Best-Selling Author Charles C. Mann To Lecture at Amherst College Oct. 17

October 11, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

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AMHERST, Mass.—Journalist Charles C. Mann will talk about his new book, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus, at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Co-sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center and Department of Sociology, Mann's talk is free and open to the public.

Mann's current bestseller, 1491, offers a radical rethinking of the history of the Americas prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. The San Jose Mercury News describes the book as “part detective story, part epic and part tragedy,” and Jan Dizard, Charles Hamilton Professor in American Culture at Amherst, calls it “an eye-opening book that requires us to rethink virtually every assumption we have had about the Western Hemisphere before the arrival of Europeans.” A 1976 graduate of Amherst, Mann is a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, Science and Wired.

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Harvard University 's J. Allan Hobson To Speak at Amherst College Nov. 3

October 31, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Noted sleep researcher J. Allan Hobson will offer a lecture titled “From Angels to Neurons: Art and the New Science of Dreaming” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, in the Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall, at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Asian Languages and Civilizations Department, the Neuroscience Program, The Samuel Cummings '26 Lecture Fund, The Eastman Fund and the Tagliabue Fund, Hobson's lecture is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a reception in the lobby of Converse.

A noted sleep and dream researcher, Hobson received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and currently serves as a professor of psychiatry and director of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at Harvard. He served as a Special Fellow of the National Institute of Mental Health, Department of Physiology, at the University of Lyon in France from 1963 to 1964. He was the invited lecturer at the Dipartimento di Psicologia, Universita di Bologna's 900th anniversary celebration in 1988. Hobson is the recipient of a 2004 Tom Slick Award in Consciousness.

Hobson is the author of several best-selling books based on his research, including The Dreaming Brain: How the Brain Creates Both the Sense and the Nonsense of Dreams (1989); The Chemistry of Conscious States: How the Brain Changed Its Mind (1994); Dreaming as Delirium: How the Brain Goes out of Its Mind (1994); The Dream Drugstore: Chemically Altered States of Consciousness (2001); Out of Its Mind: Psychiatry in Crisis: A Call for Reform (2001); Dreaming: An Introduction to the Science of Sleep (2004) and most recently, 13 Dreams Freud Never Had: A New Mind Science (2004).

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New Orleans Organist Lucius Weathersby to Perform at Amherst College Nov. 6

October 31, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Organist Lucius Weathersby, assistant professor of music and African world studies at Dillard University in New Orleans, will give a concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6 in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. The program will include pieces by African and African-American composers, as well as pieces by Eric Sawyer and Richard Beaudoin, faculty members in the Amherst College Department of Music. Sponsored by the Amherst College Department of Music, this event is free and open to the public.

Weathersby is currently a visiting artist at Amherst College, which is hosting him while Dillard University recovers from Hurricane Katrina. He has performed in Europe, Central America, and throughout the United States. In addition to teaching and performing, Weathersby has served as music director at churches in New Orleans and Phoenix and has lectured extensively about African-American Music, Baroque Music, and keyboard technique.

For more information, contact the Amherst College Concert Office at 413/542-2195.

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Amherst College Professor Ilan Stavans To Speak at Jewish Community of Amherst Oct. 30

October 26, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Ilan Stavans, the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College, will deliver the annual Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Lecture on the topic “What Crisis? Jewish Identity in the Diaspora in the 21st Century” at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Jewish Community of Amherst (742 Main Street, Amherst, Mass. ) The talk is open to the public and free to students with valid identification. Tickets are $5 for the general public. Refreshments will be served.

Stavans, who has written much about Jewish literature and culture, will discuss the crisis in Jewish identity in light of the many options available to Jews in the 21st century, among them assimilation, nonreligious secular affiliation, religious affiliation with one of the Jewish denominations, Zionist affiliation and political action on the right and on the left. James Young, chair of the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Jules Chametzky, professor emeritus of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Rabbi Andrew Davids, the executive director of the Association of Reform Zionists will respond to his remarks. A question and answer period will follow.

Stavans's talk is sponsored by the World Jewish Concerns and Action Committee of the Jewish Community of Amherst, Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the University of Massachusetts Office of Jewish Affairs. Contact Eva Sartori at 413/467-3626 for more information.

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Amherst College Graduate Daniel Altschuler '04 Receives Rhodes Scholarship

October 20, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Daniel L. Altschuler of New York City, a graduate of Amherst College in 2004, has been named a Rhodes Scholar. Altschuler is one of just 32 students nationally to receive the prestigious scholarships.

A political science, black studies and Spanish major at Amherst, Altschuler plans to study for a M.Phil. degree in development studies at Oxford University, and then hopes “to contribute meaningfully to development rooted in the experiences, voices and the visions of marginalized communities around the world,” a goal he is already well on his way to accomplishing.

