Daniel Hall To Speak about “Thom Gunn in America” April 27

April 16, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.--Poet Daniel Hall, a visiting writer at Amherst College, will talk about "Form and Freedom: Thom Gunn in America" on Friday, April 27 at 4 p.m. in Porter Lounge in Converse Hall at the college. This talk is sponsored by the Friends of the Amherst College Library.

Daniel Hall has published two collections of poetry. Hermit with Landscape was selected by James Merrill for the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 1989. Strange Relation was selected by Mark Doty for the National Poetry Series in 1996. Hall has received awards and fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Whiting Foundation, among others. He teaches poetry writing at Amherst College.

Poet Thom Gunn, born in Kent, England, in 1929, spent time in the British national service and in Paris before enrolling in Trinity College, Cambridge. Since 1954 he has lived in San Francisco, where he studied poetry with Yvor Winters at Stanford University.

Gunn has written many books of poetry published in the United States and Britain, including Boss Cupid (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000), Frontiers of Gossip (1998), Collected Poems (1994), The Man with Night Sweats (1992), The Passages of Joy (1983), Selected Poems 1950-1975 (1979), Jack Straw's Castle (1976), To the Air (1974), Moly, and My Sad Captains (1971), Touch (1968), The Sense of Movement (1959) and several collections of essays.

Among the honors Gunn has received are a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations. He teaches at the University of California in Berkeley and was the Robert Frost Library

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Lazerowitz Lecturer Partick Caddeau Considers the “World’s First Novel” April 24

April 16, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-- Patrick Caddeau, assistant professor of Japanese Language and Literature at Amherst College, will give the annual Max and Etta Lazerowitz Lecture, on "Endless Comment and Commentary: Use and Abuse of the World's First Novel, The Tale of Genji, Over the Last Millenium," on Tuesday, April 24, at 4 p.m. in the Alumni House at Amherst College. The talk, and a reception immediately following, are free and open to the public. Caddeau's talk will focus on the ways The Tale of Genji has been interpreted and appreciated in the nearly 1,000 years since its composition.

Professor Caddeau, a scholar of Asian language and literature, came to Amherst is 1998. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University. His most recent works have appeared in the Edo Anthology of Japanese Literature and Shirin, published by the Faculty of Letters, Osaka University, Japan. Caddeau currently is working on a manuscript called "Aesthetic Persuasions: Higiwara Hiromichi and Literary Criticism in Edo Japan."

The Lazerowitz Lectureship is awarded each year to support and encourage members of the Amherst College faculty in their scholarly work. The Dean of the Faculty, in conjunction with the Lecture Committee, selects the recipient, a member of the faculty below the rank of a full professor, who presents a lecture on his or her research.

The Max and Etta Lazerowitz Lectureship was established in 1985 to honor the parents of the late Morris Lazerowitz, emeritus professor of philosophy at Smith College. Professor Alice Ambrose Lazerowitz, wife of the late Morris Lazerowitz and also emeritus professor of philosophy at Smith, attended the Lazerowitz Lecture each spring as an honored guest until her recent death in January.

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“Life Under Communism,” As Told By Professors Who Lived It, April 30

April 16, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass. - Ten years after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, five college professors who once lived under various kinds of communist rule in Eastern Europe, Asia and the Americas will discuss their experiences on Monday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College.

Four of the professors teach at Amherst. Antonio Benitez-Rojo, the Thomas B. Walton, Jr., Professor of Spanish was born in Cuba, received his B.A. from the Institutio de Education Superior in Havana in 1950, and left Cuba 11 years after the Communist revolution in 1959.

Ute Brandes, professor of German, hails from the former German Democratic Republic where she went to school up to 10th grade. Threatened with political persecution, her family fled to West Germany.

Hua R. Lan, director of the Chinese language Program and senior lecturer in Asian languages and culture, was born in China and received his higher education in Shanghai. Before he came to the USA in the early 80s, he lived through the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) in Beijing, where he taught for many years at the Beijing Language and Cultural University.

Pavel Machala, professor of political science, was born in Czechoslovakia and studied at Charles University in Prague, where he was a student leader during the Prague Spring of 1968, emigrating to the United States soon after the Warsaw Pact invasion of that year.

Constantine Pleshakov, a visiting assistant professor of Russian studies at Mount Holyoke College and the author of Inside the Kremlin's Cold War (1996), comes from the former Soviet Union, where he taught at the Russian Academy of Sciences until 1996.

