Amherst College Alumnus Edmund S. Phelps ’55 Receives Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics

October 9, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 2006 Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences to Edmund S. Phelps, a 1955 graduate of Amherst College. The academy said in a statement that Phelps, a professor of political economy at Columbia University, “challenged the earlier view on the relationship between inflation and unemployment. He recognized that inflation does not only depend on unemployment but also on the expectations of firms and employees about price and wage increases.” “Amherst College is deeply honored by this recognition,” says Anthony W. Marx, the president of the college. “Ned Phelps is a brilliant scholar and a wonderful colleague.” Phelps is the fourth Nobel laureate from Amherst College: he joins Joseph E. Stiglitz ’64 (Economics 2001), Harold E. Varmus ’61 (Medicine, 1989) and Henry W. Kendall ’50 (Physics, 1990).

Phelps “has fundamentally altered our views on how the macroeconomy operates,” according to the Royal Swedish Academy. Geoffrey R. Woglom, the Richard S. Volpert ’56 Professor of Economics at Amherst College, says Phelps’s work on “intertemporal tradeoffs in macroeconomic policy is still taught in the intermediate macroeconomics course at Amherst and at most other schools.” According to Woglom, Phelps “analyzed how the apparent tradeoff in the short run between lower unemployment at the cost of more inflation would disappear in the long run, and laid the groundwork for the New Classical revolution in macroeconomics, around 1975, which fundamentally changed the way economists analyze government stabilization policies.” This “Phelps-Friedman analysis” was co-developed independently in 1969 with Milton Friedman.

Woglom says that Phelps’s “earlier work in the theory of economic growth showed that increases in the savings rate typically would lead eventually to increases in consumption as economic growth raised income: you could trade off less consumption today for more in the future. But increasing the savings rate too much would lower consumption now and also in the future.

“Phelps was viewed as a major contributor to the theory of growth in the 1960s,” Woglom concludes, “and his ideas are used in analyzing current issues such as the reform of the Social Security system.”

Born in Evanston, Ill., Phelps earned a B.A. in economics from Amherst in 1955, and received M.A. (1956) and Ph.D. (1959) degrees from Yale University. He has taught at Columbia since 1971, where he directs the Center on Capitalism and Society.

###

Author Mark London ’74 To Present “The Amazon in the Age of Globalization” at Amherst College Oct. 26

October 9, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Mark London, author of the forthcoming book The Last Forest: The Amazon in the Age of Globalization, will give a talk with that title at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, in the Cole Assembly Room at Amherst College. The first in a series of lectures titled “The Rain Forest Crunch,” sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program and the Office of the President at Amherst College, London’s talk is free and open to the public.

Mark London graduated from Amherst College in 1974 and attended law school at George Washington University. He is a trial lawyer and a partner in the firm of London & Mead in Washington D.C. and is the co-author of Amazon (1983, with Brian Kelly) and Four Little Dragons: Inside Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore: the Dawn of the Pacific Century (1983, with Brian Kelly).

###

Emily Dickinson Museum Presents “Repast as Ritual” Oct. 15

October 9, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens presents “Repast as Ritual: Dining at the Homestead and The Evergreens” from 2 until 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15, at the Amherst College Alumni House on Spring Street. The lecture by Amanda Lange of Historic Deerfield is the third installment of the museum’s fall 2006 “Pleasant and Perfect” series, which examines the 19th-century American home through the material world of The Evergreens, the home of Emily Dickinson’s brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson.

Even before moving into her new home, Susan Dickinson dreamed of entertaining her friends with an “oyster supper.” Such a supper was just one of countless meals that Susan oversaw during her almost 60-year residence at The Evergreens. From assembling breakfast to planning meals for notable guests like Ralph Waldo Emerson, dining at The Evergreens was no small affair. This program will examine dining customs at both the Homestead, home of the poet, as well as The Evergreens, and will give participants an up-close look at some of the dining-related treasures in the museum’s collection.

The curator of historic interiors at Historic Deerfield, in Deerfield, Mass., Amanda Lange was part of the Deerfield team that developed the Flynt Center of Early New England Life, a 27,000-square-foot facility for exhibitions, visible storage and work areas. Lange has also developed several exhibitions, including the current exhibition, “The Canton Connection: Art and Commerce of the China Trade, 1784-1860,” which focuses on trade relations between America and China in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and highlights Historic Deerfield’s collection of Chinese export art. In 1999 she was scholar-in-residence at The Evergreens and completed an inventory of the ceramics and collection there.

The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens is owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. The museum is a member of Museums10, a partnership of 10 museums in the Pioneer Valley. For more information about the museum, please call 413/542-8161 or visit the museum’s Website.

###

New Quiet Time Program to Debut at Emily Dickinson Museum Oct. 26

October 9, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens hosts “‘Silence as a Company’: Quiet Time at the Dickinson Homestead,” on Thursday, Oct. 26. From 10 a.m. to 12 noon, the Homestead doors will be open to visitors seeking a brief respite from cell phones, beeping handhelds and other unwanted distractions.

The program takes its name from a line in Emily Dickinson’s “To own the Art within the Soul” (Fr 1091). The “quiet time” program is not intended as an occasion for touring the poet’s home. Instead, visitors are invited to read silently, write or sketch. Portable chairs and copies of Emily Dickinson's poetry will be available for use in the house. Staff will circulate throughout the house during this time to provide assistance. A $5 donation is requested.

As our lives today seem busier than ever, we all need time for quiet and reflection,” said Cindy Dickinson, the museum’s director of programming and interpretation. “We hope that our new program will provide companionable peace for those seeking some calm, and opportunity to read some of Dickinson’s poetry or even to be inspired to write their own.”

