Cuarteto Casals To Present Music at Amherst March 7

February 26, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-The Spanish string quartet Cuarteto Casals will present the next concert in the Music at Amherst Series on Friday, March 7, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. The Casals will perform string quartets of Debussy (Op. 10) and Brahms (C Minor, Op. 51, No. 1), as well as Mozart's Five Fugues Transcribed from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier.

Since its founding in Madrid in 1997, the Cuarteto Casals has quickly become recognized as one of today's most outstanding young string quartets. The first Spanish quartet to ever take part in international competitions, it was awarded the Yehudi Menuhin First Prize in the London International String Quartet Competition in 2000, as well as top prizes in competitions in Florence and Reggio Emilia. The Cuarteto Casals has made appearances throughout Spain, and also in London, Paris, Milan, Belfast, Glasgow, Frankfurt, Munich and Bonn, as well as throughout the United Kingdom and South America. The Belfast Telegraph called them "Definitely the best string quartet heard in a long time."

Admission to the concert is $21, senior citizens $18 and students $5. Tickets may be reserved by calling 413/542-2195 on weekday mornings. The Amherst College Concert Office has a Website at www.amherst.edu/~concerts/.

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Amherst College Receives Mellon Grant To Support Advising Program

February 13, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Amherst College a $100,000 grant in support of a new advising program for the sophomore and junior classes. The program, which will begin during the January Interterm period in 2004, will bring panels of alumni and faculty together to speak to students about the best ways to connect their Amherst educations to post-graduate study and career choices.

Ben Lieber, the dean of students at Amherst, says that the program is designed to help give students broader insights into the kinds of opportunities that are available to them in a variety of different majors. "Too many students have preconceived notions that one has to major in x in order to do y, and in many if not most instances that's simply not true," he notes. "We hope to use our alumni to suggest to students the sheer range of possibilities that almost any major will afford them in later life."

In the sophomore year, the program will focus on how the choice of majors may—or may not—affect students' future careers. A total of 15 panels will cover a substantial fraction of the majors offered at Amherst, and thus a substantial part of the range of interests—both in terms of major and in terms of possible professions—among the sophomore class.

The program for the junior class will offer advice on topics such as deciding whether or not to write a senior honors thesis, applying for national and international fellowships during the senior year, and managing the admission process for graduate and professional school. The college is organizing several panels to speak to students about these issues, including a panel with previous recipients of Rhodes, Marshall, Watson, Churchill and Fulbright fellowships.

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Amherst College To Celebrate the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King With Talk by Coretta Scott King Feb. 25

February 13, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Coretta Scott King, the widow of the slain civil rights leader, will speak on "Fulfilling the Dream in the 21st Century: The Legacy and Challenge of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m., as part of the special events in February for the college's annual celebration of the life of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mrs. King?s talk will be free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

Coretta Scott King was and is a leading participant in the American civil rights movement in her own right. During Dr. King's career, Mrs. King devoted most of her time to raising their four children, but she balanced mothering and movement work.

Mrs. King continues to work for racial and economic justice, women?s and children's rights, gay and lesbian dignity, religious freedom, the needs of the poor and homeless, full-employment, health care, educational opportunities, nuclear disarmament and ecological sanity. She has also worked with many world leaders, including Corazon Aquino, Kenneth Kaunda and Nelson Mandela. Since her husband's assassination in 1968, Mrs. King has devoted much of her energy and attention to developing programs and building the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change as a living memorial to her husband's life and dream. In 1995 she turned over leadership of the Center to her son, Dexter Scott King, who is bringing his own vision to promoting Dr. King?s teachings through information technology.

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Refugees International President Kenneth Bacon '66 To Speak at Amherst College Feb. 19

February 12, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Kenneth Bacon, the president of Refugees International, will give a talk about "It's Your World" in the Alumni House at Amherst College on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. His talk, sponsored by the Amherst College Career Center and the Foreign Policy Forum, is free and open to the public.

After graduating from Amherst in 1966, Bacon earned an M.S. from Columbia University. He is best known for his work as the spokesman for the Department of Defense in the Clinton administration.

Founded in 1979, Refugees International provides assistance and protection for displaced people around the world, and works to end the conditions that create displacement. Refugees International has a Website at www.refugeesinternational.org.

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Biochemist Jane S. Richardson To Speak on "Bioinformatics" at Amherst College Feb. 24

February 6, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Jane S. Richardson, the James B. Duke Professor of Biochemistry at Duke University, will present a free public lecture called "Bioinformatics in 3-D" on Monday, Feb. 24, at 4:30 p.m. in Merrill Science Lecture Room 4 in Amherst College. A reception at 4 p.m. in Room 428 of the Life Sciences Building will precede her talk, which is sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program, the Phi Beta Kappa Beta Chapter of Massachusetts, Amherst Women in Science and the departments of biology and chemistry at Amherst College.

Richardson researches the three-dimensional structure and means of formation of proteins. She was a pioneer in the fields of protein crystallography and protein de novo design, and helped develop the molecular graphics system of "kinemages."

