Deerfield Wind Quintet to Perform at Amherst College on Sunday, Oct. 14

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen
October 8, 2007
Contact: Sara Leonard
Concert Manager
413/542-2195
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.—The Deerfield Wind Quintet will give a concert in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14. The concert is open to the public at no charge. Seating is by general admission.

The members of the Deerfield Wind Quintet have established themselves as renowned professional performers and well-respected local teachers. The quintet’s clarinetist, Lynn Sussman, was educated at the University of Connecticut and the Manhattan School of Music, performs with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and is currently the clarinet instructor at Amherst College. The other four members of the quintet are Ellen Redman (flute), Kirsten Hadden Lipkens (oboe), Rebecca Eldredge (bassoon) and Orlando Pandolfi (French horn).

The Oct. 14 concert will include selections by Charles Lefebvre, Irving Fine, Arthur Berger and Maurice Ravel. For more information regarding the program, contact the Amherst College Concert Office at 413/542-2195.

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Amherst College Professor Alexander George Answers Life’s Big Questions New Book

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

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

AMHERST, Mass.—“If no one ever loves me during my lifetime, will I have not lived a good life?” “Do the advances in the field of biotechnology threaten our moral values?” “Are there any reasons to have a child that aren’t selfish?” “Is there no such thing as bad art?”

These are among the questions asked and answered in What Would Socrates Say?, a new book edited by Alexander George, professor of philosophy at Amherst College. Published in the U.S. by Clarkson Potter, the book draws from AskPhilosophers.org, a popular Website created by George, which brings together some of today’s most esteemed philosophers. Using their knowledge of the arguments laid down by the likes of Aristotle, Camus, Locke and Socrates, and their own insightful interpretations, participating philosophers answer questions from real people around the world in an accessible style. Included are questions on pressing social issues (war, euthanasia); timeless conundrums about religion and morality (how do we know God exists?); personal perplexities about adultery, child-rearing and sex; and some lighthearted topics, like whether it’s right to let your kids believe in Santa.

What Would Socrates Say? is being translated into 10 languages and will be sold around the world. All proceeds from sales, after taxes, are being distributed to educational charities via the AskPhilosophers Fund (www.askphilosophersfund.org).

A member of the faculty at Amherst since 1988, George received a B.A. degree from Columbia University and earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. He is editor of Reflections on Chomsky (1989), Western State Terrorism (1991) and Mathematics and Mind (1994). His most recent philosophy book, written with Daniel Velleman, professor of mathematics at Amherst, was Philosophies of Mathematics (2002). With his Amherst colleague Lawrence Douglas, George is co-author of Sense and Nonsensibility: Lampoons of Learning and Literature (2004). Douglas and George also have published humorous work together in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, McSweeney’s and the Boston Globe, among other publications, and they contribute a regular column to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Amherst College Will Honor Henry Steele Commager with Symposium on Saturday, Oct. 27

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

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

AMHERST, Mass.—On Saturday, Oct. 27, at 3 p.m. in Pruyne Auditorium (Fayerweather 115), Amherst College will honor the life and career of one of America’s most important historians and teachers with a symposium on “Henry Steele Commager: Celebrating One of Amherst’s Legends.” Featuring prominent historians, lawyers and others who knew Commager well, the event marks the end of a year-long special project by the Amherst College Library’s Archives and Special Collections to arrange and describe Commager’s papers, making them available for the public.

The Oct. 27 Amherst College symposium is open to the public at no charge. The event will feature:

  • William Alford ’70, the Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law, vice dean for the graduate program and international legal studies, and director of East Asian legal studies at Harvard University. He will give an intellectual portrait of Commager.
  • Hugh Hawkins, the Anson D. Morse Professor of History and American Studies, Emeritus at Amherst College. He will discuss Commager as colleague.
  • Robert W. Hawkins ’71, a partner at the Washington, D.C. office of Hunton & Williams and a specialist in international commercial arbitration. He will reflect on Commager as mentor.
  • Milton Cantor, professor of history emeritus at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He will discuss Commager and McCarthyism.
  • Mary Powlesland Commager, Latin American historian and Commager’s widow.
Henry Steele Commager was a prominent professor and public intellectual whose 60-year career (1930-1990) helped define liberal intellectual academia. A member of the Amherst College faculty from 1956 to 1992, Commager was instrumental in creating the field of American studies when he taught at Cambridge University in 1942-43. He lectured throughout Europe on American life during and after World War II and spoke powerfully, prolifically and publicly on civil liberties, the expansion of executive powers and the Watergate affair. He argued against loyalty oaths and McCarthyism, spoke critically of Vietnam, and argued persuasively on the importance of education in American life. Commager’s words resonate in today’s political climate as much as when they were spoken.

Additional information about Commager’s life and career is available at https://cms.amherst.edu/alumni/conversations/commager.

