Talk on ‘Our Unsettled Shores’

Posted 2017-07-13

By Dagney Ernest / Village Soup

Historian and author John R. Gillis will speak on human movement and its importance to evolution on the coasts of Maine and elsewhere during the Island Institute’s Summer Lecture Series Wednesday, July 19, at 10:30 a.m.

The talk, “Our Unsettled Shores; Why Coasts and Coastal People are Different,” will look at the history of human movement by land and water and the role it has played in human evolution along our coasts. The event will take place in the fourth floor conference room at the Island Institute, 386 Main S., and is free and open to the public.

Gillis is Professor Emeritus of History at Rutgers University and the author of six books, most recently “The Human Shore: Seacoasts in History” (2012), a global environmental history of coasts and coastal peoples from prehistory to the present. A resident of Berkeley, Calif., for much of the year, he has spent a half-century of summers on Great Gott Island, off the coast of Downeast Maine.

The one-hour talk is part of the Island Institute’s Summer Lecture Series, which takes place Wednesdays through Aug. 9. All events are free and open to the public, and coffee and muffins will be provided. Future presentations include: Vinalhaven resident and author Phil Crossman on the unavoidable intimacy of living on an island, July 26; a panel discussion on women’s views and voices on the islands, Aug. 2; and a talk by the Island Institute Community Energy team on island energy challenges and solutions, Aug. 9.

To register for one of the lectures, visit; or for more information, contact the Island Institute membership department at 594-9209, ext. 113, or