Amherst College Senior Sarang Gopalakrishnan Awarded Watson Fellowship To Write in and on the Remoteness of Siberia

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

AMHERST, Mass.—Sarang Gopalakrishnan, a senior at Amherst College, has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. He will travel next year to Russia for a longed-for journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway and to write “a half-poetic travel memoir” that will explore the themes of the wanderer, remoteness and history, the birds, the trains, the ruins of machinery and more in a place where, he says, “reality is strange enough that one often comes upon things for which one has never needed names.” Gopalakrishnan is the son of Subramanian Gopalakrishnan and Rekha Gopal of Mumbai, India.

A physics and mathematics major at Amherst, Gopalakrishnan has worked as a teaching assistant in physics, math and astronomy but joins the literary and scientific worlds in his studies. The young physicist, born in India and raised in Tanzania, discovered the poet W.H. Auden in his first year at Amherst. “Like him, my interest in machinery was always aesthetic,” he wrote in his Watson proposal, “I was never interested in putting circuits or model trucks together, but chimneys and scrapped locomotives fascinated me.” Gopalakrishnan became a poet, a writer “for whom dialects and remote areas have always been important.”

Gopalakrishnan counts among his literary models Auden and his colleague Louis MacNeice, co-authors of Letters from Iceland (1937), and W.G. Sebald, the late author of The Rings of the Saturn (1986). Like them, he will discover a “legacy of industrialization, which developed cities in unlikely places and often damaged the environment” in Siberia.

Gopalakrishnan plans to attend graduate school in theoretical physics.

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 Sydney Smith of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Is Finalist for Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics

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

AMHERST, Mass.—Sydney Smith of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., wrote an essay titled The Construction of Suffering that was chosen as one of 13 finalists for the 2006 Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest. Smith is the daughter of Mr. Oscar R. Smith and Ms. Paula R. Smith of Bloomfield Hills.

A senior with a double major in anthropology and sociology at Amherst, Smith has also been active in the Black Women’s Group and the Social Council. Her adviser and sponsor at Amherst, Deborah Gewertz, the G. Henry Whitcomb 1874 Professor of Anthropology, says of Smith’s work, “She thinks and writes with sophistication, care, independence and wit.”

The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest is an annual competition designed to challenge college students to analyze the urgent ethical issues confronting them in today's complex world. Students are encouraged to write thought-provoking personal essays that raise questions, single out issues and are rational arguments for ethical action.

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 Student Elizabeth Kuperberg ’07 Receives Goldwater Scholarship

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

AMHERST, Mass.—Elizabeth Kuperberg ’07 of Swarthmore, Penn., a junior at Amherst College, will receive a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for study next year. Only 309 scholarships were awarded to undergraduate sophomores and juniors in the United States this year. Kuperberg is the daughter of Mark Kuperberg and Susan Wright of Swarthmore, Penn.

Kuperberg, a junior majoring in biology at Amherst, plans to become a biology professor, concentrating on evolution or ecology. She has been active in the Amherst Equestrian Club, Anime Club and the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group. She wrote for the student newspaper, The Amherst Student, and The Indicator, a magazine.

The Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1986. Students are nominated by faculty members, and awards are made on the basis of academic merit to outstanding sophomores and juniors who plan to pursue careers in science, mathematics or engineering. Each scholarship covers expenses for tuition, fees, books, room and board, for as much as $7,500 annually.

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 Student Laura Strickman ’07 Receives Goldwater Scholarship

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

AMHERST, Mass.—Laura Strickman of Burke, Va., a junior at Amherst College, will receive a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for study next year. Only 309 scholarships were awarded to undergraduate sophomores and juniors in the United States this year. Strickman is the daughter of Dr. Mark S. Strickman and Mrs. Kathryn M. Strickman of Burke, Va.

Strickman, a junior majoring in computer science and theater and dance at Amherst, plans a career as a professor of computer science, continuing her research in multi-process computing, after getting a Ph.D. At Amherst, she is the president and webmaster of The Daily Jolt, a student website, and a stage manager in the college theatre program. She also sings in the women’s chorus and was a member of the fencing club. She has worked for several summers in the computer science group at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

The Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1986. Students are nominated by faculty members, and awards are made on the basis of academic merit to outstanding sophomores and juniors who plan to pursue careers in science, mathematics or engineering. Each scholarship covers expenses for tuition, fees, books, room and board, for as much as $7,500 annually.

