Event Calendar

March 2020

Sun, Mar 1, 2020

Portrait of Ben Rhodes

"Writing the White House: An Insider's Account"

Join Obama aide Ben Rhodes, author of the best-selling book The World As It Is, and his Random House editor, Andy Ward '94, in discussion with host Cullen Murphy '74.

Followed by audience Q&A and book signing. Free and open to the public.

Ben Rhodes is author of the New York Times best-seller The World As It Is; a contributor for NBC News, MSNBC and Crooked Media; and co-chair of National Security Action. From 2009 to 2017, Rhodes served as President Barack Obama’s deputy national security advisor, participating in nearly all key decisions and overseeing national security communications, speechwriting, public diplomacy and global engagement programming. He also led the secret negotiations to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, and supported the negotiations to conclude the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. Before joining the administration, Rhodes was a senior speechwriter and foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign. Rhodes has a B.A. from Rice University and an M.F.A. from New York University.

Andy Ward '94 came to Random House in 2009 after working for almost 15 years as a features editor in magazines—first at Esquire, and then at GQ. Among the writers he has worked with as a book editor are George Saunders, Lena Dunham, Paul Kalanithi, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Wesley Morris, Emily Bazelon, Judd Apatow, Liana Finck, Michael Moss and Ben Rhodes. He is currently executive vice president and publisher of Random House. He lives in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., with his wife, Jenny Rosenstrach '93, and their two daughters.

Cullen Murphy ’74 is editor-at-large of The Atlantic, where he has spent most of his career, and a former editor-at-large of Vanity Fair. His most recent book is Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe, a memoir about the large cartoonist colony in Fairfield County, Conn. His other books include Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and The Fate of America and God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World. For 25 years he collaborated with his father, illustrator John Cullen Murphy, on the comic strip Prince Valiant. Murphy was a longtime member of Amherst College’s board of trustees and chaired the board from 2012 to 2018. He lives in Massachusetts.

Mon, Mar 2, 2020

Headshot of McAnulty at a beach

Biology Monday Seminar: “A Tale of Two Symbioses: Development and Maintenance of Bacterial Partnerships with the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid”

4:00 pm Science Center, Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall A011

Sarah McAnulty, Ph.D., assistant research professor at the University of Connecticut, will give a talk titled “A Tale of Two Symbioses: Development and Maintenance of Bacterial Partnerships with the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid.”

McAnulty is a squid biologist and the executive director of the science communication nonprofit Skype a Scientist! In her talk, she will cover her research on the Hawaiian bobtail squid and its relationship with the bioluminescent bacterium Vibrio fischeri and how the immune system plays a role in these interactions. She will also speak on the symbiosis within the female squid’s reproductive system, the accessory nidamental gland. In addition to discussing her science, she will discuss the many ways that scientists can get involved in their communities, both local and online.

Photo of Lila Abu-Lughod

“Securofeminists, Muslims and the Political Geography of Gender Violence”

Lila Abu-Lughod is the Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science at Columbia University, where she teaches anthropology and gender studies. A leading voice in the debates about culture, gender, Islam and global feminist politics, her award-winning books and articles have been translated into 14 languages. Her most recent book, published by Harvard University Press in 2013, is titled Do Muslim Women Need Saving?.

Abu-Lughod’s scholarship, mostly ethnographic and based on long-term fieldwork in Egypt, has focused on the power of cultural forms, from poetry to television soap operas; the politics of knowledge and representations of cultural “others”; violence and memory; and the question of liberalism and global projects of human and women’s rights. She has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a Carnegie Scholar, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Sponsored by the Center for Humanistic Inquiry Feminist Thought Working Group.

Tue, Mar 3, 2020

Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi, American Museum of Natural History: “Identifying Observational Signatures of Brown Dwarf and Giant Planet Formation”

Brown dwarfs are the critical link between the products of stellar and planetary formation pathways; hence, their population properties and compositions can inform on the likelihood of either formation history. In particular, multiplicity is a direct outcome of formation, yet it is challenging to measure it in a consistent way, since each binary detection technique is sensitive to a different range of separations and mass ratios.

In this talk, I will present results from a volume-limited spectroscopic sample, including a new binary fraction straddling the hydrogen-burning minimum mass, which separates stars from brown dwarfs. I will discuss future directions for a comprehensive characterization of both the statistical distributions of the population of multiple systems and the fundamental properties of their individual components as a function of age. These are crucial steps to identify spectroscopic signatures of formation.

Event poster featuring a blue outline of Latin America on a red, orange and yellow background, as well as a small photo of Chambers-Ju

“Mobilizing Teachers: The Political Strategies of Mass Member Organizations in Latin America”

Christopher Chambers-Ju ’04, visiting assistant professor at the College of the Holy Cross, will give a talk titled “Mobilizing Teachers: The Political Strategies of Mass Member Organizations in Latin America.”

