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Type of Event

Event Calendar

Tomorrow - Tue, Jan 22, 2019

Dr. Shakti Butler, Film Director

MLK Symposium Keynote Speaker: Dr. Shakti Butler

Dr. Shakti Butler, film director with World Trust Educational Services, will be speaking on "Irresistible Justice" as part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium. Dr. Butler is the founder and president of World Trust Educational Services. She has produced four documentaries which have become the core of the World Trust's teachings. Dr. Butler's "work incorporates whole-body learning through stories, art, movement and dialogue."

This is the first visit Dr. Butler will make to Amherst College. The second will include a showing of "Healing Justice: Cultivating a World of Belonging" along with workshops for faculty, staff and students. The event is free and open to the public.

Wed, Feb 6, 2019

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

close-up photo of John Kasich with flag 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

Olufemi Vaughan Photo

"Sharia Politics, Common Law, and Transition to Civil Democratic Government in 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.

Mon, Feb 25, 2019

Derron Wallace, Assistant Professor of Education and Sociology, Brandeis University

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 adult-like 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 & 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.

Wed, Mar 6, 2019

Natasha Kumar Warikoo, Associate Professor, Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Education Studies Initiative Speaker Series Presents Natasha Warikoo: “The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions and Meritocracy at Elite Universities”

We’ve heard plenty from politicians and experts on affirmative action and higher education, about how universities should intervene—if at all—to ensure a diverse but deserving student population. But what about those for whom these issues matter the most? In this book talk, Natasha K. Warikoo deeply explores how students themselves think about merit and race at a uniquely pivotal moment: after they have just won the most competitive game of their lives and gained admittance to one of the world’s top universities. What Warikoo uncovers—talking with both white students and students of color at Harvard, Brown, and Oxford—is absolutely illuminating, and some of it is positively shocking. As she shows, many elite white students understand the value of diversity abstractly, but they ignore the real problems that racial inequality causes and that diversity programs are meant to solve. They stand in fear of being labeled a racist, but they are quick to call foul should a diversity program appear at all to hamper their own chances for advancement. The most troubling result of this ambivalence is what she calls the “diversity bargain,” in which white students reluctantly agree with affirmative action as long as it benefits them by providing a diverse learning environment—racial diversity, in this way, is a commodity, a selling point on a brochure. And as Warikoo shows, universities play a big part in creating these situations. The way they talk about race on campus and the kinds of diversity programs they offer have a huge impact on student attitudes, shaping them either toward ambivalence or, in better cases, toward more productive and considerate understandings of racial difference.

Ultimately, this book demonstrates just how slippery the notions of race, merit and privilege can be. In doing so, it asks important questions not just about college admissions but what the elite students who have succeeded at it—who will be the world’s future leaders—will do with the social inequalities of the wider world.

Natasha Kumar Warikoo is an associate professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. She is an expert on the relationships between education, racial and ethnic diversity and cultural processes in schools and universities. Her most recent book, The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions and Meritocracy at Elite Universities, illuminates how undergraduates attending Ivy League universities and Oxford University conceptualize race and meritocracy. The book emphasizes the contradictions, moral conundrums and tensions on campus related to affirmative action and diversity, and how these vary across racial and national lines. Her first book, Balancing Acts: Youth Culture in the Global City, analyzes youth culture among children of immigrants attending low-performing high schools in New York City and London. Balancing Acts won the Thomas and Znaniecki Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association's International Migration Section.

Tue, Mar 19, 2019

Education Studies Initiative Presents Roberto G. Gonzales "Lives Still in Limbo: UnDACAmented and Navigating Uncertain Futures"

"Lives Still in Limbo: UnDACAmented and Navigating Uncertain Futures"

Roberto G. Gonzales, Ph.D.
Harvard University
Graduate School of Education

Due to the political gridlock in the U.S. Congress, the fate of more than two million young immigrants remains uncertain. With legalization efforts stalled, on June 15, 2012, President Obama introduced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a change in his administration’s enforcement policy that would temporarily defer deportations from the United States for undocumented youth and young adults, in addition to providing temporary Social Security numbers and two-year work permits. At the six year mark, more than 814,000 young people have benefited from the program and, as a result, had taken giant steps towards the American mainstream. Thing changed under the Trump administration, on September 5, 2017 when U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced an end to what had become a very successful policy. What does this termination mean for these young people and their families? Based on a multi-year study, Professor Gonzales provides some interesting answers to these vexing questions.