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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Emily Dickinson Museum to Celebrate National Poetry Month with Third Annual “A little Madness in the Spring” April 21, 22 and 23

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

AMHERST, Mass.—The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens will sponsor the third annual “A little Madness in the Spring” event in honor of National Poetry Month with a varied program of Dickinsonian revelry. Highlights include a reading by poet Mary Jo Salter; an all-day, all-night marathon reading of Emily Dickinson’s 1,789 poems led by a number of prominent poets and writers; and a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the landmark play The Belle of Amherst. All events are free and open to the public.

“This tremendous scene” also includes a lecture by Karen Sánchez-Eppler, professor of American studies and English at Amherst College and author of the newly-published Dependent States: The Child’s Part in 19th-Century American Culture; a children’s mini-marathon reading of selected Dickinson poetry; “ I heard, as if I had no Ear,” a talk by artist Lesley Dill, whose acclaimed print, sculptural and installation work draws upon the poetry of Dickinson; and a nature walk, led by John Green of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment—a co-sponsor of the nature program—along the Emily Dickinson Trail in Groff Park. A complete schedule for the weekend is attached.

‘“Madness’ gives us a chance to celebrate Emily Dickinson’s poetry and legacy in a variety of ways, and in a short period of time,” said Cindy Dickinson, the museum’s director of interpretation and programming. “Bringing people together to celebrate poetry and Emily Dickinson is something we hope to achieve year-round, but in especially ‘mad’ and creative ways during National Poetry Month.”

Mary Jo Salter, this year’s featured poet, will kick off the festival on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. with a reading on the Homestead grounds. Author of several collections of poems, her most recent work is Open Shutters. The Emily Dickinson Senior Lecturer in the Humanities at Mount Holyoke College, Salter is an essayist and reviewer for such publications as The New York Times Book Review and The Yale Review, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She will read from her own work, and will discuss the significant influence Emily Dickinson has had on her poetry.

From Doris Abramson to Matthew Zapruder, the list of readers participating in Saturday’s poetry marathon is a who’s who of notable literary figures. Slated to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning on the Homestead lawn, the marathon will continue until all of Dickinson’s poems have been read. There will be opportunities throughout the marathon for audience members to read, and those who make it until the end can celebrate with a sunrise breakfast. The Poetry Center at Smith College is collaborating with the Museum on this event.

The weekend concludes on Sunday afternoon with a celebration of The Belle of Amherst, the one-person play by William Luce that has had a profound effect on the public’s interest in Emily Dickinson’s poetry. The museum will mark the play’s 30th anniversary at 2 p.m. with a showing of a filmed version of the play and a panel discussion. Moderated by Cullen Murphy, senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly, the panel will explore the role that performances and presentations of different media have played in our modern-day perception of the poet, her times and her work. The museum has received a grant from the Massachusetts Foundation of the Humanities in support of this program.

During “Madness” weekend, the museum will offer guided tours of the Homestead and The Evergreens on Friday, from 1 to 5 p.m.; on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to noon.

“A little Madness in the Spring” is made possible by the generous support of the Valley Advocate, 88.5FM-WFCR, NPR News and Music for Western New England, TD Banknorth, Jones Town & Country Realty, Black Sheep Deli, The Lord Jeffery Inn and the Amherst College Department of English.

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s days and hours of operation change seasonally. In April and May, the museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Beginning in June and continuing through August, the museum will be open Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors/students, $5 for young people ages 6 to 18, and 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. Wheelchair-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.

“A little Madness in the Spring”
Friday, April 21 - Sunday, April 23
The Emily Dickinson Museum’s third annual celebration of National Poetry Month.
All programs are free and open to the public; one program (nature walk) requires advance registration.

Friday, April 21

4 p.m. Poetry Reading and Appreciation by Mary Jo Salter. Emily Dickinson Senior Lecturer in the Humanities at Mount Holyoke College, Salter will read from her own work and comment on Dickinson's influence and inspiration. On the Homestead lawn.

Saturday, April 22

9 a.m. The Marathon. A marathon reading of all 1,789 Dickinson poems begins and will continue until we finish! On the Homestead lawn. Readers include: Janet Aalfs , Doris Abramson, Madeline Blais, Annie Boutelle, Corinne Demas, Patrick Donnelly, Amy Dryansky, Deb Gorlin, Tzivia Gover, Stephanie Grant, James Haug, Patricia Hill, Cynthia Huntington, Marsha Janson, Jay Ladin, Julius Lester, Patricia Lee Lewis, David Lenson, Margaret Lloyd, Cleopatra Mathis, Gail Mazur, Cammie McGovern, Marilyn Nelson, Lisa Olstein, Susan Snively, Margaret Szumowski, Ellen Dore Watson, Dara Wier, Jane Yolen, Matthew Zapruder.

