Telling Stories About the Ocean

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Akeia de Barros Gomes received an M.A. and her Ph.D. in Anthropology with a focus in Archeology from the University of Connecticut in 2008. She worked as a college professor before moving shifting to museum work. Currently, she holds the role of Senior Curator of Maritime Social Histories at Mystic Seaport Museum. De Barros Gomes is responsible for working on curatorial projects of race, Indigenous histories, ethnicity, and diversity in New England’s maritime activities. A major exhibition will open this fall featuring de Barros Gomes’ work mapping a more complex historical framework of New England’s maritime history by creating a new narrative of visual and material culture, archeology, oral traditions, and songs and performances.

Jason Mancini is the Executive Director of CT Humanities where he focuses on strengthening organizational partnerships, engaging diverse audiences, and anchoring Connecticut’s placemaking, public history, and integrative digital initiatives. Mancini holds an M.A. and his Ph.D. in Anthropology with a focus on Archeology and Ethnohistory of New England from the University of Connecticut. He co-founded the Akomawt Educational Initiative and is the former Executive Director of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center.

Mancini and de Barros Gomes discuss their experiences re-indigenizing public history and education, speak about their current research, and offer explanation as to how we can use maritime history as a basis for studying historical injustices and to generate new insights on the past and the present.