Amherst College Historian Kevin Sweeney Looks at 1704 Deerfield Raid in New Book

November 22, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- In a new book, Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield ($29.95, 408 pp., University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 2003), Kevin Sweeney, professor of American studies and history at Amherst College, and Evan Haefeli, professor of history at Tufts University, reexamine the so-called "Deerfield Massacre" of 1704. Weaving social, political, literary, religious, and military history, Sweeney and Haefeli reveal connections between cultures and histories usually seen as separate, and a framework stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.

Drawing on previously untapped sources, Sweeney and Haefeli show how the assault of February 29, 1704, when a party of French and Indian raiders descended on the Massachusetts village of Deerfield, killed 50 residents and captured more than a hundred others, grew out of the aspirations of New England family farmers, the ambitions of Canadian colonists, the calculations of French officials, the fears of Abenaki warriors and the grief of Mohawk women as they all struggled to survive the ongoing confrontation of empires and cultures.

Haefeli and Sweeney tell the stories of a variety of individuals, from the Native, French, and English communities of the colonial Northeast: Frenchmen, Abenakis, Hurons, Kahnawake Mohawks, Pennacooks and Iroquois of the Mountain. Although the inhabitants put up more of a fight than earlier accounts of the "massacre" suggested, the attackers took 112 men, women and children on a harsh trek back to Canada. Along the way the authors examine how captives and captors negotiated cultural boundaries and responded to the claims of competing faiths and empire, against a backdrop of continuing warfare.

Sweeney, a resident of Greenfield, Mass., has taught at Amherst since 1993. He received a B.A. from Williams College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Yale University.

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Christmas Vespers at Amherst College Dec. 7

November 22, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- The annual Christmas Vespers service will be held on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 4 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. The "Festival of Lessons and Carols" is sponsored by the Amherst College Christian Fellowship, the Newman Club and the Protestant and Roman Catholic Religious Advisors. Admission is free, and the public is invited.

Mallorie Chernin will direct the Amherst College Choral Society, assisted by Daniel Leistra '03. Sarah Davis '05 and Alex Brewster '06 will direct the Amherst College Madrigal Singers. Other musicians will include organist James Maes and trumpeters Douglas Purcell and Kevin Daley '05. The Choral Society will perform music of Palestrina, Chesnokov, Victoria, Handel, and others.

The Women's Chorus and Glee Club will combine to sing "Carol of the Bells." Members of the college community will read the scripture lessons. The congregation will be asked to join in the singing of traditional carols and the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's Messiah.

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Emily Dickinson Museum Celebrates Emily Dickinson's Birthday Dec. 13

November 22, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- The Emily Dickinson Museum will host its annual Open House on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. in honor of Emily Dickinson's birthday (December 10, 1830). The event is free and open to the public.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is comprised of the Dickinson Homestead, birthplace and home of the poet, and The Evergreens next door, the home of Austin and Susan Dickinson, the poet's brother and sister-in-law. The Museum was created earlier this year when Amherst College, which already owned the Homestead, acquired ownership of The Evergreens from the Martha Dickinson Bianchi Trust.

The Birthday Open House has become a much-anticipated annual tradition in the Amherst area. Visitors can enjoy the two houses on self-guided tours. An anonymous donor will once again offer a rose to the first 173 visitors to the Homestead. Visitors also have the chance to sample the coconut cake recipe from a friend of Emily Dickinson's, as well as the poet's own gingerbread recipe. An activity guide is available for children. At The Evergreens, visitors will hear how Amherst residents celebrated Christmas in the second half of the nineteenth century and about Susan Dickinson's innovative holiday decorations that scandalized the family's puritan neighbors.

The Museum is located on Main Street in Amherst. For more information about the Open House, please call 413/542-8161 or visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org. Accessible parking is available at the Homestead; all other vehicles are asked to park on the street or in an Amherst College lot on Spring Street. Call for more information about accessibility. The Museum will be closed for the winter from Dec. 14, through Feb. 29.