Chambers-Ju received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2017. His research examines the politics of education through a focus on teachers’ unions. Studying the cases of Argentina, Colombia and Mexico, he examines why some teachers take to the streets while others form an organized voting bloc, with distinct relationships to political parties. By focusing on teachers, he seeks to shed light on broader dynamics of education policy-making and political change in contemporary Latin America.

This event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Department of Political Science at Amherst College with funding from the Lurcy Endowment and the Lamont Funds.

Wed, Mar 4, 2020

Photo of Shailja Patel

"If You Can't Fix It, Don't Break It: African Feminisms and Climate Justice"

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Five College Women's Studies Research Center, 83 College Street, South Hadley, MA

Shailja Patel, Kenyan author of Migritude and Nobel Women’s Initiative Spotlighted Global Activist, breaks down the ways in which African women are silenced, excluded and erased in current global discourse on climate crisis and shows how African feminisms are critical to the concept of climate justice.

This event is free and open to the public and co-sponsored by the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series Fund at Amherst College.

COVID-19: An Interdisciplinary Roundtable on the Coronavirus

Please come join us for an interdisciplinary roundtable discussion on the coronavirus. We’ll talk about the coronavirus and demonstrate the power of cross-disciplinary exchange.

A Five College Culture, Health and Science Certificate information session will take place beforehand from 6 to 7 p.m. in Pruyne Lecture Hall.

Food will be catered by Pita Pockets at 6 p.m.

Panelists:
Katherine Mason, medical anthropologist, Brown University, author of Infectious Change: Reinventing Chinese Public Health after an Epidemic
Mandy Muller, virologist, UMass Amherst Department of Microbiology
Andrew Lover, infectious disease epidemiologist, UMass Amherst School of Public Health
George Qiao, historian of China, Amherst College

Thu, Mar 5, 2020

Neuroscience Lecture by Torsten Klengel: “Translational Research in Psychiatry from Humans to Monkeys and Back”

Torsten Klengel, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Translational Molecular Genomics Laboratory at McLean Hospital, will speak on “Translational Research in Psychiatry from Humans to Monkeys and Back.”

Abstract: Genetic and environmental factors profoundly influence the risk to develop psychiatric disorders. A number of large clinical studies provide evidence for the long-term effects of early life stress on disease trajectories across the lifespan and even across generations. My talk will focus on the concept of gene-environment interaction and how the environment influences epigenetic cellular programming with a focus on HPA axis function. I will introduce the concept of inter- and transgenerational effects of environmental exposure and how nonhuman primate studies can bridge a translational gap between studies in rodents and clinical studies in humans.

Refreshments will be served.

Portrait of Chon Noriega

Helene Keyssar Lecture: “Seeing Ghosts: Latinx Video in the American Art Museum” with Chon A. Noriega

Chon A. Noriega is professor of cinema and media studies and director of the Chicano Studies Research Center, both at UCLA, and consulting curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). He has published on media, performance and the visual arts. Noriega has curated or co-curated numerous exhibitions, including Home—So Different, So Appealing (2017-18), Asco and Friends: Exiled Portraits (2014), L.A. Xicano (2011-12) and Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement (2008-10). He is currently completing a book on artist Raphael Montañez Ortiz (b. 1934) and an oral history project on Daniel Joseph Martinez (b. 1957).

Noriega describes the subject of his lecture as follows: “I remember walking through the WACK!: Art and the Feminist Revolution exhibition with Barbara Hammer in spring 2007. She had insisted that the curators show her films in the museum galleries and play them on a loop, not exile them to a side theater where they would be shown on a schedule. But letting her speak during the walkthrough was another matter. So Barbara grabbed the microphone and stood by her work: ‘Film is an art form,’ she began. Today, media installations and even two-dimensional media works like Barbara’s are quite common in contemporary art exhibitions. This talk is not so much about the aesthetic status of film/video in the gallery space—one dealt with quite well by Kate Mondloch and Catherine Elwes—as it is about the curatorial frameworks that render certain artists and artworks as ‘orphans of modernism’ or ‘ghosts of modernity.’ I will draw on my own experiences as a curator and art historian who was trained in cinema and media studies.”

A reception will follow.

Professor Andrea Frisch

Biennial Lecture in Honor of Professor Jay L. Caplan: “The Histoire Mémorable Between News and History: Framing Accounts of Current Events in the French Wars of Religion”

Professor Andrea Frisch from the University of Maryland, College Park, and Leibniz Universität Hannover will give the biennial lecture in honor of Professor Jay L. Caplan. Her talk, “The Histoire Mémorable Between News and History: Framing Accounts of Current Events in the French Wars of Religion,” will address the ways in which current or very recent events were packaged generically in the turbulent context of the French Wars of Religion.

