Amherst College Composer Lewis Spratlan Has New Recording

February 17, 2005
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AMHERST, Mass. - Lewis Spratlan, the Peter R. Pouncey Professor of Music at Amherst College and recipient of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in Music, has just released a new recording on Albany Records. The disc, titled "When Crows Gather and Other Works," contains four pieces performed by the New York ensemble Sequitur. Spratlan's piece Streaming: Quartet for Piano and Strings, commissioned by Chicago's Ravinia Festival, will also be performed by players from Ravinia at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 20.

Other pieces on the new CD are When Crows Gather (1986); Concertino for Violin and Chamber Ensemble (1995), Mark Kaplan, soloist; Of Time and the Seasons - seven songs on Finnish texts (2001), Lucy Shelton, soprano; and Zoom (2003) for chamber orchestra. Paul Hostetter is the conductor of Sequitur.

In addition to its performance in Boston, Streaming: Quartet for Piano and Strings will also be played in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and at the Library of Congress in Washington in March. The Manatees of Blue Springs, based on a text by Lewis Hyde, will be performed by the choir of Washington University in St. Louis on Saturday, April 16.

Spratlan has taught at Amherst College since 1970, when he founded and conducted the Amherst-Mount Holyoke Orchestra. He was educated at Yale University and the Yale School of Music. His compositions have won numerous awards and prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize for Life Is a Dream, Opera in Three Acts: Act Two, Concert Version, which had its world premiere at Amherst in 2000. His recordings include Two Pieces for Orchestra, available on Opus One Records, and Night Music on Gasparo.

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Amherst English Professor Allen Guttmann is Author of Sports: The First Five Millennia

February 17, 2005
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AMHERST, Mass.-Allen Guttmann, the Emily C. Jordan Folger Professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College, is the author of Sports: The First Five Millennia ($34.95, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 2005), a social history of the world's sports from pre-historical times to the present.

The subtitle, Guttmann acknowledges, implies some irony: "No one knows enough to write such a book." Guttmann's entertaining prose narrative traces the history of sports, plotting their evolution from "a myriad of particularistic pre-modern forms to the universalistic modern forms now taken for granted everywhere in the world." Guttmann, who initially developed this scheme in From Ritual to Record (1978), adopts a global perspective that includes lengthy discussions of Asian, African and Latin American sports as well as those of Europe and North America. Illustrated with dozens of images, Sports presents a single comprehensive narrative, beginning with a discussion of what does and does not constitute a sport. Guttmann explores the variety of sports played by the preliterate peoples of the Americas and Africa, by the Greeks and Romans of antiquity, and in pre-modern China and Japan as well as in Islamic Asia and medieval Europe. These traditional sports include everything from Cherokee stickball and Chinese kite-flying to Persian wrestling and English bearbaiting.

A member of the Amherst faculty since 1959, Guttmann is also the author of From Ritual to Record: The Nature of Modern Sports (1978), Women's Sports: A History (1991), Games and Empires (1994), and The Olympics: A History of the Modern Games (2002). He received the first President's Award for Sports Studies from the International Olympic Committee in 2000.

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Amherst College Professor of Anthropology Deborah Gewertz To Lecture at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in May

February 15, 2005
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AMHERST, Mass.-Deborah Gewertz, the G. Henry Whitcomb 1874 Professor of Anthropology at Amherst College, has been invited to spend a month as professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Gewertz and her collaborator, Frederick Errington of Trinity College, will deliver a series of lectures on food, globalization, class and gender in various seminars between May 9 and June 8.

The École is dedicated to the analysis of the contemporary world in a multidisciplinary, cross-cultural and comparative perspective, and to the training of experts in various cultural areas. Once the academic home of such luminaries as Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, and Claude Levi-Strauss, among many others, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales is perhaps the premier institution of higher learning devoted to the social sciences.

