Amherst College Professors Corrales and Rivkin Receive Ford and Tinker Foundation Grants

Submitted by Holly R. Saltrelli

October 15, 2007
Contact: Caroline Jenkins
Director of Media Relations

413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Javier Corrales, associate professor of political science at Amherst College, and Steven G. Rivkin, professor of economics, have received a $100,000 grant from the Ford Foundation and a $35,000 grant from the Tinker Foundation to support a multi-year study of community-managed schools in Central America. Corrales and Rivkin will study what has been a 10-year experiment of state-supported, parent-run public schools in rural areas of Honduras and Guatemala.

With the support of Daniel Altschuler ’04, Corrales and Rivkin have created a survey to quantify the effects this program has both on teachers and parents. “What we want to know,” said Corrales, “is can this work and how does it affect the parents…Does this get parents to be more civic, more involved in their communities?” The grant money will support a team of professionals as they collect data from these rural communities this fall.

Begun more than 10 years ago in Nicaragua and El Salvador as an experiment in governance and education with initial funding from the World Bank, community-managed school programs have since been implemented in Honduras and Guatemala. Corrales selected Honduras and Guatemala because in these countries, the programs are in more rural communities where very few social institutions—such a public schools or post offices—have been put in place until now.

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental grant-making organization that has, for 70 years, committed funding to innovative people and institutions worldwide. The Tinker Foundation is also an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that has for nearly 50 years provided both field and research grants in support of projects in Latin America, Spain, Portugal and most recently Antarctica.

Founded in 1821, Amherst is widely considered to be one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, enrolling more than 1,600 undergraduates from every state and nearly 40 other countries.

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Elizabeth Vladeck to Speak at Amherst College Oct. 23 about Workers’ Rights and Unions in Modern-Day Russia

Submitted by Holly R. Saltrelli

October 15, 2007
Contact: Caroline Jenkins
Director of Media Relations

413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Elizabeth Vladeck, American lawyer and labor organizer, will deliver a lecture titled “Workers’ Rights and Union Organizing in Putin’s Russia: A First-Hand Account” at Amherst College on Tuesday, Oct. 23. The talk, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Amherst Center for Russian Culture in Webster Hall.

Vladeck is one of a very small number of Americans to have done sustained, in-country work with Russian trade unions and worker organizations over the tumultuous period since the fall of the Soviet Union, having worked both for local trade union groups in the town of Kaliningrad and for a national labor rights nongovernmental organization that works with unions all over the country. Because of her work in Kaliningrad organizing port workers, she was even recently refused a renewal of her Russian visa—an incident which was the subject of an article by reporter Peter Finn in The Washington Post. Using this, her other experiences in the nation and the lens of the U.S. labor movement as a way into the conversation about union organizing in modern-day Russia, she will offer a few stories about today’s workers and her own thoughts about the past, present and future of Russian labor.

The talk is sponsored by the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series Fund and The Virginia and David S. Pennock ’60 Russian Culture Fund.

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Amherst College Names Caroline Jenkins Hanna Director of Media Relations

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen
October 15, 2007
Contact: Caroline Jenkins
Director of Media Relations

413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Caroline Jenkins Hanna, former director of media relations at Colgate University, has been named director of media relations at Amherst College. Her appointment became effective Oct. 8.

In the position Hanna will direct Amherst’s media relations program and work with local, regional and national media. She will also provide leadership in creating a new communications strategy for the college.

At Colgate, Hanna served as assistant and associate director of media relations before accepting the position of director of media relations. Before that, she served as a media relations specialist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and an associate editor at Folio: The Magazine for Magazine Management.

Hanna holds a B.A. in English from St. Lawrence University, as well as an M.S. in magazine journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.

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Human Rights Watch Head Kenneth Roth to Lecture at Amherst College Oct. 23

Submitted by Holly R. Saltrelli
October 11, 2007
Contact: Caroline Jenkins
Director of Media Relations

413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, will critique the United States’ counterterrorism efforts in a lecture at Amherst College Tuesday, Oct. 23. His talk, titled “Why the Current Approach to Fighting Terrorism is Making Us Less Safe,” will take place at 8 p.m. in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Room 115 of Fayerweather Hall) and is free and open to the public.

Roth began his tenure as executive director of Human Rights Watch—which investigates, reports on and seeks to curb human rights abuses in some 70 countries—in 1993. Since then he has conducted human rights investigations around the globe, devoting special attention to issues of justice and accountability for gross abuses of human rights, standards governing military conduct in time of war, the human rights policies of the United States and the United Nations and the human rights responsibilities of multinational businesses. He has written more than 80 articles and chapters on a range of human rights topics and has been quoted in numerous high-profile publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, International Herald Tribune and The New York Review of Books. He also regularly appears in the major media and speaks to audiences around the world.

Prior to becoming executive director at Human Rights Watch, Roth held the position of deputy director from 1987 to 1993. Before that, he was a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington. He also worked in private practice as a litigator.

