The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) array composed of radio telescopes operating around the world and operating at short millimeter wavelengths. This globe-spanning telescope can resolve the event horizons of the nearest super-massive black holes. At millimeter wavelengths, the photons that originate from deep within the gravitational well of the black hole can travel unimpeded and be detectable by the EHT.
In April 2017, the EHT performed observations of two super-massive black holes, SgrA* and M87*, using eight telescopes around the world. And on April 10, 2019, 100 years after Sir Arthur Eddington famously provided observational proof of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, the EHT collaboration presented the first images of the shadow and event horizon of the super-massive black hole in M87.
In this talk, I will recount the story of this remarkable scientific advance, the novel instrumentation that enables EHT science, and the role that UMass and the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) played in this effort. I will also chart out the next steps for this project.
Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint is the author of the lyric novel The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, A Haven, which Jenny Boully called “an amazingly beautiful changeling of a book,” and which won the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. She also wrote the forthcoming family history project Zat Lun, which won the 2018 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize. Her work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, TriQuarterly and Kenyon Review Online, among other journals, and has been translated into Burmese and Lithuanian. She is the new visiting writer at Amherst College.
Refreshments and childcare will be provided.
Karin Meyers, visiting assistant professor at Smith College, will examine how and why Western Buddhists are participating in Extinction Rebellion—a global movement against the social, economic and political structures causing the rapid deterioration of our climate and ecosystems. The talk will discuss current Buddhist responses to the climate emergency in the context of the 20th-century movement of "socially engaged Buddhism" initiated by Asian Buddhist teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh. This event is sponsored by the Department of Religion and Religious and Spiritual Life.
You are kindly invited to this talk by renowned Colombian anthropologist Arturo Escobar on ontological design. Escobar is a professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and ad hoc professor in the Ph.D. Program in Design and Creation at the Universidad de Caldas, Colombia.
He will be speaking on “Design as the Healing of the Web of Life: A Praxis for Regional Transitions in Colombia.”
In the face of deepening social and ecological crises, design is emerging as a crucial domain of thought and praxis about life itself and the creation of worlds. This confers upon design/ing an ineluctable ontological-political dimension. This lecture outlines ongoing reorientations of design/ing as a relational praxis of ontological re-existence and repair, against the ravages of globalization, and describes the early stages of application of an “autonomous transition design” framework in the Cauca River Valley in Southwest Colombia.
Over the past 20 years, Escobar has closely worked with Afro-Colombian organizations resisting the devastation of their territories and lives by extractive operations. His best-known book is Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World (1995, 2nd Ed. 2011), and his most recent book is Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds (2018).
His lecture is sponsored by The Lamont Fund, the Lurcy Fund, and the Amherst College Architectural Studies Program.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will join Amherst College President Biddy Martin for an onstage conversation in Coolidge Cage on Thursday, October 3 at 5 p.m. This is a ticketed event open to Amherst College students, faculty and staff.
The second woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the first Jewish justice since 1969, Justice Ginsburg is well known for her clear voice in support of the constitutional rights of all members of our society. Her early career as a pathbreaking lawyer in defense of fundamental rights, as well as her nearly forty years as an appellate judge and Supreme Court Justice, have been well-documented in many media, including opera, late-night television, and two feature-length films.
For ticket and additional information please visit the link below.
Free and open to the public. Lunch provided.
The music department is excited to kick off Research in Music, a new speaker series featuring talks by department faculty discussing their work.
In this first talk of the series, Professor Klára Móricz reconstructs the soundscape of besieged Leningrad during World War II, contrasting the actual and the imposed sound of the city and exploring how the constructed sound of Russia in war managed to cross seemingly impenetrable borders, whereas the actual sound of the siege remained hermetically sealed first in the besieged city and then in the survivors’ memory.
For more information, contact Professor Jason Robinson (email@example.com).
