Monday, March 5, 2012

"History Bites": Amherst History Lunchtime Lectures

The lunchtime lecture series of the Amherst Historical Society and Museum (also posted on the calendar associated with this blog) is now underway. All talks take place in the Museum (Strong House, 67Amity Street, Amherst).

Here, the description of the program and a schedule of topics:
History Bites Lunchtime Lecture Series
The Amherst History Museum is pleased to announce History Bites, a brown bag lecture series...
Short, informative and entertaining--these lunchtime presentations will provide just the break you need. The 30-minute lectures are scheduled every other Friday through May 11. We are pleased to have the participation of distinguished teachers and/or scholars as the presenters.

The first talk in the series will introduce you to Amherst in the 1770s. Streets you walk and drive everyday were the streets used over 200 years ago. Want to learn what it was like to be an English Puritan woman held captive by Native Americans during King Philip's War (1675-76)? Or how lavish the Simeon Strong House was in the early 1800s? Or learn about the travel experiences of Prof. Hitchcock's wife? We have the just the talk for you. Perhaps you are interested in the influential Northampton abolitionists, or how during the Civil War black soldiers and white officers worked together, or what wartime medicine was like during the Civil War? All of these are topics being presented.

Join us with your lunch in hand. We will provide coffee, tea or cider for you as you listen to the presentations. The program will begin promptly at 12:15 and seating and beverages will be ready just before noon. The lectures are free and everyone is welcome to attend. For updated information, check our website at
• Feb. 17 Martha Noblick Amherst in the Era of the American Revolution: A Social History

• March 2 Robert L. Herbert A Woman of Amherst: The Travel Diaries of Orra White Hitchcock, 1847 and 1850

• March 16 Bruce Laurie Rebels in Paradise: Sketches of Northampton Abolitionists

• March 30 Neal Salisbury Mary Rowlandson and Other Captives During King Philip's War

• April 13 Paul Berman Civil War Medicine

• April 27 Robert H. Romer Black Soldiers, White Officers- Amherst College and the Town of Amherst in the Civil War

• May 11 Marianne Curling Simeon Strong's Material Life
Admittedly, the series title—"History Bites"—is less than felicitous. I wonder: Were some of the more mature fellow Board members, perhaps trying, in their way, to echo the Gen X trendiness of "Reality Bites" (though that film is already nearly two decades in the past)? If so, they may not have understood the irony of that title, in which, among other things, the second term is a verb (sometimes connoting even worse than: sucks) rather than a noun. Oops.

Sometimes, it's hip to be square. Sometimes you're just out of touch.

Sometimes that doesn't matter.

Good talks on important topics in a congenial setting: always a good thing.

As they used to say in the '70s:  Be there. Aloha!

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