African Textiles for All Ages at Mead Art Museum at Amherst College April 4

March 30, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College and the Fiber Art Center in Amherst will present a cultural open house of textile demonstrations, music and food on Sunday, April 4, from 1 until 4:30 p.m. The current exhibitions at the Mead include Cloth Only Wears to Shreds: Yoruba Textiles and Photographs from the Beier Collection and Visions of Haiti: Vodou and Carnaval à Jacmel: Photographs by Phyllis Galembo. All events, including museum admission and parking are free. The Associates of Fine Arts at Amherst College, the Office of the President at Amherst College and Bread & Circus Whole Foods, which will provide refreshments, are sponsoring the events, which will include:

· Adire cloth dry demonstration with Barbara Goldberg;
· African wrap doll demonstrations by Belinda-Lyons-Zucker;
· African strip weaving with Carlotta Miller; and
· African traditional dance and music with the Bamidele Dancers and Drummers.

The Fiber Art Center is the home of the nonprofit Foundation for Fiber Art, Inc., and is located at 79 S. Pleasant St in Amherst. The center houses a nonprofit exhibition gallery devoted to fiber art, a retail shop featuring fiber art, jewelry and other fine crafts, and an education center that offers classes including basketry, beadwork, felting, knitting, papermaking, quilting, spinning and weaving for students of all ages and levels of experience. The Fiber Art Center is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Contact the Fiber Art Center at 413/256-1818 or visit its Website, www.fiberartcenter.com.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursdays until 9 p.m. Contact the museum at 413/542-2335 or visit its Website, www.amherst.edu/mead.

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Amherst College Professor William Taubman Receives Historians' Award

March 30, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- William C. Taubman, the Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science at Amherst College, has received the Robert H. Ferrell Book Prize of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations for "distinguished scholarship in the history of American foreign relations, broadly defined" for Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (2003), the first comprehensive biography of the Soviet Communist leader, and the first of any Soviet leader to reflect the full range of sources that have become available since the U.S.S.R. collapsed.

Khrushchev: The Man and His Era tells the story of Khrushchev's personal triumphs and tragedy and those of his country. Drawing on newly opened archives in Russia and Ukraine, Taubman has traveled to places where Khrushchev lived and worked, and interviewed Khrushchev family members, friends and colleagues, to write a biography that combines historical narrative and political and psychological analysis.

Taubman, a member of the Amherst faculty since 1967, was educated at Harvard and Columbia Universities. An associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard, chair of the Advisory Committee of the Cold War International History Project at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. and a former International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations with the Department of State, Taubman is the author of many books. He wrote Moscow Spring (1989) with his wife, Jane Taubman, a professor of Russian at Amherst College, Stalin's American Policy (1982), Governing Soviet Cities (1973) and The View from Lenin Hills (1967). He has contributed to The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, among many other newspapers, magazines and journals.

Nigerian Writer Wole Soyinka To Speak at Amherst College April 14

March 30, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka, the 1986 Nobel laureate in literature, will give a lecture, "Orisa and Yoruba Humanism," at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14, in Johnson Chapel. A reception will follow in the Mead Art Museum, which is sponsoring Soyinka's talk.

Soyinka, who won the Nobel Prize at age 55, is considered one of the finest poetical playwrights in English, combining Yoruba traditions and western culture. In his five-decade career, he has published more than 50 works, including The Open Sore of a Continent; Lion and the Jewel; Death and the King's Horseman; Madmen and Specialists; Art, Dialogue and Outrage and A Play of Giants. Imprisoned during Nigeria's civil war, he writes frequently about human survival, anger and forgiveness.

Soyinka's talk is part of Cloth Only Wears to Shreds: Yoruba Textiles and Photographs from the Beier Collection, the show that the Mead Art Museum of Amherst College is presenting from its recently acquired world-renowned collection of over 160 Yoruba textiles from Ulli and Georgina Beier, together with photographs and videos that document the function and social presence of these textiles in Nigeria. Soyinka is a long, close associate of Ulli Beier. The fabrics and garments will be on view at the Mead from Feb. 5 until May 16; the Robert Frost Library exhibition of photographs will be on view from Feb. 5 until April 19.

