“The Print, the Pear and the Prostitute: Art, Politics, and Society in 19th-Century France” at the Mead Art Museum

April 18, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Exploring the power of the print as a vehicle for political and social commentary, the Mead Art Museum will present “The Print, the Pear and the Prostitute: Art, Politics and Society in 19th-Century France,” from Wednesday, May 17, through Sunday, Aug. 20. Amherst College students Joanne Love ’08 and Joanna Merrill ’06, the co-curators of the show, will give gallery talks at the opening reception at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, in the museum. Merrill will speak again on aspects of the exhibition at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, and during the Amherst College Reunion Weekend at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 2. The opening reception is free and open to the public, and all are welcome to attend the gallery talks.

Drawn largely from the Mead collection of French prints and caricatures of the 19th century, the exhibition of 60 works showcases selections from the recent gifts of Boris B. Baranovic (Amherst College ’58) of more than 150 lithographs by Honoré-Victorin Daumier (1808 – 1879), the most celebrated French caricaturist. Thematically, it ranges from satirical representations of King Louis-Philippe, depicted as the fat-headed pear, to images of the various types of women who defined 19th-century Parisian society. In addition to Daumier, the exhibition includes works by Degas, Gavarni, Manet and other French artists of the 19th century.

This exhibition is the culmination of the interdisciplinary course European Studies 41, The Print, the Pear and the Prostitute: Art, Politics and Society in 19th-Century France, taught by Carol Solomon Kiefer, curator of European art. Joanne Love, a rising junior, is a French and fine arts major from Los Angeles who will be spending the coming academic year studying in Paris. Senior Joanna Merrill, from New York City, will graduate in May with a major in history.

Until June 4, the Mead is open Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Thursdays until 9 p.m. June 6 to Sept. 3, the Mead is open from 12 noon to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays, and on Thursdays until 8 p.m. Additional information is available on the museum’s Website at www.amherst.edu/mead or by calling the museum at 413/542-2335. Admission and all events are free and open to the public.

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Amherst College Hosts Keepers of the Word Storytellers April 29

April 12, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Storytellers from across the country will spin their tales at the 15th annual Keepers of the Word Storytelling Festival, a day-long event on Saturday, April 29, in the Friedmann Room in the Keefe Campus Center at Amherst College. Performances will be held at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. This will be the last Keepers of the Word Storytelling Festival directed by Onawumi Jean Moss, the founder and director of the festival, who is retiring this year after 21 years at Amherst College, where she is the associate dean of students. This year’s nationally known storytellers are Onawumi Jean Moss, Eth-Noh-Tec (Robert Kikuchi-Ynjojo and Nancy Wang), Bill Harley, Leeny Del Seamonds and In the Spirit (Glenda Zahra Baker and Emily Hooper Lansana).

With original stories, fairy tales, cautionary tales, folk tales and personal narratives, Onawumi Jean Moss 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. Last year she received the Zora Neale Hurston Award for storytelling, the highest award given by the National Association of Black Storytellers (NABS). This award is given in acknowledgement of a body of work that preserves the tenets of African and African/American storytelling through performance, publications, recordings and service to national and regional storytelling organizations. Moss recently collaborated with acclaimed author Patricia C. McKissack and illustrator Kysten Booker on a new book for children, Precious and the Boo Hag (2005).

Eth-Noh-Tec (Robert Kikuchi-Ynjojo and Nancy Wang of San Francisco, Calif.) weaves music, dance, rhythmic dialog, facial expressions and the spoken word to inspire the imagination. Their performance is often accompanied by Japanese taiko drums, voice or the ditze and shakuhachi bamboo flutes of Asia.

Bill Harley (Seekonk, Mass.) is a musician, author and playwright whose work combines story and song to paint a vibrant, humorous and meaningful portrait of American life. A frequent guest on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and host of Vermont Public Radio’s “Camel’s Hump Radio,” Harley has made 25 recordings.

Leeny Del Seamonds (Westford, Mass.) performs animated, uplifting and interactive Latino, original and world tales spiced with exquisite mime, a cornucopia of voices and a love of people. Named National Storyteller of the Year, Leeny has received a Storytelling World Winner Award and Parents’ Choice Gold and Silver Awards.

In the Spirit (Glenda Zahra Baker and Emily Hooper Lansana of Chicago, Ill.) offer a seamless blend of vocalizing and narrative: Baker, an acclaimed musician, and Lansana, a premier storyteller, have an uplifting harmonic performance style that reflects ancient African and contemporary African-American forms.

