Rushworth M. Kidder ’65 To Speak on “Moral Courage” at Amherst College March 6

February 20, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Rushworth M. Kidder ’65, founder and president of the Institute for Global Ethics, will deliver a lecture titled “Moral Courage: The Fortitude to Make Difficult Decisions and the Integrity to Carry Them Out” at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 6, in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Schwemm Fund, Kidder’s talk is free and open to the public.

Kidder graduated with honors from Amherst College in 1965 and earned his Ph.D. degree in English and comparative literature from Columbia University in 1969. Highly respected for his studies in corporate and global ethics, Kidder has focused most recently on providing the appropriate mental tools for tough moral decision-making. Prior to founding the Institute for Global Ethics in 1990, Kidder taught English literature for 10 years at Wichita State University and worked as a highly acclaimed senior columnist for the Christian Science Monitor. He is a trustee of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and a fellow of the George H. Gallup International Institute. Among many positions on ethical committees across the nation, Kidder serves on the advisory council of the Character Education Partnership, the advisory board of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University and the advisory board of “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly” on public television.

Kidder is an award-winning author of many of books, including Moral Courage (2006), How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemma of Ethical Living (1996)and Reinventing the Future: Global Goals for the 21st Century (1989). He also serves as executive editor for Ethics Newsline, the first Internet-based ethics information service, for which he writes a weekly column.

###

Amherst College Professor Karen Sánchez-Eppler is Author of Book on Childhood in 19th-Century American Culture

February 17, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Karen Sánchez-Eppler, professor of American studies and English at Amherst College, is the author of Dependent States: the Child’s Part in 19th-Century American Culture ($35, 288 pp., University of Chicago Press, Chicago), a recent book that explores what happens to our understanding of U.S. culture once we include children as historical actors, recognizing them as participants in the making of cultural meaning.

For Sánchez-Eppler, 19th-century childhood was a vehicle for national reform. Dependent States examines the ties between children’s literacy training and the growing cultural prestige of the novel; the way children functioned rhetorically in reform literature to enforce social norms; the way the risks of death to children shored up emotional power in the home; how Sunday schools socialized children into racial, religious and national identities; and how class identity was produced, not only in terms of work, but also in the way children played. Using deeply researched examples, Sánchez-Eppler reveals that children participated in the making of social meaning. Her focus on childhood as a dependent state thus offers a rewarding corrective to our notions of autonomous individualism and a new perspective on American culture itself.

A member of the Amherst faculty since 1988, Sanchez-Eppler has a B.A. degree in English and the history of ideas from Williams College, a B.A. in English from Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, and a Ph.D. in English from the Johns Hopkins University. Her first book, Touching Liberty: Abolition, Feminism and the Politics of the Body (1993) described how the political rhetoric of the abolitionist and feminist movements, and their ways of talking about the body, leave their traces on a wide range of 19th-century American writing.

###

Chemist Jason M. Belitsky ’97 To Speak at Amherst College March 3

February 17, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Jason M. Belitsky ’97, an assistant professor of chemistry at Oberlin College, will talk about “Molecular Recognition and Self-Assembly of Synthetic and Bio-Molecules in Water” at 3:15 p.m.on Friday, March 3, in Merrill Lecture Room 4 at Amherst College. Belitsky’s talk, the annual Everett H. Pryde Lecture, will be free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

A member of the Oberlin faculty since 2005, Belitsky received a B.A. degree in chemistry from Amherst in 1997 and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include bioorganic chemistry, peptides, biological pigments and nanotechnology.

The Everett H. Pryde Fund, established in 1986 by Mrs. Phyllis W. Pryde in honor of her husband, is used to bring to Amherst distinguished alumni who specialize in chemistry and to honor a senior who is an outstanding research assistant in chemistry. Everett Pryde graduated in the Amherst College Class of 1939, obtained an M.A. at the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, and went on to become a distinguished scientist and researcher in natural chemistry, publishing more than 100 papers and earning 20 patents.

###

“Kinsmen of the Shelf” Reading Group Returns to Emily Dickinson Museum on March 5

February 17, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—“Kinsmen of the Shelf,” the Emily Dickinson Museum’s reading group dedicated to the books, poems and essays that were read by Emily Dickinson and her family, will next meet at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 5, at the museum. The session, focusing on Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, will be led by Sarah Wilburn of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.