The exhibition, catalog and related events were made possible by the Howard A. Newton (Class of 1906) Fund, the National Endowment for the Humanities Library Fund, the Willis D. Wood Fund of the Department of Religion, the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund, the David W. Mesker (Class of 1953) Fund, the Amherst Arts Series Fund and the Office of the President.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. More information can be obtained on the museum's Website at www.amherst.edu/mead or by calling the museum at 413/542-2335. All events are free and open to the public.

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Senator and Astronaut John Glenn To Speak at Amherst College April 7

March 30, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Senator John Glenn, the astronaut who flew both Mercury and space shuttle missions and served as Ohio's U.S. Senator from 1974 to 1998, will speak on "The Space Program and Politics" on Wednesday, April 7, at 8 p.m. in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. His talk, sponsored by the Junior Class Council at Amherst, is free and open to the public.

The first popularly elected senator from Ohio to win four consecutive terms, Glenn took a leading role in weapons control and government affairs. He was chief author of the 1978 Nonproliferation Act, served as chairman of the Senate Government Affairs Committee from 1978 until 1995, and sat on the Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees and the Special Committee on Aging. Never far from the center of Democratic politics, he was a contender for the vice presidential nomination three times and ran in the Democratic primaries as a presidential candidate in 1984.

Glenn's famous 1962 voyage into space made him the first human to ever orbit the earth. His most recent trip was 1998's nine-day mission aboard the spaceship Discovery, during which he and the rest of the crew supported a variety of research payloads, including deployment of the Spartan solar-observing spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, and investigations on space flight and the aging process.

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Soprano Emily Eisen To Sing at Amherst April 2

March 30, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Soprano Emily Eisen '05 will perform songs by Handel, Debussy and Hoiby on Friday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. The performance is open to the public, and admission is free. A short reception will follow.

A student of Rod Gisick, Eisen will make her Amherst debut with this solo performance. The recital will feature Rachel Dunham '05, piano and harpsichord, Jason Grossman '05, violin, and Nicholas Juul '05E, cello.

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Staller's Sum of Destructions Receives Eleanor Tufts Book Award

March 30, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-Natasha Staller, associate professor of fine arts at Amherst College and author of A Sum of Destructions: Picasso's Cultures and the Creation of Cubism, has received the Eleanor Tufts Award for a distinguished publication on the arts of Iberia from The American Society for Hispanic Art and Historical Studies.

A Sum of Destructions, published in 2001, "offers new and refreshing insight into the early work of one of Spain's most celebrated artists," according to the citation. "Staller deciphers some of the most puzzling aspects of Picasso's life and work." She "presents the artist as quintessentially Spanish, drenched in the tumult of Spain during the early twentieth century," and unearths "an unprecedented assemblage of documents, including childhood drawings saved by Picasso's parents, art-school manuals, bullfighting treatises, three-minute films, among others." The result is "a path-breaking study for its interdisciplinary analysis of Spanish culture, and for its integration of vision, visual culture, art and art theory," which "contributes to the study of other cultural and intellectual phenomena, such as regionalism, folk revivals, mass culture, public spectacles, and material culture."

Staller, educated at Wellesley College (A.B.) and Harvard University (Ph.D.), has taught at Amherst since 1992, after teaching at Princeton University and the University of Chicago. She has had fellowships at Harvard (Society of Fellows), Yale (Getty Fellowship/ Whitney Humanities Center), the University of Pennsylvania (Mellon Fellowship) and Radcliffe College (Bunting Institute.) Working on The Sum of Destructions for more than 20 years, Staller has lectured on Picasso's cultural heritage in museums and universities, and published parts of the book in Arts Magazine, Art Bulletin, Art History and the catalog of Picasso: The Early Years (1997), an exhibition at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

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William Irwin Thompson To Speak at Amherst College April 5

March 30, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-William Irwin Thompson will speak on "The Cultural Phenomenology of Literature" on Monday, April 5, at 4:30 p.m. in Lecture Room 3 in the Merrill Science Center at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Transdisciplinary Fund, Thompson's talk is free and open to the public. Thompson's lecture will treat the evolution of consciousness from the perspective put forward in his book, Coming Into Being: Artifacts And Texts In The Evolution Of Consciousness.

Thompson is a prolific author with 17 books in the areas of cultural history, education and poetry. Educated at Pomona College and Cornell University, Thompson taught at MIT and York Universities prior to founding the Lindisfarne Association, which he calls "an association of creative individuals devoted to the study and realization of a new planetary culture.

