Amherst College Library To Receive Its Millionth Volume April 23 and 24

April 7, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-The Amherst College Library will celebrate the addition of the millionth volume to its collections with ceremonies and a symposium on the poet James Merrill '47 on Friday, April 23, and Saturday, April 24. All events are free and open to the public.

The "millionth volume" in the library actually comprises several acquisitions, according to Willis E. Bridegam, Librarian of the College, including printed books, music CDs, film DVDs, databases of electronic images, a periodical index and a rare collection of important letters that will be announced at the ceremony. Bridegam, who is retiring after 29 years at Amherst, says, "Celebrating the library's millionth volume is a very special occasion. It gives us an opportunity to reflect on the importance of the printed word to a liberal arts college and to consider how electronic access to information is supplementing and changing the way we provide information to our users."

A reception for students, featuring music by "AJ junior's fantastical jazz machine," will take place on Friday, April 23, at 2 p.m. in the Friendly Periodical Reading Room at Robert Frost Library. At 3:45 p.m., bell music will be offered from the Stearns Steeple Carillon.

At 4 p.m. Richard Wilbur '42, former Poet Laureate of the U.S. and Robert Frost Library Fellow, who was also present at the dedication of the RobertFrost Library in 1963, will read a poem. Samuel B. Ellenport '65, the Chairman of the Friends of the Amherst College Library, will present the principal millionth acquisition to Bridegam, who will also describe the other acquisitions. William H. Pritchard '53, the Henry Clay Folger Professor of English at Amherst, will also speak. Guests can explore the library's electronic resources in the Barbara and Frederick S. Lane '36 Room (Level A). An exhibition and reception in the Archives and Special Collections will follow.

On Saturday, April 24, at 2 p.m. in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115), writers and scholars will commemorate the life and work of James Merrill, the poet who graduated from Amherst in 1947. Merrill's nephew, poet and writer Robin Magowan, will speak about the year Merrill taught at Amherst (1955-56) and his novel The Seraglio (1957). Richard Wilbur will recall his friendship with Merrill and life at Amherst College in the 1940s. Jack Hagstrom, Merrill's bibliographer, will speak about the poet's early publications. Merrill's biographer Langdon Hammer will discuss Merrill's life at Amherst. Writer and poet Stephen Yenser, Merrill's literary executor and editor of a forthcoming collection of the poet's letters, will consider Merrill's youthful work, written while he was an undergraduate at Amherst from 1943 to 1947.

Daniel Hall, writer in residence at Amherst and the poet who was the first Merrill Fellow to live and write in the Merrill apartment in Stonington, Conn., will moderate the discussion. Members of the audience, especially those who knew Merrill or know his work, will be encouraged to participate in the discussion.

Saturday's symposium will be followed by a reception in Archives and Special Collections in the Robert Frost Library, where Merrill's books, letters, manuscripts and memorabilia and the works of symposium participants will be on display.

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Amherst College Professor William Taubman Receives Pulitzer Prize

April 5, 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 2004 Pulitzer Prize for biography 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. "I feel wonderful," Taubman said, "and privileged to be recognized." Tony Marx, the president of the college, noted Amherst's pride in Taubman's achievement, and said, "His great work came out of years of scholarship, and was informed by years of teaching, in the greatest Amherst tradition."

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.

Lewis Spratlan, Peter R. Pouncey Professor of Music, received the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Life is a Dream, Opera in Three Acts: Act II, Concert Version.

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Human Rights Activist Alison Des Forges To Speak on Rwandan Genocide at Amherst College April 12 and Smith College April 13

April 5, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-Alison Des Forges of Human Rights Watch will speak on "'Enemies Everywhere: 'Self-Defense,' International Inaction and the Genocide in Rwanda" on Monday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room of Converse Hall at Amherst College, and again on Tuesday, April 13, at 8 p.m. in the Neilson Library Browsing Room at Smith College. Both talks are free and open to the public.

A MacArthur Fellow, Des Forges serves as expert witness to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and has provided evidence on the Rwandan genocide to judicial authorities in Belgium, Switzerland, Canada and the U.S., and assisted several international investigations. As co-chair of the 1993 International Commission of Investigation into Human Rights Abuse in Rwanda, Des Forges reported on the massacres that presaged the 1994 genocide, and chaired the 1994 International Commission that investigated slaughter in Burundi.

Trained as a historian at Harvard and Yale universities, Des Forges is the author of Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda (2000), which received the Lemkin Award of the Institute for the Study of Genocide.

Des Forges's lecture at Amherst is supported by the Charles Hamilton Houston Forum for Social Justice and the Amherst College Department of History. Her talk at Smith is sponsored by the African Studies Program and the Departments of Government and History at Smith College. Both talks received support from the Five College Lecture Committee.

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Paul Boghossian To Speak on "Objective Knowledge" at Amherst College April 15

April 5, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-Paul Boghossian, professor and chair of philosophy at New York University, will speak on "Objective Knowledge" on Thursday, April 15, at 4:30 p.m. in the Pruyne Lecture Hall in the Pruyne Lecture Room in Fayerweather Hall. Boghossian's talk, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Amherst College and the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science is the last of a series on "Ethics, Metaphysics, and Psychology of Belief." The lecture will be free and open to the public.

Boghossian's research interests are in the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language and epistemology. His many publications have considered color, rule following, eliminativism, naturalism, self-knowledge, a priori knowledge, analytic truth, realism and the aesthetics of music. He is currently at work on a book on the notion of objectivity.

