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Amherst Today Program

Focus on Foreign Affairs

 October 21 – 22, 2010 


Thursday, October 21, 2010

8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Visit Open Classes
Open Class Schedule 
3:30 – 4 p.m.

Artist’s Talk: Blackwater Accordion Book: Even the Stones Cried Blood
Philadelphia-based painter and printmaker Daniel Heyman, recipient of a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship, will discuss his Blackwater Accordion Book: Even the Stones Cried Blood (2007-08), a recent acquisition by the Mead Art Museum on view in the lobby of Converse Hall through Friday. The work documents the testimonies of Iraqi survivors of shootings in Baghdad’s Nisour Square on September 16, 2007, involving Blackwater, the company charged with maintaining the U.S. occupation. Its creation stems from the artist’s experience accompanying a team of human rights attorneys to Istanbul and Amman to witness interviews with formerly detained Iraqis who testified to abuse at Abu Ghraib. This week-long installation, intended to invite campus and community discussion, is attended by student interpreters from the museum’s volunteer Docents program and accompanied by a specially-designed visitors’ comment book. Amherst Today participants will have an opportunity to see Heyman’s They Took Me To a Dark Room (2008) at the program’s closing reception. For additional information about the artist’s visit, please visit
Main Lobby, Converse Hall

4:15 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.

Welcome Remarks

 The Remarkable Rapprochement Between the United States and Brazil Since 2007.  Was it Predictable?  Is it Sustainable?  Does it Matter?
Javier Corrales, professor of political science
Defying most expectations, the United States, under a Republican administration, and Brazil, under a leftist president, signed a series of agreements on energy and economic cooperation in 2007.   Most analysts contend that these agreements mark a deepening of political cooperation between both nations, maybe even a historical turning point after years of bickering and mutual suspicion.  Obama has continued this rapprochement by extending agreements to the area of security.  What is driving this rapprochement between the region's two giants?  What are its implications for U.S. relations with the rest of Latin America?  To answer these questions, we will look at Anglo-American relations 100 year ago.  The parallels with U.S.-Brazilian relations today are too striking to ignore, but so are the differences.
Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall

6 p.m. Reception in the Center for Russian Culture
Hosted by Stanley J. Rabinowitz, Henry Steele Commager Professor and professor of Russian
Webster Hall, 2nd floor
7 p.m. Opening Dinner
Lewis Sebring Dining Commons, Valentine Hall
After dinner

Economic Policy as Foreign Policy
Beth Yarbrough, Willard Long Thorp Professor of Economics
Scholars and policymakers have debated for centuries the relationship between states’ pursuit of “power” and their pursuit of “plenty.”  In the modern world, membership in the key multilateral institutions, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), can carry important implications for countries’ political and economic success.  We will examine the relationship between international economic policy and other aspects of foreign policy using China’s and Russia’s WTO accession experiences, and especially the U.S. role therein, as examples.  What similarities and differences are evident in the two cases?  How do the similarities and differences reflect the two countries’ post-World War II economic and political relationships with the United States? How do the similarities and differences reflect Chinese, Russian and American domestic- and foreign-policy goals for the two countries’ WTO memberships?
Lewis-Sebring Commons, Valentine Hall

Friday, October 22, 2010

7:30 a.m.  Breakfast in Mezzanine, Valentine Hall 
9 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

U.S. - Russian Relations: Can the “Reset Button” Work?
William Taubman, Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science Early in his administration, President Obama promised that the United States would press the “reset button” in U.S.-Russian relations. He was reacting to severe strains that had arisen during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin. What has that “reset” involved? How have the Russians reacted to it? Has the “reset” worked? Can it, or something like it, work? In order to answer these questions, we will look at relations between the countries before, during and after the Cold War so as to discern the forces that facilitate and limit better relations between the United States and Russia.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall

10:45 a.m. - 11 a.m. Break
11 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Eichmann in Jerusalem, Demjanjuk in the Hague
Lawrence Douglas, James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought
The ongoing trial of Ivan Demjanjuk, which started in Munich in December 2009, promises to be the last of the great trials involving Nazi atrocities. The Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, who lived for decades in suburban Cleveland, stands accused of complicity in the deaths of 27,900 Jews during his service as a guard at the Sobibor death camp. We will examine the meaning of Demjanjuk’s bizarre legal odyssey, now in its third decade, and place it in the context of the larger struggle to bring perpetrators of the most extreme international crimes to justice.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Lunch in Mezzanine, Valentine Hall
Current students will join us for lunch.
2:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

President Obama’s Foreign Policy:
Rhetoric, Ideology and Strategy in the Era of
N. Gordon Levin, Dwight Morrow Professor of History and American Studies  and Pavel Machala, professor of political science
We will reflect on the nature of Obama's foreign policy centering on such key issues as Israel/Palestine, Iran, Afghanistan/Pakistan, Russia, China, and the world economy. We will try to place Obama's foreign policy in a comparative framework by examining how American diplomacy has evolved in the Post-Cold War Era under Presidents G.H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, G.W. Bush, and, now, Barack Hussein Obama.

Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
4:30 p.m.

Closing Reception
Hosted by Elizabeth Barker, Ph.D., director and chief curator, and featuring a brief Russian art highlights tour by Dr. Bettina Jungen, Thomas P. Whitney (Class of 1937) Curator of Russian Art
Mead Art Museum