Cellist Pieter Wispelwey To Present Music at Amherst Oct. 14

September 29, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—In the second performance of the 2006-07 Music at Amherst Series, cellist Pieter Wispelwey will be joined by pianist Dejan Lazic in a program of sonatas and variations by Ludwig van Beethoven at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Building at Amherst College.

Wispelwey and Lazic, who recently recorded these works on the Channel Classics label, have garnered critical acclaim for their technical mastery and nuanced interpretation. The New York Times writes that Wispelwey offers “performances as eloquent as they [are] provocative,” while the New Yorker magazine noted that “His playing is physical first and intellectual second, which is ultimately the way to go. Whether singing, dancing, raging or ruminating, it mimics the contours of human gesture and speech.”

Wispelwey has appeared in recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and at Lincoln Center in New York. Wispelwey has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Camerata Salzburg. In 2005, he began a five-season residency with the London Philharmonic with a performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto at the Royal Festival Hall.

Tickets for the performance are $22. Senior citizens (65+) and Amherst College employee tickets are $19, and student tickets are $5. Tickets may be purchased in advance over the telephone by calling 413/542-2195.

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Physicist Laura Newburgh To Discuss “Graduate School and the Universe” at Amherst College Oct. 5

September 28, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Laura Newburgh, a graduate student in physics at Columbia University, will give a talk titled “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Graduate School, and the Universe, in Less than One Hour” at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5, in Merrill Science Room 211. Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. Sponsored by the physics department at Amherst College, the talk is free and open to the public.

“The discovery of perturbations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) ushered in a new era of experimental cosmology,” Newburgh says. “One of the most exciting new signatures in the CMB is that of polarization, which is already informing the time scales of reionization, and could possibly help probe inflationary time scales in the universe, beginning about 10-43 seconds after the big bang. The Q/U imaging experiment (QUIET) will probe this signature with unprecedented accuracy and help inform next-generation experiments.”

In addition to discussing QUIET, Newburgh will discuss the process of applying, choosing and attending graduate school, with the hope of clarifying the process.

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Samuel C. Morse To Speak on “Gifts from the Ebb Tide: Utamaro & the Print Culture of Edo” at Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

September 27, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Samuel C. Morse, professor of fine arts and Asian languages and civilizations at Amherst College, will give a gallery talk titled “Gifts from the Ebb Tide: Utamaro and the Print Culture of Edo” at 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, in the Fairchild Gallery at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College. Morse is a guest curator of the current exhibition at the Mead, “Gifts from the Ebb Tide and the World of Kitagawa Utamaro,” from Sept. 14 through Dec. 10. The other guest curator, Anne Nishimura Morse, curator of Japanese art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, will give a gallery talk titled “Gifts from the Ebb Tide and the World of Kitagawa Utamaro” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29, in the Fairchild Gallery. All events are free and open to the public.

The exhibition examines the various facets of the print culture of the 18th century presented by The Gifts from the Ebb Tide: the relationship of the artist Utamaro with the publisher Tsutaya Jusaburo, the integration of kyoka poems and imagery in ukiyo-e, images of courtesans engaged in activities popular in and around the city of Edo and the pastimes of the courtesans of the Green Houses. The exhibition features Utamaro’s The Gifts from the Ebb Tide and other examples of Utamaro’s prints from the collection of the Mead Art Museum, as well as loans from the Wadsworth Athenaeum, the Worcester Art Museum and private collections. Support is provided by the David Mesker (Class of 1953) Fund and the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund.

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. Additional information is available on the museum’s Website, or by calling the museum at 413/542-2335. Admission and all events are free and open to the public.

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Historian Martha Hodes To Discuss “The Sea Captain’s Wife” at Amherst College Oct. 18

September 27, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Martha Hodes, a professor of history at New York University, will speak about “Writing a Transnational Family Story: Reflections on Love and Race across Borders” in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Sponsored by the Amherst College Dean of Faculty and the Five College Crossroads in the Study of the Americas, the lecture will be free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception and book signing.

