Louis Menand To Speak at Amherst College April 4

March 20, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Louis Menand, critic and author of The Metaphysical Club, an exploration of American pragmatism, will speak twice on Thursday, April 4 at Amherst College. His first talk, “The Liberal Arts, the Doctorate, and the War,” at 4:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall, is sponsored by the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors. Menand will speak again at 8 p.m. in the Babbott Room in the Octagon, sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center and the Scott Turow Foundation. Both talks are free and open to the public.

The Metaphysical Club (2001) considers the distinctly American philosophy that emerged from the dislocation of the Civil War, by exploring the lives of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., William James and Charles Sanders Peirce, who began calling themselves The Metaphysical Club in 1872. They didn’t take notes, but they did leave an idea that philosophy might be useful in the practice of people’s lives, an idea that informed their writings and the work of the philosopher John Dewey, the fourth major thinker Menand discusses.

The Metaphysical Club closes with Holmes’s remarkable dissent from the1919 Supreme Court decision in the free-speech case of U.S. v. Abrams. Of the Constitution, Holmes wrote, “It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment.” Reviewing Menand’s book, John Banville wrote in the Irish Times, “The two main practical results of pragmatism Menand sees as the institution of academic freedom, in which Dewey played such a significant role, and the codification of the right to free speech, as formulated primarily in Holmes’s juridical writings on the constitution. The democracy that the pragmatists championed was one in which not only the right people, but the wrong people, too, shall have their say.” He called The Metaphysical Club a “most perceptive, elegantly organised and beautifully written book.”

Menand has been an associate editor at The New Republic, literary editor at The New Yorker and a contributing editor at The New York Review of Books. Currently a staff writer at The New Yorker and a distinguished professor of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Menand has taught at Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Virginia School of Law. He is the author of Discovering Modernism: T. S. Eliot and His Context (1987), and edited The Future of Academic Freedom (1996) and Pragmatism: A Reader (1997). He co-edited America in Theory (1988) and volume seven of The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism (1989).

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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Amherst College Seniors Set Lecture on African Americans in Art April 5

March 13, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-Lisa Friscia, David Holland and Dominique Kaschak, seniors at Amherst College, will present an illustrated lecture entitled “Entranced by the Love of Melody: Musical Iconography and Caricature in Representations of African Americans,” on Friday, April 5, at 4:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium. Presented in conjunction with Black Alumni Weekend, the talk will be followed by a reception in the Mead Art Museum. Both events are free and open to the public.

The students will discuss how African Americans were represented in19th-century American genre painting, early American film, and photography from the Harlem Renaissance. Some works, produced between 1830 and 1930, portrayed African Americans with great dignity, while others relied on the stereotypes prevalent at the time. Using works from both outside sources and the collection at the Mead, the lecture will address issues of audience, agency, inclusion and exclusion.

Friscia, from Brooklyn, NY is majoring in American studies and economics. Holland, from Richmond, VA., is an Asian languages and civilizations and economics major. Kaschak is a sociology and French major from Bethesda, MD. They organized this talk through the Department of Fine Arts as part of a special topics course in “African-American Representations.”

This event is sponsored by the Mead Art Museum, the Associates of Fine Arts and the Alumni Office. 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 found on the Museum’s Website or by calling the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2335.

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Anthony Lee To Speak on Mexican Art March 14

March 13, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Anthony W. Lee, a professor of art at Mount Holyoke College, will present a talk called “North of the Border: The U.S. in the Mexican Artistic Imagination” on Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium at Amherst College. Lee’s talk, given in conjunction with the exhibition Casa Mañana: The Morrow Collection of Mexican Popular Arts, on view at the Mead Art Museum until April 21, is free and open to the public.

Anthony W. Lee received a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and teaches European and American modern and contemporary art. He is particularly interested in the painting and photography of late 19th- and early 20th-century California, the subjects of much of his research and writing.

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 at http://www.amherst.edu/~mead.

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Bruce Chilton To Discuss “Jesus’ Resurrection” April 4

March 13, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Bruce Chilton, professor of religion at Bard College, will speak on “Jesus’ Resurrection: From the Tombs of Caiaphas to the Visions of Jesus” on Thursday, April 4, at 4:30 p.m. in Fayerweather Hall Room 115 at Amherst College. Chilton’s talk, the third in a series on Rethinking Jesus: His Intellectual, Spiritual and Material World, is sponsored by the Willis D. Wood Fund and the Religion Department at Amherst College. The event is open to the public at no charge.