“At the center of my investigation is the histoire mémorable, since in 16th-century France – in contrast to her European neighbors – some form of this label was regularly applied to accounts of current events. As a generic indicator, the category is deeply ambiguous: On the one hand, the term 'mémorable' implied a shared inheritance of consensually venerated material that one had a duty to remember, and that was traditionally associated with History; on the other, in the glut of printed matter in the age of confessional conflict, the epithet 'mémorable' was repeatedly attached to material that was recent, undigested and frequently contentious, characteristics more typical of what was coming to be known as news. Ultimately, the histoire mémorable was the terrain upon which personal, polemical, pamphlet-style accounts could make a bid for entry into the long-term, capital-H historical record.”

This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

This event is co-sponsored by the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series at Amherst, the Amherst College Department of French and the Turgeon Fund.

Event poster featuring a black-and-white photo of a mushroom cloud and a color headshot of David Eng

Dr. David Eng Presents “Absolute Apology, Absolute Forgiveness”

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Science Center, Kirkpatrick Hall, Room A011

Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Symposium: “Looking Back to the Future: 20 Years of A/P/A Studies in the Five Colleges” presented by Dr. David Eng, the Richard L. Fisher Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

Headshot Dr. Freeman Hrabowski III

Keynote with Freeman Hrabowski

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm Science Center, Lipton Lecture Hall (E110)

At age 12, Freeman Hrabowski marched with Martin Luther King. Now he is president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he works to create an environment that helps under-represented students—specifically African-American, Latino and low-income learners—get degrees in math and science. His TED Talk on the four pillars of college success has been viewed over 1 million times.

He will be visiting Amherst College March 5-6 and will present a keynote lecture about his new book The Empowered University: Shared Leadership, Culture Change, and Academic Success. The book probes the way senior leaders, administrators, staff, faculty and students facilitate academic success by cultivating an empowering institutional culture and broad leadership for innovation. They examine how shared leadership enables an empowered campus to tackle tough issues by taking a hard look in the mirror, noting strengths and weaknesses while assessing opportunities and challenges.

This event is free and open to the public.

Fri, Mar 6, 2020

Amy Coddington smiling in front of a staircase

Professor Amy Coddington: "Containing Black Noise: Radio Responds to Hip-Hop in the Early 1990s"

Free and open to the public. Lunch provided.

The music department continues its Research in Music speaker series featuring department faculty discussing their work.

In the late 1980s, hip-hop moved from the margins to the mainstream, from New York block parties to family rooms across America. But despite this tremendous growth in popularity, many in the music industry hadn't come around to the relatively new style. In this talk, Professor Coddington will analyze how the radio industry reacted to hip-hop's popularity, tracing the emergence of "rap-free" radio stations and examining how these stations segregated the American public by protecting white listeners from hip-hop's black sounds.

For more information, contact Professor Jason Robinson (jrobinson@amherst.edu).

Professor Rory Waterman standing in a laboratory

Cheminar: “Phosphorus, Photons and Metals: Increasingly Efficient Ways to P–C Bonds”

3:15 pm - 4:30 pm Science Center, Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall - #A011

Seminar with Professor and Associate Dean Rory Waterman, University of Vermont, Chemistry Department

Story Time with Lorraine Avila

Join the MRC and La Causa for a storytelling event and Q+A session with Lorraine Avila. Through her storytelling, Lorraine Avila seeks to break free from generational trauma by continuing to rupture the traditions of silence. She will be reading from her most recent book, Malcriada. Food from El Comalito will be provided.

Tue, Mar 10, 2020

Professor Katherine Aidala, Mount Holyoke College: “Evolution of Magnetic States in a Local Circular Magnetic Field”

This event is open to current Amherst College students, faculty and staff (Amherst College ID required).

When the size of a ferromagnetic structure is on the order of a single domain, where all magnetic moments align parallel to one another, fascinating physics can result. Circularly symmetric structures (i.e., disks and rings) can support a “vortex” state in which the moments align circumferentially with a clockwise or counterclockwise circulation. Typical experiments that apply in-plane magnetic fields cannot select between the CW and CCW states. Instead, we locally pass current through the tip of an atomic force microscope to apply a circular field, directly controlling the vortex circulation. Magnetic force microscopy allows us to image the resulting states in disks and rings. Simulations predict novel states with multiple 360-degree domain walls in rings, which we can understand by considering the switching process and the topology of the domain walls. Potential applications in data storage will be discussed.

Wed, Mar 11, 2020

CANCELLED: Ethnic Identity: Developing a Latina/o Identity

Poetry Reading and Conversation Cancelled

Thu, Mar 12, 2020

CANCELLED: Math Colloquium by Dan Velleman

CANCELLED: Reflections on Teaching with Kannan Jagannathan

4:30 pm Frost Library, CHI Think Tank

Statistics Colloquium Cancelled