Event Calendar

February 2019

Mon, Feb 4, 2019

Veltsos headshot

Biology Monday Seminar: "Insights in Sex Chromosome Evolution from Genetic Mapping"

"Insights in Sex Chromosome Evolution from Genetic Mapping" is presented by Paris Veltsos, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology at Indiana University.

About:
"I am interested in the evolutionary forces that shape sex chromosomes, such as sexual selection, and their implications to reproductive isolation. I have worked on a variety of organisms (grasshoppers, Drosophila, frogs, plants) and used theoretical models, field and lab populations (including experimental evolution) to investigate these questions. My main project at Indiana University is testing the prediction that sexually antagonistic traits (those that are beneficial for one sex but deleterious for the other) are enriched on the pseudoautosomal region of the sex chromosomes. We are performing a QTL study on >30 traits, some of which are sexually antagonistic, using a cross between plant populations (S. latifolia) that are adapted to different environments. The associated genetic map also allows us to directly identify locations of the genome that are potentially sexually antagonistic by being associated with sex more often than chance."

Disciplining the Problematic Genre: Buddhist Regulations of Theater in Late Imperial China

Mengxiao Wang of Yale University will give a talk titled "Disciplining the Problematic Genre:
Buddhist Regulations of Theater in Late Imperial China."

Existing scholarship on religion and theater in China has regarded religious drama as a medium for transmitting doctrines and spreading cults. Scholars have largely neglected the tensions between the Buddhist value of asceticism and the function of theater as entertainment. These tensions created a dilemma for Buddhist playwrights engaging in both religious and literary practices. This talk examines the strategies adopted by Chinese Buddhist playwrights to reconcile this dilemma through converting the theatrical genre into a sacred medium.

Summary by Mengxiao Wang:
I chose Guiyuan jing (歸元鏡, Mirror of the Return to the Origin)—the only extant play composed by a Buddhist monk, Zhida (智達, circa 1650), in Chinese history—as a case study. Zhida presented his play as a scripture-like text and stipulated a ritualized manner of performing and watching it. His ambition to transform his dramatic work into a sacred text has been realized on the page and defeated on the stage in the historical reception of Guiyuan jing. On the one hand, the text was published and circulated in a similar manner as Buddhist scriptures within a monastic network from the seventeenth century to today. On the other hand, performance adaptations of Guiyuan jing at the Qing royal palace and modern commercial theater diverged from the author’s aesthetic preferences by using lavish stage props to create spectacles.

A comparative reading of multiple editions illuminates how texts and paratexts construct a discursive space for the playwright, readers, publishers and actors to communicate their interpretations of the interplay between Buddhism and theater. This interdisciplinary study proposes a new way of reading drama—not just as a transparent medium for religious teachings, but as a source of anxiety for monastic playwrights and a problematic genre that both invited and challenged Buddhist regulations in late imperial China.

Tue, Feb 5, 2019

this is a photo of Jackson Katz.  He is wearing a black shirt and black jacket.  he has a bit of scruff on his face and is a white man with grayish hair

Jackson Katz presents "Men and #MeToo"

Please join us for a Keynote address from Jackson Katz, a noted educator, author, filmmaker and cultural critic. Dr Katz will provide insight on this timely topic and share ways men can be proactive in their efforts to support gender equality, as well as ways to rise up against sexism on the individual and institutional levels.

For accessibility concerns, please contact Amanda Collings Vann.

Jackson Katz, Ph.D. is an American educator, author, filmmaker and cultural theorist who is internationally renowned for his pioneering work in gender violence prevention education and critical media literacy. In 1993 he co-founded the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program at Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. The mixed-gender, multiracial MVP program is one of the most widely implemented and influential sexual and relationship abuse prevention programs in schools, colleges, sports culture and the military in North America and beyond. MVP introduced the “bystander” approach to the gender violence prevention field; Katz is one of the key architects of this now broadly popular approach. In 1997 Katz created and directed the first worldwide gender violence prevention program in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. He and his colleagues have been centrally involved in the development and implementation of system-wide bystander intervention training in the U.S. Air Force and Navy. MVP has also worked with the U.S. Army on bases in the U.S. and in Iraq. Katz’s award-winning educational videos ("Tough Guise" and "Tough Guise 2"), his featured appearances in films ("Wrestling With Manhood" and "Spin The Bottle") and his thousands of lectures in North America and overseas have brought his insights into issues of gender and violence to millions of college and high school students as well as professionals in education, human services, public health and law enforcement. His TED talk “Violence Against Women is a Men’s Issue" has been viewed more than 2 million times. He is the author of The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help, and Leading Men: Presidential Campaigns and the Politics of Manhood. He is the founder and director of MVP Strategies, which provides gender violence prevention training to institutions in the public and private sectors. Katz speaks extensively in the U.S. and around the world on topics related to violence, media and multiracial, multinational masculinities. Katz has a BA in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, a Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. in cultural studies and education from UCLA.