2 p.m. Some Other Nineteenth-Century Manuscript Books: The Hale Children’s Homemade Libraries. A lecture by Karen Sánchez-Eppler, professor of English and American studies at Amherst College. Sánchez-Eppler is the author of Dependent States: The Child's Part in 19th-Century American Culture (2005). Pruyne Lecture Hall, 115 Fayerweather, Amherst College campus.

4 p.m. The Mini-Marathon. Children will read selected poems by Emily Dickinson in an hour-long mini-version of the poetry marathon. At the Homestead.

Sunday, April 23

11 a.m. “Some keep the Sabbath.” A nature walk along the Emily Dickinson Trail at Groff Park on Mill Lane in Amherst. Led by naturalist John Green, the walk will explore the differences and similarities between today’s flora and fauna and those of the 19th century. Advance registration required; call 413-542-2034 to register. Co-sponsored with the Hitchcock Center for the Environment.

Noon “I heard, as if I had no Ear.” Lesley Dill, visual artist. Lesley Dill will discuss her passion for and journey with Emily Dickinson’s words, including her most recent work, “Six Degrees of Collaboration.” At the Homestead.

2-5 p.m. “The Poets light but Lamps”: A Viewing and Discussion of The Belle of Amherst and Modern Perceptions of a Major Poet. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of The Belle of Amherst. The celebration will include a showing of the filmed version of the play, followed by a moderated panel discussion. Moderator is Cullen Murphy of The Atlantic Monthly. Panelists are scholar Christopher Benfey, visual artist Lesley Dill, playwright William Luce, author Elizabeth Spires, historical reenactor Belinda West and filmmaker Jim Wolpaw. At Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. This program is funded in part by the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.

“A little Madness in the Spring” is made possible by the generous support of the Valley Advocate, 88.5FM-WFCR, NPR News and Music for Western New England, TD Banknorth, Jones Town & Country Realty, Black Sheep Deli, The Lord Jeffery Inn, and the Amherst College Department of English.

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Amherst College Professor Austin Sarat Receives Award

April 4, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College, has been awarded the James Boyd White Prize by the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities for “distinguished scholarly achievement” and in recognition of “outstanding and innovative” contributions to the humanistic study of law. The award recognized Sarat’s most recent work, Mercy on Trial: What It Means to Stop an Execution (2005).

Sarat, who has taught at Amherst since 1974, is author, co-author or editor of more than 50 books, including Mercy on Trial, When the State Kills and Law, Violence, and the Possibility of Justice. 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 NBC’s 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.

The Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities is an organization of scholars engaged in interdisciplinary, humanistically oriented legal scholarship. The association brings together a wide range of people engaged in scholarship on legal history, legal theory and jurisprudence, law and cultural studies, law and literature, law and the performing arts and legal hermeneutics. The ASLCH encourages dialogue about issues of interpretation, identity and values, about authority, obligation and justice and about law’s place in culture.

A 1960 graduate of Amherst College, James Boyd White is a law professor, literary critic, scholar, philosopher and the author of The Legal Imagination (1973). With that book he founded the “law and literature” movement. He is the preeminent proponent of the importance of studying law in the liberal arts.

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Jennifer Hornsby To Speak on “Knowing How To and Knowing Why To” at Amherst College April 13

April 3, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Jennifer Hornsby, a professor in the School of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, will lecture on “Knowing How To And Knowing Why To” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Organized by the Amherst College Department of Philosophy and funded by the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science, Hornsby’s talk is free and open to the public.

Hornsby received a B.A. degree from Oxford, an M.Phil. from the University of London and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. She returned to Oxford in 1979 as a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, and joined the faculty at Birkbeck College in 1995. Her main interests are in philosophy of action, mind and language. She teaches in these subjects and in metaphysics and areas of feminist philosophy.

In addition to many articles and papers, Hornsby is the author of Actions (1980) and Simple-mindedness: In Defense of Naive Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mind (1997). She co-edited Ethics: A Feminist Reader (with Elizabeth Fraser and Sabina Lovibond, 1992) and The Cambridge Companion to Feminism in Philosophy (with Miranda Fricker, 2000).