Panel 1: 10 a.m.-Noon, Internationalism
Chair and respondent: Boris Wolfson (Amherst College)
Steven Lee ’01 (University of California, Berkeley), “Up from Bondage in East Asia: Soul as Comparative Frame”
Katerina Clark (Yale University), “Poetry and Internationalism: Claude McKay, Nazim Hikmet and Vladimir Mayakovsky”
Noon-1 p.m., Lunch
Panel 2: 1-3 p.m., Dostoevsky
Chair and respondent: Catherine Ciepiela ’83 (Amherst College)
Michael Kunichika (Amherst College), “Dostoevsky’s Aryanism: On Cultural Purity and Hybridity in Nineteenth Century Thought”
Eric Naiman ’79 (University of California, Berkeley), “Все это было почти уже грубо—Reading Crime and Punishment’s Epilogue Hard Against the Grain”
Panel 3: 3:15-5:15 p.m., Race, Russia, and America
Chair and respondent: Tom Roberts (Smith College)
Kate Baldwin ’88 (Tulane University), “From Bondage to Homage: Revisiting Dale Peterson’s Work on Black Maternity”
Nancy Ruttenburg (Stanford University), “Kirillov, Meet John Brown. John Brown, Kirillov.”
The CDSL is hosting an artist talk with an undocumented artist/activist, Yehimi Cambron. Through both her art and storytelling she will invite students to critically and creatively think about art as a tool for activism, storytelling, and entrepreneurship. Her own personal life experiences inform much of her work and illuminate undocumented and immigrant narratives often missing from conversations at Amherst.
Quantum technologies could enable transformative advances in applications such as computing, cryptography and sensing, while furthering our understanding of chemistry and materials design. However, as we construct ever larger and more complex quantum devices, a key challenge is to control them in a way that preserves their fragile quantum nature.
In this talk, Chandrasekhar Ramanathan will describe ongoing efforts in our group to control the dynamics of both electron and nuclear spins in solids using magnetic resonance techniques. These electron and nuclear spin system are excellent platforms for the study of quantum dynamics, due to their long coherence and relaxation times. He will also discuss our efforts to hyperpolarize nuclear spins in semiconductors via dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) techniques, and discuss how the enhanced nuclear spin signal can be used to probe the local physics and chemistry.
Mae Ngai will deliver the 2019-2020 Hugh Hawkins Lecture, "'Mother of Exiles': Refugees in American History and Myth." Ngai is the Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and a professor of history at Columbia University. She is the author of the award-winning book Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America.
Emma Lazarus called America the “mother of exiles” in her poem “The New Colossus,” which graces the Statue of Liberty. This lecture will examine the enduring idea of America as a land of hope and refuge for the persecuted and oppressed. It goes beyond the familiar narratives of the Puritan settlers and the Statue of Liberty to think about how the idea of asylum has historically justified and obscured nation-building and racial agendas. It will compare the politics surrounding Cold War refugees from Europe, Cuba and Asia, and consider the contemporary recasting of Central American asylum seekers as undocumented migrants.
Brett Story is a nonfiction filmmaker and geographer whose work focuses on capitalism, ideology and the production of space. She is the director of the recent feature documentaries The Hottest August (2019) and The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (2016), and is the author of Prison Land: Mapping Carceral Power Across Neoliberal America.
In this talk, Story will explore the relationship between research and creative practice, arguing for a nonfiction cinema that incites the radical imagination. With reference to select scenes from her own documentary films as well as other visual material, Story will discuss geography as a cinematic method, the dynamic between rigorous research and aesthetic form, and the political stakes of trusting one’s audience.
A reception will follow. Childcare will be available in Johnson Chapel.
In 1929, the Victor Talking Machine Co. of Japan released a record featuring “Tokyo March,” which ultimately became one of the very first “hit” songs produced by the Japanese pop music industry. Almost 20 years later, in 1947, Columbia Records Japan released “Tokyo Boogie-Woogie,” which is recalled to this day as a song that emblematized Japan’s transformation under the Allied Occupation. Between the release of these two songs, Japan, and the world, experienced two turbulent decades that witnessed the emergence of mass consumer societies as well as a World War. This talk highlights how paying attention to these songs and, more generally, the sounds that went into the ears of Tokyoites as they walked about their streets reveals both surprising and enduring dynamics within the politics of culture in modern Japan.
