Dr Robert Cassidy - The Illusion of Strategy in the Post-9/11 Wars - Tuesday, November 28, 2023

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Tuesday, November, 28, 2023
5:00 - 6:00 PM
Converse Hall, Cole Assembly Room

This year's lecture will be presented by Dr. Robert Cassidy of Wesleyan University (Robert Cassidy - Faculty, Wesleyan University) and is titled The Illusion of Strategy in the Post-9/11 Wars.  This lecture will enlist aspects from traditional and alternative theories of war to examine how the United States failed to craft a viable strategy after 9/11. The lecture will examine how the Bush administration's initial focus on strikes, raids, and renditions created the illusion of strategy in the post-9/11 wars. This emphasis on tactics to the detriment of strategy did not improve America's national security but worsened it.  The talk will address how a weaker adversary in Afghanistan won against an ostensibly superior United States.

Colonel Robert Cassidy, U.S. Army (retired) teaches courses on strategy and war at Wesleyan University and has studied and practiced strategy and war for four decades. He has a doctorate from the Fletcher School of Tufts University.  Bob previously taught strategy at the U.S. Naval War College and international relations at West Point.  Cassidy's scholarly work explores strategy, wars of asymmetry, and irregular warfare. Cassidy has published three books: War, Will, and Warlords (2012); Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terrorism (2008); and Peacekeeping in the Abyss (2004).  

Bob has served as a special assistant to three generals, a special operations director of assessments, a special mission task force planner, a battalion commander, and a brigade operations officer. He also served as a sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division. He has served in combat or contingency operations in Afghanistan, Grenada, Haiti, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf.  His military qualifications include strategist, ranger, jumpmaster, rotary-wing aviator, and SERE-C (survival, evasion, resistance, and escape). He is proficient in Russian and French.  

This event is free and open to the public.

 

Mohammed El-Kurd in Conversation with Daniel Denvir - "Against Occupation" - Tuesday, November 14, 2023

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As part of the Freedom Talks series, Amherst College Departments of Black Studies, Environmental Studies, and Political Science presents:

Mohammed El-Kurd in Conversation with Daniel Denvir - "Against Occupation"

Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Time: 4:30 – 5:30 PM
Place: Stirn Auditorium - Mead Art 115 – Amherst College

This event is free and open to the public.

Speakers:

Mohammed El-Kurd:

Mohammed el-Kurd is an internationally touring and award-winning poet, writer, journalist, and organizer from Jerusalem, occupied Palestine. In 2021, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. He is best known for his role as a co-founder of the #SaveSheikhJarrah movement. His work has been featured in numerous international outlets and has appeared repeatedly as a commentator on major TV networks. El-Kurd currently serves as Palestine Correspondent for The Nation.

Daniel Denvir (The Dig Radio):

Daniel Denvir is the host of The Dig, a podcast from Jacobin Magazine, and author of All-American nativism: How the Bipartisan War on Immigrants Explains Politics as We Know It.

For more information contact Jared Loggins or Ashwin Ravikumar

Additional funding support from The Karl Loewenstein Fund, The Center For Humanistic Inquiry, The Political Science Department, The Environmental Studies Department, and The Anthropology & Sociology Department.

Vijay Iyer, "Freedom as Improvisation": Tuesday, October 24, 2023

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As part of the Freedom Talks series, Amherst College Departments of Black Studies, Environmental Studies, and Political Science presents:

Vijay Iyer - "Freedom as Improvisation"

Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Time: 4:30 – 5:30 PM
Place: The Lyceum - CHI Think Tank – Amherst College

This event is free and open to the public.

Speaker:

Vijay Iyer

Described by The New York Times as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway,” VIJAY IYER has carved out a unique path as an influential, prolific, shape-shifting presence in twenty-first-century music. A composer and pianist active across multiple musical communities, Iyer has created a consistently innovative, emotionally resonant body of work over the last twentyfive
years, earning him a place as one of the leading music-makers of his generation. He received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a United States Artist Fellowship, a Grammy nomination, the Alpert Award in the Arts, and two German “Echo” awards, and was voted DownBeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year four times in the last decade. He has been praised by Pitchfork as "one of the best in the world at what he does," by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star,” and by Minnesota Public Radio as “an American treasure.” 

Iyer’s musical language is grounded in the rhythmic traditions of South Asia and West Africa, the African American creative music movement of the 60s and 70s, and the lineage of composer-pianists from Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk to Alice Coltrane and Geri Allen. He has released twenty-five albums of his music, most recently Love In Exile (Verve Records, 2023), a collaborative trio record with Grammy-winning vocalist Arooj Aftab and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily; Uneasy (ECM Records, 2021), an acclaimed trio session with drummer Tyshawn Sorey and bassist Linda May Han Oh; The Transitory Poems (ECM, 2019), a live duo recording with pianist Craig Taborn; Far From Over (ECM, 2017) with the award-winning Vijay Iyer Sextet; and A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) a suite of duets with visionary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. 

