Spring 2022

Thursday, March 3

The 2022 Willis D. Wood Lecture

Guest speaker: Duncan Ryūken Williams 

Details to follow.

Thursday, March 31

Edward Blum, San Diego State University

Details to follow.


Past Lectures 

Spring 2020

This event has been canceled.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11      5:15 PM                              AMHERST COLLEGE, FAYERWEATHER 115 (PRUYNE)

Ethnic Identity: Developing a Latina/o Identity

Silvia Pedraza, University of Michigan

Though Latinas/os are now 18 % of the U. S. population, only recently have they come to the national spotlight, in the midst of a climate of hostility. 

In this talk, Prof. Silvia Pedraza argues that Latinas/os have become part of the U. S. through very different processes of incorporation, via very different histories that have been an obstacle in their way to developing a common sense of identity, of unity. 
At the same time, Prof. Pedraza argues that at present those obstacles that were there in the past are being overcome. Thus a community of culture is becoming a community of interest. 

MONDAY, APRIL 6                   7:00 PM                   AMHERST COLLEGE, BENESKI 107 (PAINO LECTURE HALL)

Eating the Flesh of our Mothers: Tibetan Buddhist Perspectives on Vegetarianism and Animal Ethics

Geoffrey Barstow, Oregon State University

Drawing on the idea of reincarnation—that we have all had an essentially infinite number of past lives—Tibetan Buddhists often claim that every creature you may meet was, at one point or another, your parent.  At that time they treated you kindly, keeping you safe, fed, and warm.  Now, they suggest, we should repay this kindness by treating all creatures with generosity and compassion.

Arguments like these would seem to suggest that Tibetan Buddhists should be, almost by default, vegetarian.  And yet this is not the case.  While some Tibetans were vegetarian, most were not.  Further, just as in the contemporary United States, the debates between anti-meat and pro-meat Tibetans could be fierce and acrimonious.  In this talk, Dr. Geoffrey Barstow will discuss Tibetan perspectives on meat-eating and animal ethics, exploring the reasons Tibetans gave for adopting vegetarianism, why those arguments didn’t always work, and some ways in which these Tibetan perspectives might influence contemporary debates over meat-eating around the world. 

MONDAY, MARCH 2               4:30 PM                                AMHERST COLLEGE, FAYERWEATHER 115 (PRUYNE)

  Gushee flyer.jpg

Fall 2019



  Nestor Medina Lecture

Spring 2019


  Whiteness of Walden


Karen King Lecture


  Phyllis Trible


Lama Rod Owens

Matthew Rarey