Presented by guest speaker Hiromu Nagahara, associate professor of history at MIT
Free and open to the public
With Kristina Kleutghen, Washington University in St. Louis
When European optical devices were first introduced into early modern East Asia, these devices affected not only viewing experiences and ideas about vision, but also the production of art. In contrast to the well-established effects on Japanese art, the Chinese case has barely been explored, not the least reason being that the science of optics did not develop significantly there prior to the mid-19th century. Yet from the 17th century onward, Qing domestic production and use of optical devices resulted in significant relationships with art at the imperial, elite and popular levels. The devices and the viewing experiences that they mediated created varying levels of foreign intervention into Chinese art, vision and visuality. However, the consistent but diverse methods of Sinification of all these elements and the reliance on domestic products rather than imports offer new insights into how Qing art engaged the West without being limited either to the court or to the capital. Through an art-historical case study of several different optical devices and their related works of art that are all linked through one particular type of magnifying lens, this talk examines how the production and consumption of these new objects and images varied with place, format, audience and social status.
This talk is free and open to the public. All are welcome to attend.
Robert Tsai, Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law, will present a paper titled “Processes of Infamy.” This is the second presentation in a series of seminars that will take place this year on the theme “Law’s Infamy.”
Robert Tsai’s primary research interests include constitutional law, legal history, democratic theory, and criminal procedure. He pens essays on law, politics and culture for a broad audience, and his writings have been published by Politico, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Professor Tsai’s third book published by W.W. Norton in February 2019, Practical Equality: Forgiving Justice in a Divided Nation, explores why we have such a difficult time doing the work of equality and recommends pragmatic second-best solutions to break and ideological gridlock.
To receive a copy of the paper being presented which will investigate the socio-legal dynamics by which losers to a legal contest seek to castigate and de-legitimate the outcome of a controversial matter, please email the LJST Department Assistant Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel C. Dennett, co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, will present the 14th Annual Amherst Lecture in Philosophy. The title of his lecture is “Autonomy, Consciousness and Freedom.” A reception will follow. All lectures are free and open to the public.
For further information, please contact Dee Brace at (413) 542-5805 or send email to email@example.com.
A filmmaker turns detective to uncover the forgotten story of Li Ling-Ai, the uncredited female producer of KUKAN, an Academy Award-winning color documentary about World War II China that has been lost for decades.
In the late 1930s, China is in dire straits. The country will collapse under Japan’s military juggernaut if it doesn’t get outside help. Chinese-American firebrand Li Ling-Ai jolts Americans into action with a new medium—16mm Kodachrome color film. She hires photojournalist Rey Scott to travel to China and capture a citizen’s perspective of the war-torn country, including the massive bombing of the wartime capital Chungking (now Chongqing). Their landmark film KUKAN screens for President Roosevelt at the White House, is called “awesome” by The New York Times and receives one of the first Academy Awards for a feature documentary in 1942. Why have we never heard of Li Ling-Ai? And why have all copies of KUKAN disappeared? Filmmaker Robin Lung goes on a seven-year quest to find the answers.
Filmmaker Robin Lung visits the Pioneer Valley for a screening of her award-winning film, Finding KUKAN, followed by a question-and-answer session.
Paul Lewis works with Amherst student pianists. This event is free and open to the public.
Lewis is internationally regarded as one of the leading musicians of his generation. His cycles of core piano works by Beethoven and Schubert have received unanimous critical and public acclaim worldwide, and consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the Central European classical repertoire.
He returns to Buckley on Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. to perform on the Hamburg Steinway D that he helped select for the Amherst music department.
Ultrafast lasers produce pulses of light at extremely regular intervals (about 13 nanoseconds apart) that are less than a picosecond in duration. These lasers allow us to study very fast phenomena in crystals and solid nanostructures. The work that my group at Vassar does involves using these lasers to generate and detect ultrasound that is roughly 1,000 times higher in frequency than traditional medical or industrial ultrasound. Since ultrasound can serve as a nondestructive probe of the size or mechanical properties of buried structures, this so called “picosecond ultrasound” should be a great way to study and image the nanoscale structures that form the backbone of all of our modern electronic devices. In this talk, Professor Daly will describe a number of investigations (some very applied, some very fundamental) that we have pursued over the past decade with this optical experiment.