Adam Nagorski, a junior at Amherst and the president of the Foreign Policy Forum, says that "the European communist governments collapsed before most of today's students were even in high school. Hopefully, this forum will not only make the existence of those states a less distant memory but also reveal the true nature of life in past and present communist societies."

This event is sponsored by the Foreign Policy Forum at Amherst College, a student organization that seeks to raise awareness of, and promote intelligent and informed debate about, contemporary international issues. The forum has a Website at http://www.amherst.edu/~fpforum.

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Tenor Peter Shea To Offer German Songs April 26

April 16, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.--Peter W. Shea, a local tenor, will present "From Schubert to Weill: A Concert of German Lieder," on Thursday, April 26, at 4 p.m. in Porter House at Amherst College (next to the Lord Jeffery Inn). Gregory Hayes will accompany Shea on piano. The Amherst College Department of German and the German House are sponsors of the concert, which is free and open to the public.

In the first half of the program, Shea will present songs written by German poets J. W. Goethe and Heinrich Heine and composed by Franz Schubert (1808-78). He will sing settings by Kurt Weill (1900-50) and Hanns Eisler (1898-1962) of works by Goethe, Heine and Bertolt Brecht in the second half. These will include some familiar Brecht-Weill collaborations from the "Dreigroschenoper" and some works Weill and Eisler composed in their exile in Hollywood during the Second World War.

Peter W. Shea, a frequent tenor soloist with groups such as the Arcadia Players Baroque Orchestra, the Hampshire Choral Society and the Brattleboro Community Chorus, has sung professionally since 1972. He is a member of Singers' Project, a newly formed professional chorus. He studied voice at the Hartt School in West Hartford and historical musicology at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Shea is a cataloger of Germanic languages and musical materials for the University Libraries at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is developing "Ihr Lieder! Ihr meine guten Lieder!," a Web-based performer's guide to musical settings of Heine's poetry (http://www.library.umass.edu/subject/music/heine).

Pianist Gregory Hayes, a 1973 graduate of Amherst College who also studied at the Manhattan School of Music, has taught at Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges, and is a senior lecturer at Dartmouth. In past seasons his harpsichord and piano performances have been heard regularly in New York and New England, with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the New England Bach Festival, the Mohawk Trail Concerts Series and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. He is director of music for the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence, and conducts the Da Camera Singers. The author of numerous reviews, articles and liner notes for recordings, Hayes is on the faculty of the Greenwood Music Camp in Cummington, Mass.

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Sarat's When the State Kills Examines the Death Penalty and America

April 10, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College, has written When the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Condition ($29.95, 314 pp., Princeton University Press, Princeton 2001), a critical appraisal of the effect of capital punishment on American law, politics and culture.

“State killing damages us all,” Sarat writes. He calls on the United States to “stop one line of killing that we have within our power to stop,” in order to preserve what we value in our legal institutions and begin to heal our cultural and political divisions. State killing, an apparently clean solution, leaves us divided and incapable of solving our many complex problems of crime, inequality and justice, he says.

Sarat considers the victims’ rights movement, the technology of executions and the role of juries and lawyers in capital cases. He also tells the story of an “everyday” capital trial that he witnessed in Georgia, a trial marked by “bold and powerful” violence—the crime itself, the defendant’s life story and the threat of a state killing. At the end of the trial, Sarat writes, “anxiety,” not “reassurance,” remains.

Sarat also offers an analysis of the representation of capital punishment in popular culture. Such recent films as Last Dance, Dead Man Walking and The Green Mile finally “legitimate state killing, even as they point out some of its operational failures.”

But state killing, Sarat writes, “reveals both the weakness of the state and its strength." Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of Dead Man Walking and a noted opponent of the death penalty, said of his book, “no one who reads it will be the same again.”

Sarat has taught at Amherst since 1974, and is the co-author of Divorce Lawyers and Their Clients and the editor or coeditor of numerous volumes, including The Killing State: Capital Punishment in Law, Politics, and Culture, Liberal Modernism and Democratic Individuality.

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Concert Choir Sets Performance April 29

April 9, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass. - The Amherst College Concert Choir will present a program of European and American song on Sunday, April 29, at 3 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall. The concert is free and the public is invited.

