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History scholars helping Mystic Seaport develop ideas for exhibit, programming

Mystic - Fourteen scholars in the fields of maritime history, literature, art and the history of science are spending two days at Mystic Seaport this week, helping the museum develop ideas for the exhibit and programming that will surround the 2014 voyage of the Charles W. Morgan.

The world's last wooden whaling ship is undergoing a major restoration in the museum shipyard. When it is complete, the Morgan will sail to several ports around New England.

During the two-day charrette, the scholars are helping the museum develop ideas and delivery methods around four themes: the American sailor as an icon, whaling as a factor in cultural globalization, profiting from the deep, and the changing perception of whales.

"We hope that gathering the best and brightest of whaling and maritime scholarship in one room will help Mystic Seaport leverage its own expertise and collections to make the Morgan voyage a world-class event," said Dan McFadden, the museum's director of communications.

The charrette is funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities "Bridging Cultures" grant.

Among the charrette participants are Helen Rozwadowski, a history professor and maritime studies coordinator at the University of Connecticut, and Jason Mancini Sr., a researcher at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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