Filmed in 1986/87 in still-divided Berlin, Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire is both a utopian fairy tale and a fascinating time capsule of that late Cold War moment. Together with legendary French cinematographer Henri Alekan (who had worked on Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête of 1946, among many other films) and Austrian author Peter Handke (with whom he had collaborated before), Wenders created a multilayered filmic poem of dazzling complexity: the skies over Berlin are populated with angels bearing witness to its inhabitants' everyday concerns. One falls in love with a beautiful young woman, a trapeze artist in a traveling circus, and decides to forfeit his immortality. Wenders’ groundbreaking film has been hailed as a paean to love and a rumination on the continued presence in Berlin of a troubled German history, as well as an homage to the life-affirming power of the cinematic imagination.
Christian Rogowski guides the reader through the film's many aspects, using archival research to bring out new insights into its making and meanings. Rogowski is the G. Armour Craig Professor in Language and Literature in the Department of German at Amherst College.
This event is co-sponsored by the Film and Media Studies Program, the Department of German and the Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Amherst College.
Professor Angana P. Chatterji is founding co-chair of the Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Initiative, and research anthropologist at the Center for Race and Gender at the University of California, Berkeley. Chatterji co-founded the People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir in 2008. Her collaborative work with Kashmiri civil society organizations uncovered the unknown and mass graves
there, calling attention to the need for accountability. Chatterji will speak about her research, undertaken in partnership with civil society organizations in Kashmir, and to the events following Aug. 5, 2019, that evidence the injurious consequences affected by the majoritarian state.
This event, sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the South Asian Student Association at Amherst College along with funding from the Lamont and Lurcy Funds, is free and open to the public.
David Freund is a preceptor in the Department of Mathematics at Harvard University.
Abstract: Knots are a part of our everyday lives, from twisted strands of DNA, to shoelaces, braided hair and the inevitable tangle of headphones. Mathematics offers an insight into the structure and complexity of everyday knots and provides tools to tell them apart. Starting with pieces of string, we will explore the study of knots and how it ties together various fields of mathematics. No background knowledge is assumed.
There will be refreshments served at 4:15 p.m. in Seeley G. Mudd Building Room 208.
Current Wade Fellow, Dr. Nadia Biassou ’88, will be presenting a talk titled “Boiling Rocks: Origins of Excellence.” Biassou is a renowned diagnostic neuroradiologist and is currently a Senior Research Physician in the Radiology and Imaging Sciences Department at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md.
The goal of sharing her extensive experiences through her presentation is to help students learn how identity informs career exploration and to collaborate on programming that teaches them skills for navigating a complex professional world before and after graduation.
Nicholas Mancusi '10 is the author of the new novel A Philosophy of Ruin, which the New York Times Book Review called “riveting fun to read,” and which Alexander Chee called “An unforgettable debut. Mancusi is a writer to watch.”
Mancusi has written about books and culture for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Miami Herald, The Boston Globe, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Newsday, Newsweek, NPR Books, American Arts Quarterly, BOMB magazine and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn.
The event will be followed by refreshments.
Abstract: Software runs many things in our lives and our society. It’s important that software running vital systems works as intended, but ensuring that software works as intended can be a surprisingly difficult task. In this talk, Katz will introduce some of the techniques that software researchers and professionals use to ensure software quality. She will also examine some well-known software failures: why they happened and how they were missed. She will discuss some of her work, including work with finding bugs in robotics and autonomous vehicle software.
Omar Quintero, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Richmond, will deliver a seminar titled “More Than a Meme: How Studying Mitochondrial Motility with Undergraduates Has Been the Powerhouse of My Career.”