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 10:30 p.m.

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

Keepers of the Word is sponsored by the Lecture and Eastman Fund Committee, Office of Student Activities/Keefe Campus Center, Office of the Dean of Students, The Willis Wood Fund/Religion Department, Association of Amherst Students and academic departments and supporters throughout Amherst College.

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Amherst College Political Science Professor William Taubman Named 2006 Guggenheim Fellow

April 12, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—William Taubman, the Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science at Amherst College, is among the 187 artists, scholars and scientists awarded 2006 fellowships by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.Taubman will use this award to support the research he is undertaking for a biography of Mikhail S. Gorbachev, which will be the first full scholarly biography utilizing the wealth of new information that has become available since 1991.

Taubman is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (2003). A member of the Amherst faculty since 1967, he 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, Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune, among many other newspapers, magazines and journals.

Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment. Each fellow receives a grant for a minimum of six months and a maximum of 12 months. Since the purpose of the Guggenheim Fellowship program is to help provide fellows with blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible, grants are made freely. No special conditions attach to them, and fellows may spend their grant funds in any manner they deem necessary to their work.

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Amherst College Professor Lawrence Douglas To Read The Catastrophist at Amherst College May 3

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

AMHERST, Mass.—Lawrence Douglas, a professor of law, jurisprudence and social thought at Amherst College, will read from his forthcoming novel, The Catastrophist ($24.95, 276 pp., The Other Press, New York, 2006), at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, at Amherst Books (8 Main St., Amherst, Mass.) Sponsored by the Creative Writing Center at Amherst College, the reading is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

T
he Catastrophist is “mercilessly witty… surprising and original,” according to William H. Pritchard ’53, the Henry Clay Folger Professor of English at Amherst College. Before publication, Kirkus Reviews wrote in a starred review, “At its best, this is very nearly an American Lucky Jim: an acerbic comedy of manners with serious issues (responsibility and veracity in both marital and global relationships) at its solid core.”

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. He is the author of the acclaimed book The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust (2003). He is the co-author, with his Amherst College colleague Alexander George, of Sense and Nonsensibility: Lampoons of Language and Literature (2004), a collection of satires of literary criticism, the educational establishment and American culture. 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 Washington Post, The Boston Globe Magazine, The TLS and The New Republic and his fiction and humor in Tikkun, The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review, among many others.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center puts on a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. For more information, please call 413/542-8200.

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Amherst College Professor Austin Sarat To Speak on “At or Beyond the Limits of Law” at Amherst College May 3

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

AMHERST, Mass.—Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought and Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor at Amherst College, will deliver the second 2006 Jackie M. Pritzen Lecture, to celebrate 40 years of the Five College consortium, titled “At or Beyond the Limits of Law: Death, Redemption and Sovereign Prerogative,” at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, in the Cole Assembly Room (Red Room) in Converse Hall at Amherst College. His talk, sponsored by Five Colleges, Inc., is free and open to the public.

Sarat, who has taught at Amherst since 1974, is author, co-author or editor of more than 50 books, including Mercy on Trial What It Means to Stop an Execution (2005), When the State Kills (2001) and Law, Violence, and the Possibility of Justice (2001). He was the co-author of Something to Believe In: Politics, Professionalism and Cause Lawyering (2004) and co-editor of Law on the Screen (2004). His teaching has been featured in The New York Times and on the NBC Today Show.

Sarat was the co-recipient of the 2004 Reginald Heber Smith Award, given biennially to honor the best scholarship on “the subject of equal access to justice,” and has served as president of the Law and Society Association and of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities. Recently, the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities awarded Sarat the James Boyd White Prize for “distinguished scholarly achievement” and in recognition of “outstanding and innovative” contributions to the humanistic study of law.

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“Pop!” Art at Mead Art Museum at Amherst College April 20 through Aug. 21

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

AMHERST, Mass.—The Mead Art Museum will present an exhibition called Pop! from April 20 to Aug. 21, featuring prints from the 1960s and 1970s from its permanent collection, as well as additional works from the Smith College Museum of Art.