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“Paper Clips Project” Film and Inspiration at Amherst College April 5 and 7

April 3, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Linda Hooper, the woman who inspired the Paper Clips Project, will speak in the Third Annual Holocaust Remembrance Program at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 7, in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. The film Paper Clips will be shown on at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, in Merrill Science Lecture Hall 3. The film and lecture are both free and open to the public.

In 1998 Hooper, the principal of Whitwell Middle School in Tennessee, created the Paper Clips Project to help students struggling to grasp the concept of six million Holocaust victims. The students collected six million paper clips to better understand the extent of this crime against humanity. Their story became an award-winning film Paper Clips.
The program will include a question and answer session and will be followed by a reception.

The event is sponsored by the Holocaust Remembrance Program Committee; Amherst College Hillel; Amherst Association of Students; Campus Center/Student Activities; the Interdepartmental Student Fund; the Office of the President; the departments of English, European studies, German, women’s and gender studies and political science; Joe and Marilyn Kushick; Amherst College Democrats; Amherst College Republicans; Amherst Christian Fellowship; Noor and the Newman Club.

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Patricia Williams To Speak at Amherst College April 20

April 3, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Patricia Williams, the John J. McCloy ’16 Professor of American Institutions and International Relations at Amherst College and a professor of law at Columbia University School of Law, will give a talk titled “‘Fundamentally Speaking: Re-inscribing Stereotypes,” on Thursday, April 20, at 4:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room (Red Room) in Converse Hall at Amherst College. The talk will be free and open to the public.

The Alchemy of Race and Rights: A Diary of a Law Professor (1991), Williams’ first book, was an autobiographical work that challenged what many take for granted in our society, particularly with regard to cultural constructs of race and gender. One reviewer praised Williams for her ability to “meld sophisticated legal scholarship, memoir and allegory.”

Williams, who joined the Columbia Law School faculty in 1991, received a B.A. from Wellesley College and a J.D. from Harvard University. She served as a deputy city attorney (1976-1978) in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office; staff attorney (1978-1980) for the Western Center on Law and Poverty in Los Angeles; assistant professor (1980-1984) and associate professor (1984-1985) at Golden Gate College; and associate professor (1984-1988) at the City University of New York in Queens.

Her other works include The Rooster’s Egg: On the Persistence of Prejudice (1995) and Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race (1997), among many others. Her most recent book was Open House: On Family, Friends, Food, Piano Lessons and The Search for a Room of My Own (2004.) Williams also writes a column for The Nation, and received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2000.

The John J. McCloy ’16 Professorship was established at Amherst College in 1983 to honor John J. McCloy and his outstanding career of service and accomplishment in American politics and international diplomacy. Williams’ visit is hosted by the Department of Political Science at Amherst College.

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Stanley Fish To Speak on “Liberalism, Identity and Political Choice” at Amherst College April 13

April 3, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Literary theorist Stanley Fish, the Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and Law at the Florida International University College of Law, will speak on “Is It Good for the Jews: Liberalism, Identity and Political Choice ” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, in the Cole Assembly Room (Red Room) in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Sponsored by Re-Think, the Office of the President, the English Department and the Willis Wood Fund at Amherst College, Fish’s talk is free and open to the public.

One of America’s leading public intellectuals, Fish is a prolific author whose works include more than 200 scholarly publications and books, in addition to essays in such popular press as The New York Times and Harper’s and frequent appearances in the mass media. His books include John Skelton’s Poetry (1965), Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost (1967, new edition 1997), Self-Consuming Artifacts: The Experience of Seventeenth Century Literature (1972), The Living Temple: George Herbert and Catechizing (1978), Is there a Text in This Class? Interpretive Communities and the Sources of Authority (1980), Doing What Comes Naturally: Change, Rhetoric, and the Practice of Theory in Literary and Legal Studies (1989), There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It’s a Good Thing, Too (1994), Professional Correctness: Literary Studies and Political Change (1995), The Trouble with Principle (1999) and How Milton Works (2001). The Stanley Fish Reader, edited by H. Aram Veeser, was published in 1999. Fish has also had five books written about his books.

Fish served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He holds a B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University and Duke University, and served as director of the Duke University Press. Fish was a visiting professor at The John Marshall Law School from 2000 through 2002.

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Contact

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