A graduate of Yale Law School and Brown University, Roth was drawn to the human rights cause in part by his father’s experience fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938. He began working on human rights after the declaration of martial law in Poland in 1981, and soon also became deeply engaged in fighting military repression in Haiti. In his 14 years as executive director of Human Rights Watch, the organization has quadrupled in size while greatly expanding its geographic reach and adding special programs devoted to refugees, children’s rights, international justice, AIDS, gay and lesbian rights, human rights emergencies, terrorism and counterterrorism and the human rights responsibilities of multinational corporations.

Roth’s talk is sponsored by the Victor S. Johnson 1882-1943 Lectureship Fund and the Amherst College President’s Office.

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Renowned Political Blogger Marcy Wheeler ’90 to Discuss Online Journalism at Amherst College Oct. 18

Submitted by Holly R. Saltrelli
October 11, 2007
Contact: Caroline Jenkins
Director of Media Relations

413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Marcy Wheeler, well-known political blogger and a 1990 graduate of Amherst College, will discuss her work as a print and Web journalist Thursday, Oct. 18, in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at her alma mater. The talk, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Blogging under the pseudonym “emptywheel,” Wheeler wrote must-read commentary about national politics and the media on the renowned Websites Daily Kos, Firedoglake and The Huffington Post, among others, before starting her own blog titled The Next Hurrah. During the trial of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, she gained fame for blogging case testimony live from the courtroom alongside other regular press-accredited bloggers and reporters. This January she went on to publish “Anatomy of Deceit,” a short primer on The United States v. Libby, as well as the U.S. government’s justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the Iraq war. Since its publication, the book has been cited in several articles about the Libby scandal and has even been praised by former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, the husband of Valerie E. Wilson (Valerie Plame).

Wheeler currently lives in Michigan, where she works as a business consultant and continues to write for her own blog and many others. In addition to her degree from Amherst, she holds a doctorate from University of Michigan in comparative literature.

Wheeler’s talk is being sponsored by Amherst’s English Department and the Creative Writing Center.

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Amherst College and UMass Amherst to Host “See How I Rip Myself! Rome and Its Civil Wars” Nov. 10 and 11

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen
October 10, 2007
Contact: Caroline Jenkins
Director of Media Relations

413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The historical picture of Imperial Rome as a peaceful empire of prosperity was formed in the aftermath of 150 years of repeated eruptions of civil war. A two-day conference on the cultural significance of these conflicts will be held Saturday, Nov. 10 at Amherst College and Sunday, Nov. 11 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The event, “See How I Rip Myself! Rome and Its Civil Wars,” will bring together historians, literary critics, archeologists and art historians to examine the causes of civil war in Rome and how the experience shaped what it meant to be Roman. The conference is being organized by Cynthia Damon and Andreola Rossi of Amherst College’s Department of Classics and Brian Breed of the UMass Amherst classics department. All sessions are free and open to the public.

Lectures scheduled for Nov. 10 will be held in the Cole Assembly Room of Converse Hall at Amherst College following registration at 8:30 a.m. Two major themes will be addressed: how Romans defined civil war and how Roman civil war differed from internal conflicts in other countries.

T.P. Wiseman of the University of Exeter will deliver the keynote address, titled “The Two-Headed State: How Romans Explained Civil War,” Saturday, Nov. 10, at 2 p.m. in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Wiseman, widely regarded as the world’s leading expert on Roman myth and legend, will look at how Roman myths were used and retold during the period of civil war and the political significance of how Rome perceived its own history.

Lectures on Sunday, Nov. 11—which will be held in Memorial Hall at UMass Amherst—will look at representations of civil war in Roman culture, strategies Romans used to disguise their civil wars and the impact of civil war on Roman arts and architecture.

The conference is sponsored by the classics departments of Amherst, UMass Amherst, Smith College and Mount Holyoke College; the Georges Lurcy Charitable and Educational Trust; the Corliss Lamont Lectureship for a Peaceful World; the Faculty Research Award Program and Mellon 8 Fund of Amherst College; the UMass Amherst Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts and Vice Provost for Research; Five Colleges, Inc.; and the Loeb Classical Library Foundation at Harvard University.

A full list of speakers and a conference schedule can be found at http://www.umass.edu/civilwars/about.html.

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Author Louise Glück Will Read at Amherst College Nov. 1; Talk by Willard Spiegelman Will Precede Reading

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen
October 8, 2007
Contact: Katherine Duke '05
Writer/Editor
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.—Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former U.S. poet laureate Louise Glück will read from her work at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center and the Amherst College Department of English, the event is open to the public at no charge.

Glück’s reading will be preceded by a talk by scholar and critic Willard Spiegelman at 4 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room of Converse Hall on the Amherst College campus.

Glück served as the nation’s 12th poet laureate (from 2003 to 2004), and is the author of numerous books of poetry. Her most recent book, Averno, was nominated for a National Book Award in 2006; The New Yorker wrote, “The poems brilliantly display a poet’s insight, a mother’s warmth and a mortal’s empathy. There is wry humor, too, and, amid much that is dark, there are fragments of hope.”