Roberto G. Gonzales is professor of education at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Since 2002 he has carried out one of the most comprehensive studies of undocumented immigrants in the United States. His book, "Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America", is based on an in-depth study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles for twelve years. To date, Lives in Limbo has won seven major book awards, including the Society for the Study of Social Problems C. Wright Mills Award, the American Education Research Association Outstanding Book Award, and the Law and Society Association Herbert Jacob Book Award. It has also been adopted by several universities as a common read and is being used by K-12 schools across the country in teacher and staff training. In addition, Professor Gonzales’ National UnDACAmented Research Project has surveyed nearly 2,700 undocumented young adults and has carried out 500 in-depth interviews on their experiences following President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Fri, Mar 22, 2019

Harris Daniels Photo

"A Brief Introduction to the Number Theory" presented by Harris Daniels

The Faculty Colloquium Series for 2018-19 presents a lecture entitled "A Brief Introduction to the Number Theory" presented by Harris Daniels, assistant professor of mathematics.

Tue, Mar 26, 2019

Alexander Chee

Literary Reading: Alexander Chee

Named a Best Book of 2018 by New York Magazine, The Washington Post, NPR, and Time Magazine, among others, Alexander Chee’s essay collection How to Write an Autobiographical Novel explores how we form our identities in life and in art. “These essays feel like a life's wisdom, salvaged from a great fire,” Ocean Vuong has said. “This book makes me feel possible.” As a novelist, Chee is the author of Edinburgh and Queen of the Night, and has been described as “masterful” by Roxane Gay and “incendiary” by The New York Times. He is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.

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

Wed, Apr 3, 2019

Education Studies Initiative Presents Mari Castañeda and Joseph Krupczynski, “Civic Engagement in Diverse Latinx Communities: Learning from Social Justice Partnerships in Action”

Education Studies Initiative presents “Civic Engagement in Diverse Latinx Communities: Learning from Social Justice Partnerships in Action”

Mari Castañeda, Department of Communication, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Joseph Krupczynski, Department of Architecture, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Students, faculty and community partners alike will find Civic Engagement in Diverse Latinx Communities: Learning From Social Justice Partnerships in Action accessible not only because it includes an array of examples regarding Latinx civic engagement, but it also demonstrates that personal experiences are powerful tools for the production of new knowledge. This talk, and the book on which it is based, reveals an epistemology of social justice that aims to investigate and develop a new Latinx community-university praxis for how to engage with diverse communities in the twenty-first century.

JM Holmes

Fiction Reading: JM Holmes '12

In JM Holmes’ debut collection, How Are You Going to Save Yourself, four friends, coming of age in postindustrial Rhode Island, struggle to liberate themselves from the legacies left to them as black men in America. Michael Schaub at NPR described the book as a “stunning accomplishment” and "a shockingly powerful debut collection from a writer whose talent seems almost limitless[...] It's hard to overstate what an incredible writer Holmes is.” Holmes was born in Denver and raised in Rhode Island. His literary prizes include the Burnett Howe prize for fiction at Amherst College, the Henfield prize for literature, and a Pushcart prize.

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

Thu, Apr 11, 2019

Jericho Brown

Poetry Reading: Jericho Brown

Claudia Rankine has said, “To read Jericho Brown's poems is to encounter devastating genius." Brown’s first book, Please, won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith says of his forthcoming third collection, The Tradition, “These astounding poems […] don't merely hold a lens up to the world and watch from a safe distance; they run or roll or stomp their way into what matters―loss, desire, rage, becoming―and stay there until something necessary begins to make sense.” Brown directs the Creative Writing Program at Emory University.

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