Nicholas Montemarano

If There Are Any Heavens: A Reading by Nick Montemarano

Pruyne Lecture hall (Fayerweather 115)


Book cover of If There are any Heavens.

“Nicholas Montemarano is one of our greatest writers, and here, his most moving and urgent book yet. If There Are Any Heavens is a work of cultural criticism, poetry, memoir, and elegy; a vital book of our times, and an impossibly beautiful reckoning. Montemarano refuses to allow the millions lost to a pandemic (and a culture of negligence) to remain anonymous, instead rendering the acute weight of loss, and the vibrancy of personhood, in astonishing detail.”

—T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

This reading is funded by American Studies, Eastman, Lucius Root Lectures Fund and the Lamont Lectureship for a Peaceful World Fund.

Ceclia Conway

What Cecilia Knew: Reading Reproduction and Marronage in Records of Recapture

4:30-6:00 pm; The Lyceum

SJ Zhang, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago

This talk explores how, in 1784 New Orleans, Cecilia Conway—a recaptured maroon woman—asserted that she was pregnant and thereby leveraged the power of her reproductive labor. Her claims about her body briefly slowed down the system of capital punishment activated in response to her marronage by altering the trajectory of the state-sanctioned sexual violence inflicted upon her. The conversations between Cecilia and the prison’s authorities that this article unearths constitute an original archive of Cecilia’s assertions while accounting for their heavily mediated and yet remarkable presence. Centering the details of Cecilia’s life, recasts the threat of marronage in colonial Louisiana from simply one of male-led armed rebellion to one of reproduction, thorny kinship networks, and a potential maroon society.

SJ Zhang is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago. Their current project, Going Maroon and Other Forms of Family, considers how reproduction and carceral forces shaped the decisions and triggered the archives of four women who went maroon in North America and the Caribbean between 1781 and 1820. Professor Zhang is also working on a project concerning the woman called “Tituba, the Indian,” accused in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692-93. In this work, she examines Tituba’s testimony, racialization and subsequent scholarly and creative representations of her life from the 17th century through the present. Zhang’s work is published in Representations, Women & Performance, Transition, and Caribbean Literature in Transition, Volume 1: 1800-1920, with articles forthcoming in Small Axe and History of the Present.

Jeany-Rose Hayahay, awardee of the 2023 Frontline Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk

Jeany Rose Hayahay, Monday October 2 7-8 pm in the Lyceum.

Join us in welcoming Jeany Rose Hayahay, awardee of the 2023 Frontline Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk

Virtual Event

Veil & Vow book cover

Jack and Jill Western Massachusetts Chapter presents to you the Pink & Blue Table Talk: Black Love featuring Aneeka Ayanna Henderson, PhD, and her book Veil and Vow: Marriage Matters in Contemporary African American Culture.

4:00 PM–5:00 PM
Sunday February 6, 2022

Register for the virtual event


Lisa Brooks
Chi Salon:  "Digital and Open Access Publishing of Native and Indigenous Knowedge" with Professor Lisa Brooks

via Zoom on October 20, 2021 at 4:30 pm

Still They Remember
CHI Salon:  "Still They Remember Me - Penobscot Transformer

October 27, 2021 - Virtual via Zoom 4:30-6:30 pm


del Moral interview

“For Historians, That Is Like Magic”

In the midst of National Hispanic Heritage Month, a professor of American studies and Black studies reflects on primary sources, intersectional identities and the new generation of Puerto Rican activists.

Please read this interview with Professor Solsoree del Moral:



Shankar Talk on Legacies of Caste and Generation X

"Out of Place and Ahead of Her Time" - Angel DeCora

angel de cora


Pawan Dhingra
Dr. Pawan Dhingra, Professor of American Studies at Amherst College, was a guest on BYUradio's Top of Mind. Dr. Dhingra shares insights from his book, Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough. Click on the link below to listen to the full podcast:

Listen to the Podcast

Past Lectures and Events

Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies 2021 Symposium Series


NAIS Symposium

President's Colloquium on Race and Racism

Hosted by President Biddy Martin, the President's Colloquium on Race and Racism features conversations with leading scholars studying the intersections of race and American democracy. Please register to participate in the final three events of the series. Beyond Hate and Anti-Asian Racism: A Conversation with Lisa Lowe

Lisa Lowe
Pawan Dhingra

Amherst College Professor of American Studies Pawan Dhingra will moderate a conversation with Lisa Lowe, Samuel Knight Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University.

Lisa Lowe is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work explores questions of race, immigration, capitalism, and colonialism. Her most recent book, The Intimacies of Four Continents, traces relationships between Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Pawan Dhingra is the author of the widely profiled Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough and the award-winning Life Behind the Lobby: Indian American Motel Owners and the American Dream. Asian American.

Natives in Transit: Indian Entertainment, Urban Life, Activism from the 1930s to the 1970s

5-College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Symposium: "Looking Back to the Future: 20 Years of A/P/A Studies in the 5 Colleges

Dr. Theodore S. Gonzalves

Dr. Gonzalves will discuss the Smithsonian Institution's Ambitious Programming Challenge on Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 at 2:30 pm in Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather.