Spark header.png

A monthly serving of illuminating programs for all Granite Staters

Join us for our March Humanities@Home program!

What Your "Moder" Gave You: Fears and Fantasies of Maternal Heredity in Medieval England

Friday, March 24 at 5:00 pm (VIRTUAL)

In a strongly patriarchal society like medieval England, reproduction was meant to reinforce likeness between father and son. While medieval men might have wished to pretend otherwise, mothers, too, had tremendous impact on their children. Join us as Dr. Samantha Seal explores medieval fears about the feminine influence on children, using examples from medieval romance and the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer, in which mothers subvert fathers’ biological connection with “their” sons, bestowing their own maternal traits — magic and monstrosity, holiness and hereditary power — and challenging which sex was more powerful.

About the presenter: Dr. Samantha Seal is an Associate Professor of English and the Pamela Shulman Professor of European and Holocaust Studies at the University of New Hampshire. She specializes in the study of gender and race in medieval English literature, especially in the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer. She held an ACLS faculty fellowship in 2019-2020, currently serves on editorial board of Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, and is a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University. 

If you don't see the Register button, use the following link to register:

Attend a Perspectives book group!

Perspectives book discussions take place across the state and we invite you to attend one in your community or join us online! See below for upcoming discussions you're invited to join, and RSVP to the host organization to reserve your spot and your free Perspectives book prior to the discussion. 

March 14, 7:00 pm, Bartlett Public Library (VIRTUAL)

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

by Patrick Radden Keefe DETAILS  


March 15, 6:30 pm, Plainfield Libraries

The Humans by Matt Haig DETAILS


March 30, 6:30 pm, Nashua Community College

The Women With Silver Wings by Katherine Sharp Landdeck DETAILS


April 1, 11:00 am, Philbrick-James Library, Deerfield

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer DETAILS


April 4, 1:00 pm, Hampstead Public Library

Black Elk Speaks by Nicholas Black Elk DETAILS


April 4, 6:30 pm, Jaffrey Public Library (VIRTUAL)

The Women Are Up to Something by Benjamin J.B. Lipscomb DETAILS  


April 7, 11:00 am, Frost Free Library, Marlborough

The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi by Elif Shafak DETAILS  

For more information about the books and scholar facilitators, visit or email us at

Upcoming Grant-Funded Program

Temple Beth Abraham:

City of Nashua Yom HaShoah Observance 

Tuesday, April 18, 7:00 pm

Dion Center/Rivier University, 16 Clement St., Nashua

Temple Beth Abraham, in partnership with Rivier University, will host its annual citywide, interfaith observance of Yom HaShoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, when they invite the public to hear New York Times bestselling author Judy Batalion discuss her book, The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos. Details

Recently Funded Grant Projects

MAJOR GRANTS (up to $10K)


Black Heritage Trail of NH (BHTNH) - Bringing It Back:

Conversations We Still Need 

In 2023, Portsmouth will celebrate 400 years as an incorporated town by honoring the city’s diverse and dynamic social, political, intellectual, cultural, economic, and spiritual history, from the time of early Native American settlements to the present. Commemorating this milestone, BHTNH will present a retrospective on popular conversations in the Elinor Williams Hooker Tea Talk series to explore where previous talks have gone and the conversations still needed about our shared history and future. Learn more HERE.

Canterbury Shaker Village - Recalling Childhood at Canterbury Shaker Village  

Canterbury Shaker Village will create a short film based on the recollections of the last child to be raised in and by a Shaker community, Alberta MacMillan Kirkpatrick (1918-2016). Kirkpatrick’s story tells of the Shaker community’s decline but also intersects with Shaker religious and social practice, the longer history of child welfare in New Hampshire and the nation, and the immediate political and economic moment of the Great Depression, when the rights of children gained more currency. 

Plymouth State University - National History Day 

National History Day in New Hampshire offers a program for students in grades 6-12 with a competition that involves student research on a thematic topic. This grant supports the program in New Hampshire, allowing more students to participate. 

MINI GRANTS (up to $2K) 

Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum - Nebizun: Water is Life 

Indigenous/Abenaki viewpoints on the use and caretaking of water inform this exhibit which uses artwork, informational panels, and activities to teach about the importance of clean water to all our communities. Inspired by a group of Wabanaki grandmothers who undertook an 857-kilometer spiritual journey, walking from the Sipekne’katik River in Nova Scotia to the Penobscot River at Nebezin, in Passadumkeag, Maine, this exhibit aims to inspire everyone to be a “water protector” and to see water as much more than a natural resource.  

Sunapee Heritage Alliance - Building Community through Oral History 

The Livery in Sunapee Harbor will host a workshop in April led by Jo Radner on oral history and storytelling. Representatives from libraries, historical societies, and schools, as well as families eager to preserve personal histories, will learn interviewing techniques, including how to be an active listener and how to apply these skills so commitment to oral history can be sustained successfully. 

These grants have been awarded and planning for the associated events is underway. Please watch upcoming e-news for dates and details. In the meantime, if you'd like to apply for a grant for a humanities project in your community, please visit to learn more!

Upcoming Grant Deadlines & a Workshop

Spring Grant Deadlines:  

Final Major Grant applications: April 15  

Summer Grant Deadlines:

Grant Workshop: May 17, 3:00 pm RSVP

Major Grant draft proposal budget: June 15 

Major Grant final application: July 15

Mini Community Project Grants applications (up to $2K) are accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more here.

We count on YOU.


As we continue to bring programs like these to thousands of Granite Staters and our many cultural institutions, your support is more critical than ever before. Please click the Give button to make a secure online donation.

Thank you – every gift matters!

BOARD PICK OF THE MONTH: Recommended by Marcia Kelly

The Personal Librarian, by Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray

This novel tells the true story of Belle da Costa Greene who, in her twenties, is hired by J.P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his new library. She is a black woman who must hide her true identity and pass as white in order to keep the job she loves. Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society and a powerful figure in her own right in the international art and book world. She was smart, assertive, bold, and even cunning in her competitive instincts to build the collection. A risk-taker and female pioneer in her field, she was also the daughter of Richard Greener, the first black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. How she stays connected to her family but lives as white is heartbreaking.

This compelling and well-told story is so seamlessly presented that you would never guess that it was co-written by two authors. They had me worried about Belle and her family every time I put the book down. And the story of the two authors, one black and one white, is equally inspiring – a timely read for our troubled times about an inspirational and remarkable historical figure.

Look for this title at your library or your local independent bookstore!

Partner News

New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival 

March 16-26 | In-theater and virtual screenings 

The Jewish Federation of New Hampshire (JFNH) invites the public to the 15th annual NH Jewish Film Festival. From March 16 to March 26 viewers can attend six in-theater screenings, as well as virtually stream five at-home film programs that will excite, enlighten, and provoke you. Conversations and interviews with filmmakers, documentary subjects, and local speakers will accompany some of the programs and will be available throughout the Festival. Following the Festival from March 27 - April 16, four of the in-theater films will be available to stream online for those who were unable to attend in person. JFNH is also partnering with PJ Library to offer a special free film event for children 8 years and younger on Sunday, March 19. Join your New Hampshire Jewish community at the movies and share the power of film. See the full schedule and buy your tickets HERE

Sidore Lecture Series

UNH Center for the Humanities

Ethics of Encounter: Research, Communities, and Repair

March 30 through April 1

The UNH Center for the Humanities is excited to announce that Sidore has this year joined forces with the history department’s Dunfey Fund to bring you a symposium: The Ethics of Encounter: Research, Communities, and Repair. This public event will explore ethical, collaborative, and reparative aspects of social scientists’ research and teaching, and the curated and community spaces they inhabit. The public is invited to attend one of two sessions at the Browne Center and on campus. Please pre-register for the sessions, as food and shuttle services from campus will be provided for registered guests: Register for Friday, March 31 OR register for Saturday, April 1.

Thank you to our annual partners who

provide critical year-round support for our work:

Lead Humanities Partner:

Bronze Partner:

Media Partners:

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Youtube  
New Hampshire Humanities (NHH) programs are made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this these programs do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or NHH.