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South Coast Senior College

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with Steve Thornley

Calendar Dec 12, 2022 at 10 am, runs for 1 week

 This is the 2 nd course in a new program that will introduce you to and explore the vast and varied (like our landscape) body of literature about Maine by Maine authors…or about Maine by non-Maine authors…or non- Maine topics by Maine authors. Our scope will be wide-ranging: we’ll read and discuss old and new works of both fiction and non-fiction by famous, popular, and new authors. It’ll be an eclectic assortment of interesting and provocative readings that will stimulate your “little gray cells” and generate lively conversation.

This course will meet on Monday morning, via Zoom from 10:00AM to 11:30AM on the following date:

 December 12 th : The Lobster Coast by Colin Woodard

Steve is an artist, historian, teacher, and lifelong learner and lives in Wells with his wife, Nancy.

Religious Conversion... What is it?


with Steven Piker

Calendar Mar 3, 2023 at 1 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Of what does religious conversion consist? There has been and continues to be alot of conversion in our American world.  We will see conversion as an integral part of the entire life of the convert, a part in which the convert has considerable creative agency.  We will look especially for both changes and continuities in converts’ lives across the conversion itself by consulting detailed case materials, some of them arising from my own research.  We will want to grasp conversion from the convert’s point oƒ view……. how the convert understands and experiences it, what it feels like and tastes like and smells like to the convert.  We will get to know a couple of religious converts real well.  Some lecture, more discussion

SUGGESTED reading .  Shirley Nelson.  THE LAST YEWAR OF THE WAR(new from Amazon at $30, used at $5.27 or less); and an unpublished ms., to be circulated among all class members at no costt.

Your instructor:

Steven Piker is an anthropologist. He has done field work in Thailand and the U.S. His main interests include religion, American Indians and human evolution. He taught for 44 years at Swarthmore College. Four of our Maine senior colleges have provided his popular coiurses.

American Indian Renaissance


with Steven Piker

Calendar Apr 14, 2023 at 1 pm, runs for 6 weeks

The U.S is, arguably, the most plural of all nations.  But…… can our nation's plufralism accommodate Indian identities? At the end of the 19th century, many Indians as well as settlers  thought, no, it cannot; and expected Indian cultures soon to disappear entirely.  From what was then known and knowable, a sensible expectation…….. which, however, has been falsified by a vibrant Indian cultural renaissance during the 20th century…… which is the subject matter of this course.  Course themes include….Indian agency, creatrivity, resilience, self worth, identity……..and cultural syncretism.  And our cast of characters will include settlers as well as Indians…. 

A traditional Navajo felicitation:  "Walk in beauty"

’SUGGESTED Reading:  David Treuer.    THE HEARTBEAT OF WOUNDED KNEE.  NATIVE AMERICA FROM `1890 TO THE PRESENT.($5-$12), and a few articles to be distributed.

Your instructor

Steven Piker is an anthropologistr with field work in Thailand and the U.S. His main interests include religion, American Indians, and human evolution. He taught  for 44 years at Swarthmore College and has presented many popular courses  four of Maine’s senior colleges.

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