The co-authors most recently of Yali's Question: Sugar, Culture, and History (2004), Gewertz and Errington have collaborated on several books, including Cultural Alternatives and a Feminist Anthropology: An Analysis of Culturally Constructed Gender Interests in Papua New Guinea (1987), Articulating Change in the "Last Unknown" (1995), Twisted Histories, Altered Contexts: Representing the Chambri in a World System (1991) and Emerging Class in Papua New Guinea: The Telling of Difference (1999). Gewertz is also the author of numerous articles in books and journals, including American Ethnologist and American Anthropologist. Gewertz has taught at Amherst since 1977.

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Amherst College Professor Lawrence Douglas Addresses International Criminal Court

February 15, 2005
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AMHERST, Mass.-Lawrence Douglas, associate professor of law, jurisprudence and social thought at Amherst College, delivered a lecture to the International Criminal Court in The Hague in January. At the invitation of the prosecutor's office, Douglas discussed "From Eichmann to Milosevic: Reflections on Perpetrator Trials." Douglas addressed the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, also housed in the Hague, in October 2004.

The lecture series in the prosecutor's office brings distinguished professors, publicists and practitioners in the fields of international criminal law, international humanitarian law, international human rights and relevant practice to The Hague to continue the education of the staff.

Douglas is the author of the acclaimed book The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust (2003). His current book project, Reflections on the Glass Booth, on perpetrator trials, will be published by Princeton University Press. His essays and commentary have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Times Literary Supplement, The New Yorker and The New Republic. A professor at Amherst since 1990, Douglas received an A.B. degree from Brown University, an M.A. from Columbia and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

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Amherst College Professor Ilan Stavans To Give Commonwealth Humanities Lecture in Lexington March 31

February 14, 2005
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AMHERST, Mass.-Ilan Stavans, the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College, will give the second annual Commonwealth Humanities Lecture, titled "This Land is Our Land: The Challenge of Diversity in Massachusetts," on Thursday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m. at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Mass. The lecture and a reception to follow are free and open to the public.

Each year the Northampton-based Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC), the publisher of CommonWealth magazine, recognizes a humanities scholar or writer for his or her contributions to public understanding of contemporary issues or civic affairs in Massachusetts. Michael Sandel, a professor of government at Harvard University, gave the first Commonwealth Humanities Lecture last year.

According to David Tebaldi, executive director of the foundation, "Stavans has devoted himself to furthering our understanding of Latinos in the United States, in general, and in the state of Massachusetts, in particular." His goal, Stavans has said, is to "enlighten people about the challenges of a multicultural, multiracial, polyglot society like ours." Tebaldi adds, "This is a crucially important issue today and will become even more important issue over the next half century when minorities are expected to become the majority of United States citizens." Stavans's scholarly work draws attention to the role that minorities, especially Latinos, play in public life.

Last year, Stavans received Chile's Presidential Medal, the Antonia Pantoja Award and the Latino Hall of Fame Prize. He has four books forthcoming in the next six months: the Schocken Book of Modern Sephardic Literature; a selection of the interviews that he conducted on Conversations with Ilan Stavans on the WGBH (PBS) program La Plaza; the four-volume Encyclopedia Latina in April, a project on which he has been heavily at work for four years, covering every aspect of Latino life in the United States; and a small personal meditation of dictionaries, their history and the role they play in our life: Dictionary Days. He is also the editor of the forthcoming 2,500-page Norton Anthology of Latino Literature.

A member of the Amherst faculty since 1993, Stavans is also author of Growing up Latino (1993) and The Hispanic Condition (1995), The Oxford Book of Jewish Stories (1998), On Borrowed Words (2001) and The Poetry of Pablo Neruda (2003). He has noted, "I have made it my quest to approach the English language as an instrument of democratic cohesion and to understand the various 'minority tongues' used in the United States that function as counterpoints of sorts to Shakespeare's tongue, among them-and primarily-Spanglish." Stavans has published the first dictionary of Spanglish, titled Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language (2003), and has debated in public the role language plays in public life and civic affairs for African Americans, Latinos and other immigrant groups.