Glück received the Pulitzer Prize and the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award in 1992 for The Wild Iris. She earned the Library of Congress’s Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry for Ararat, published in 1990. Her 1985 book, The Triumph of Achilles, received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Poetry Society of America’s Melville Kane Award. In 2001, Yale University awarded Glück its Bollingen Prize in Poetry, given biennially for a poet’s lifetime achievement in his or her art.

The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts, Glück is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She also serves as a judge for the Yale Series of Younger Poets.

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

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Botanist and Environmentalist Peter H. Raven to Speak at Amherst College Monday, Oct. 29

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

October 8, 2007
Contact: Emanuel Costache '09
Media Relations Intern
413/542-2321
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.—Peter H. Raven, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden and George Engelmann Professor of Botany at Washington University in St. Louis, will present a talk titled “Winning Sustainability in an Age of Global Change: What is Our Responsibility?” at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29, in Pruyne Lecture Hall at Amherst College. Raven’s lecture is sponsored by the President’s Office and is free and open to the public. Raven will also give a biology seminar (open to all) at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, in Lecture Room 4 of Merrill Hall. This talk will examine “How Many Plant Species Will Survive the 21st Century?”

Raven’s approach to sustainability issues is an historical one. He tracks the rapid growth in human population after the development of crop agriculture 10,500 years ago (420 human generations). The 1800s saw the world’s population double from one to nearly two billion; the 1900s saw that number more than triple. “The pressure we exert on our planetary home,” Raven says, “has been tremendous.” Half of the world’s total photosynthetic output is being exhausted, as is half the supply of fresh water. Yet billions live in poverty, and many are literally starving. As Raven sees it, this poses a threat to the productive capacity of the Earth beyond the end of the 21st century. Raven challenges us not only to ask what can be done to reverse these processes, but also to be responsible, moral citizens despite the fleeting pressures of our time.

Raven has served as the director of the Missouri Botanical Garden since 1971. In 2006, he was also named president of the MBG. Raven has won numerous international prizes for his work, including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1985. He received his Ph.D. in botany from the University of California at Los Angeles and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Artist Entang Wiharso Will Perform “Eating Identity” at Amherst College Monday, Oct. 22

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen
October 8, 2007
Contact: Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321
Caroline Hanna
Director of Media Relations
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.—Entang Wiharso, a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College, will present a performance piece titled “Eating Identity” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, on the Main Quadrangle in front of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College. The first in a series of Copeland Fellow events on the theme of “Art and Identity in the Global Community,” the event is open to the public at no charge.

Entang Wiharso was born in Central Java, Indonesia, and now divides his time between Rhode Island and Indonesia. Wiharso’s work explores his heritage as an Indonesian citizen on the larger global stage, often examining humanity’s duplicitous and contradictory nature and scrutinizing social relations. Of his upcoming Amherst performance, Wiharso notes that in an era of increasing globalization, identity is increasingly difficult to pinpoint. “This piece is part of an ongoing exploration of identity issues that have existed in my work since the late 1990s,” he says. “In my current series of performances, the action takes place on and around a large central table, where diners share a common meal and yet remain distant from each other. The central question in this performance is: What does identity mean, and how can it be read?”

Described as a man “who can paint the uncertainty of identity honestly,” Wiharso has performed and exhibited his paintings around the world. The Indonesian Fine Art Foundation has recognized him as one of his country’s Top 10 Painters, and he received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant for 2007-08.

Each year, the Copeland Colloquium brings a group of visiting scholars and artists to Amherst College. This year’s colloquium theme, “Art and Identity in the Global Community,” was proposed by a group of faculty as the outcome of cross-disciplinary discussions on “the ways in which artists and scholars are revising notions of community identity as well as aesthetic conventions in response to new developments in media and migration.” Faculty representing seven different academic departments and the Mead Art Museum joined to become sponsors and organizers of this year’s Copeland Colloquium. Five international artists, working in a broad spectrum of mediums, are now in residence for both semesters of the academic year. The other Copeland Fellows will discuss their work at the Mead Art Museum at 7:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month in November, December, February and March.

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Philosopher Barry Schwartz Will Lecture Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Amherst College

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

October 2, 2007
Contact: Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

Editor's note: If you are looking for the news release on Professor Alexander George's new book What Would Socrates Say? please click here.

AMHERST, Mass.—Barry Schwartz, the Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College, will lecture on “The Tyranny of Freedom: Psychological Perspectives on Choice” at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, 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, Schwartz’s talk is free and open to the public.

Schwartz’s work explores the social and psychological effects of free-market economic institutions on moral, social and civic concerns. In his book The Costs of Living: How Market Freedom Erodes the Best Things in Life, Schwartz finds that market values undermine morals and community-building. More particularly, Schwartz suggests that the much-cited and much-maligned hostility that characterizes American public debates is related to the erosion of community-oriented values in the market-obsessed society. His more recent work, The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, examines the often-paralyzing effects on consumers of a marketplace offering a bewildering array of choices.

Schwartz, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971, has been awarded several grants by the National Science Foundation over the last three decades. In addition, he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the American Psychological Society, and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

The Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science was established in 1983 by Carol Micken and John I. Forry ’66 to promote the study of philosophical issues arising out of new developments in the sciences, including mathematics, and issues in the philosophy and history of science.

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Contact

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