In addition to Bard and Yale University, where he was the first Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament, Chilton has taught in Europe at the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and Munster. Currently Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard, he also directs the college’s Institute of Advanced Theology. Throughout his career, he has been active in the pastoral ministry of the Anglican Church, and he is presently rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist.

Chilton is a scholar of early Christianity and Judaism. He is the author of The Isaiah Targum, (1987) the first critical translation of the Aramaic version of Isaiah, and of several academic studies that put Jesus in his Jewish context: A Galilean Rabbi and His Bible (1984), The Temple of Jesus (1992) and Pure Kingdom (1996). His most recent book is Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (2000).

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Peter Shea Named Treasurer of Amherst College

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

Peter Shea Named Treasurer of Amherst College Amherst, MA — Peter Shea, a member of the Treasurer’s Office staff at Amherst College since 1987, has been named the college’s treasurer. The Amherst College Board of Trustees made the appointment at its meeting on Saturday, March 2.

Shea worked for seven years at Coopers & Lybrand before coming to Amherst as associate comptroller and assistant treasurer. In his 15 years at Amherst, he has steadily assumed increasing responsibilities within the Treasurer’s Office; he was promoted to comptroller and assistant treasurer in 1988, and in 1998 was named associate treasurer and director of the budget. Since March 2001 he also has served as the college’s acting treasurer.

As treasurer, Shea will oversee all aspects of financial management and budgeting for the College, including endowment and other investments. The offices of Comptroller, Dining Services, Facilities Planning and Management, Human Resources, Administrative Services and Rental Housing report to the treasurer. In addition, the treasurer oversees the financial operations for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

“In his many years at Amherst, Peter has been a generous, devoted and always wise colleague,” said Amherst College President Tom Gerety. “I’m delighted that at the end of a long and thorough process the search committee and the Board of Trustees recognized a strong candidate who has given most of his professional life to Amherst and who knows the College — and our town — inside and out.”

A resident of Amherst for nearly 30 years, Shea has been active in local affairs, having served as a member of Amherst Town Meeting, a trustee of the Jones Library and as Amherst College’s liaison to the town. He has been a member of the Funds Distribution Panel of the United Way of Massachusetts for the past seven years, and he has served on the Board of Directors of the Woodside Children’s Center since 1991. He is married to Joanne Shea, who works in the Amherst public school system. They have three children, Brendan, Maura and Colin, who attend the local schools.

Shea is a cum laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he also earned a master’s degree in business administration. He also is a certified public accountant.

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Brentano String Quartet To Present Schubert Octet March 29

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

AMHERST, Mass.— The Brentano String Quartet will perform on Friday, March 29, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. There will be no charge for this special concert, in which the quartet will be joined by four noted New York musicians to play Schubert’s rarely performed Octet in F major.

Since its formation in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet, made up of violinists Mark Steinberg and Serena Canin, violist Misha Amory and cellist Nina Maria Lee, has been praised for its technical brilliance, musical insight and stylistic elegance.

The Brentano String Quartet are winners of the Naumburg Chamber Music Award. Its members are associated with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, which invited them to be the first members of the Chamber Music Society Two in 1995. In November 1997 the quartet ended a successful European tour with a Wigmore Hall debut in London, for which it won the Royal Philharmonic Award. The Brentano String Quartet is in residence at Princeton and New York Universities and at Wigmore Hall. The Los Angeles Times wrote of the Brentano String Quartet, “Brilliant, virtuosic and still mellow, its members perfectly meshed in sound while retaining their individual performing personalities.” “The miracle of this young American group,” claimed The Times (London) reviewer, “lies just as much in their tenderness as in their fearless attack.”

The quartet will be joined by bassoonist Mark Goldberg, clarinetist Todd Darren, Palmer William Purvis on French horn and Leigh Mesh on double bass. This free concert is made possible by the John Tennant and Elizabeth Collins Adams Fund for Music. Brentano String Quartet has a Website at http://www.music.princeton.edu/~brentano; the Amherst College Concert Office has a Website at http://www.amherst.edu/~concerts/.