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Five College Jazz Festival To Be Held in Amherst Feb. 18 through 20

February 14, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-The third annual Five College Jazz Festival will take place from Friday, Feb. 18, to Sunday, Feb. 20. The festival will feature students from Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Smith and Williams College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

On Friday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., jazz ensembles from Mount Holyoke, Smith, Amherst, Williams and UMass will perform in Buckley Recital Hall of the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. On Saturday, Feb. 19, from 1:30 to 6 p.m., saxophonist Walt Weiskopf will present a clinic and concert accompanied by Jeff Holmes, Richard Downs and Rob Weiner at the UMass Fine Arts Center and Bezanson Recital Hall. On Sunday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Frontroom in the Keefe Campus Center at Amherst College, jazz combos from Amherst, Smith and UMass will present a free concert.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information call Bruce Diehl at 413/542-8308, or visit www.amherst.edu/~jazz.

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Scholar of Hinduism and Mythology Wendy Doniger To Speak at Amherst College Apr. 4

February 7, 2005
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AMHERST, Mass.-Wendy Doniger, a scholar of Hinduism and mythology, will speak on "The Man Who Would Not Sleep With His Wife Until She Bore Him a Son" on Monday, Apr. 4, at 4:30 p.m. in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Doniger is a visiting Phi Beta Kappa scholar at Amherst, and her talk, sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa chapter, the Lurcy Fund and the Departments of Religion and Anthropology and Sociology at Amherst, is free and open to the public. A reception and booksigning will follow.

The director of the Martin Marty Center and Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, Doniger is a noted chronicler of Hinduism and mythology. In mythology, her work addresses wide cross-cultural themes; in Hinduism, in addition to its mythology, she considers literature, law, gender and ecology. Her freely ranging scholarship-and a "spirit of wry playfulness," as The New York Times characterized it-incorporates death, dreams, evil, horses, sex and women.

Doniger's most recent book, the just-published The Woman Who Pretended To Be Who She Was: Myths of Self-Imitation, explores the theme of self-impersonation, whose widespread occurrence-the stories range from ancient Indian literature through medieval European courtly literature and Shakespeare to Hollywood and Bollywood-demonstrates its literary power and its human value. The book is the final volume of a trilogy that includes The Implied Spider: Politics and Theology in Myth (1998) and The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade (2000).

The author of many translations and interpretations of Sanskrit classics under the name of Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, Doniger also wrote The Origins of Evil in Hindu Mythology (1976), Women, Androgynes, and Other Mythical Beasts (1980), Siva: The Erotic Ascetic (1981), Dreams, Illusion, and Other Realities (1984), Tales of Sex and Violence: Folklore, Sacrifice, and Danger in the Jaiminiya Brahmana (1985), Other People's Myths: the Cave of Echoes (1988) and Splitting the Difference: Gender and Myth in Ancient Greece and India (1999). Doniger edited Mythologies, an English-language edition of Yves Bonnefoy's 1,300-page Dictionnaire des Mythologies.

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Amherst College President Anthony Marx To Deliver Keynote Address at Slavery Symposium Feb. 16

February 2, 2005
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AMHERST, Mass.--Amherst College President Anthony W. Marx and Lucas Wilson, professor of economics and chair of African American and African Studies at Mount Holyoke College, will present keynote lectures in a semester-long series of symposia on "Slavery and its Legacies" on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 4 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College, Sponsored by Five College Learning in Retirement, the event is open to the public at no charge.

An internationally recognized scholar who has written several books on nation building, particularly in South Africa, Marx also has established and managed programs designed to strengthen secondary school education in the U.S. and abroad. Before becoming Amherst's 18th president in 2003, Marx spent 13 years on the political science faculty at Columbia University. Marx founded the Columbia Urban Educators Program, a public school teacher recruitment and training partnership. He also directed the Early College/High School Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, which establishes model public high schools as partnerships between school systems and universities, and helped found Khanya College, a South African school that helped prepare more than 1,000 black students for university. Marx is the author of a dozen substantive articles and three books, Lessons of Struggle: South African Internal Opposition, 1960-1990 (1992), Making Race and Nation: A Comparison of the United States, South Africa and Brazil (1998) and Faith in Nation: Exclusionary Origins of Nationalism (2003).

