Sunday, February 10, 2008

EVENT: Stranger Stop & Cast an Eye

WHEN: Saturday, February 23rd, 10:00am till 11:15am
WHERE: One Longfellow Square (Congress & State Streets at the Longfellow statue), Portland, Maine
WHAT: The 2nd installment of Spirits Alive's three-part Winter Lecture Series. The public is welcomed and the lecture is free.

Dr. David Watters, Professor of English and American Studies at the University of New Hampshire, will present an illustrated lecture entitled "Stranger, Stop and Cast an Eye: A Cultural History of New England."

Dr. Watters will explain how New England's burying grounds tell the stories of four centuries of religious beliefs, family patterns, and social change. Starting with the earliest English markers from the 1660s, we can see in gravestone imagery and hear in epitaphs the hopes and fears of individuals and societies facing the facts of death and life. In tracing changes in gravestone imagery and in cemetery design from Colonial time to today, we see the larger cultural history of New England, as the cemetery reveals stories of immigration, war, social class, all leavened with the wit and wisdom associated with the New England epitaphs.

Watters received his doctorate in American Civilization from Brown University and is a specialist in the study of early American Culture. He was co-editor of The Encyclopedia of New England Culture, and among other publications is his book, Puritan Gravestone Art.

Spirits Alive is the group that has been doing a great job at restoring and revitalizing Portland's Eastern Cemetery. Please see further details of their lecture series online.

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