Hodes’ talk will draw on her new book, The Sea Captain’s Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century (2006), which reconstructs the intriguing life of Eunice Richardson Stone Connolly, a 19th-century New England mill laborer who went south with her husband to seek their fortune. As her husband fought for the Confederacy, she returned homesick to New Hampshire and worked as a washerwoman, yet found respectability in her poverty because her skin was white. But to the mystification of relatives, she put that respectability at risk after her husband’s death and married a well-to-do black sea captain from Grand Cayman Island.

Hodes, who earlier wrote White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth-Century South (1999), relied on a cache of Connolly’s letters for The Sea Captain’s Wife. In her Amherst talk, she will discuss the historical significance of transnational lives, illuminating the process of writing about an ordinary woman who led an extraordinary life. She will reflect on historical actors who challenged imposed racial classifications; the interplay between local and global arenas, including the balance between the historian’s expansive vision and the more confined day-to-day experiences of historical actors; and narrative strategies that take into account the problem of sources and the intertwining of story-telling and scholarly argument.

Inspired by her research for The Sea Captain’s Wife, Hodes has turned to a new project, exploring the historical uses and meanings of narratives about human skin color, in which she reads legal, scientific, medical, military and literary sources to challenge the dominant ideological equation of whiteness and purity, with crucial attention to transnational racial systems.

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Philosopher John Perry To Present Second Amherst Lecture in Philosophy Oct. 19

September 27, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—John Perry, the Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, will give the second annual Amherst Lecture in Philosophy, titled “‘Borges and I’ and ‘I’,” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. The Amherst Lecture in Philosophy invites a distinguished philosopher each year to Amherst College. 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 by the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science, and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

John Perry has made scholarly contributions in logic, philosophy of language, metaphysics and philosophy of mind, yet may be best known for writing that reaches a wider audience, such as his humorous 1995 online essay, “Structured Procrastination.” Since 2005, Perry has hosted, with Kenneth Taylor, “Philosophy Talk,” a radio program that “questions everything... except your intelligence.” In A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality (1978), Perry dealt with problems in the theory of personal identity in the form of a dialogue between a terminally ill university professor and two friends.

With a B.A. in philosophy from Doane College and a Ph.D. degree in philosophy from Cornell University, Perry was awarded the Jean Nicod Prize in philosophy in 1999. He is also a participant in the Center for the Study of Language and Information, an independent research center.

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Author Katherine Min To Read at Amherst Books Oct. 18

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

AMHERST, Mass.—Katherine Min ’80 will read from her debut novel, Secondhand World, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Amherst Books (8 Main St. Amherst, Mass.) This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Drawing from her own experience as the daughter of Korean parents growing up in suburban New York, Min frames a story with loss and isolation at its core. The opening finds Isadora (Isa) Myung Hee Sohn, 18, at the end of a 95-day recovery in a pediatric burn unit. The catalogue of her losses that follows is a textured and detailed web of perception—her experience both touching and bittersweet. Publishers Weekly described Secondhand World as “[a] haunting debut …. Min’s rendering of an outsider family’s tight-knit alienation is spot-on.” Min has been awarded an NEA fellowship and her story “Courting a Monk” won a Pushcart Prize. Min currently teaches at Plymouth State University and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. She lives with her family in New Hampshire.

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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“Celebrate the Herbarium!” at the Emily Dickinson Museum Sept. 30

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

AMHERST, Mass.—To mark the publication of the Emily Dickinson’s Herbarium: A Facsimile Edition, visitors to the Emily Dickinson Museum will be invited to create a botanically inspired greeting card or bookmark to “Celebrate the Herbarium!” from 1:30 until 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens (Main St., Amherst, Mass.). Artist Mary Weidensaul will show visitors how to print with leaves and other plant material found on the museum grounds. A $2 donation is suggested to cover materials.

The close observation of nature was a lifelong passion for Emily Dickinson, who used her garden flowers as emblems in her poetry and correspondence. The poet’s fervor for flowers and plants began at an early age and remained with her throughout her life. Dickinson’s herbarium of 400 carefully preserved, pressed flowers and plants has long been a highlight of Harvard’s Houghton Library.

Emily Dickinson’s Herbarium: A Facsimile Edition ($125, Harvard University Press), is available in the museum gift shop.

