The impetus for this group was a sense of the dearth of premodern humanities at Amherst: Faculty across all departments who base their work on ancient, classical, or medieval traditions or civilizations. As colleagues became aware of this and the shallow presentism it indicates and portends for students and the broader culture, they began to gather to discuss this situation. Efforts developed organically and emerged over time from a sense of intellectual chemistry and shared sense of purpose in the group.
Meeting periodically over the last five years, participants have read work in the humanities that bridges their interests, and have read one another's work. In its second year, the group formed a Mellon-funded First-year Seminar (FYSE) cluster which developed the course "Beginnings," launched in Fall 2019. At the same time, it has drawn on CHI funding for its intellectual and scholarly meetings, retaining its scholarly community apart, and as adjunct to, its work on the course.
Leader: Ingrid Nelson
Participants: Maria Heim, Tariq Jaffer, Rebecca Falcasantos, Chris van den Berg, Catherine Infante, Ying Lei, Tom Zanker, Mekhola Gomes, Yael Rice, Hannah Hunter-Parker, Monica Ringer, George Qaio, Jutta Sperling, Sanam Nader-Esfahani