"Stalin: Waiting for Hitler" is a talk by Stephen Kotkin, who is the John P. Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is also a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He directs Princeton's Institute for International and Regional Studies and co-directs its Program in the History and Practice of Diplomacy. His books include Uncivil Society, Armageddon Averted and Magnetic Mountain. Kotkin was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928.
The talk is sponsored by the Amherst Center for Russian Culture and the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series at Amherst College. This event is free and open to the public.
Stevie Wonder once sang, “Love’s in need of love today.” His words couldn’t be more true as we face a global community struggling with war, poverty, illness, climate instability, and the rise of political authorities and governments who do not seem to be grounded in compassion or kindness. We speak about love and attempt to practice love, but some of us are losing faith in the transformative power of the wish for ourselves and others to be happy. Our practice of love is in need of our renewed faith in love. In this talk, we will be exploring the question of how practicing love can become a strategy that resists and undoes our experiences, fear, apathy and numbness as we attempt to live and love in a challenging world.
Lama Rod is a formally trained Buddhist teacher working to be as open, honest and vulnerable as possible and to help others do the same. Because on the other side is liberation.
This event is open to the public and is generously sponsored by the Amherst College Department of Religion, Amherst College Religious & Spiritual Life, Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley and the Willis D. Wood Fund.
Talk and Performance
"The Timbre of Trash: Anthropomorphic models to Resist Obsolescence in Technological Sound Practices"
"Electronic sound artists and musicians, in their choice of the tools of their craft, have a close, working relationship with a specific form of mass-produced commodity, that of technological audio devices. Like other manufactured goods, they originate from a global production system that is historically exploitative and environmentally unsustainable. The nature of electronic and digital technology, however, warrants an additional layer of scrutiny: they are beholden to the expectations of continuous technological improvement and obsolescence.
"To counter these continuing tendencies, I offer a reading of new materialist theory with an eye toward how it may be specifically applied to electronic and digital musicians. New materialism projects a monistic perception of the world, in which the differentiation between humans, non-humans and objects is called into question. Applied to technological audio devices, porous boundaries allow a vision of audio technology that is inclusive of all the bodies with which it has come in contact, and urges a limited sense of anthropomorphic identification with its users. This sense of interaction is extended into the realm of audio feedback, in which all audio processors, regardless of their intended functionality, contribute to a common sonic end. Seen in this way, sound technology that was once subject to the whims of constant development, becomes imbued with a personal sense of vitality, making it more difficult to be perceived as a disposable and obsolete."
Joe Cantrell is an artist specializing in sound art, installations, compositions and performances inspired by the implications of technological objects and practices. His work examines the incessant acceleration of technological production, its ownership and the waste it produces. Joe holds a B.F.A. in music technology from CalArts, an M.F.A. in digital arts and new media from UC Santa Cruz, and a Ph.D. in music at UC San Diego. His work has been honored with grants from the Creative Capital Foundation, New Music USA and the Qualcomm Institute Initiative for Digital Exploration of Arts and Sciences, among others.