David Blight Receives Lincoln Book Prize for Race and Reunion

February 12, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—David W. Blight, the Class of 1959 Professor of History and Black Studies at Amherst College, has received the Lincoln Prize given by the Lincoln & Soldiers’ Institute at Gettysburg College for Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory ($29.95, 512 pp., Harvard University Press, Cambridge 2001). The prize is given annually to the best work on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era.

Race and Reunion is a study of how Americans—black and white, from North and South, soldiers and politicians, writers and editors—made sense of America's most wrenching war. Eric Foner of Columbia University wrote in the New York Times Book Review that “Race and Reunion demonstrates forcefully that...it still matters very much how we remember the Civil War.” “Blight conclusively demonstrates” wrote Jonathan Yardley in the Washington Post Book World, that the post-war “United States was caught up almost immediately in a ‘tormented relationship between healing and justice,’ and the abolitionist, emancipationist view of the war’s aims quickly receded into the background.”

Race and Reunion also received the 2001 Frederick Douglass Prize as the year’s outstanding book on slavery. A pioneer of the emerging field of memory studies, Blight is also the author of the award-winning Frederick Douglass’s Civil War (1989) and many other books and articles. More information from the Harvard University Press Website.

Previous Lincoln Prize winners have included Ken Burns, James M. McPherson and John Hope Franklin. They are announced each year on Lincoln's birthday (Feb. 12). The 12th annual award will be presented at an April 2 banquet at The Union League Club of New York. First prize is accompanied by a bronze replica of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ life-size bust, “Lincoln the Man.” More information on the Lincoln Prize.

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Noted Jurist Lani Guinier To Speak on “Gender and Power” Mar. 2 at Amherst College

February 11, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Harvard University law professor Lani Guinier will speak on “Rethinking Gender and Power: Building Diverse Learning Communities,” on Saturday, Mar. 2, at 8 p.m. in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. Her talk, free and open to the public, is part of a series of events at Amherst commemorating the 1976 arrival of the first women students at the college, “Coeducation at 25: Celebrating Accomplishments and Envisioning the Future.”

Lani Guinier became a professor of law at Harvard Law School in 1998, the first black woman to hold that title. She had previously been a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania. Guinier was nominated by President Clinton to be U.S. Assistant Attorney General in 1993. Her bid was withdrawn because of conservative attacks on her solutions to racial problems.

Guinier received a B.A. degree in 1971 from Radcliffe College and a J.D. in 1974 from Yale Law School. She was a law clerk and juvenile court referee from 1974 to 1977, special assistant to the assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1977 to 1981 and assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York City from 1981 to 1988. Guinier joined the University of Pennsylvania Law School faculty in 1988. She has received many awards, including the 1995 Champion of Democracy Award from the National Women's Political Caucus, the 1995 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession and the 1994 Rosa Parks Award from the American Association of Affirmative Action.

Guinier is the author of Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice (1998), Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School and Institutional Change (with Michelle Fine and Jane Balin; 1997) and The Tyranny of the Majority: Fundamental Fairness in Representative Democracy (1994). Among her articles are "The Future of Affirmative Action: Reclaiming the Innovative Ideal," (with Susan Strum) California Law Review (1996); "[E]racing Democracy: The Voting Rights Cases," Harvard Law Review (1994); "Groups, Representation, and Race-Conscious Districting: A Case of the Emperor's Clothes," Texas Law Review (1993); "The Triumph of Tokenism: The Voting Rights Act and the Theory of Black Electoral Success," Michigan Law Review (1991); and "No Two Seats: The Elusive Quest for Political Equality," Virginia Law Review(1991).

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Amherst College Alumnus and Trustee Colin Diver Named President of Reed College

February 10, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Colin Diver, Amherst College Class of 1965 and a member of the Amherst College board of trustees since 1998, was elected the fourteenth president of Reed College Feb. 9. He will assume his responsibilities on July 1. Diver is the Charles A. Heimbold, Jr., Professor of Law and Economics and former dean at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

“Colin Diver is a spectacular choice to lead Reed at this time in the school’s history,” said Walter Mintz, chairman of the Reed board of trustees, announcing the decision. “He is a superb teacher-scholar and an acknowledged leader in American higher education; his integrity, strength of character, and commitment to intellectual openness are emblematic of the highest standards of American higher education,” he continued. Mintz went on to say that, in his opinion, Diver will become “an important voice in articulating the value of a vigorous undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, the sort of education for which Reed is famous.”