Taking its name from Dickinson’s poem “Unto my books – so good to turn,” the group meets four times a year. Each session begins at 2 p.m. at the museum with a talk about the work, the author and the context in which the Dickinsons read the work. Discussion and refreshments will follow. On a date to be announced in May, Donald Freeman, professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, will moderate a discussion about Shakespeare.

Membership in the group is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Books may be purchased through the Emily Dickinson Museum, either at the shop during business hours, or ordered over the phone. For more information and to register, contact Tricia Gilrein, program coordinator, at pagilrein@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or call 413/542-2034.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is located at 280 Main Street in Amherst, Mass., and is owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. Go to the Museum’s Website.

###

Classicist Yelena Baraz to Lecture on “Cicero’s Philosophical Politics” at Amherst College March 1

February 13, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.— Yelena Baraz, assistant professor of classics at Trinity College, will deliver a lecture titled “From the Academy to the Forum: Cicero’s Philosophical Politics” at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, in the Babbott Room of the Octagon at Amherst College. Her talk and the reception to follow are sponsored by the Classics Department at Amherst College, and are free and open to the public.

Baraz spent the 2004-05 academic year in Munich working on the “Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, ” a major international scholarly project in lexicography which just celebrated its centennial and has nearly completed work on the letter P. She received her B.A. degree from Brooklyn College, CUNY, in 1997 and her Ph.D. degree in classics from the University of California-Berkeley in 2004.

###

Festival of Indian Music To Open With Kirtana at Amherst College Feb. 18

February 13, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The musical group Kirtana will perform in a concert of South Indian bamboo flute music at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Building at Amherst College, kicking off the college’s semester-long Festival of India’s Music. All of the festival’s concerts will take place in Buckley Recital Hall unless otherwise noted and are free and open to the public.

Kirtana’s principal performer is Gordon Korstange, venu (flute), who began his studies while in the Peace Corps more than 30 years ago and has studied with T. Viswanathan at Wesleyan University. He is accompanied by professor of music David Reck, veena (guitar), a graduate of the College of Carnatic Music, Madras, whose guru is Ranganayaki Rajagopalan, and David Nelson, mridangam (drum), a disciple of T. Ranganathan, who teaches in the world music program at Wesleyan University.

The festival will feature a number of Indian and Western musicians accomplished in Indian classical music traditions, including Umayalpuram Mali, a master drummer from South India who is in residence as a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College. Scheduled events for the semester are:

  • South India’s Bamboo Flute” – Featuring Kirtana, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18;
  • "An Introduction to South India’s Drumming and Rhythmic Concepts” – lecture/demonstration featuring Umayalpuram Mali, percussion, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, in the Friedmann Room (Frontroom) in the Keefe Campus Center;
  • "An Introduction to South India’s Drumming and Rhythmic Concepts” – lecture/demonstration featuring Umayalpuram Mali, percussion, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, in the Friedmann Room in the Keefe Campus Center;
  • “North India: Sitar and Bin” – Featuring Peter Row and Ensemble, at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 31;
  • “South India’s Vocal Traditions” – Featuring B. Balasubrahmaniyan, vocals, at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 14, in Stirn Auditorium;
  • “South India: Veena” – Featuring David Reck and Tim Ericksen ’88, and percussionists Umayalpuram Mali, mrindangam, and N. Ovindarajan, ghatam, at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 5.

###

NYU Philosopher J. David Velleman To Inaugurate Amherst Lecture in Philosophy March 9

February 13, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—J. David Velleman, professor of philosophy at New York University, will give the inaugural Amherst Lecture in Philosophy, titled “So It Goes,” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, in the Cole Assembly Room (Red Room) in Converse Hall at Amherst College. The Amherst Lecture in Philosophy will invite a distinguished philosopher to Amherst College to give a public lecture. All lectures, along with supplemental materials, will be freely available through a fully archived, catalogued and searchable publication on the ALP Website. The Amherst Lecture in Philosophy is supported from the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science, and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Velleman is a 1974 graduate of Amherst College and received a Ph.D. degree in philosophy from Princeton University in 1983. His most recent book, Self to Self (2005), brings together essays on personal identity, autonomy and moral emotions. Although the essays were written independently, they are unified by the encompassing thesis that there is no single entity denoted by “the self,” as well as by themes from Kantian ethics, psychoanalytic theory, social psychology and Velleman’s work in the philosophy of action. His work in the philosophy of action includes the book Practical Reflection (1989) and a series of papers titled The Possibility of Practical Reason (2000). He has also published papers on the right to die and (with Paul Boghossian) the metaphysics of color. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation, Velleman serves (with Stephen Darwall) as founding co-editor of Philosophers’ Imprint.

