Raffael Scheck


Winter Weekend

Immerse yourself in a classic work of literature.


Anne Schlitt
Assistant Director
(207) 773-5051


Winter Weekend

A humanities seminar on a classic text

Supported by the Center for Global Humanities at the University of New England and by individual donors throughout Maine.

“I’m going to Winter Weekend this year – my birthday present to myself, spa for the brain!”

Palace Walk book coverJoin us at the 20th annual Winter Weekend  and explore, in a group setting, an important work of literature. Held at Bowdoin College on March 10 & 11, 2017, the program begins with a Friday evening lecture and dinner (a gastronomic taste of the time and culture reflected in the chosen text). The group reconvenes Saturday morning to spend the day enjoying presentations by scholars on various aspects of the book, from cultural context, to critical analysis, to explorations of specific themes.

In our 2017 book, Palace Walk, Naguib Mahfouz gives Arab literature a Dickensian portrait of a patriarch: 45-year-old Al-Sayyid Ahmad Abd Al-Jawad, father and husband, despot and lecher, a man who demands strict adherence to the tenets of Islam inside his home, though he is indiscreet and unfaithful to a great many of them outside. The story chronicles the awakening of his family—including his wife Amina, who, by her husband’s command, has not left her house in 25 years, even to visit the mosque down the street; and two of his sons, one a patriot and the other a scholar, both against his wishes—against the backdrop of Egypt’s awakening. It is a story, too, of the shifting of society, religion, and roles in Egypt in the period leading up to the Egyptian Revolution of 1919.

Funded by:

UNE Center for Global Humanities

NEH 50th anniversary logo



Each year, Let’s Talk About It book groups bring stimulating conversation and discussion to communities throughout Maine.

To ensure this program remains strong, Hugh is asking for your help in replacing some of his favorite books in need of replacement.

Average annual "Let's Talk About It" groups statewide
Books replaced so far
Books Hugh still needs