Her methods include comparing the structures of known proteins, especially the de novo design of new model proteins and their synthesis and characterization. Richardson pioneered ribbon drawings for representing protein structures. She first described many of the common features of overall folds and their local motifs -- Greek key beta barrels, right-handed crossovers, helix caps, cis Pro touch-turns—and has been active in spreading molecular 3-D literacy.

Richardson earned a B.A. degree in philosophy from Swarthmore College and, without the benefit of a Ph.D., has become a biophysicist, MacArthur fellow and member of the National Academy of Sciences. She and her husband, David C. Richardson, maintain the Richardson Laboratory at Duke University (http://ives.biochem.duke.edu/Richardson/richardson.html).

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Cora Diamond To Speak on "The Problem of Impiety" Feb. 27 at Amherst College

February 6, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Cora Diamond, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia and professor of law at its law school, will speak on "The Problem of Impiety" on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 4:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Her talk, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Amherst College and the Forry Fund in Philosophy and Science as part of a series on "Objectivity in Science and Ethics," will be free and open to the public.

Diamond's scholarly interests are in Wittgenstein, Frege and the philosophy of language, moral and political philosophy, and philosophy and literature. Diamond has served as the director of graduate studies in the department of philosophy at the University of Virginia since 1990. Her most recent book is The Realistic Spirit: Wittgenstein, Philosophy, and the Mind (1991); she is also the author of many articles and editor of two books, Wittgenstein's Lectures on the Philosophy of Mathematics (1989) and Intention and Intentionality (1979).

After earning a B.A in philosophy from Swarthmore College, Diamond received a D. Phil. from Oxford University.

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Dale Peterson Wins Award for Up from Bondage

February 6, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass. - Dale Peterson's Up from Bondage: The Literatures of Russian and African American Soul (Duke University Press, 2000), the first study to consider the evolution of Russian and African-American cultural nationalism in literature, was named the Best Book in Literary and Cultural Studies for 2002 by the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages at its annual meeting. Peterson, Eliza J. Clark Folger Professor of English and Russian at Amherst College, "has made a generous gift to both Russian and African American literary studies in opening this rich field for sustained study, and fellow scholars will surely be inspired," according to the association's citation.

"Dale Peterson's book will surprise and delight readers with its elaboration of the provocative parallel trajectories taken by these two literary and philosophical traditions" the citation also noted. "Peterson's study represents intellectual history at its finest, offering readers a new perspective on canonical figures in Russian and American literary history, and encouraging us to think in broader interdisciplinary terms about our cultural fields of interest."

Peterson, who studied history and literature at Harvard and earned a Ph.D. in American studies and an M.A. in Russian studies at Yale University, has taught at Amherst College since 1968.

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Amherst College Plans To Acquire “The Evergreens,” Home Of Emily Dickinson’s Brother

February 5, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass. - The Trustees of Amherst College and the Martha Dickinson Bianchi Trust have agreed to ask the regional Probate Court for approval to transfer ownership of The Evergreens, the 1856 home of Emily Dickinson's brother Austin and his wife Susan, to the college. Following the approval of the transfer, The Evergreens and the Dickinson Homestead, owned by Amherst College since 1965, will form a single museum, called The Emily Dickinson Museum, devoted to the interpretation of the life of the poet and her family and the community in which she lived.

For several years the Homestead and The Evergreens have been working collaboratively on tours, public programs and other projects. In 2002, the college and the Martha Dickinson Bianchi Trust completed an exploratory market study and business plan. Its conclusions supported the long-term sustainability and success of a combined historic literary site.

Once the museums are legally joined, the operations of the two Dickinson houses will be merged. A new governing board is being formed to oversee the museum's future development.

The Evergreens, built for the poet's brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson, at the time of their marriage in 1856 was designed in the Italianate style by well-known Northampton architect William Fenno Pratt. The Homestead and The Evergreens, located on Main Street in Amherst, are closed for the winter and will re-open on March 1. The Homestead is a National Historic Landmark.

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1964 Performance Piece Meat Joy at Mead Art Museum Feb. 17

February 3, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass. - The Mead Art Museum will present Meat Joy, a screening of the 1964 performance piece by Carolee Schneemann, followed by a conversation with the artist and Kristine Stiles, professor of art at Duke University, on Monday, Feb. 17, at 4:30 p.m. in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. This event, which takes place in conjunction with the Mead's exhibition, "Critical Mass: Happenings, Fluxus, Performance, Intermedia and Rutgers University, 1958-1972," will remain on view until June 1. The exhibition and screening are free and open to the public.

A pioneer of performance, installation and video art, Schneemann was one of the first artists to use her body to examine the relationship between actual experiences and the imagination, often addressing issues that are erotic, sacred or even taboo. Her experimental work of the 1960s prefigured the feminist movement, particularly its encouragement of sexual self-assertion for women. A prolific writer, Schneemann incorporates the thoughts from her journals, dream diaries and feminist essays into her paintings, assemblages and kinetic sculptures, ultimately producing an unexpected and visceral fusion of sensory encounters. Today Schneemann is world-renowned for her multidisciplinary work that has helped transform the definition of art while exploring subjects that relate to sexuality, gender and the body.