Wed, Feb 6, 2019

"This Bystander with Cold, Clear Eyes: Meta-Theater in 'The Peach Blossom Fan'"

Allison Bernard of Columbia University will give a talk titled "This Bystander with Cold, Clear Eyes: Meta-Theater in The Peach Blossom Fan."

Summary by Allison Bernard: This talk addresses the uses of meta-theater in The Peach Blossom Fan (Taohua shan), a historical drama completed in 1699 by the Chinese playwright Kong Shangren. I argue that meta-theater—how the play calls attention to itself as a work of theater—becomes a way for The Peach Blossom Fan to critique the historical and dramatic contexts out of which it arises. Historically, the play uses meta-theatrical techniques to evaluate the problems of China’s turbulent 17th century, which, for many period writers, felt unmoored and even a bit surreal. Dramatically, the play uses meta-theater to question and complicate standard generic conventions, such as the classification of characters by “role-type” and the expected happy ending. In this talk, I focus on one case study that unites these historical and dramatic aspects of The Peach Blossom Fan’s meta-theatrical method: the stage character of Ruan Dacheng, a 17th-century politician who was also a popular playwright.

Closeup photo of Phillip B. Williams

Poetry Reading: Phillip B. Williams

Phillip B. Williams is a poet who “sings for the vanished, for the haunted, for the tortured, for the lost, for the place on the horizon where the little boat of the human body disappears in a wingdom of unending grace” (The Best American Poetry). Williams is the author of the chapbooks Bruised Gospels and Burn, as well as the collection Thief in the Interior, winner of a number of awards, including the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a 2017 Lambda Literary Award. Williams is a Cave Canem graduate and the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry. He is the recipient of a Whiting Award and teaches at Bennington College.

This reading is free and open to the public and will be followed by refreshments.

Thu, Feb 7, 2019

Cover of "Spaniards in Mauthausen" book

"Footnotes: Reflections on the Research Process" with Professor Sara Brenneis

Join us for a conversation with Associate Professor of Spanish Sara Brenneis about her new book, Spaniards in Mauthausen: Representations of a Nazi Concentration Camp, 1940-2015. In this book, Brenneis provides a historical, critical and chronological analysis of a virtually unknown body of work by examining narratives about Spanish Mauthausen victims over the past 70 years. Leah Kim '19 will interview Professor Brenneis about the project and her approaches to the research process. Coffee & tea will be provided.

Event poster featuring a photo of Sarah Kreps and a photo of Donald Trump with Vladimir Putin

"Hawks, Doves and Arms Control": Talk by Sarah Kreps

The Department of Political Science, along with funding from the Stanton Foundation, welcomes Sarah Kreps to present "Hawks, Doves and Arms Control."

Does it really take a Nixon to go to China, as pundits often claim? Does it take a Trump to get Russia to reduce their production of nuclear weapons? Sarah Kreps will explore these timely questions. Challenging common wisdom, Kreps will discuss when and why leaders with a reputation for preferring peace to war (so called “dovish leaders”) can overcome disadvantages at the negotiating table.

Sarah Kreps is a professor of government and adjunct professor of law at Cornell University. In
2017-2018, she was an adjunct scholar at the Modern War Institute at West Point. She is also a Faculty
Fellow in the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity at the Cornell Tech Campus in New York
City. Kreps is the author of four books, including, most recently, Taxing Wars: The American Way
of War Finance and the Decline of Democracy
.

This event is free and open to the public.

Event poster featuring an image of flowers in a field

The 2018-2019 Hugh Hawkins Lecture: "Against the World: Deglobalization in Interwar Europe"

4:30 pm Beneski Earth Sciences Building, 107 (Paino Lecture Hall)

Tara Zahra, the Homer J. Livingston Professor of History at the University of Chicago, speaks on the transnational history of modern Europe. In 1914, the First World War ushered in a quarter century of anti-global retrenchment in Europe. Why did so many Europeans reject globalization after the First World War? What relationship did these anti-global movements have to the rise of radical political movements on the far right and left? And to what extent do the anti-global politics of interwar Europe resemble those of our own time? This lecture is free and open to the public.

