Making a living as a new Mainer

3:30 pm, Diamond 122

  • 19th-century Irish longshoremen: Michael Connolly, St. Joseph’s College History Department
  • 19th-century Jewish peddlers and merchants: Kristin Esdale, Colby College Class of ’16
  • Contemporary Somalis in Lewiston: Elizabeth Eames, Bates College Anthropology Department
  • Contemporary Latino migrant farm workers: Ben Hummel (Colby Class of ’11), Maine Migrant Health Program
  • moderator: Britt Halvorson, Colby College

mike-connollyMike Connolly has taught in the History and Political Science Department of Saint Joseph’s College of Maine for the past 31 years.  He has edited They Change Their Sky: The Irish in Maine; co-edited John Ford in Focus; and authored Seated by the Sea: The Maritime History of Portland, Maine, and Its Irish Longshoremen.  He is a lifelong resident of Portland’s Munjoy Hill and is active with the Maine Irish Heritage Center located at the former Saint Dominic’s Church in Portland.


EsdaleKristin Esdale is a junior at Colby College. She is pursuing majors in both Chemistry and Religious Studies. Kristin is interested in organic synthesis of large macrocycles, greener methods of performing chemical analysis, and analytical chemical methods. She is the proud co-author of an article about the synthesis of indoles, benzofurans, and related heterocycles that was published in Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry this past January.


eamesElizabeth Anne Eames is Associate Professor of Anthropoloy at Bates College, where she teaches courses in Contemporary Africa, Economic Anthropology, Comparative Gender Relations, and, increasingly, Cinema Studies.  Dr. Eames received her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from Harvard university.  She is currently engaged in research with Somali immigrants to the state of Maine.


Ben HummelBen Hummel works at the Maine Migrant Health Program, a non-profit dedicated to providing health care to migrant and seasonal farm workers in Maine. There he recruits, trains, and supervises farmworkers that serve as part time community health workers or promotores de salud in the agricultural camps where they live. These community health workers teach their fellow farmworkers about health topics and link their peers to medical services. After his graduation from Colby, Ben apprenticed on several organic farms in Kennebec and Somerset Counties before joining the health program in 2013.


Britt HalvorsonBritt Halvorson is a cultural anthropologist who has conducted long-term research in the Midwest U.S. and in Madagascar. Her work has focused on post-colonial interactions between U.S. and African Christian churches in matters of health, healing, and medicine, including the migration of Malagasy healer-evangelists to the U.S. She is currently writing a book about a 30-year-old medical aid partnership between Christians in the U.S. and Madagascar.

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