Since graduation, Altschuler has been working in Chile on a Watson Fellowship, compiling an oral history of the transition from authoritarian to democratic rule in urban shantytowns, rural towns and indigenous communities. He has also worked with housing organizations in South Africa, where he founded Asifunde Bantwana (“Let's Read, Children”), an after-school literacy program for children at the Johannesburg Trust for the Homeless. Altschuler has also published papers and delivered lectures on development. Altschuler is currently working as a program associate at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board in New York City. He is helping facilitate the conversion of six clusters of buildings in Harlem and the South Bronx to resident-owned and managed limited equity cooperatives.

A graduate of the Riverdale Country School, Altschuler is the son of Alan Altschuler and Donna K. Altschuler of New York. A member of Phi Beta Kappa at Amherst, Altschuler was awarded the Alpha Delta Phi Fund grant to organize a conference on socially responsible investing at the college. He also received first prize in the 2004 Frederick S. Lane Book Collecting Competition for his collection on Afro-Cuban religiosity. He received a W. MacLean Johnson '38 Fellowship (2001), Sylvia C. Hecht and Benedict L. and Babette H. Rosenberg Internship (2002), and the Hotchkiss/Patrick Internship (2003) for summer work in the non-profit and public service sectors. Altschuler was a member of three varsity teams while at Amherst; golf, tennis and soccer.

Altschuler is the sixth Amherst College student to receive a Rhodes Scholarship in the past 25 years. The most recent were Jordan Krall '01, named a Rhodes Scholar in 2001 and Vaughn Gray '00 in 2000.

Rhodes Scholarships, created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, provide two or three years of study at Oxford University in England. Winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor, among other attributes. This year's 32 Rhodes Scholars were selected by 16 districts with each District Committee selecting not more than two candidates who will represent the state or states within each District as Rhodes Scholars at Oxford. The Scholars were chosen from 903 applicants who were endorsed by 333 colleges and universities throughout the nation.

Founded in 1821, Amherst is a highly selective, coeducational liberal arts college with approximately 1,600 students from most of the 50 states and more than 30 other countries. Consistently ranked among the nation's best educational institutions, Amherst awards the B. A. degree in 33 fields of study.

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Classics Scholar Michael Putnam to Lecture at Amherst College Nov. 16

October 17, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Brown University professor Michael Putnam will speak on “Virgil and History” at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, in the Babbott Room of the Octagon at Amherst College. Putnam will discuss the relationship between history and epic, in particular the Aeneid. Sponsored by the Department of Classics and the Eastman Fund, this lecture is free and open to the public.

Putnam joined the Brown faculty in 1960 after teaching for a year at Smith College. He was Acting Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies 1961-62 and served as one of its Senior Fellows from 1971 to 1986. In 1963-64 he held a Rome Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome where he was later a Resident and Mellon Professor in Charge of the Classical School (1989-91) and is now Trustee. He was elected a director of the American Philological Association in 1972 and has since served the Association as President (1982) and Financial Trustee (1997-2004). He received the Association's Charles J. Goodwin Award of Merit in 1971. In 1985 he was Townsend Professor at Cornell University and inaugurated the Townsend Lectures. For 1987-88 he was a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study and for 1994-95 a Visiting Scholar for Phi Beta Kappa. During the spring of 2004 he gave the Martin Classical Lectures at Oberlin College. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Member of the American Philosophical Society.

Putnam's primary interest is in Latin literature and its influence, with a specialty in the poetry of Republican and Augustan Rome. His books include The Poetry of the Aeneid (1965); Virgil's Pastoral Art: Studies in the Eclogues (1970); Tibullus: A Commentary (1973); Virgil's Poem of the Earth (1979); Essays on Latin Lyric, Elegy, and Epic (1982); Artifices of Eternity: Horace's Fourth Book of Odes (1986); Virgil's Aeneid: Interpretation and Influence (1995); Virgil's Epic Designs: Ekphrasis in the Aeneid (1998); and Horace's Carmen Saeculare: Ritual Magic and the Poet's Art (2000). He has recently edited and translated Maffeo Vegio: Short Epics (2004). He has also edited several volumes and is the author of numerous articles and reviews.

At Brown, as well as chairing the Department of Classics for several periods, he is also a member of the Comparative Literature faculty as well as of the Committee on Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.

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Music from the Salon of the Empress Josephine, Part of “Josephine” Exhibition at Mead Art Museum, at Amherst College Oct. 30

October 17, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.— The Mead Art Museum and the Amherst College Department of Music will present an afternoon of chamber music and song from the time of the empress Josephine for soprano, flute, harp and fortepiano at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30, in the Rotherwas Gallery at the museum. This concert is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. A maximum of two tickets can be reserved by calling 413/542-2335. This event is part of “The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity,” an international loan show focusing on Napoleon's consort, “the incomparable Josephine,” at the Mead through Sunday, Dec. 18.