Closeup photo of John Kasich with U.S. and Ohio state flags in background

Talk by Governor John Kasich

John Kasich served as the 69th governor of Ohio from 2011 to 2019 and was a Republican presidential contender in 2000 and 2016. As governor, his priorities included restoring fiscal stability to Ohio, driving economic growth and job creation, modernizing infrastructure, developing a model to fight drug abuse and addiction, and seeking bipartisan solutions on key national issues such as health care.

Prior to serving as Ohio’s governor, he was a member of Congress for 18 years, where he served as chairman of the House Budget Committee and worked to balance the federal budget. Kasich also served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

He left Congress in 2001 and served as a managing director of Lehman Brothers, as well as a commentator for FOX News and a presidential fellow at The Ohio State University, from which he graduated in 1974 with a degree in political science.

He is the author of four New York Times best-selling books: Courage is Contagious; Stand for Something: The Battle for America’s Soul; Every Other Monday; and, in 2017, Two Paths: America Divided or United.

The talk is free and open to the public. Amherst students, faculty and staff will receive priority seating. Tickets are required for admission.

Tickets Required

Fri, Feb 8, 2019

2019 English Capstone Symposium

9:00 am - 5:00 pm Center for Humanistic Inquiry

Join us for the third annual senior English major capstone symposium. In a series of concurrent panels, senior English majors will present critical or creative work from a 400-level seminar or their thesis project. Panels will take place in the CHI Think Tank and Seminar Room spaces. Follow the link below to view the full schedule. All are welcome to attend!

Olufemi Vaughan Photo

"Historical Foundations of Radical Islamist Doctrine in Northern Nigeria” presented by Olufemi Vaughan

The Faculty Colloquium Series for 2018-19 presents a lecture titled "Sharia Politics, Common Law, and Transition to Civil Democratic Government in Nigeria" presented by Olufemi Vaughan, professor of black studies.

Cheminar - Professor Meg Stratton; UMass Amherst - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Innovation Fellow.

Seminar Title: "The structural mechanism of CaMKII regulation: from fertilization to encoding long-term memory."

Abstract: Ca2+-calmodulin dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a crucial oligomeric enzyme in neuronal and cardiac signaling, fertilization and immunity. Work in the Stratton lab is focused on understanding the role of this fascinating enzyme in different tissues. We have used RNA sequencing to determine which transcripts are present and we are characterizing these different variants in terms of their activation profiles. To facilitate our studies in cells, we have developed a novel, substrate-based, genetically-encoded sensor for CaMKII activity, FRESCA (FRET-based Sensor for CaMKII Activity), which has allowed us to monitor CaMKII activity in live cells under various conditions. We hope that by gaining an understanding of CaMKII in vitro and in cells, we will be able to better understand medical conditions in which it is implicated, such as memory deficiencies and infertility.

Mon, Feb 11, 2019

"Karma in Translation: Buddhism, Darwinism and the Rediscovery of Children in Modern China"

Lei Ying, postdoctoral fellow at Fudan University in Shanghai, will give a talk titled "Karma in Translation: Buddhism, Darwinism and the Rediscovery of Children in Modern China."

When Thomas Henry Huxley’s Evolution and Ethics was translated into Chinese at the end of the 19th century, thanks to the ingenious efforts of Yan Fu, it became an immediate hit among Chinese intellectuals who were preoccupied with China’s fate in a colonial world order.

This study traces how evolutionary thinking entered China through Buddhist translingual practice and brought with it unexpected implications, when Huxley’s invocation of the notion of karma stirred the power of darkness in Lu Xun. The leader of “New Literature” who championed the call to “save the children” was torn between a widespread developmentalist faith among his contemporaries and his own deep-rooted fear for karmic inheritance and a spectral past that constantly returns to haunt the present. This study highlights the global circulation of Buddhist ideas as a distinct facet of the modern age. Moreover, in revisiting some of Lu Xun’s best-known and lesser-known works, it celebrates literature as a vehicle for spiritual reflection and pays homage to writing as existential courage.