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Amherst College Employee Ellen Feld Wins Award for "Frosty"

March 26, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Ellen Feld has won a "Children's Choices" award for her book Frosty: The Adventures of a Morgan Horse ($9.95, 199 pp., Willow Bend Publishing, South Deerfield, Mass., 2003), a novel for young adults. Feld, the academic department coordinator for the physics department, has worked at Amherst College for 15 years.

Frosty is the story of a girl's relationship with her horses. Heather Richardson, owner of the horse Blackjack (both introduced in Feld's 2001 novel, Blackjack), is entrusted with a rare gray Morgan named Frosty. Heather is disappointed to learn that not all horses are show horses, but discovers Frosty's strengths in trail riding as she and her horse work together to survive in the woods of Vermont.

The "Children's Choices" awards are given annually by the Children's Book Council, a national organization based in New York. Children pick their favorite books to determine the winners. The Children's Book Council is affiliated with the International Reading Association.

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Brentano Quartet Reschedules Music at Amherst to April 21

March 26, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- The latest installment of the 2003-04 Music at Amherst Series, the performance by the Brentano String Quartet, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, April 21, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. The concert had been scheduled for Saturday, March 27, at 8 p.m.

The Quartet will perform the String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 18, No. 6, of Beethoven; the String Quartet No. 2, "Streams," composed in 2003 by Chou Wen-chung for the Brentano; and the String Quartet in F minor, Op. 80, of Felix Mendelssohn, as originally scheduled.

The Brentano String Quartet-Mark Steinberg, violin; Serena Canin, violin; Misha Amory, viola; and Nina Maria Lee, cello-has been singled out for its technical brilliance, musical insight and stylistic elegance since its founding in 1992, receiving many international awards. Reviewer Paul Griffiths in The New York Times wrote "The Brentano String Quartet... is something special. Their music making is private, delicate and fresh, but by its very intimacy and importance it seizes attention."

The Brentano became the first quartet-in-residence at Princeton University in 1999, and served as quartet-in-residence at New York University from 1995 until 2003. The quartet is in residence at Amherst College this year.

The Brentano has made appearances in major musical centers in North America in New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, La Jolla, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Toronto, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Houston, New Orleans, Kansas City and Boston. In addition the quartet has appeared in such European venues as Royal Festival Hall in London, the Accademia de Santa Cecilia in Rome, and in Frankfurt, Cologne, Florence, Geneva, Stuttgart and Paris. The quartet maintains a strong interest in the music of our time and has commissioned and premiered works by Milton Babbitt, Charles Wuorinen, Bruce Adolphe, Steven Mackey and Jonathan Dawe in addition to Chou Wen-chung. The quartet has collaborated in recent years with Pulitzer-prize winning poet Mark Strand. Its recordings include a CD of music by Bruce Adolphe, one of Haydn's Op. 71 quartets, and one of works by Steven Mackey.

Admission to the concert is $21. Senior citizens and Amherst College employees can buy tickets for $18, and students for $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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David Hall To Give Lazerowitz Lecture at Amherst College April 13

March 26, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-David Hall, assistant professor of physics at Amherst College, will give the annual Max and Etta Lazerowitz Lecture, on "Bose, Einstein and the Coldest Stuff in the Universe" on Tuesday, April 13, at 4:30 p.m. in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. The talk is free and open to the public, as is a reception immediately following.

An experimental physicist with an interest in the very cold, Hall has built a laboratory at Amherst College to investigate Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC). Hall says, "Building upon seminal work by Satyendra Nath Bose, Albert Einstein predicted in 1925 that an atomic gas, cooled to sufficiently low temperature, would undergo a phase transition in which the atoms would pile up in a single quantum state" The first BEC was created in a lab in1995, when Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman at the University of Colorado at Boulder cooled a cloud of atoms to one twenty-billionth of a kelvin, the lowest temperature ever achieved at that time. Hall was later a post-doctoral fellow in the Boulder lab; Cornell, Wieman and Wolfgang Ketterle (M.I.T.) won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work.

Hall, who has been teaching at Amherst since 1999, will focus on experimental studies performed with multiple BECs, emphasizing recent experimental results from his Amherst lab. He received a B.A. in physics from Amherst in 1991, and earned A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University.

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.

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