He has held research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York Institute for the Humanities, Magdalen College (Oxford), the School for Advanced Study (University of London) and the Australian National University (Canberra), Boghossian is on the editorial board of Philosophical Studies and Philosophers' Imprint. He has served as a faculty member at an NEH Institute on the Nature of Meaning. Boghossian received a Ph.D. degree from Princeton, and taught there and at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor before coming to NYU.

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Photographer Wendy Ewald To Speak at Amherst College April 22

April 5, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Wendy Ewald, known for her documentary collections of photographs depicting life in communities all over the world, will deliver this year's Rapaport Lecture in Contemporary Art at Amherst College on Thursday, April 22, at 4:30 in Pruyne Lecture Hall (115 Fayerweather Hall). Titled "Secret Games," Ewald's talk, a reception and a book signing are free and open to the public.

Ewald's projects probe questions of identity and cultural differences. She often encourages her subjects, many of them children, not only to take the photographs themselves but also to join her in working with negatives. Her works challenge the concept of who actually makes an image: who is the photographer and who the subject, who is the observer and who the observed. Over the last 30 years, Ewald has worked in Labrador, Colombia, India, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Holland, Mexico and the United States.

Among Ewald's many honors are a MacArthur Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation and the Fulbright Commission. She has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the George Eastman House in Rochester, Nederlands Foto Institute in Rotterdam and the Fotomuseum in Wintherthur, Switzerland. She alsohas published seven books. She is currently artist-in-residence at the John Hope Franklin Center and a senior research associate at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. She is also a senior fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School.

Ewald's talk is sponsored by the Fine Arts Department, the Office of the Dean of the Faculty,and the Rapaport Lectureship in Contemporary Art Fund. Established in 1999, this fund provides support for an annual lecture by an artist, art writer or art critic on some aspect of contemporary art. The goal of the Rapaport Lectureship is to increase awareness and appreciation of contemporary art among students and the community.

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Poet Jean-Michel Maulpoix To Speak at Amherst College April 20

April 5, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-French poet Jean-Michel Maulpoix will give a talk titled "What About Poetry?" and read from his latest book of poems, Pas sur la neige, on Tuesday, April 20, at 4 p.m. in the Alumni House at Amherst College. Free and open to the public, Maupoix's lecture will be in English. The event is sponsored in part by the Georges Lurcy Lecture Fund, and a reception will follow.

Maulpoix is the foremost scholar of modern and contemporary French poetry in France today, as well as an acclaimed poet. He has written many books on poetry, among which are the influential La voix d'Orphze (1989), La pozsie comme l'amour (1998) and Du lyrisme (2000), as well as critical studies of Renz Char and Henri Michaux. He is the author of 14 books of poems, including Une histoire de bleu (1992), Chutes de pluie fine (2002) and, most recently, Pas sur la neige (2004). Maulpoix is the editor of the literary journal Le Nouveau Recueil and teaches modern and contemporary French poetry at the Université Paris X-Nanterre.

Jean-Michel Maulpoix has a Website, www.maulpoix.net.

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Amherst College Hosts Keepers of the Word Storytellers April 24

April 2, 2004
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-Storytellers from across the country will spin their tales at the 12th annual Keepers of the Word Storytelling Festival, a day-long event on Saturday, April 24, in the Keefe Campus Center Frontroom at Amherst College. Performances are scheduled for 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

This year's nationally known storytellers are Onawumi Jean Moss, Derek Burrows, Motoko, David Novak and Victoria Burnett.

Onawumi Jean Moss, founder and director of the Keepers of the Word Storytelling Festival, is associate dean of students at Amherst College. With original stories, fairy tales, cautionary tales, folk tales and personal narratives she encourages appreciation of cultural differences, pride of heritage, recognition of kinship, reflection and inquiry. Her soulful narration, a capella singing, dramatic facial expressions and animated movements bring to life the worlds of adventurous girls and women, charming creatures, scheming tricksters and wicked demons.

Derek Burrows, of Nassau, Bahamas, a member of Voice of the Turtle, a group specializing in music of the Sephardic Jews, uses stories to look at diversity, healing and cross-cultural understanding. Motoko, of Osaka, Japan, tells Asian folktales and original stories combined with mime movement and traditional songs. David Novak of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is an eclectic storyteller whose repertoire reflects his work as a mime and clown and his experiences in theater and literature. Victoria Burnett of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., is a multitalented storyteller who believes every story should have some music in it.

There will be three ensemble performances at the festival: "Stories for Little Folk and the People Who Love Them" from 10 to 11:30 a.m., "Stories for Young Folk and the People Who Love Them" from 2 to 4 p.m., and "Stories for Older Folk and the People Who Love Them" from 8 to 10 p.m.

Tickets for the 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. performances for adults are $8 ($6 for seniors, $5 for children) and $14 for the 8 p.m. performance ($12 for seniors, $8 for children). A special rate of $12 for adults ($10 for seniors, $8 for children) is available to those who wish to attend both the morning and afternoon performances. Tickets for each performance are $5 for Amherst College staff and free to students with I.D. Advance tickets are available for each performance at the Keefe Campus Center Office. For information call 413/542-8422 or visit the Website at www.amherst.edu/storytelling.

Keepers of the Word is sponsored by the Association of Amherst Students, Office of the Dean of Students, academic departments and supporters throughout Amherst College.

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Contact

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