Tue, Feb 12, 2019

Assistant Professor Jinglei Ping, UMass Amherst: "¬2D-Material Biosensors"

The emerging field of biosensors based on two-dimensional (2D) materials offers a pathway to new opportunities in microbioanalytics, highlighting next-generation tools for point-of-care diagnostic, health care, and environmental monitoring. My talk will focus on the unique transduction properties of 2D materials and the downstream biomolecular-sensor applications with unprecedented high sensitivity and efficiency in power, size and cost. I will discuss the self-transducibility of 2D materials at the interface to biofluids; the methodologies I developed to fabricate, functionalize and implement small-scale (~ ????m) 2D-based biosensing devices; and label-free detection of various biomarkers (nucleic acid oligomers, proteinaceous antigens, opioid-neuropeptides, pH) with high sensitivity, e.g. attomolar for DNA, by using the devices. I will conclude by introducing a handheld multiplexed water-quality monitoring robot enabled by graphene aptasensors.

Wed, Feb 13, 2019

Translating Korea to the Chinese Stage: The Politics of Theatrical Adaptation in Tale of Chunxiang

Anne Rebull, postdoctoral fellow, Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigam, will give a talk titled "Translating Korea to the Chinese Stage: The Politics of Theatrical Adaptation in Tale of Chunxiang"
In celebration of the Chinese new year in 1955, two staged excerpts were filmed of the most recent hit— not Beijing opera, and not even a Chinese story, at all. The adaptation of the Korean classic Tale of Ch’unhyang into Shanghai’s favored yueju opera form was the focus of attention, a feat that would have been hard to predict even just five years before. In the backstory of this play’s creation is a complicated knot of politics both domestic and foreign, pitting the shifting fortunes of Beijing opera actors against the rising stars of yueju on the stakes of the spotlight of an international stage. In this talk, I explore what the implications of this shift were for theatrical politics of all kinds, including the delicate balancing act of expressing Koreana on Chinese terms.

Thu, Feb 14, 2019

Greek Doctors and Money

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Frost Library, CHI Think Tank (2nd Floor)

Nigel Nicholson (Walter Mintz Professor of Classics and Dean of the Faculty, Reed College) will be giving a talk on the the development of medical ethics by looking at ancient (Greek) and modern examples and ideas. Nigel has just completed, with Dr. Nathan Selden of Oregon Health Sciences University, a book for Oxford University Press, The Rhetoric of Medicine: Contemporary Lessons from Ancient Greece. Refreshments will be served. This talk is sponsored by the Ampersand working group, the Department of Classics, the Corliss Lamont Lecture Fund, the Health Professions Committee, and the Center for Humanistic Inquiry.

Mon, Feb 18, 2019

DeAngelis_Headshot

Biology Monday Seminar

Kristen M DeAngelis, PhD
Associate Professor, Microbiology Department
Microbiology Honors Program Director
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Title: Soil Microbes Acclimate to a Warming World
The acceleration of global warming due to terrestrial carbon (C)-cycle feedbacks is likely to be an important, though poorly defined, component of future climate change. Both the sign and magnitude of these feedbacks in the real Earth system are still highly uncertain due to gaps in basic understanding of terrestrial ecosystem processes. This research takes advantage of an ongoing long-term soil warming experiment in which soils at the Harvard Forest LTER in Massachusetts have been heated for 27 years. Our approach includes a combination of soil biochemistry, isotopic labeling, and trait-based modeling methods. By examining this long-term climate warming manipulation, this research targets two of the biggest questions in soil carbon response to climate warming: how will carbon use efficiency and physical protection of carbon alter microbial feedbacks to climate in a warming world?

Celine Shimizu

Making the Compassionate Spectator: Annihilation and Affliction in the Films of Brillante Mendoza

Making the Compassionate Spectator: Annihilation and Affliction in the Films of Brillante Mendoza.
A lecture by award winning film scholar and filmmaker Professor Celine Shimizu on Monday, February 18, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. in Paino Lecture Hall, Beneski.

Wed, Feb 20, 2019

A photo of Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr.

Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr.: "Interrogation of Excellence in the Black Experience"

Join Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr./Black History Month Symposium Keynote, "Interrogation of Excellence in the Black Experience."

Glaude is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University, columnist for Time magazine, and a regular contributor to MSNBC. In one of his most notable books, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, he takes a wide look at black communities and reveals complexities, vulnerabilities and opportunities for hope.

There will be a reception at 5:15 p.m., followed by the keynote at 6:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall, Amherst College. The event is free and open to the public.