The Emily Dickinson Museum, made up of the Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens, two historic houses in Amherst, is devoted to the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family. The Dickinson Homestead was the birthplace and residence of the poet (1830-1886). The Evergreens was the 1856 home of the poet’s brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson. Merged into a single museum in 2003, both properties are owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. For more information, contact the museum at 413/542-8161 or visit the museum’s Website.

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Amherst College Professor Ethan Temeles Receives National Science Foundation Grant for Hummingbird Research

September 19, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Ethan J. Temeles, associate professor of biology at Amherst College, has received a grant of $240,000 from the National Science Foundation for a research project titled “Coevolutionary Convergence and Displacement Across a Geographic Mosaic: Hummingbirds and Heliconias of the Lesser Antilles.”

In this four-year project, a collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, Temeles will examine mechanisms of plant-pollinator specialization. The work involves field studies of hummingbird foraging behavior and natural selection on floral traits, and laboratory and field studies of gene flow between plant populations. Field work on the islands of Dominica, St. Vincent, Tobago and Grenada will offer many opportunities for Amherst College students to participate. For more information, please visit professor Temeles’ website.

The National Science Foundation is an independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting science and engineering through programs that invest more than $3 billion a year in almost 20,000 research and education projects. Amherst College is currently using more than $2 million in such grants.

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James Q. Whitman To Speak Oct. 4 at Amherst College on the Development of the Criminal Trial

September 19, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—James Q. Whitman, the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at Yale Law School, will speak on the topic “Why Can’t We Protect the Guilty as Well as the Innocent? Understanding the Historical Development of the Criminal Trial” at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4, in the Babbott Room in the Octagon at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Department of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought and the Croxton Lectureship at Amherst College, Whitman’s talk is free and open to the public.

The author of a forthcoming book titled The Origins of Reasonable Doubt: Religious Roots of the Criminal Trial, Whitman has published internationally and across disciplines, and has received many prizes and fellowships. His recent scholarship includes an article, “The Two Western Cultures of Privacy: Dignity versus Liberty,” published in the 2004 volume of The Yale Law Journal. His 2003 book, Harsh Justice: Criminal Punishment and the Widening Divide Between America and Europe, won the 2004 Distinguished Book Award of the Division of International Criminology of the American Society of Criminology.

Whitman earned his B.A. and J.D. from Yale University and Law School. He also holds an M.A. in European history from Columbia University and a Ph.D. degree in intellectual history from the University of Chicago. From 1988 to 1989, Whitman clerked for the Hon. Ralph K. Winter of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He then began his teaching career at Stanford University Law School. He has taught as a visiting professor at universities in France and Italy and has been a professor at Yale Law School since 1994. In 1996 he became the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at Yale.

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South African Economist Francis Wilson To Speak at Amherst College Oct. 16

September 19, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—South African economist Francis Wilson will give a talk titled “Halfway There: The Long Walk to Freedom and Economic Justice in South Africa” at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 16, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Sponsored by the President’s Office at Amherst, Wilson’s talk will be free and open to the public.

Wilson has taught for more than 30 years in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town, where he founded and for many years directed the Southern African Labour & Development Research Unit (Saldru). Since 2001 he has been the director of Data First Resource Unit (for Information Research and Scientific Training) in the Centre for Social Science Research. A former visiting professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Wilson in 2001 became chair of the International Social Science Council’s Scientific Committee of the International Comparative Research Program on Poverty.

The author of a number of books, including Labour in the South African Gold Mines (1972) and Uprooting Poverty: The South African Challenge (with Mamphela Ramphele, 1989), Wilson is co-editor of Poverty Reduction: What Role for the State in Today’s Globalised Economy? (with Nazneen Kanji and Einar Braathen, 2001). Recent essays include “Globalization: A View from the South,” in Beyond Racism: Race and Inequality in Brazil, South Africa and the United States (2001), “Brazil & South Africa; Minerals & Migrants: How the Mining Industry has Shaped South Africa” in Daedalus (Winter, 2001), “Employment, Education and the Economy” in South Africa Survey 2001/2002 (2001), “Understanding the Past to Reshape the Future: Problems of South Africa’s Transition” in The Economic Future in Historical Perspective (2003) and “Anglican Reflections from a South African Economist” in Philosophical and Spiritual Perspectives on Decent Work (2004).

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