"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.
Nichole Bridges, class of 1997, is the associate curator for African art and the associate curator overseeing the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Saint Louis Art Museum. All are invited to a conversation with Bridges and Rowland Abiodun, the John C. Newton Professor of the History of Art and Black Studies at Amherst College.
Free and open to all!
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.
An open space for expression, articulation, resistance and gathering that centers healing, affirmation, resilience, and magnificence of/found in our complicated interwoven selves, this space aims to center all folks who hold marginalized identities. All forms of performance/art/expression welcomed.
Sign-up ahead of time is strongly encouraged. To do so, please contact Jxhn T. Martin, at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description or draft of what you intend to perform or submit by the end of the day on Thursday, February 21. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out.
Five College Dance, in collaboration with the Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance, presents SPRING, an evening of dance featuring contributions from faculty, guest artists and dancers across all five campuses, including Camille A. Brown’s New Second Line, Five College Dance’s 2018-19 guest artist repertory project, made possible with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This dance is a celebration of the spirit and culture of the people of New Orleans.
The concert also features Picture This, a new work by critically acclaimed choreographer David Dorfman. Picture This is a kinetic, visual, musical and textual homage to the next generation of dance citizens-- a brief look at what makes these fine performers both joyous and angry in regard to love and politics.
Dances by Danté Brown (visiting assistant professor, Amherst College), Lailye Weidman (visiting assistant professor, Hampshire College) and Barbie Diewald (visiting artist, Mount Holyoke College), as well as a lobby installation by Rodger Blum (professor, Smith College), complete the program.
Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended: (413) 542-2277 or email@example.com
With her Black Earth Ensemble, Mitchell uses science fiction to address the question: “What would a world look like that is truly egalitarian, with advanced technology that is in tune with nature?”
Tickets are required and are available at amherst.universitytickets.com or the Concert Office at (413) 542-2195.
Single ticket prices:
General Public: $18
Senior Citizens (65+) and Amherst College Employees: $12
Students, with valid ID: $10
AC student rush one hour before each concert: FREE
Recorded in May 2015 at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Mandorla features Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble with new collaborators Tatsu Aoki (bass, shamisen, taiko) and Kojiro Umezaki (shakuhachi). Also in the mix is Chicago artist, scholar and poet Avery R. Young, who brings the composers’ lyrics to life with visceral humanity; and longtime collaborators Tomeka Reid (cello, banjo), Alex Wing (electric guitar, out, theremin), Mazz Swift (violin) and Jovia Armstrong (percussion).
Mandorla Awakening II explores what Mitchell describes as a “collision of duality,” urban vs. country, hegemonic vs. vulnerable, acoustic vs. electric, with the dialogue of contrasting musical languages: Japanese, African-American gospel, R&B, jazz. The work chronicles the journey of a couple as they find themselves navigating between two civilizations: the World Union, a crumbling society rampant with disease and inequality, and Mandorla, a utopia where spirituality, technology and nature coexist harmoniously. Mandorla Awakening was included among the top 10 jazz albums for 2017 by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR and Wire (UK).
Nicole M. Mitchell is an award-winning creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. She is perhaps best known for her work as a flutist, having developed a unique improvisational language and having repeatedly been named “Top Flutist of the Year” by DownBeat magazine's critics poll and the Jazz Journalists Association (2010–17). Mitchell initially emerged from Chicago’s innovative music scene in the late ’90s, and her music celebrates contemporary African-American culture.
“One of the most exciting jazz soloists and composers in the world” –Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader