NIH Grant for Graf to Continue Brain Circuitry Research

Submitted on Wednesday, 7/9/2014, at 2:24 PM

Here’s a humbling notion – the nervous system of a fruit fly larva and that of a human are remarkably similar.

Ethan Graf, assistant professor of biology at Amherst College, calls this similarity “evolutionary conservation,” and he’s been making full use of it since 2005. That’s when he first began studying the synapses, or connections, between neurons in the brain and nervous system of Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly.

Sanchez-Eppler: Taking a New Look at Childhood

Submitted on Tuesday, 7/1/2014, at 4:25 PM

This year, Professor Karen Sánchez-Eppler will delve into various archives to study a culture that’s often overlooked by scholars, though we all have at some point belonged to it: the culture of children.

Professor's Course Takes Students "Inside Iran"

Inside Iran, a seminar course being taught this semester by Monica Ringer, associate professor of history and Asian languages and civilizations, explores contemporary Iran from a historical and interdisciplinary perspective.

Sarat to Receive Service Award from Law and Society Association

On May 29, Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and associate dean of the faculty, will receive the Ronald Pipkin Service Award from the Law and Society Association (LSA). The award recognizes Sarat, who has previously served as the LSA’s president and a member of its board of trustees, for having “demonstrated sustained and extraordinary service to the Association.”

With Lectures, Books and Samovars, Center for Russian Culture Aims to keep U.S., Russia Ties Strong

Submitted on Monday, 6/16/2014, at 1:29 PM

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Whether it’s a lecture by an Amherst alumnus who’s a top authority on Russia or a reading of poems by leading Russian poets, the Center for Russian Culture at Amherst College has stuck to its mission despite sometimes chilly official relations between Russian and the United States.

“Our philosophy is to promote better understanding and establish more informed relations between the two countries,” said Stanley Rabinowitz, professor of Russian at Amherst and director of the Center.

That tradition continued on a recent Monday, with a lecture by Andrew Kuchins ’81, Director and Senior Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Affairs in Washington, D.C.

The Promise of Participation: "Civicness" Can Be Stimulated in Unlikely Areas, Prof and Alum's Book Argues

Submitted on Monday, 6/16/2014, at 11:58 AM

Laure Katsaros Receives Mellon New Directions Fellowship to Study Architectural Design

Associate Professor of French Laure Katsaros has received $262,500 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through its New Directions Fellowship program, which exists to “assist faculty members in the humanities … who seek to acquire systematic training outside their own areas of special interest.” Katsaros’ award will support her in earning a master’s degree in the history and philosophy of design from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design in 2014–15, and in traveling around France to visit several distinctive architectural sites. Her goal is to produce a final project for the master’s program, and eventually a book, tentatively titled Glass Architectures: Utopian Surveillance from Fourier to the Surrealists.   

A rape roils India, and two Amherst experts weigh in

Submitted on Thursday, 4/24/2014, at 3:33 PM

“Botched executions” common throughout U.S. history, says new book by Sarat, students

Submitted on Wednesday, 3/5/2014, at 4:41 PM

By Peter Rooney

The image on the book’s cover is lurid—an electric chair dripping with blood—and the title is just as provocative: Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America’s Death Penalty.

Biologist, students use hummingbirds, flowers to unwrap evolution’s mysteries

Submitted on Thursday, 3/6/2014, at 11:07 AM

By Peter Rooney

In a jungle-like enclosure the size of a basketball court on one of the Caribbean’s most ecologically diverse islands, Ethan Temeles, Amherst College's Thomas B. Walton Jr. Memorial Professor of Biology, has devised an audacious experiment he hopes will help answer one of evolution’s most vexing questions once and for all.