“I believe passionately in the ideals of liberal education,” said Diver, 58. “To me, Reed embodies those ideals better than any institution I know. It is deeply humane, fiercely independent, and uncompromisingly rigorous. I can’t think of a more stimulating environment in which to work and study. My wife, Joan, and I are also looking forward to making our home in the Pacific Northwest and becoming an integral part of the Portland community.”

Diver succeeds Peter Steinberger, who was appointed acting president of Reed following the resignation of Steven Koblik, and who will return to his position as Reed’s dean of the faculty. Diver will be the fourth Amherst alumnus to serve as president of Reed College. Dexter Keezer ’18 served from 1934 until 1942. Duncan Ballantine ’34 was president from 1953 until 1954. Paul E. Bragdon ’50 held the position from 1971 until 1988.

An expert in administrative law and regulation, Diver received his A.B., summa cum laude from Amherst, where he currently serves as a trustee, and his LL.B., magna cum laude, in 1968 from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review. He also holds an honorary degree from Amherst.

Amherst president Tom Gerety said Diver is “an astonishingly and delightfully intellectual man, one of our very best trustees, someone who loves ideas and the arguments and differences that come with them. He will make a great president at Reed. And I relish the chance to be his colleague in this work.”

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, was founded in 1908 and named after Portland pioneers Simeon and Amanda Reed. The private, independent, nonsectarian, four-year college of the liberal arts and sciences has an enrollment of approximately 1,300 students and one of the most rigorous and intellectual undergraduate academic programs in the country. More information is available at the Reed College's Website.

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Altenberg Piano Trio To Present Music at Amherst March 1

February 7, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Altenberg Trio from Vienna will present the fifth concert in the 2001-02 Music at Amherst Series on Friday, March 1, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College, in a program of works for piano trio by Shostakovich, Ives, Haydn and Brahms.

The Altenberg Trio— violinist Amiram Ganz, cellist Martin Hornstein and pianist Claus Christian Schuster—was founded in 1994. Schuster and Hornstein were already known as founding members of the Vienna Schubert Trio, and Ganz as the longtime violinist with the Shostakovich Trio.

Reviewing the current major U.S. tour, The Los Angeles Times praised “the splendidly accomplished” Altenberg Trio, adding that “the technical authority of the players is matched by their spontaneity.” The Washington Post wrote that “they devoted all aspects of their keen musicianship in the service of a cohesive whole inspired by imagination and driven by pathos.” The Altenberg Trio records exclusively for Challenge records. See The Trio's Website.

When not on tour, the Altenberg Trio is in residence at the Vienna Musikverein and also at the Vienna Conservatory.

Admission to the concert is $20, senior citizens $16 and students $5. Tickets may be reserved by calling 413/542-2195 on weekday mornings. See The Amherst College Concert Office's Website.

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Baritone Joseph Kaiser To Sing at Amherst College Feb. 24

February 7, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Just before his New York recital debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on March 2, Canadian baritone Joseph Kaiser will perform in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. Kaiser will sing a diverse program, including the world premiere of Light Verse, a setting by Richard Beaudoin (Amherst College Class of 1998) of selections from John Updike’s Collected Poems: 1953-1993. Michael McMahon will accompany Kaiser on piano. The recital at Amherst is free and open to the public.

Kaiser’s program also will include Kurt Weill’s Four Walt Whitman Songs; Schubert’s “Sehnsucht," “Schwanengesang,” “An die Laute,” “Nachtstück,” “Sei mir gegrüßt” and “Auf der Bruck;” Francesco Santoliquido’s “I Canti della sera” and Pierre Mercure’s “Dissidence,” with texts by Gabriel Charpentier.

The recipient of the first Autrey Award of the Julian Autrey Song Foundation, Kaiser will follow his Carnegie Hall appearance with his New York City Opera debut singing Morales in Carmen and the roles of Lefty McCarty and Jerry Smith in John Philip Sousa’s The Glassblowers. In the Young American Artists Program at Glimmerglass Opera in 1999 and 2000, Kaiser performed in The Glassblowers and Central Park. He also has worked with the Canadian Opera Company. Last fall Kaiser performed in the world premiere of a staged version of Die Winterreise at Amherst College, where he had appeared in Cosi fan tutte in 2000. Kaiser is noted also for his solo work on the international concert stage.

Canadian pianist Michael McMahon performs regularly throughout Canada, Europe and the United States and has made many recordings.