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Author Deborah Eisenberg Will Read Thursday, Oct. 25, at Amherst Books

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

October 2, 2007
Contact: Katherine Duke '05
Writer/Editor
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.—Author Deborah Eisenberg will read from her work at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Amherst Books (8 Main Street, Amherst, Mass.). Sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center, the event is open to the public at no charge.

Reviewing Twilight of the Superheroes for The New York Times, Ben Marcus called Eisenberg “one of the most important fiction writers now at work,” adding, “[T]here aren’t many contemporary novels as shudderingly intimate and mordantly funny as Eisenberg’s best stories.” From a group of friends whose luck in acquiring a Manhattan sublet turns to disaster as their balcony becomes a front-row seat to the catastrophe of 9/11, to the too-painful love of a brother for his schizophrenic sister, Eisenberg brilliantly “illustrates the lives of people rubbed raw by what the fates have sent them,” said a reviewer for Vanity Fair.

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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Amherst College Professor Andrew Parker Is Editor of Special Issue of South Atlantic Quarterly

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

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

AMHERST, Mass.—Andrew Parker, professor of English at Amherst College, is co-editor (with Janet Talley, of Harvard Law School) of a special, book-length issue of South Atlantic Quarterly.

In the issue, titled “After Sex: On Writing Since Queer Theory,” a prominent group of contributors consider queer theory since its inception in the early 1990s. The issue considers what, if anything, lies at the heart of queer studies other than its interest in sexuality. With essays intended to be more reflective than scholarly, the authors contemplate the future of queer theory by meditating on its past.

Parker, a member of the Amherst faculty since 1982, was educated at the University of Chicago and Princeton University. In 2004, Duke University Press published his translation of Jaques Ranciere’s The Philosopher and His Poor, a close reading of major texts of Western thought in which the poor have played a leading role—sometimes as the objects of philosophical analysis, sometimes as illustrations of philosophical argument.

Parker is also editor of Nationalisms and Sexualities and Performativity and Performance.

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Philosopher Steven Gerrard ’78 To Speak at Amherst College Thursday, Oct. 4

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen
October 1, 2007
Contact: Emanuel Costache '09
Media Relations Intern
413/542-2321
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.—Steven Gerrard ’78, professor of philosophy at Williams College, will deliver a lecture titled “Wittgenstein Looks out the Window with Hopper” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, in Paino Lecture Hall at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Joseph Epstein Fund and the department of philosophy, Gerrards’s talk is free and open to the public.

Gerrard will speak about what he calls “mysticism in the ordinary” in the paintings of Edward Hopper and in the philosophical works of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Gerrard approaches Hopper’s paintings, which are often mundane in their subject matter and somber in their palette, with Wittgenstein’s Tractatus in mind—in particular the famous seventh proposition, “whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”

Gerrard graduated from Amherst in 1978, and then went on to study at the University of Chicago. At Williams, he regularly teaches courses on metaphysics and epistemology, pragmatism and Wittgenstein.

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Amherst College Choral Society Sets Homecoming Weekend Concert

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

October 1, 2007
Contact: Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College Choral Society will present its annual Homecoming Weekend concert on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 9 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College.

Music will be performed by the Concert Choir, Women’s Chorus and Men’s Glee Club, directed by Mallorie Chernin and assistant director Suraj Gopal ’07, and the Madrigal Singers, directed by Andrea Kahn ’08 and Elly Jessop ’08.

The program will include music by Schubert, Wolf, Viadana, De Cormier, Papoulis and many more. The program will end with traditional songs of Amherst College.

Tickets, at a cost of $6 for general admission and $3 for senior citizens, Amherst College students and children 12 and under, may be reserved by calling 413/542-2484 or e-mailing Mallorie Chernin at mchernin@amherst.edu. Tickets may also be purchased at the Alumni House during Homecoming registration. Remaining tickets will be available at the door the night of the concert.

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Amherst College Choral Society Sets Family Weekend Concert

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen
October 1, 2007
Contact: Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College Choral Society will present its annual Family Weekend concert on Friday, Nov. 2, at 8:30 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College.

Music will be performed by the Concert Choir, Women’s Chorus and Men’s Glee Club, directed by Mallorie Chernin and assistant director Suraj Gopal ’07, and the Madrigal Singers, directed by Andrea Kahn ’08 and Elly Jessop ’08.

The program will include music by Schubert, Wolf, Viadana, De Cormier, Papoulis and many more. The program will end with traditional songs of Amherst College.

Tickets, at a cost of $6 for general admission and $3 for senior citizens, Amherst College students and children 12 and under, may be reserved by calling 413/542-2484 or e-mailing Mallorie Chernin at mchernin@amherst.edu. Tickets may also be purchased at the Alumni House during Family Weekend registration. Remaining tickets will be available at the door the night of the concert.

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Contact

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