In 1964, Schneemann first staged Meat Joy at the Festival de la Libre Expression in Paris. This performance piece evolved from the artist's urge to explore the gap between the conscious and unconscious, the real and the conceptual. At the same time, Schneemann's Meat Joy investigates and demystifies the hedonistic concept of the primeval ritual with (in the artist's words) its "excessive, indulgent... celebration of flesh as material."

Kristine Stiles teaches and writes widely on topics of avant-garde and experimental art from her multi-faceted perspective as art historian, critical theorist, political activist, painter and performance artist. Stiles's work stems from the intersection of art, the body, memory and societal taboos. Her publications include Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists' Writings (co-edited with Peter Selz) and the forthcoming Uncorrupted Joy: Art Actions, History, and Social Value, as well as the essay "Anomaly, Sky, Sex, and Psi in Fluxus" in Critical Mass: Happenings, Fluxus, Performance, and Intermedia at Rutgers University 1958-1972, the catalogue of the current exhibition. A noted commentator on Schneemann's art and letters, she has just completed Correspondence Course: Selected Letters of Carolee Schneemann and Her Correspondents: An Epistolary History of Art and Culture. Stiles's performance piece "Western History as a Three Story Building" has been presented at Franklin Furnace, New York, and Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis.

For further information about the exhibition and related events, call the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2235 or visit the Web site, http://www.amherst.edu/mead. The exhibition and special programs are free and open to the public.

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Creative Writing Center Readings at Amherst College in February and March

February 3, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass. - The Amherst College English Department and the Center for Creative Writing announce a series of readings in February and March. The readings, in the Babbott Room of the Octagon at 5 p.m., are free and open to the public, and will be followed by refreshments. For more information, see the Creative Writing Center Website or call 413/542-8200.


On Thursday, Feb. 6, poet Daniel Hall, whom James Merrill called "a patient craftsman, a weigher of each word," and whom Booklist has described as "a virtuoso craftsman," will read. Hall is the author of two collections, Hermit with Landscape and Strange Relation. His poems, memoirs and book reviews have been published in the National Poetry Series, the Yale Review, Verse and Parnassus. Hall has received numerous awards and fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Whiting Foundation, among others. Hall, who has taught poetry at Amherst College since 2000, was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2003.

Author David Anthony Durham will read on Tuesday, Feb. 18 in the Bruss Room in Johnson Chapel. After the publication of Gabriel?s Story, his historical novel about race and the post-Civil War American West, Publishers Weekly called Durham a "born storyteller." The winner of the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright prize for a short story "Boy-Fish," Durham has also written another acclaimed novel, Walk Through Darkness, about a runaway slave. He currently lives with his family in rural Scotland, where he is at work on a third novel.

On Thursday, Feb. 20, poet Mart? Espada will read. Yusef Komunyakaa described Espada?s most recent collection, A Mayan Astronomer in Hell?s Kitchen, as "recalibrat[ing] history till a scary clarity stares us in the eye." Espada has published his poetry in a number of collections, anthologies and publications, including the Massachusetts Review, The Nation and Diario Latino. Espada is also an essayist, translator, editor and professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

On Thursday, Feb. 27, author Sabina Murray will read. In a review of Caprices, Murray's recent collection of short stories, The New York TimesSlow Burn. Her screenplay, Beautiful Country, is currently in production. Her soon-to-be-finished novel, A Carnivore?s Inquiry, looks at exploration, art and cannibalism. Murray teaches at Phillips Academy, Andover. said that "... what she delivers can achieve a prophetic resonance." Claire Messud called the stories "dark and unflinching." Murray has also published essays, poetry and a novel,

On Monday, March 3, poet Gray Jacobik, recipient of the Yeats Prize, a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous other awards for her volumes of poetry, will read. Her most recent book, Brave Disguises, was awarded the 2001 AWP Poetry Series Award. Judging poet Marilyn Chin praised the book's "delightful lush content," and Robert Cording remarked that 'at the center of these poems is a writer who is willing to open herself fully to the world's and living's beautiful strangeness and capricious painfulness." Jacobik is a professor of English and poet-in-residence at Eastern Connecticut State University.

On Thursday, March 6, novelist Brian Kiteley will read. On NPR's "Morning Edition," Rod MacLeish praised Kiteley's first novel, Still Life With Insects, for its true novelty, and said that "with a skill that any writer worth his salt will envy, Brian Kiteley manages to bring his people to brilliant, eccentric life." Kiteley has also written a second novel, I Know Many Songs, But I Cannot Sing, as well as a book of fiction exercises, Each Sentence Educates the Next. He is currently completing The River Gods, a historical novel about Northampton, Mass. Kiteley is an associate professor of English at the University of Denver.

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