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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 and freedom.

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 speakers.bureau@unh.edu.

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