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Jazz and Improvisation at Amherst College April 4

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

AMHERST, Mass.—The Collective Expanded Trio (C.E.T.) will present a concert of new improvisational music composed by drummer Claire Arenius, who teaches performance at Amherst and Smith Colleges, on Thursday, April 4, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. The concert is open to the public at no charge.

The C.E.T., which also features pianist Eugene Uman and bassist Thomson Kneeland, is slated to present compositions from its recent CD, “When Worlds Touch You.” Formed in 1998, the trio has performed at Medellin, Colombia’s Millennium International Jazz Festival, the Discover Jazz Festival, Ryles in Boston and throughout New England.

The individual musicians also have been very successful on their own. Arenius has performed at Carnegie Hall and throughout Europe with a number of noted performers, including Dizzy Gillespie, Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, Tal Farlow and Slide Hampton. Kneeland, who fuses Balkan music with classical and light rock, is a jazz bassist who has performed with Jerry Bergonzie and Herb Pomeroy. Uman, the director of the Vermont Jazz Center since 1997, is a composer and recording artist who has appeared with Valery Pomonorev and Sheila Jordan.

Visit the Amherst College Concert Office's Website.

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Jeffrey Davidow, Ambassador to Mexico, To Speak at Amherst College March 25

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

AMHERST, Mass.—Jeffrey Davidow, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, will talk about “U.S. and Mexico Relations” on Monday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium at Amherst College. Davidow will speak in conjunction with the Mead Art Museum exhibition “Casa Mañana: The Morrow Collection of Mexican Popular Arts,” which runs until Sunday, April 21. This exhibition celebrates the collection of Mexican folk art assembled by Dwight W. Morrow (Amherst College 1895) and his wife Elizabeth (Smith College 1896) during his tenure as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico in the late 1920s. Ambassador Davidow’s talk is free and open to the public.

Davidow, who previously served as Ambassador to Zambia and Venezuela, was Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs from 1996 until 1998, when he assumed his post in Mexico. In addition to his ambassadorial positions, he has served in American Embassies in Guatemala, Chile and Venezuela. He also was posted to South Africa and Zimbabwe. Ambassador Davidow studied at the University of Massachusetts (B.A., 1965), the University of Minnesota (M.A., 1967) and at Osmania University in Hyderabad, India (1968-69). While in the Foreign Service he worked both as a Fellow of the American Political Science Association (1979) and another year as a Fellow of the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University (1982).

This event has been made possible by the Corliss Lamont Lectureship for a Peaceful World; with exhibition and programs support from Fideicomiso/U.S. Mexico Fund for Culture, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Associates of Fine Arts at Amherst; and with special thanks to the Amherst College Spanish Department, Chicana/o Caucus, La Causa and the Foreign Policy Forum.

On March 25, the Amherst College Foreign Policy Forum will co-host an open forum with Ambassador Davidow to discuss relations between Mexico and the United States, at 3:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium. The moderator will be Aimee Wilczynski ’03, president of the Latino Culture House.

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Professors Alexander George and Daniel Velleman Are Authors of New Book About the Philosophy of Mathematics

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

AMHERST, Mass.—Alexander George, professor of philosophy, and Daniel Velleman, professor of mathematics at Amherst College, are the authors of Philosophies of Mathematics ($64.95 hardcover, $29.95 paperback, Blackwell Publishers, 2002).

George and Velleman write in the preface to Philosophies of Mathematics that in teaching college students about the topic, they “found few if any contemporary works that introduce and carefully develop the philosophies, the mathematical projects, and their complex interconnections.” Their use of the plural is deliberate; the three main streams of mathematical philosophy, logicism, intuitionism and finitism are all considered here. Some historical background is offered, but the emphasis is on the living philosophy.

A member of the faculty at Amherst since1988, George received a B.A. degree from Columbia University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. He is editor of Reflections on Chomsky (1989) Western State Terrorism (1991) and Mathematics and Mind (1994). Velleman came to Amherst in 1983, having earned a B.A. at Dartmouth College, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is author of How to Prove It: A Structured Approach (1994) and co-author of Which Way Did the Bicycle Go? And Other Intriguing Mathematical Mysteries (with Joseph Konhauser and Stan Wagon, 1996).) More information about Philosophies of Mathematics can be found at the Blackwell Website.

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Contact

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