Thu, Feb 21, 2019

TRUTH: Amherst College's Speaking Competition 2019

TRUTH. Arrive curious. Leave inspired.
On Thursday, Feb. 21, support student speakers by attending TRUTH: Amherst College’s Speaking Competition. Ten students have written persuasive speeches about this year’s theme, “Truth,” and will speak compellingly about what matters to them. Speaking prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event.

Depiction of Adam, Eve and Satan in the Garden of Eden, surrounded by plants and animals

"The Bible: Bane and Blessing"

Phyllis Trible earned a Ph.D. in 1963 from Union Seminary, Columbia University, with an emphasis in Old Testament. By the time she earned her Ph.D., there were regularly 300+ women enrolled at Union Seminary—but women were still not correspondingly visible in the faculty. Trible taught at Wake Forest University and Andover-Newton Theological School before being appointed professor of Old Testament at Union, and later became the first woman to hold the post of Baldwin Professor of Sacred Literature. Trible has become a leading authority on what is now known as feminist interpretation of biblical texts, as well as literary and rhetorical methods of biblical criticism. She is an internationally known lecturer, and also has served as President of the Society of Biblical Literature. Professor Trible left Union to pursue a deanship at the new Wake Forest School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, N.C. She is the author of what are considered to be two of the groundbreaking works in feminist biblical scholarship: God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality and Texts of Terror. She also contributed Jonah to the New Interpreters' Bible Commentary Series; appeared on television as part of Bill Moyers' PBS special Genesis; and has written numerous articles, book reviews and columns for various publications.

Event poster showing Wickman's photo and book cover

Book Discussion with Author Dr. Tom Wickman: "Snowshoe Country"

Dr. Tom Wickman, associate professor of history and American studies at Trinity College, will discuss his new book, titled Snowshoe Country: An Environmental and Cultural History of Winter in the Early American Northeast, on Thursday, Feb. 29, at 5 p.m. in Paino Lecture Hall (Beneski 107).

Fri, Feb 22, 2019

"Stalin: Waiting for Hitler": Talk by Stephen Kotkin

"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.

Cheminar - Senior Major Student Talks

Jayne Vogelzang and Kevin Wang will each speak about a recent journal article of interest.

Lama Rod Owens standing with arms crossed in front of a brick wall

"Fierce Love": Lama Rod Owens

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Science Center, Lipton Lecture Hall

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.

Black-and-white photo of Joe Cantrell adjusting a piece of electronic equipment

"The Timbre of Trash": Talk and Performance by Joe Cantrell

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

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.

Mon, Feb 25, 2019

Kamilah Ali wearing a white lab coat and smiling

Biology Monday Seminar: “The Forgotten One: ApoD, Lipoprotein Oxidation and Atherosclerosis”

Kamilah Ali, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Basic Science
Course Director, Pharmacology
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Title: “The Forgotten One: ApoD, Lipoprotein Oxidation and Atherosclerosis”
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The pathogenesis of CAD is complex and is due to the development of plaque, the accumulation of cholesterol in macrophages, in blood vessels that can cause thrombosis, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Some of the key players or steps in accumulation of cholesterol are the levels of plasma lipoproteins, oxidative capacity of LDL-cholesterol, and the inflammatory state of macrophages. Apolipoproteins (apos) are major determinants in regulating human plasma lipoprotein levels, thus affecting plaque formation (atherogenesis) in blood vessels. Our protein of interest, ApoD, is associated with plasma high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), and is ubiquitously expressed in tissues and present in cell types (endothelial cells (EC), vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), macrophages) involved in plaque formation. However, we have a poor understanding of the role(s) and mechanism(s) of apoD in plaque development. We use in vivo animal models on a Western diet, lipid biochemistry and cell culture to address our hypothesis. Our preliminary data suggest that apoD is anti-atherogenic whose effects may be mediated by modulating LDL oxidation and/or downstream activation of macrophage- vascular smooth muscle cells signaling pathways.

