Greetings! First and foremost, please take a moment to visit our Gratitude page. Our most important team members are those who make this experience possible. Takk Fyrir!
USM Honors Abroad features rotating topics and faculty each year. Meet our 2018 professors and learn more about the classes they are teaching abroad!
HON 195: Stories and Histories of Justice in Traditional Northern Maritime Communities, 10th-19th centuries
This course compares the historical social and legal structures of Iceland and Maine looking specifically at murder, outlawry and execution, as well as the roles that gender and social status played in determining an individual’s relationship to the law and the community.
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Dr. Assunta Kent, chair of the Honors Program Faculty, has lived coast to coast (along the 40th parallel), ridden her motorcyle across the U.S. solo many times, and bicycled across Europe. She began her international travels with Canada as a young child, Bolivia-Ecuador-Peru while in college and most recently Okinawa and the Bombay area of India. She has taught everyone from pre-school to the oldest life-long learners and in the UK and Japan. She loves showing students how to travel inexpensively, experience the culture and everyday living of other peoples, and engage with the history of their own and distant places.
She is the author of Maria Irene Fornes and Her Critics and the season reviewer of Portland Stage for the New England Theatre Journal. Assunta has directed more than 20 shows for USM including the Sanskrit classic Shakuntala and the Ring of Recognition (Kalidasa), her own adaptation of Japanese Noh dramas about the Rokujo Lady, operas Die Fledermaus, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi (Puccini), a musical adaptation of Marivaux’s The Triumph of Love, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Inook and the Sun (Henry Beissel). She has also directed premieres of Wolf Song (Annie Finch) for Poets’ Theatre of Maine at Mayo Street Arts and Daughters of Iran (Reza Jalali) for both USM and UNE.
She teaches cultural history courses (from Medieval and Renaissance cultures to contemporary performance) along with acting, and performance art and oral interpretation of texts for the Honors program.
In Maine and Iceland, we will analyze and perform literature and non-fiction
texts on the sites for which they were written–adding our voices and spirits to those of the past.
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Mark teaches European history and specializes in medieval Iceland, the Viking Age and Old Norse-Icelandic literature, with interests including law, individual rights and community stability, migration and material culture.
He has traveled in Iceland and, while a student, attended the language program at the University of Iceland. He is an avid kayak fisherman with a determination to soon experience at least one of the two in Iceland.
Stay tuned to learn more about our second section of HON 195 – coming soon!
Behind the Scenes: Honors Project Coordinator
I am a USM Alum and the Project Coordinator for USM Honors Abroad. In addition to coordinating travel and activity logistics for HON195, I lead a fall semester COR-101 lab that focuses on Icelandic/Arctic culture and activities.
I have traveled to Iceland several times and explored the country by Jeep, camper, and hiking-boot in search of both well-known destinations as well as the more mysterious locations. Iceland is an incredible country to visit for students and travelers alike; it is a place where you can experience untouched nature, cutting edge technology, sassy wildlife, and some of the best food this side of the planet.
My ultimate goal is to educate future travelers about our role and responsibilities as respectful visitors to this and other countries.
My favorite places to visit in Iceland are: Skógafoss, Jökulsárlón, and Drangey Island in Skagafjörður.