Amherst College hosts various special colloquia and seminars that vary from year to year.
The Bruss Seminar is part of the Bruss Memorial Program, established in memory of Professor Elizabeth Bruss. Under the program, a member of the faculty is appointed Bruss Reader for a term of two or three years, with the responsibility of addressing questions with regard to women as they emerge from existing disciplines and departments, and to promote curricular change and expansion to incorporate the study of women.
Colloquia are interdisciplinary courses not affiliated with a department. Whether colloquia are accepted for major credit by individual departments is determined for each colloquium separately; students should consult their major departments.
Every three years the President selects as William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor a faculty member distinguished for scholarship and teaching. The Kenan Professor devises a colloquium or seminar, usually interdisciplinary in nature, to be taught in conjunction with one or more junior faculty members.
The Andrew W. Mellon Professorship is awarded for a three-year period to a member of the faculty whose scholarship and teaching transcend normal disciplinary lines. The Mellon Professor contributes to the continuing process of curriculum revision and revitalization by developing courses or colloquia exploring new ways to teach and learn in his or her area of interest and inquiry.
The Pick Colloquia is part of the Pick Readership established in 1999 by Thomas and Sue Pick to include courses in environmental studies in the curriculum. Under the Readership, a faculty member is appointed to be the Pick Reader for three years, during which time he or she coordinates lectures and panel discussions on environmental themes and organizes one or two interdisciplinary colloquia on the environment each year. The Pick Reader also advises students interested in preparing themselves for careers in environmental studies and related fields.