Lunch & Learn: Plimoth Plantation’s Lunchtime Lecture Series

Feed your brain!

Pack your lunch and join us for our hour-long Lunch & Learn lecture series! Held the first Thursday of each month from March through November, Plimoth Plantation welcomes a lineup of lively, unique guest speakers who bring big ideas, humorous tales, and adventure stories to your lunch table.

This series is free to members and just $8.00 (per lecture) for non-members, so our seats fill up quickly! Be sure to make your reservations ahead of time online by clicking the link listed for each session, or contact Kate LaPrad at (508) 746-1622 (Ext. 8361).

Not a Member yet? Click here to join and attend the entire series for free.

Lunch & Learn 2014 Schedule

Lunch & Learn: Mashpee Indian Whalers

Thursday, October 2, 2014, 12-1 p.m.

Free for Members/$8 for Non-Members

Register on Eventbrite.

Presenter: Ramona Peters, Director of Historic Preservation & NAGPRA for the Mashpee Wampanoag 

The story of Mashpee Wampanoag whalers is one with many facets. It involves Mashpee Indians engaged in the whaling industry, both by choice and by force, during a time period that spanned nearly one hundred years. Most of the heavy whaling harvest took place during the mid-19th century, but before Europeans arrived in this region the Wampanoag people hunted whales and occasionally local Sachems would divide beached animals among their people. Panels from the exhibit currently at the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Museum will also be on display during the lecture. Discussion starts promptly at noon in the Maxwell Theater in Plimoth Plantation's Henry Hornblower II Visitor Center.


Lunch & Learn: “A Nice Indian Pudding”: Maize in the Diets of Colonial New Englanders

Thursday, November 6, 2014, 12-1 p.m.

Free for Members/$8 for Non-Members

Register on Eventbrite.

Presenter: Dr. Karen Metheny, Visiting Research, Department of Archaeology, Boston University 

Numerous written accounts from 17th-century New England refer to maize as a food suitable only for animal fodder or a foodstuff linked to Native Americans and, therefore, undesirable and even dangerous. These accounts have informed current interpretations by food historians who argue that maize was ranked below wheat as a food source, and overlooked or denigrated by many because it was un-English. Yet this interpretation conflicts with documentary and archaeological evidence that indicates maize was integral to the colonial New England diet. In this presentation, Dr. Metheny discusses some of the evidence for the ways that New Englanders integrated maize into their diets by drawing on household receipts (recipes), cookbooks, and other print sources, as well as material and archaeological evidence. Specific attention will be given consumption practices, preparation methods, and suggested ingredients and combinations of flavors, and what the consumption of maize in colonial households reveals about cultural identity and encounters with “cultural other.” Discussion starts promptly at noon in the Accomack Building next to Plimoth Plantation's Henry Hornblower II Visitor Center.


Lunch & Learn: Thanksgiving: The Holiday that Swallowed the Pilgrims

Thursday, December 4, 2014, 12-1 p.m.

Free for Members/$8 for Non-Members 

Register on Eventbrite.

Presenter: Jim Baker, Former Plimoth Plantation Director of Research and Curator of the Alden Historic Site

Today it is inconceivable to consider the American Thanksgiving holiday without reference to the Pilgrims and their iconic harvest feast, or as it is inevitably termed, "The First Thanksgiving". For generations, the common understanding was that the holiday originated in Plymouth in 1621 and then celebrated ever since. However, in planning a 1983 Plimoth Plantation exhibit on the Victorian imagery of the Pilgrims, "Aye, Call It Holy Ground", we couldn't find any examples of the familiar outdoor dinner pictures or references to the "First Thanksgiving" (before 1841). Where were the historical links? Solving this puzzle opened up the true history of our Thanksgiving, the subject of this talk. Discussion starts promptly at noon in the Accomack Building next to Plimoth Plantation's Henry Hornblower II Visitor Center.

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