Promoting the pursuit of "life-long learning," Five College Learning in Retirement annually sponsors as many as 50 peer-led seminars for its members, who now number more than 250. Chuck Gillies, a former president of the organization and project director for this series, says that two recent seminars, "Causes of the Civil War" and "Understanding Slavery," helped to inspire the series. He credits Robert Romer, Amherst College professor of physics, emeritus, with sharing "some little known facts about slavery in the North with all of us," facts he had learned initially in the seminars and as a new guide at Historic Deerfield. "Much of this local history as well as the background on slavery nationally had been forgotten, minimized or denied," said Gillies. More information about the program is available at the Five College Website www.fivecolleges.edu/news/news_lir_slavery05.html or by calling 413/585-3756.

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"Quicker Than A Wink:" Photographs of Harold Edgerton at Mead Art Museum at Amherst College Jan. 25 through Apr. 3

February 2, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.--In its first-ever collaborative art and science project, the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College presents "Quicker Than a Wink," an exhibition of photographs by inventor and pioneering photographer Harold E. Edgerton, from Tuesday, Jan. 25 until Sunday, Apr. 3. The exhibition features 35 color and black-and-white photographs, from the museum's permanent collection, that explore the unseen world of objects in motion. The organizers-George Greenstein, the Sidney Dillon Professor of Astronomy at Amherst College; Robert Hallock, Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; and Jill Meredith, the director of the Mead Art Museum-will discuss Edgerton, some of his images and his techniques including live demonstrations of a strobe and its effect on the perception of motion on Thursday, Feb. 24, at 4:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium, with a reception to follow at the Mead Art Museum.

In the 1930s, Edgerton (1903-1990) developed a powerful, quick and reusable electronic flash lamp that revolutionized photography. His strobe flash, or "speedlight," provided a portable light source that could be linked to a camera, making possible ultra-high-speed photography. During his teaching career as a beloved MIT professor of electrical engineering, "Doc" Edgerton's inventions and photography stopped time, unlocking the secrets of nature for generations of students in a lab today known as "Strobe Alley." The photographs were reproduced in The Boston Herald, National Geographic, Life and other popular magazines and also shown at the Museum of Modern Art in its first exhibition of photography. They brought intimate glimpses of the natural world and frozen moments in sports, the performing arts, and daily life to an amazed public. Taken with microsecond exposures, the photographs reveal the wondrous beauty and scientific principles of such phenomena as birds in flight, a golf swing, the splash of a drop of milk, a bullet piercing a balloon and an atomic blast. Edgerton's novel and memorable images not only elucidate scientific phenomena ordinarily invisible to the human eye, but also reveal the power and poetry of everyday experiences.

The exhibition is accompanied by wall texts that discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the images as well as a CD-ROM kiosk with interactive experiments. As a part of the exhibition, J. Kim Vandiver, dean for undergraduate research, director of The Edgerton Center at MIT and a former research assistant of Edgerton's, will offer two colloquium talks on the "schlieren" or shadow photographs they produced. The colloquium at the University of Massachusetts will be held Wednesday, March 9, at 4 p.m. in Hasbrouck 124, with refreshments at 3:45 p.m. in the lobby. The colloquium at Amherst College will be held on Thursday, March 10, at 4:45 p.m. in Merrill 3.

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Sarah Buss To Speak on "Flourishing and Autonomy" at Amherst College Feb. 17

February 2, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.--Sarah Buss, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Iowa, will speak on "Human Flourishing and Human Autonomy" on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 4:30 p.m. the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Buss's talk, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Amherst College and the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science, is the second in a series on "Well-Being." The lecture is free and open to the public.

Educated at Yale University in philosophy (B.A. and Ph.D. degrees), Buss concentrates her research and teaching on topics in ethics, action theory and moral psychology. She has published articles on autonomy, happiness, moral responsibility, weakness of will and respect for persons. She is the co-editor of Contours of Agency: Essays on Themes from Harry Frankfurt (2002, with Lee Overton). Among her other publications are an article on "Valuing Autonomy and Respecting Persons: Manipulation, Seduction, and the Basis of Moral Constraints," in the current issue of Ethics (January 2005) and the article on "Autonomy," in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2002 plato.stanford.edu/entries/personal-autonomy).

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