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Folger Shakespeare Librarian Richard Kuhta To Speak at Amherst College Dec. 4

November 22, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-Richard Kuhta, Librarian of the Folger Shakespeare Library, will speak about the outstanding and rare collection at the Washington, D.C. library on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. in the Barker Room at Robert Frost Library. His talk, titled "Thys Boke is Myne: Celebrating Books and their Owners from William Caxton to Langston Hughes," is sponsored by the Amherst College Library.

Kuhta will talk about books belonging to writers, collectors, royalty, actors and statesmen, showing the interesting and amusing ways people connect with their books.
He will illustrate how inscriptions, mottoes, marginalia, bookplates, labels, armorials and binding stamps link texts to their owners, from William Caxton to Langston Hughes.

The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, is a major center for scholarly research in the humanities and a venue for exhibitions, cultural programs and the performing arts. Founded by Standard Oil executive Henry Clay Folger and his wife, Emily Jordan Folger, the Folger opened its doors on April 23, 1932, Shakespeare's birthday. An independent research library, privately endowed and supported, the Folger is administered by the Trustees of Amherst College, Folger's alma mater. The Folger welcomes more than 200,000 visitors a year. More information about the Folger and its programs is available on the Web at www.folger.edu or by phone at 202/544-7077.

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Poet Mary Jo Salter To Read in Amherst College Creative Writing Series Dec. 1

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

AMHERST, Mass -Popular local poet Mary Jo Salter will read from her work at 8 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 1, at Amherst Books, 8 Main Street in Amherst. The event, co-sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The author of five books of poetry, Salter "challenges us with the discovery that something lucid, forthright and fantastically undisheveled might also be sublime," according to the New York Times Book Review. Her most recent collection, Open Shutters (2003), explores the daily flickering of darkness and light. Donna Seaman describes Salter's poetry as "so precise and gravity-defying, so astonishingly eloquent, the exhilarated reader feels as though she's watching a gymnast perform intricate, risky and unpredictable sequences, nailing each one perfectly." Poet Carolyn Kizer wrote of a previous collection, A Kiss in Space (1999), "These are poems of breathtaking elegance: in formal control, in intellectual subtlety, in learning lightly displayed." In the Times Literary Supplement, Les Murray called this collection "the book of poetry I loved best this year."

Salter is Emily Dickinson Senior Lecturer in the Humanities at Mount Holyoke College. Her other books include Henry Purcell in Japan (1985), Unfinished Painting (the 1989 Lamont Selection for the year's most distinguished second volume of poetry), Sunday Skaters (nominated in 1994 for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and a children's book, The Moon Comes Home (1989). Salter is a coeditor of The Norton Anthology of Poetry and has received many awards, including a year in France on an Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship. She is on the board of the Amy Clampitt Trust, the Bogliasco Foundation, and The Kenyon Review, and has been vice president of the Poetry Society of America since 1995.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center puts on a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. For more information see the Center's website, www.amherst.edu/~cwc, or call Amherst Books at 413/256-1547.

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Philosopher Richard Moran To Speak on "Being Told and Being Believed" at Amherst College Nov. 20

November 10, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-Philosopher Richard Moran, the Brian D. Young Professor of Philosophy and chair of the Philosophy Department at Harvard University, will talk about "Being Told and Being Believed" on Thursday, Nov. 20, at 4:30 p.m. in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. His talk, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Amherst College and the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science as part of a series on "Ethics, Metaphysics and Psychology of Belief," will be free and open to the public.

Moran, whose interests include philosophy of mind and moral psychology, the nature of testimony, aesthetics and the philosophy of literature, and the later Wittgenstein, received his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1989. He taught at Princeton University before coming to Harvard in 1995.

Teaching courses on the nature of the person, self-deception, language and literature, social explanation and interpretation, rationality and irrationality, Moran has published papers on metaphor, on imagination and emotional engagement with art, and on the nature of self-knowledge. The author of Authority and Estrangement: An Essay on Self-Knowledge (2001), Moran has contributed to Philosophical Review, Philosophical Quarterly, European Journal of Philosophy and Philosophical Topics, among others.

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