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Type of Event

Event Calendar

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Thu, Feb 20, 2020

Rhonda Cobham-Sander sitting at desk with open book

Reflections on Teaching with Rhonda Cobham-Sander

4:30 pm Frost Library, CHI Think Tank

Rhonda Cobham-Sander, the Emily C. Jordan Folger Professor of Black Studies and English, will reflect with us about her teaching now and how her teaching has evolved throughout her career at Amherst College.

RSVP through the Center for Teaching and Learning website.

Law’s Infamy: Ashker v. Brown and the Failures of Solitary Confinement Reform

Keramet Reiter, Associate Professor of Criminology, Law & Society in the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine, will present a paper entitled “Law’s Infamy: Ashker v. Brown and the Failures of Solitary Confinement Reform.” This is the fifth presentation in a series of seminars that will take place this year on the theme “Law’s Infamy.”
Keramet Reiter studies prisons, prisoners’ rights, and the impact of prison and punishment policy on individuals, communities, and legal systems.

"The Court System of Japan"

"After giving an overview of the Japanese court system, I would like to talk about the mediation system, which has been evaluated as characteristic in the Japanese court system. Of course, there is a mediation system in the United States, but mediation in Japan is performed in a court building and involves nonlegal professionals as mediators, which is completely different from mediation in the United States. I would like to think about how disputes are resolved in Japanese court through this characteristic system and what kind of image the Japanese have of the court."

—Yukihiro Okada, Professor of Law at Doshisha University

Presented by the Doshisha University and Amherst College Faculty Exchange Program

Please note that this lecture will be in Japanese.

Event flyer featuring handwritten mathematical notes and illustrations of butterflies

Math Colloquium: Amanda Folsom, “Symmetry, Almost”

Some definitions of the word symmetry include “correct or pleasing proportion of the parts of a thing,” “balanced proportions” and “the property of remaining invariant under certain changes, as of orientation in space.” One might think of snowflakes, butterflies and our own faces as naturally symmetric objects—or at least close to it. Mathematically, one can also conjure up many symmetric objects: even and odd functions, fractals, certain matrices and modular forms, a type of symmetric complex function. All of these things exhibit a kind of beauty in their symmetries, so would they lose some of their innate beauty if their symmetries were altered? Alternatively, could some measure of beauty be gained with slight symmetric imperfections? We will explore these questions, guided by the topic of modular forms and their variants. What can be gained by perturbing modular symmetries in particular? We will discuss this theme from past to present: the origins of these questions have their roots in the first half of the 20th century, dating back to Ramanujan and Gauss, while some fascinating and surprising answers come from just the last 15 years.

Cover of Sarah Knott's book "Mother Is a Verb," with an illustration of a woman with her body underwater and her face and hand sticking out above the surface

"Feminist Theory? Queer Studies? Memoir? How to Write the History of Pregnancy and Birth in Changing Times"

Sarah Knott is a writer, feminist and professor of history. She is the author, most recently, of Mother Is a Verb: An Unconventional History, which The New York Times described as “a joy to read.” She is currently an associate professor of history at Indiana University and a research fellow of the Kinsey Institute.

Sponsored by the Department of History, the Lamont Lecture Fund, and the Eastman Lecture Fund