Iyer is an active composer for classical ensembles and soloists. His works have been premiered by Brentano Quartet, Imani Winds, Parker Quartet, Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Sō Percussion, International Contemporary Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, LA Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, and virtuosi Matt Haimowitz, Mishka Rushdie Momen, Claire Chase, Inbal Segev, Shai Wosner, and Jennifer Koh, among others. He recently served as composer-in-residence at London’s Wigmore Hall, music director of the Ojai Music Festival, and artist-in-residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

A tireless collaborator, he has written big-band music for Arturo O’Farrill and Darcy James Argue, remixed classic recordings of Talvin Singh and Meredith Monk, joined forces with legendary musicians Henry Threadgill, Reggie Workman, Zakir Hussain, and L. Subramanian, and developed interdisciplinary work with Teju Cole, Carrie Mae Weems, Mike Ladd, Prashant Bhargava, and Karole Armitage.

For more information contact Jared Loggins or Ashwin Ravikumar

This event is sponsored by the Amherst College Departments of Black Studies, Environmental Studies, and Political Science, along with funding support from The Karl Loewenstein Fund, The Center For Humanistic Inquiry, The Environmental Studies Department, The Anthropology & Sociology Department, The Music Department, The Eastman Fund, and The Lamont Fund.

Freedom Talks - A Conversation Series - Derecka Purnell - October 3, 2023 - Vijay Iyer - October 24, 2023 - Mohammed el-Kurd - November 14 2023

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Freedom Talks: A Conversation Series
 
What is freedom? What does it mean to be free? How do we learn to live and act freely with others? Is there an ‘art’ to freedom? This series invites activists, artists, and scholars to discuss the meaning of freedom in their work.
 
These events are free and open to the public.

Derecka Purnell - "Becoming Abolitionists"
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
4:30 - 5:30 PM
The Lyceum - CHI Think Tank - Amherst College

Vijay Iyer - Freedom As Improvisation"
Tuesday, October 24 2023
4:30 - 5:30 PM
The Lyceum - CHI Think Tank - Amherst College

Mohammed el-Kurd - "Against Occupation"
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
4:30 - 5:30 PM
Pruyne Lecture Hall - Fayerweather Hall, Room 115 - Amherst College
 
For more information contact Jared Loggins or Ashwin Ravikumar

These events are sponsored by The Political Science Department of Amherst College along with funding support from The Karl Loewenstein Fund, The Center For Humanistic Inquiry, The Environmental Studies Department, The American Studies Department, The Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies Department, The Anthropology & Sociology Department, The English Department, The Eastman Fund, and The Lamont Fund.

The Democracy Dialogues

Derecka Purnell, Becoming Abolitionists: Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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As part of the Freedom Talks series, Amherst College Departments of Black Studies, Environmental Studies, and Political Science presents:

Derecka Purnell - "Becoming Abolitionists"

Date: Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Time: 4:30 – 5:30 PM
Place: The Lyceum - CHI Think Tank – Amherst College

This event is free and open to the public.

Speaker:

Derecka Purnell

Derecka Purnell is a human rights lawyer, writer, and author of Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom. She works to end police and prison violence by providing legal assistance, research, and training in community based organizations through an abolitionist framework.

As a Skadden Fellow, she helped to build the Justice Project at Advancement Project’s National Office, which focused on consent decrees, police and prosecutor accountability, and jail closures. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Purnell co-created the COVID19 Policing Project at the Community Resource Hub for Safety Accountability. The project tracks police arrests, harassment, citations and other enforcement through public health orders related to the pandemic.

Purnell received her JD from Harvard Law School, her BA from the University of Missouri- Kansas City, and studied public policy and economics at the University of California- Berkeley as a Public Policy and International Affairs Law Fellow. Her writing has been published widely, including in The Oxford Handbook of Race and Law in the United States (forthcoming), The Harvard Journal of African American Policy, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New York Magazine, Boston Review, Teen Vogue, and Harper's Bazaar. Purnell has lectured, studied, and strategized around social movements across the United States, The Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Australia. In 2022, she was selected as a Freedom Scholar by the Marguerite Casey Foundation.

She is currently a Scholar-in-Residence at Columbia Law School, columnist at The Guardian and an editor at Hammer & Hope.

For more information contact Jared Loggins or Ashwin Ravikumar

This event is sponsored by The Political Science Department of Amherst College along with funding support from The Karl Loewenstein Fund, The Center For Humanistic Inquiry, The Environmental Studies Department, The American Studies Department, The Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies Department, The Anthropology & Sociology Department, The English Department, The Eastman Fund, and The Lamont Fund.