###

The Emily Dickinson Museum Reopens for the Season March 1 with New Tour

February 13, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens in Amherst, Mass., will open for its 2006 season on Wednesday, March 1. The Homestead, the birthplace and home of the poet for 40 years, and The Evergreens, home of Emily’s brother Austin and sister-in-law Susan, are open for guided tours from March through mid-December.

For 2006, the Museum has designed a new visitor experience. “This was a Poet,” an introduction to Emily Dickinson and her poetry, is perfect for families with children and for visitors whose interest in Dickinson is just beginning. As part of “This was a Poet,” visitors will tour the Homestead to learn about Emily Dickinson’s daily life and to experience the power of her poetry. The tour will last about a half hour and will conclude outside (in good weather) with a short poetry reading under the Homestead’s oak tree. “This was a Poet” will be offered at the Museum during regular open hours beginning in mid-March.

The new tour will complement “Emily Dickinson’s World,” the Museum’s in-depth tour of the Homestead and The Evergreens, which chronicles more completely Dickinson’s biography and the lives of her family. For information about tour schedule, please call 413/542-8161.

The Homestead and The Evergreens will sponsor a number of special events in 2006. Programs this spring and summer include the third annual “A little Madness in the Spring” on Friday, April 21, through Sunday, April 23; the annual Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk on Saturday, May 13; and a very special “Amherst Day,” celebrating The Evergreens, on Saturday, July 1.

“We are excited about the range of programs for the coming year, especially our ‘Madness’ program, which will include a poetry marathon of all of Emily Dickinson’s 1,789 poems and a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the play, The Belle of Amherst,” said Cindy Dickinson, the Museum’s director of interpretation and programming. “This year The Evergreens turns 150, and we will honor the occasion with a number of events, including a circus-themed celebration on July 1.”

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s days and hours of operation change seasonally. In March, the Museum is open Wednesday and Saturday with tours on the hour from 1 to 5 p.m. (last tour at 4 p.m.). Beginning in April, the Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Fees for the “This was a Poet” tour range from $3 to $6; admission for “Emily Dickinson’s World” ranges from $5 to $8. There is no charge for children under 6. The Museum is located at 280 Main Street in Amherst and is owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. For more information about the Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens 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.

###

Writer and Activist Todd Gitlin To Speak at Amherst College March 6

February 13, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Todd Gitlin, a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University and one of the nation’s leading thinkers about the media, will speak on “Whose Flag Is It? Liberal Patriotism in a Conservative Age” at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 6, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Office of the President, Gitlin’s talk is free and open to the public.

Gitlin has degrees in three different subjects: mathematics (B.A., Harvard), political science (M.A., Michigan) and sociology (Ph.D., Berkeley). His political activism began in the student movement of the ’60s, and he continued to write for the so-called underground press.

Gitlin is the author of many books, chiefly on media and recent America, starting with Uptown: Poor Whites in Chicago (co-author, 1970), The Whole World is Watching: Mass Media in the Making and Unmaking of the Left (1980), Inside Prime Time (1983), The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage (1987), The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America is Wracked by Culture Wars (1995), Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives (2002), Letters To a Young Activist (2003) and The Intellectuals and the Flag (2006). He also has written a book of poetry, Busy Being Born (1974), and two novels, The Murder of Albert Einstein (1992) and Sacrifice (1999).

He contributes to many newspapers and magazines, is a member of the editorial board of Dissent and writes online regularly at TPMcafe.com.

###

Despina Kakoudaki To Speak on Robots and Humans at Amherst College Feb. 20

February 10, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Despina Kakoudaki, assistant professor of visual and environmental studies and of comparative literature at Harvard University, will speak on “Becoming Human: Robots, Identity and Civil Rights,” at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20, in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Croxton Lectureship, the President’s Office and the Working Group on Culture and Politics, this lecture is free and open to the public.

At Harvard Kakoudaki teaches interdisciplinary courses in literature and film, visual culture and the history of technology and new media. Her interests include cultural studies, science fiction, apocalyptic narratives and the representation of race and gender. She has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her forthcoming book, The Human Machine: A Cultural History of Artificial People, which traces the history and cultural function of constructed people and animated objects. Kakoudaki received a Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where she taught film studies. Her recent work includes publications on cyborgs, race and melodrama in disaster films, body transformation and technology in early film, the political role of the pin-up in World War II and the representation of the archive in postmodern fiction.

###

Pages

 

Contact

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