Derron Wallace, wearing a suit and tie and smiling

Education Studies Initiative Speaker Series Presents Derron Wallace: “Safe Routes to School? Black Caribbean Youth Negotiating Police Surveillance in London and New York City”

This talk examines how Black Caribbean youth perceive and experience the state-endorsed "Stop and Search" program in London and then-ongoing "Stop and Frisk" practices in New York City while on route to and from public schools between 2007 and 2014. Despite a growing body of scholarship on the relationship between policing and schooling in the U.S. and U.K., comparative research on how school students experience stop-and-frisk/search practices remains sparse. Drawing on the BlackCrit tradition of Critical Race Theory and in-depth interviews with 60 Black Caribbean secondary school students, this article explores how adolescents experience adultlike policing to and from schools. The findings indicate that participants develop a strained sense of belonging in British and American societies due to a security paradox—a policing formula that promises safety for all in principle, but does so at the expense of some Black youth in practice. Participants learned that, irrespective of ethnicity, Black youth are regularly rendered suspicious subjects worthy of scrutiny, even during the school commute. This paper concludes with recommendations that can assist in improving students’ safety while en route to and from school.

Derron Wallace is an assistant professor of education and sociology at Brandeis University, with joint affiliations in African and Afro-American studies and social justice and social policy. He is a sociologist of race, ethnicity and education who specializes in cross-national studies of inequalities and identities in urban schools and neighborhoods, focusing specifically on the experiences of young people of African descent. His work has appeared in journals such as Sociology: The Journal of the British Sociological Association, The British Journal of Sociology of Education and Harvard Educational Review. His research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Gates Cambridge Trust, the Marion & Jasper Whiting Foundation and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. Prior to joining the Brandeis faculty, he served as a professional community organizer in London, working on youth safety, living wages, fair housing and immigrant rights campaigns.

Tue, Feb 26, 2019

Associate Professor Takeuchi Tatsu, Virginia Tech: "Proposal of a New Terminology for Newton's Third Law: From Force-centric to Momentum-centric Pedagogy of Newton's Laws"

Newton's Third Law, aka the action-reaction law, can be quite confusing to many students, instructors and even to some textbook writers as well. The main reason for this is the unfortunate choice of terminology by Newton in his Principia. Many people think that what Newton meant by "reaction" is the reaction to "action" (which it isn't), and this misunderstanding is prevalent not only in the classroom but in popular media as well. I propose that even though "action" and "reaction" are the terms used by Newton himself (they are the same in Latin), it is high time we abandoned them for better ones that would aid in our own and our students' understanding. I will present my own proposal in this talk, though I suspect there may be better ones, and also propose a new pedagogy which emphasizes the concept of momentum above force in teaching Newton's Laws.

Illustration of a black man in 18th-century European-style clothing, drawing a circle around himself on the ground

"Leave No Mark: Blackness Inviolate, 1700-1731"

In the first three decades of the 18th century, a series of personal accounts, sworn attestations and trial records of the Portuguese Inquisition detail how enslaved and free black people, many African-born, would publicly take knives to their own flesh but not be harmed. These unworldly powers, they claimed, emerged from a type of pouch-form talisman called "mandinga." While these objects contained a wide array of empowering contents, a necessary and occasionally singular inclusion was writings and drawings inscribed on paper. This talk considers the role of these papers and the pouches which contained them against a longer Atlantic history of "marking" black bodies with scarifications, in slave ship registers, through iron brandings and torturous wounds. In so doing, it asks what new archives of Atlantic slavery may emerge from a seemingly violating performance of blackness that left no mark.

Matthew Francis Rarey is assistant professor of art hHistory at Oberlin College, and a 2018-2019 visiting scholar at the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University. His writing on Black Atlantic visual culture has appeared in African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World (2015) and African Arts (2018). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Wed, Feb 27, 2019

Q&A with Professor of Environmental Justice Dorceta Taylor

Dorceta Taylor is professor of environmental justice at the University of Michigan. She is also the program director of the Multicultural Environmental Leadership Development Initiative and the University’s director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She has successfully worked with students and organizations to collaborate across difference to address interrelated social and ecology issues. Professor Taylor is an extremely distinguished and leading scholar. She was the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Professor Taylor is the founder of the Minority Environmental Leadership and Diversity Initiative and is one of the world’s foremost experts on diversity and inclusion in environmental fields, including in the academy and in workplaces (public and private).

"1937, or Pushkin Divided": Talk by Klára Móricz

Klára Móricz is the Joseph E. and Grace. W. Valentine Professor at Amherst College. Her book Jewish Identities: Nationalism, Racism, and Utopianism in Twentieth-Century Music, was published by University of California Press in 2008, and the volume Funeral Games in Honor of Arthur Lourié, which she co-edited with Simon Morrison, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.

This talk is sponsored by the Amherst Center for Russian Culture. The event is free and open to the public. Reception to follow.