The goal of Quintero lab (Q-lab) is to investigate the functional, enzymatic and biochemical properties of myosin-XIX (MYO19), an uncharacterized class of myosin motor involved in mitochondrial dynamics. Specifically, we are currently using cell-based quantitative microscopy assays to determine the roles that MYO19 plays in normal cellular function. Using transient siRNA interference, we recently demonstrated that loss of MYO19 results in cell division defects including cytokinesis failure and asymmetric distribution of mitochondria in the two daughter cells. Using lentiviral approaches, we have generated cell lines stably expressing shRNA against MYO19 and are currently assaying these different cell types for changes in mitochondrial activity, motile behavior and differentiation when levels of MYO19 are decreased. We are also currently using in vitro biochemistry approaches, including transient kinetics assays and motility assays, to determine the rate and equilibrium constants and motility properties of the MYO19 motor domain (collaboration with Eva Forgacs at Eastern Virginia Medical School). By focusing specifically on the role of “conserved sequence differences” specific to class XIX myosins, our goal is to better understand MYO19 function specifically, and better understand myosin mechanochemistry in general. As MYO19 interacts with mitochondria via a novel, uncharacterized MYO19/mitochondrial outer membrane association domain (MyMOMA), we have used bioinformatics analysis and mutational analysis to identify specific sequences within the MyMOMA domain required for mitochondrial binding. Our most recent publication (https://doi.org/10.1002/cm.21560) used proteomics approaches to identify proteins that interact with MYO19. The proteomics work is with the support of Ben Major at UNC-Chapel Hill. As University of Richmond is a primarily undergraduate institution (PUI) with no graduate programs, nearly all of this work was completed by undergraduates. One of the driving principles of the Q-lab is the idea that fundamental research practice is excellent training for future researchers and future doctors, as well as for a well-informed citizenry.
A poetic, experimental rumination on Audre Lorde’s memoir The Cancer Journals read aloud and responded to by a chorus of people, including current and former breast cancer patients. The stories they share are candid, cathartic messages about what it means to be a Person of Color Living with illness in American society.
This event is free and open to the public.
Keefe 008 is located in the basement of Keefe Campus Center and is wheelchair-accessible. Volunteers will be present to guide visitors to the venue via elevator or stairs. Seating is auditorium-style; space will be cleared for wheelchairs.
Sponsored by the Language and Literary Fund of Amherst College.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request captions or live audio description by a student volunteer or to discuss any other accessibility concerns. For more accessibility information, please visit https://bit.ly/2N6hAAO
Measurements of the Hall coefficient, resistivity, magnetoresistance, magnetic response and thermopower in two-dimensional strongly interacting electron systems have established that, contrary to expectations, a metal-insulator transition occurs at a critical electron density nc and a metallic phase exists in 2-D. One intriguing mystery has been that, by contrast with the dramatic divergences that have been observed for all other physical properties, the magnetoresistance has exhibited smooth and uneventful behavior approaching and crossing nc.
In this talk, I will present new data and a different new analysis of the magnetoresistance of the strongly interacting 2-D electron system in a silicon MOSFET for a broad range of electron densities. Our surprising results should trigger a re-examination of past work.
All welcome for a discussion about “Queer Rights and the Courts: The Meaning of Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Transgender Status,” with Jennifer Levi, director of the Transgender Rights Project at GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders and professor of law at Western New England University, and Jen Manion, associate professor of history, Amherst College.
Join the RCT for our inaugural Faculty Lecture Series in the Resource Centers. Throughout the fall semester we will host five amazing faculty as they talk about their scholarship within the centers. Please see poster for more information.
Food will be provided. All are welcome to attend.
This series is in collaboration with the Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty and the Resource Centers Team (QRC, MRC, CDSL, CISE, WGC).
Oliver Stuenkel will give a talk titled “Right-Wing Populism in Brazil Today.” He is an associate professor of international relations at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in São Paulo, where he coordinates the São Paulo branch of the School of History and Social Science. He is also a nonresident fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin, a columnist for EL PAÍS and Americas Quarterly, and a weekly commentator for GloboNews. His research focuses on Brazilian foreign policy, Latin American politics, global order and emerging powers.
This talk is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Political Science Department of Amherst College along with funding from the Lurcy Endowment Fund.