Food For Thought: Nantucket’s Portuguese Heritage with Frances Karttunen

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Whaling brought men from the Cape Verde Islands and the Azores to Nantucket. Later, opportunities for a better life brought whole families to Nantucket, where their contributions have added greatly to our culture and economy.  Frances will talk about how a new generation of their sons and daughters have benefited our Island.

Twelfth-generation Nantucketer Frances Karttunen was educated in the local public schools.  She received a bachelor’s degree with honors from Radcliffe College and a Ph.D. in linguistics from Indiana University. She held the position of Senior University Research Scientist at the Linguistics Research Center at the University of Texas, at Austin, and also served as Program Director for Linguistics at the National Science Foundation.  She has been awarded three Fulbright fellowships, all in Finland.

One of Dr. Karttunen’s grandparents was a native Nantucketer and the other an immigrant from Finland. The difficulties and adjustments they and their family members encountered were among the inspirations for her earlier book Between Worlds and her later book, The Other Islanders: People Who Pulled Nantucket’s Oars. She is also the author of numerous other books and articles about Nantucket.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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