Smith College faculty Jane Bryden, Monica Jakuc, Ellen Redman and Felice Swados join forces with Julia Fox, junior at Amherst College, for a concert of music that might have been played in the Empress's salon. The composers include Charles-Nicolas Bochsa, Jan Ladislav Dussek, Gaspare Spontini, and the Empress's own daughter, Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland. Dylan Schneider, a senior at Amherst College, will introduce the audience to the musical world of Josephine's salon in a pre-concert lecture at 2 p.m. in the Rotherwas Gallery.

This event has been generously supported by the Amherst Arts Series Fund, the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund and the Amherst College Music Department.

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 is available on the museum's Website or by calling the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2335. All events are free and open to the public.

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“Queens, Queens, Queens & Empresses” Symposium, Part of “Josephine” Exhibition at Mead Art Museum, at Amherst College Oct. 29

October 17, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will present a symposium titled “Queens, Queens, Queens & Empresses” from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. This event is free and open to the public. This event is part of “The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity,” an international loan show focusing on Napoleon's consort, “the incomparable Josephine,” at the Mead through Sunday, Dec. 18.

The symposium will explore issues of representation, power and patronage of queens and other royal women from several historical periods — Elizabeth I, Catherine and Marie de' Medici, Catherine the Great, Empress Josephine and Empress Eugénie. The scheduled speakers are Georgianna Ziegler, head of reference at the Folger Shakespeare Library, on “Elizabeth I, a Once and Future Queen”; Nicola Courtright, professor of fine arts at Amherst College, on “Medici Florence and the Invention of Queenly Authority in France”; Katia Dianina, assistant professor of Russian at Amherst College, on “The Russian Minerva: Catherine the Great and Her Hermitage Museum”; Carol Solomon Kiefer, curator of European art at the Mead Art Museum, on “The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity”; Alain Pougetoux, curator at the Musée de Malmaison, Malmaison, France, on “Autobiographical Reflections: The Empress Josephine and the Acquisition of Art”; and Alison McQueen, associate professor of art history at McMaster University, Ontario, on “A Jewel of the Imperial Crown: Empress Eugénie's Chapel at Biarritz.”

The symposium has been organized by the Mead Art Museum, Amherst College. Support for the symposium has been provided by Air France, Amherst Arts Series Fund, the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund and the following departments at Amherst College: English, European Studies, Fine Arts, French, History, Russian and Women's and Gender Studies.

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 is available on the museum's Website or by calling the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2335. All events are free and open to the public.

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Amherst College Adopts Katrina-Ravaged D'Iberville Middle School

October 13, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College community will help rebuild the heavily damaged D'Iberville Middle School in Gulfport, Miss. Left under eight feet of water in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, D'Iberville was one of the most devastated schools in the Harrison County School District. Most D'Iberville students lost their homes, and a group of Amherst College students, with the support of the Office of Alumni and Parent Programs, the Office of the Dean of Students and faculty, selected the middle school through an adopt-a-school program at the Mississippi School Boards Association. "We all wanted to do something meaningful and immediate for the hurricane victims,'' said Emily Silberstein, a junior at Amherst and one of the organizers, "and adopting a school seemed like a way to focus on education, something everyone at Amherst cares about."

Amherst students are working to support the school in a variety of ways, from soliciting financial donations to holding half-time raffles during Homecoming and Family Weekend football games. Students are engaged in a wide variety of fundraising tactics, from a Louisiana Banquet to sales of work by Five College artists. Amherst students are encouraged to do anything to help-from giving up a day of meals in the dining hall to paying to have their picture taken with the Amherst mascot, Lord Jeff.

The D'Iberville relief effort has a Website.

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Amherst College to Host Novelist Stephanie Grant at Amherst Books Nov. 2

October 13, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Novelist Stephanie Grant will discuss her work at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Amherst Books (8 Main St., Amherst, Mass.). Sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center, this event is free and open to the public.

Grant, the author of two novels, currently serves as Writer-in-Residence at Mount Holyoke College. In 2002, she was nominated for the Lambda Award for Best Lesbian Fiction for her novel The Passion of Alice. The Los Angeles Times Book Review calls the novel, which details the lives of several patients at an eating disorder clinic, “a smart, funny, wonderful book.” Grant's newest work, Map of Ireland, is a contemporary retelling of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Provocative and original, the book places female sexuality and friendship at the center of foundational American myth.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center organizes an annual reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. See the center's website for more information.

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