themes in Baldwin’s writings. Mr. Cooper’s dramatic interpretations of Baldwin’s writing are complemented by historical context from Dr. Swindall, leading to thought provoking questions that spark audience participation.

Lindsey Swindall, Ph.D. & Grant Cooper
Educator at Stevens Institute of Technology & Comedian

Grantee Events

April 13, 2019 at 3:00 PM | Princeton, NJ | McCarter Theatre Center

The Migration Plays

An afternoon of short plays that explore the nature of migration, how it is represented, and the ways it shapes the world. Celebrated playwrights Adam Gwon, Martyna Majok, Heather Raffo, Mfoniso Udofia, and Karen Zacarias worked with scholars from the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) to bring this scholarship to life. The performance will take place in the Matthews Theatre.

Public Scholars Project

April 13, 2019 at 2:00 PM | Willingboro, NJ | Willingboro Public Library

Black Comedy: No Tears, Just Politics

What pairs well with civil rights activism in the African American community? In this PSP session, it’s comedy. Drawing upon the comedic talent of Grant Cooper, who has been a stand-up comic in NYC for over twenty years, and the historical insight of African American Studies scholar Dr. Lindsey Swindall, Black Comedy brings unique insight about politics and the arts to audiences, including an examination of the historical AND contemporary significance of the intersection between civil rights activism and comedy. Participants will explore how comedy can be effective in breaking down barriers and sparking fruitful discussion.

Lindsey Swindall, Ph.D. & Grant Cooper
Educator at Stevens Institute of Technology & Comedian

Public Scholars Project

April 14, 2019 at 12:00 PM | National Park, NJ | Red Bank Battlefield

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

April 15, 2019 at 7:00 PM | Old Tappan, NJ | Old Tappan 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

April 16, 2019 at 2:30 PM | Morristown, NJ | Bickford Theatre

LOL, a Philosophical Look at Comedy

Chuckle. Chortle. Snicker. Cackle. Guffaw. Laughter. We usually recognize comedy by the laughter which accompanies it, but is that all there is to it? What is the true nature of comedy? Since the formal introduction by the ancient Greeks, comedy has been and continues to be more than just laughs. It can be explored from a philosophical perspective and shed light on this aspect of the human condition. In this session, participants will take this jovial phenomenon seriously, one laugh at a time.

Brandyn Heppard
Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Raritan Valley Community College

Public Scholars Project

April 17, 2019 at 7:00 PM | Lakehurst, NJ | Lakehurst Community Center

The Shannachie of Glendunbun Ballybeg: Traditional Celtic Tales

The wit and wisdom, humor and horror, and hubris and humanity of a people are found in their traditional stories. Compelling storyteller David Emerson retells (and embroiders) the colorful and ancient tales of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall in a presentation that will “warm, tickle, or chill the heart.”

David Emerson
Historical Interpreter and Storyteller

Public Scholars Project

April 23, 2019 at 12:00 PM | Flemington, NJ | Flemington Presbyterian Church

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

April 24, 2019 at 7:00 PM | South River, NJ | South River Museum

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

April 25, 2019 at 7:00 PM | Union, NJ | Union Free Public Library

Immigrant State: Jersey’s Influential Gate

New Jersey has a big story about immigration, packed into a small state. Many may not immediately think of New Jersey, but it is a gateway state that holds an important part of America’s immigration history. Immigrant histories in Jersey have been and continue to be distinct by region and in comparison to the rest of the country. Considering and learning more about what this means can lead to more informed communities. Through the examination of film clips, texts, and media coverage, participants will have a candid discussion about issues that are being examined and debated, nationally and in local communities, by many today.

Carlos Ulises Decena, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair of Latino and Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University

Public Scholars Project

April 26, 2019 at 1:00 PM | Rivervale, NJ | River Vale Free Public Library

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

April 26, 2019 at 6:30 PM | Cranbury, NJ | Cranbury Public Library

Go, van Gogh!

At one point, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother that since he had no children, he viewed his paintings as his progeny. A painter and pastor, van Gogh produced more than 2,000 “brilliant children.” In this session, dozens of his works of art, with a focus on pieces at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will be explored. An overview of his life experiences and how it influenced his art will lead to a lively discussion, which will include talking about the differences between experiencing original artwork and reproductions.

Michael Norris, Ph.D.
Art Historian

Public Scholars Project

April 27, 2019 at 1:30 PM | Kingston, NJ | Rockingham Historic Site Association

George Washington Remembers New Jersey

Washington was no stranger to New Jersey. From Trenton to Princeton to Morristown to Monmouth to Middlebrook, (and more), the General spent more time here than in any other state. Join General Washington as he reminisces about his brightest and darkest moments during the battles and encampments of the “Cockpit of the Revolution.” In this session, participants will learn more about New Jersey's role in the American Revolution from the perspective of George Washington.

David Emerson
Historical Interpreter and Storyteller

Public Scholars Project

April 27, 2019 at 2:00 PM | South Plainfield, NJ | South Plainfield Free Public Library

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

April 28, 2019 at 2:00 PM | Englishtown, NJ | Village Inn in Englishtown

Clara Barton: Angel of the Battlefield

Clara Barton was born on December 25, 1821, in Massachusetts. In 1852 she founded one of the first free public schools in New Jersey. During the American Civil War, she headed for the front lines, taking supplies to wounded soldiers and earning the title “Angel of the Battlefield.” She established the first chapter of the American Red Cross. Clara’s example of indomitable strength, dogged determination and boundless good will is a model for all Americans.

Pat Jordan
First Person Interpreter