Amy A. Ford, program coordinator of film and media studies at Amherst, spoke with the Daily Hampshire Gazette about the increasing trend of television programs produced for the Web. "I think it just comes along with the changing technologies that we live with today," she said. "Everybody wants to watch things when they want to watch them, when it fits in with their lives.” It’s also cheaper to produce, she said.
In a special edition of Wisconsin Public Radio’s To the Best of Our Knowledge, Professor of Physics Arthur Zajonc helped host Jim Fleming grapple with the question “Can Science Be Sacred?” A long time practitioner of meditation, Zajonc says that Einstein's idea of god is common to many top scientists. Listen here.
University at Buffalo English professor Joseph Conte writes in the Buffalo News about Amherst law professor Lawrence Douglas’s new book, The Vices. He lumps it favorably into the genre beloved by academics: “An academic novel that satirizes the follies and pretentions of the very same people teachers have spent weeks staring at across a conference table.” Read the full review here. For those craving more about Douglas’ fiction, check out this article about The Girl with the Sturgeon Tattoo, his new parody of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy.
Law professor Lawrence Douglas spoke with Dan Ephron at The Daily Beast about how it’s getting harder for ousted dictators to find quiet islands or palatial estates to retire to, thanks to the increasingly powerful International Criminal Court. “Once the ICC brings charges, you’re basically harboring a fugitive and not just allowing a cushy retirement for a former strongman,” he said. Read more about where old strongmen go to die here.
Political science professor Javier Corrales spoke with the UK newspaper about Venezuela President Hugo Chavez’s recent cancer diagnosis and treatment. “Chávez could do miracles, including raising the appeal of even mediocre personalities. But, thus far, he continues to prefer being president than campaign chief for someone else,” he was quoted as saying.
French professor Leah D. Hewitt commented in this piece on the movie Sarah’s Key and, as the Times reporter put it, “the often forgotten role the French played in arresting and ultimately dispatching to the death camps nearly 80,000 Jewish men, women and children.” “A lot of things have been done on the German concentration camps,” Hewitt was quoted as saying. “But the French camps have gone under the radar. There were hundreds of them.” Sarah’s Key, she went on to say, reflects a new willingness “to unearth aspects of French history during the Occupation.”
Jeffrey Selingo, the editor of the venerable publication about higher education, penned a piece discussing the relative lack of progress in the areas of college affordability and access. In it, he also extolled Amherst’s successes and President Anthony W. Marx’s work to bring both topics to the forefront of higher ed’s agenda.
The venerable West Coast newspaper ran an enthusiastic review of professor Ilan Stavans’ latest undertaking, an anthology of modern Latin American poetry. “Handsomely printed and designed, the collection has been astutely edited by [Stavans], the prolific author and Amherst College professor who has done as much as anyone alive to bridge the hemisphere’s linguistic gaps, and it boasts an all-star lineup of translators,” the article reads. A similarly glowing review ran in the Miami Herald.
The college’s selection of Biddy Martin as Tony Marx’s successor drew attention from many media outlets, including The New York Times, Associated Press, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Springfield Republican (in an article and editorial), Daily Hampshire Gazette, Wisconsin State Journal and Radio Boston, among others.
A brief feature in the national newspaper examined LJST professor Lawrence Douglas’ latest book, The Girl With the Sturgeon Tattoo by Lars Arffssen. “Arffssen is described in the author bio as being most famous for his investigation of the Swedish meatball,” reads the article. “In reality: he’s Lawrence Douglas, a Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College in Amherst, Mass. The plot: Stockholm’s reindeer are being stalked by a serial killer known as the Reindeer Strangler and the world’s leading expert on Baltic sturgeon is in trouble too. The police take hacker Lizzy Salamander into custody. Journalist Mikeal Bloomberg fights to prove Lizzy’s innocence.”
Ilan Stavans, a professor of Latino culture at Amherst College, weighed in on the emergence of the new language “Basketball Spanish” in an article in the Wall Street Journal. “Broadcast Basketball Spanish is yet another variant of Spanglish,” he explained . “Spanglish is a very fluid phenomenon. There’s a lot of improvisation. It’s a kind of jazzy exchange.”
In his May 24 column, David Leonhardt described the college’s efforts to recruit more lower- and middle-income students and boost financial aid. “Amherst has shown that building a better meritocracy is possible, by doing, as [President Anthony W.] Marx says, ‘everything we can think of,’” Leonhardt wrote. The column prompted also prompted pieces by MSNBC and on The Chronicle of Higher Education and CBS MoneyWatch websites.