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Novelist Judith Frank To Read at Amherst College Feb. 25

February 7, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass -- Judith Frank, author and associate professor of English at Amherst College, will read from her novel, Crybaby Butch, at 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, 2002, in Converse Hall at Amherst College. The event, sponsored by the Amherst College Amherst Creative Writing Center, is free and open to the public.

Crybaby Butch is Frank’s first novel. She has published stories in other voices and The Massachusetts Review, and in 2000 she was awarded the fiction prize of the Astraea Foundation’s Emerging Lesbian Writer's Fund. Frank received a Ph.D. in English literature and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Cornell University. Her published work includes the book Common Ground: Eighteenth Century English Satiric Fiction and the Poor.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center puts on a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. See The Center’s Website for more information.

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Mexican-American Film Series at Amherst College in February and March

February 1, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417
 
AMHERST, Mass.—The Mead Art Museum and the Department of Spanish at Amherst College will show a free series of films on Mexican-American themes beginning in February, in conjunction with the exhibition Casa Mañana: The Morrow Collection of Mexican Popular Arts, on view at the Mead until April 21.

The first film in the series, shown on Monday, Feb. 11, is Traffic (2000), Steven Soderbergh’s contemporary thriller about the high-stakes, high-risk world of the drug trade.

Touch of Evil (1958), shown on Wednesday, Feb. 13, is Orson Welles’s gripping study of corruption and morality, set in a small town just across the Mexican-American border.

Under the Volcano (1984), shown on Monday Feb.18, is John Huston’s screen adaptation of Malcolm Lowry’s powerful meditation on self-destruction and personal despair.

Like Water for Chocolate (1992), shown on Wednesday, Feb. 20, is a simmering cauldron of romance and revolution, passion and purity, mysticism and witticism, directed by Alfonso Arau.

El Mariachi(1993), shown on Monday, Feb. 25, is Robert Rodriguez’s western pastiche that follows the saga of a "mariachi" (Mexican musician) who wanders into town looking for work and accidentally is mistaken for a hitman--who just happens to hide his guns in a guitar case.

The series closes with Danzon (1992), shown on Monday, March 4. Mar’a Novaro, Mexico’s leading female director, made this film about a single mother who works in an unsatisfying job as a switchboard operator and expresses herself only through danzon, a traditional Cuban ballroom dance.

Mexican filmmaker Gregario Rocha will discuss The Forgotten Story of Edmundo Padilla: A Mexican-American Itinerant Exhibitor and His Lost Film Archive on Thursday, April 4.

All the films and presentations will be at 7 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium on the Amherst College campus, and are free and open to the public. Casa Mañana: The Morrow Collection of Mexican Popular Arts was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from the Fideicomiso U.S.-Mexico Fund for Culture and the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund.

The Mead Art Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. Closed Mondays and holidays. More information can be obtained on the Museum’s Website.

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Political Science Professor Dumm Edits Special Issue of Theory and Event Devoted to September 11

February 1, 2002
Media Relations Assistant
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.—Theory and Event, the political journal edited by Amherst College Professor of Political Science Thomas Dumm, has released a special issue focusing on the September 11 attacks and the ensuing war in Afghanistan. The symposium, also edited by Wendy Brown, William Chaloupka and Paul Patton, includes the work of noted political theorists and emerging thinkers. see the Theory and Event's Website.

Comprising a variety of historical and theoretical perspectives on the events of the Fall 2001, the contributions to Theory and Event range from probing the meaning of jihad and contextualizing the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks within bids for hegemony in the Arab world, to analyzing American state discourses of war and evil, and assessing the kind of citizenship that is being configured by current American foreign policy.

The symposium features 17 essays, including "Untimely Reflections" by European historian Arno Mayer; "Robert Fisk’s Newspapers," by Paris-based philosopher and journalist Michel Feher; "Brave New World" by American political theorist Sheldon Wolin; "Explanation and Exoneration, or What We Can Hear" by philosopher and social critic Judith Butler; "The New Manicheans" by comparative political theorist Roxanne Euben; and "The War of Networks" by international relations theorist James der Derian.

Sankaran Krishna reviews William E. Connolly’s Why I Am Not A Secularist; Kathy E. Ferguson reviews Cynthia Enloe’sManeuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives; and Robin Wagner-Pacifici reviews Luc Boltanski’s Distant Suffering: Morality, Media and Politics. Contributors also include Giorgio Agamben, David Campbell, Jodi Dean, Kathy E.Ferguson, Peter Fitzpatrick, Larry George, Michael Hardt, Sankaran Krishna, Neal Milner, Paul Passavant, Tim Rayner, Corey Robin, Michael Shapiro and Lon Troyer.

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