The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens is owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. In October, the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 1-5 p.m. The museum is a member of Museums10, a partnership of 10 museums in the Pioneer Valley. For more information about the museum, please call 413/542-8161 or visit the museum’s website.

###

Western Historian Elliott West To Speak at Amherst College Oct. 26

October 9, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Elliott West, Alumni Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Arkansas, will speak on “Disease and the Making of Empires: Why It Matters that Lewis and Clark Didn’t Get Sick (Or at Least Really Sick)” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Sponsored by the history department and the dean of the faculty, this is the fifth annual lecture in a series named in honor of Anson D. Morse Professor of History and American Studies Hugh Hawkins, emeritus.

A specialist in the social and environmental history of the American frontier, West teaches and writes on the history of the American West. A native Texan, he received his doctorate from the University of Colorado. He has twice been chosen as teacher of the year at the University of Arkansas and was Arkansas’ teacher of the year in 1995.

West is the author of five books, including Growing Up with the Country: Childhood on the Far Western Frontier (1989); The Way to the West: Essays on the Central Plains (1995); and The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers and the Rush to Colorado (1998), winner of the Francis Parkman Prize and the OAH Ray Allen Billington Prize, among others.

###

Writers Alexander Chee and Judith Frank To Read at Amherst College Oct. 26

October 9, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Amherst College faculty members Alexander Chee and Judith Frank will read from works in progress at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) on the Amherst campus. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Alexander Chee and Judith Frank, both recipients of the Lambda Literary Award that celebrates the publication of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) literature, will be reading excerpts from their ongoing second novels.

Chee is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Edinburgh and a visiting writer at Amherst College. In Queen of the Night, his current novel set in the 19th century, an opera singer pledges to forgo speaking in order to communicate only through song, but finds herself trapped within the destinies of the characters she portrays. Publisher’s Weekly describes Chee as “a gifted, poetic writer who takes big risks” and “a major talent whose career will bear watching.” He attended Wesleyan University and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop.

Frank is a professor of English at Amherst College. Her first novel, Crybaby Butch, received the Astraea Foundation’s Emerging Lesbian Writers’ Fund fiction grant. Frank will read from Noah’s Ark, her developing novel that follows the trials of a gay couple in the U.S. who take in two Jewish children orphaned by a café bombing in Jerusalem. Frank received her B.A. degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and holds a Ph.D. and M.F.A. from Cornell.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center puts on a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. For more information, please see the center’s website.

###

Donald Richie, Writer about Japanese Film, To Speak at Amherst College Oct. 11, 12 and 13 as Frost Library Fellow

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

AMHERST, Mass.—Donald Richie, a novelist and essayist noted for his role in introducing Japanese film to the West, will speak at several public events during his visit as the 2006-07 Robert Frost Library Fellow at Amherst College next week. Richie will deliver a lecture on “Tokyo as Structure” drawn from his book, Tokyo: A View of the City (1999), at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Richie will join an informal talk about the “Position of Foreigners (Americans) Abroad (in Japan)”to complement a reading of his most recent book, Japan Journals 1947-2004 (2004), at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, in Room 101 in Chapin Hall. The 1991 documentary film of his 1971 book The Inland Sea will be screened at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115), with discussion to follow. Richie will join professor of fine arts and Asian languages and civilizations Samuel Morse for a gallery talk on the exhibition Gifts from the Ebb Tide and the World of Kitagawa Utamaro at 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, in the Mead Art Museum. Richie also will present a talk to the annual meeting of the Friends of the Amherst College Library at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115). All events are free and open to the public.

A resident of Japan since military service there in 1947, except for years spent in New York as a student at Columbia University and as curator of film at the Museum of Modern Art, Richie was the film critic for The Japan Times for many years.

Richie expanded his film criticism in such books as The Japanese Film: Art and Industry (with Joseph Anderson, 1959), The Films of Akira Kurosawa (1965), Ozu (1974) and Japanese Cinema: An Introduction (1990). He also has written about his adopted homeland in Tokyo Nights (1988), Public People, Private People (1991) and The Honorable Visitors (1997).

Sponsored by the Friends of the Amherst College Library, the biennial Frost Fellowship brings a visiting scholar to campus to participate in courses, consult with students and participate in activities that “reflect the central and interdepartmental role of the library in the academic life of the college.” Richie’s residence as Frost Fellow, from October 9 to 13, is being coordinated by Samuel Morse, the chair of the department of Asian languages and civilizations at Amherst College.

###

“Guantanamo: How Should We Respond?” Teach-In at Amherst College Oct. 5

October 2, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Amherst College will join hundreds of academic institutions on Thursday, Oct. 5, in the first national effort to study the United States detention of hundreds of individuals claimed to be “enemy combatants” at the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Cuba. “Guantanamo: How Should We Respond?”will explore the legal, political and moral implications. Nasser Hussain, an assistant professor of law, jurisprudence and social thought at Amherst, has organized the event at the college. Free and open to the public, the program at Amherst begins at 10 a.m. and goes until 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5, in Lecture Room 1 in Merrill Science Center.

President George W. Bush announced recently that 14 suspected terrorists previously held in secret United States facilities abroad will be transferred for trial by military commission at Guantánamo. This announcement raises issues about the meaning of a fair trial in Guantanamo. These are the issues the “virtual teach-in,” a series of panel discussions that will be simulcast from throughout the country from Seton Hall University in New York, will take up.

The speakers will include lawyers, law professors, physicians, journalists and military officers.

###

Pages

 

Contact

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