The Pop movement, which first emerged in England in the 1950s, was a reaction to the postwar economic boom occurring in Europe and the United States. Quickly embraced by a young generation of artists working in America, Pop art embodied a new level of commentary on the role of art in culture. As artists realized the potential of the rapidly changing technological world and its impact on mass media, they also grasped the significance of the everyday object—the soup can, the alphabet, the celebrity figure, the comic strip—and appropriated it as an aesthetic impulse that was accessible, immediate and extensive in its appeal.

Characterized by its familiar imagery, bold colors and incisive wit, Pop art celebrated popular culture with a sense of vibrant, cheeky fun and jaded irony while it endowed its icons with mythological stature. At times Pop art provided a political vehicle that commented on the crass commercialism of society or protested against the Vietnam War. More often, the Pop artists echoed the new hedonism and social optimism that accompanied the era that ushered in women’s liberation and civil rights and sent a man to the moon.

This exhibition brings together the work of nine American artists—Jim Dine, Red Grooms, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann—all of whom were instrumental to the Pop movement. These works, from the permanent collections of the Mead Art Museum and the Smith College Museum of Art, constitute a microcosm of a movement which, while sometimes dismissed as superficial, is significant as it laid the groundwork for the premium placed on “brand” that we see all around us today.

Until June 4, 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. From June 6 to Sept. 3, the Mead is open Tuesday through Sunday from 12 noon to 4 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 8 p.m. More information is available on the museum’s Website at www.amherst.edu/mead or by calling the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2335. All events are free and open to the public.

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Public School Activist Jonathan Kozol To Speak at Amherst College April 27

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

AMHERST, Mass.—Jonathan Kozol, public school teacher, award-winning writer and educational activist, will speak about “Invitations to Resistance: Strategies for the Defense and Transformation of Our Public Schools” at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Office of the President and the Victor S. Johnson 1882-1943 Lectureship Fund, Kozol’s talk is free and open to the public.

A working activist and also a perceptive theorist, Kozol documented his first year as a teacher in Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools (1967), for which he received the National Book Award in 1968. He speaks from first-hand experiences that humanize social issues. For 40 years, Kozol has worked to expose racial inequalities in the education system and speak against the plight of disadvantaged children, bringing the struggles of students in under-funded urban schools to the attention of the nation.

His literary work addresses the major educational problems connected to poverty, hunger and illiteracy. Kozol has written several award-winning books, including The Night is Dark and I am Far from Home (1975), Children of the Revolution: A Yankee Teacher in the Cuban Schools (1978), Illiterate America (1985) and Amazing Grace: the Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation (1995).

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Amherst College Graduate Jamila Trindle Awarded Luce Scholarship

April 7, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Jamila Trindle of Wilmington, Del., a 2002 graduate of Amherst College, has been awarded a Luce Fellowship and will travel next year to China to report on the changes in family structure brought about by the industrialization and urbanization of the world’s most populous nation. Trindle wrote in her personal statement to the Luce Scholars program, “An understanding of Asian countries and cultures is becoming increasingly important to the American editorial table.”

An English major at Amherst, Trindle also studied in New Zealand her junior year. After graduation, she spent a year teaching and traveling in Europe and northern Africa, and has been working as reporter at WHYY-TV and WILM radio in Wilmington since 2004.

Each year since 1974, the Luce Scholars Program has provided opportunities for 18 young Americans, chosen from 67 leading colleges and universities, to live and work in Asia. The Luce Scholars, who can come from any field of study other than Asian studies, are supported by the Asia Foundation, an organization with offices throughout Asia. Placements can be made in Brunei, China and Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Founded in 1821 for “the education of indigent young men of piety and talents,” Amherst College is now widely regarded as the premier liberal arts college in the nation, enrolling a diverse group of approximately 1,600 young men and women. Well known for its academic excellence, Amherst is also consistently ranked among the very best schools in the country in terms of accessibility: The college’s financial aid packages are consistently the most generous in the U.S., and among its peer universities and colleges Amherst has the greatest economic diversity. Diversity, in its broadest sense, is fundamental to Amherst’s mission. The college enrolls students from every state and more than 40 countries, and for the past several years more than 35 percent of Amherst’s students have been students of color. Amherst offers the B.A. degree in 33 fields of study.

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Amherst College Senior Andre Deckrow Awarded Watson Fellowship To Study Japanese Gardens throughout the World

April 7, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Andre Deckrow, a senior at Amherst College, has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and will travel next year to Japan, China, Australia, Brazil, Argentina and Peru to study Japanese gardens as symbols of history and culture. Deckrow is the son of Yukiko Deckrow of Miyazu, Japan and Jeffrey Deckrow of Kent, Wash.

