The Speakers Bureau Spirit: Aun Aprendo
By Nora Molloy, Speakers Bureau
April 4, 2007
“Aún Aprendo”(I am Still Learning). That is the title
of this charcoal sketch by de Goya and it embodies the spirit of the outreach
education provided to the citizens and communities of our state by the
faculty and staff members of the Speakers Bureau. Through events such as
this, the university serves as a resource for the ongoing education of
all of our citizens and communities.
In a recent presentation at the Nashua Public Library, assistant professor
of history, Amanda Wunder created a rare and miraculous “ah-ha!” moment
of connection for her audience.
The library is participating in the “One City, One Book” program
and is encouraging the reading of “Zorro” by Isabel Allende.
As one in a series of events to support the program, Wunder was challenged
to share the historical context of Zorro’s Spain amidst the Napoleonic
Wars and the spread of the French Revolution’s concepts of democracy
She took the unique approach of illustrating the lesson by presenting
the history through a series of paintings and sketches by Spanish artist
Francisco de Goya. Consistently tying the images of the artist and descriptive
passages from the novel together, she was able to give the audience a greater
understanding of the character and the story.
This approach, combined with Wunder’s expertise in Early Modern
Europe and Spain, aligned the themes of the story with art, history, literature,
geography, language, and even current events and fashion. The presentation
provided that rare connectivity for the audience in which the interdisciplinary
themes provide for a much deeper level of understanding of the overall
thought making this much more than a simple book discussion.
The Speakers Bureau connects faculty and staff experts with engagements
around the state. Through presentations to non-profits, civic groups, schools
and government agencies, the speakers are fulfilling the university’s
mission of outreach and engagement, sharing their knowledge and impacting
lives through education.
For more information, or to become a Speaker Bureau speaker, visit www.unh.edu/speakersbureau or email firstname.lastname@example.org.