The choir, directed by Mallorie Chernin, will perform music that it will feature on its upcoming tour of Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, including Hungarian songs of Kodaly and Dvorak's "V Priode" ("Songs of Nature").

Also on the program is the music of American composers William Billings, Samuel Barber, Ralph Carmichael ("Take Six"), Wendell Whalum and Moses Hogan. The assistant conductor is Bryce Bares '00.

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Women's Chorus Sets Spring Concert April 27

April 9, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.--The Amherst College Women's Chorus will present its annual Spring Concert, "Music of the World," on Friday, April 27, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall. The concert is free and the public is invited.

The chorus, directed by Mallorie Chernin, will perform a program that includes music of Berlioz, Debussy, Randall Thompson and many others. Nikki Stoia, a member of the music faculty at the University of Massachusetts, will be the guest pianist. The assistant conductor is Bryce Bares '00.

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Amherst College Men's Glee Club Sets Senior Concert April 21

April 6, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College Men’s Glee Club will present its annual Senior Concert on Saturday, April 21, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. The concert is free and the public is invited.

The seniors choose the program of favorite songs from their four years of participation in Glee Club. This year they will perform sacred and secular music, songs of other nations and spirituals. The composers include Franz Biebl, Jacob Handl, Francis Poulenc and Ralph Vaughan Williams, among many others. The concert will end with the traditional “Senior Song,” written by James S. Hamilton of the Class of 1906.

Mallorie Chernin conducts the Amherst College Men’s Glee Club. Bryce Bares ’00 is the assistant director, and Alissa Leiser the pianist.

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Kimberly Shearer Palmer Awarded Luce Scholarship

April 6, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Kimberly Shearer Palmer, a senior at Amherst College, is one of just 18 college students from across the country to receive a Luce Fellowship. She will travel next year to Asia to work as a journalist. Palmer graduated in 1997 from The Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland.

Palmer will use the fellowship to support of year of work at an English-language publication in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or Tokyo. In her application she wrote that journalists should be “pioneers in public discussion,” and that she wants to be “the kind of journalist who doesn’t settle for the reports coming over the wires, but rather, seeks out her own information, and decides for herself what is useful to her readers. I think newspapers should serve as springboards for lively debates.”

A history major, Palmer plans to continue her career in journalism. At Amherst, she has been a columnist, opinion editor and reporter for the college newspaper, The Amherst Student and The Indicator, a political journal. She has worked as a reporter with the Washington Post, USA Today and the Daily Hampshire Gazette(Northampton, Mass.).

Since 1974, the Luce Scholars Program has provided opportunities for young Americans, chosen from 67 leading colleges and universities, to live and work in Asia. The Luce Scholars, who can come from any field of study other than Asian studies, are supported by the Asia Foundation, an organization with offices throughout Asia. Placements can be made in Brunei, China and Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

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Sonali Duggal Awarded Watson Fellowship

April 6, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Sonali Duggal, a senior at Amherst College, has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and will travel next year to England, Turkey, South Africa and Chile for a comparative study of how home-based workers can organize to improve their income and working conditions. Duggal is a resident of Los Altos Hills, Calif.

A political science and economics major at Amherst, Duggal took a semester off from college to travel to India to work with the Self-Employed Women’s Association, a women’s union, microcredit bank, health cooperative and “people-based movement that seemed to encompass everything ‘right’ in development,” as she wrote in her Watson application. “As a woman,” she wrote, “I am deeply concerned by the problems faced by poor women in home-based work. As a scholar, I am interested in contributing to the literature on local efforts of women workers. And as an activist, I want to see the situation of home-based workers improved.”

Duggal plans eventually to attend graduate school in public policy, and to pursue a career in development or academics. At Amherst, she founded the Food Bank Farm Group, an organization that works with local agriculture, was a member of the South Asian Students Association, and was on the crew and ultimate Frisbee teams.

The Thomas J. Watson Fellowships provide 60 exceptional college graduates, from 50 of America’s leading liberal arts colleges, with the freedom to engage in a year of independent study and travel abroad. The program was begun in 1968 by the family of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the founder of IBM, to honor their parents’ interest in education and world affairs. More than 2,300 Watson Fellows have studied all over the world with the support of Watson Fellowships. Duggal is the 36th Amherst student to receive a Watson Fellowship in the past 15 years.

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Contact

Peter Rooney
Director of Public Affairs
(413) 542-2321
prooney@amherst.edu