A history and Asian languages and civilizations major, Deckrow wrote in his Watson proposal that he began his formal study of Japanese language in his second year at Amherst, having lived in the U.S. since childhood although born in Japan. In a course on modern Japanese history, Deckrow found “my interest in historical memory stems from my inability to reconcile Japan’s wartime atrocities with the seeming respect shown fallen Japanese soldiers by Japanese society.” After taking up the language, he was hired to spend a summer caretaking Yushien, the Japanese-style garden at Amherst College. Now writing a senior thesis on how the Japanese government used the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games to rehabilitate Japanese national identity, Deckrow is curious about the role culture plays in national identity. The products of contemporary Japan “are sleek and modern, but one of the country’s most important and popular exports comes from the civilization’s pre-modern past: the Japanese garden.”

At Amherst, Deckrow was also a Big Brother, a student advisor to the Friends of the Amherst College Library, a writer and editor at the periodicals The Student and The Indicator and a member of the student government. He plans to attend law school or continue his study of Japanese history at the graduate level.

The Thomas J. Watson Fellowships provide 60 exceptional college graduates, from 49 of America’s leading liberal arts colleges, with the freedom to engage in a year of independent study and travel abroad. The program was begun in 1968 by the family of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the founder of IBM, to honor their parents’ interest in education and world affairs. More than 2,200 Watson Fellows have studied all over the world with the support of Watson Fellowships.

Founded in 1821 for “the education of indigent young men of piety and talents,” Amherst College is now widely regarded as the premier liberal arts college in the nation, enrolling a diverse group of approximately 1,600 young men and women. Well known for its academic excellence, Amherst is also consistently ranked among the very best schools in the country in terms of accessibility: The college’s financial aid packages are consistently the most generous in the U.S., and among its peer universities and colleges Amherst has the greatest economic diversity. Diversity, in its broadest sense, is fundamental to Amherst’s mission. The college enrolls students from every state and more than 40 countries, and for the past several years more than 35 percent of Amherst’s students have been students of color. Amherst offers the B.A. degree in 33 fields of study.

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Amherst College Senior Denise Twum Awarded Watson Fellowship To Study Domestic Violence in Asia and Africa

April 7, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Denise Twum, a senior at Amherst College, has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and will travel to Britain, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa to study domestic violence in different cultures.

“An analysis of the role culture plays in the representation of domestic violence in these various cultures,” Twum wrote in her proposal, “would be useful in understanding how domestic violence is constructed and combated.” Twum will visit women’s organizations, record the stories of women, study the legislative response and examine how local “pop culture” affects the response to violence.

A biology and women’s and gender studies major at Amherst, Twum grew up in Ghana and came to the U.S. to study first at Dartmouth College, transferring to Amherst in 2004. At Amherst she has worked as a writing tutor, Peer Career counselor and teaching assistant in chemistry and biology. She is also the co-director of the Amherst College Gospel Choir.

Twum plans to continue her education with an advanced degree in public health that focuses on teenage health education and women’s reproductive health. She also hopes to build “a multipurpose center geared toward addressing the needs of women and teen girls” in her native Ghana, which will include services such as “reproductive health education, gynecological examinations, a career resource center and a fitness/nutrition center,” she wrote in her proposal.

The Thomas J. Watson Fellowships provide 60 exceptional college graduates, from 49 of America’s leading liberal arts colleges, with the freedom to engage in a year of independent study and travel abroad. The program was begun in 1968 by the family of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the founder of IBM, to honor their parents’ interest in education and world affairs. More than 2,200 Watson Fellows have studied all over the world with the support of Watson Fellowships.

Founded in 1821 for “the education of indigent young men of piety and talents,” Amherst College is now widely regarded as the premier liberal arts college in the nation, enrolling a diverse group of approximately 1,600 young men and women. Well known for its academic excellence, Amherst is also consistently ranked among the very best schools in the country in terms of accessibility: The college’s financial aid packages are consistently the most generous in the U.S., and among its peer universities and colleges Amherst has the greatest economic diversity. Diversity, in its broadest sense, is fundamental to Amherst’s mission. The college enrolls students from every state and more than 40 countries, and for the past several years more than 35 percent of Amherst’s students have been students of color. Amherst offers the B.A. degree in 33 fields of study.

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Contact

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