Hartford, CT – For the fourth year, Capital Community College (CCC) is partnering with the Mark Twain House & Museum and Harriet Beecher Stowe Center to offer English 220 Studies in American Literature: Twain and Stowe. The three-credit hybrid course (can also be taken as non-credit), a combination of in-person and online classes, will meet every other Wednesday from 2-4:42 pm, alternating weekly between classrooms at the Stowe and Twain houses, and online. The first class will be held on August 29th at the Twain House.
Students will read and discuss works by two of American literature’s most influential authors, and will have behind-the-scenes access of the houses and materials unique to these neighboring landmarks. Capital’s Humanities Chair, Dr. Jeffrey Partridge, will teach the class, and students will also learn from staff experts at the Stowe and Twain museums.
“Teaching in these museums opens up a whole world of exploration for the students,” said Partridge, who also directs the Hartford Heritage Project, a National Endowment for the Humanities supported initiative to infuse CCC course curricula with local resources. “They get to explore the houses, special exhibits, archives, and the whole Nook Farm neighborhood. We are guided by expert staff at both museums, and are so grateful for this partnership.”
“We’re delighted to join with Capital and The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center to offer this innovative course again,” said Dr. James Golden, The Mark Twain House and Museum’s Director of Education. “This partnership is an example not only of the robust cultural resources in Hartford, but how the history of one of America’s oldest cities continues to inspire new learning.”
“The Stowe Center is thrilled to continue our partnership with Capital and the Twain House & Museum,” said Dr. Katie Burton, Program Coordinator for School and Writing Programs. “We value the course’s commitment to place-based learning, encouraging students to recognize literature’s power to effect change and empowering them to help shape their communities.”
“This course is unique in its approach to these authors, says Partridge, who won’t take up precious time with long lectures. “Rather than focusing entirely on Stowe and Twain, we
learn about the Nook Farm neighborhood and read works by some of their neighbors, including Charles Dudley Warner, Isabella Beecher Hooker, and Catherine Beecher.”
The class will also explore connections between the progressive concerns of Stowe, Twain, and their neighbors and current issues like the Me Too Movement and mass incarceration. “This provides the opportunity for students to see how the past informs the present right here in Hartford, Partridge states.
Capital Community College, located in the center of Hartford in the renovated, historic G. Fox building, is a public, open-door, educational institution committed to the metropolitan community it serves. Its mission is to provide higher education and lifelong learning to people of diverse cultures, abilities and ages, and to serve the needs of the community, government agencies and business and industry. To learn more about the college, visit www.capitalcc.edu
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) published more than 30 books including her famous international bestseller, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. She lived the final 23 years of her life in the Victorian Gothic home on Forest Street in Hartford, where she was joined by fellow author Mark Twain. The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, a museum, program center and research library, is located at 77 Forest Street in Hartford, CT. The Stowe Center is open year round for tours and programs. The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center uses Stowe’s story to inspire commitment to social justice and positive change. For more information, call (860) 522-9258 or visit www.HarrietBeecherStowe.org.
The Mark Twain House & Museum has restored the author’s Hartford, Connecticut, home, where the author and his family lived from 1874 to 1891. Twain wrote his most important works during the years he lived there, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. In addition to providing tours of Twain’s restored home, a National Historic Landmark, the institution offers activities and educational programs that illuminate Twain’s literary legacy and provide information about his life and times. For more information, call (860) 247-0998 or visit www.MarkTwainHouse.org.