Event Calendar

April 2021

Thu, Apr 1, 2021

"Towards a Coarse Theory of Quantum Spin Systems" with Rufus B. Kellogg Fellow Bowen Yang '18

Bowen Yang '18 was the recipient in 2018 of the Rufus B. Kellogg University Fellowship, one of the Amherst College Fellowships for graduate study. The Kellogg is awarded for three years of study to a recent graduate "best equipped for study and research." The recipient is asked to return to campus in the third year of the fellowship to give a lecture or presentation.

Bowen is currently a graduate student in mathematical physics at Caltech. He seeks to classify topological quantum systems using mathematical tools such as topology and operator algebras.

"In this talk, we will explore two very different worlds: the world of quantum spin systems and the world of coarse geometry. Quantum spin systems are powerful mathematical models of interacting quantum many-body systems. They are widely studied in condensed matter physics, mathematical physics as well as quantum information theory. On the other hand, since its introduction by John Roe, coarse geometry has remained a beautiful and effective description of large-scale behavior of spaces. After introducing both worlds separately, I will explain an ongoing effort to connect the two through an idea called homology. I will only assume backgrounds in calculus and linear algebra."

This event is sponsored by the Office of Fellowships and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

The link will be sent to the MathStat listserv the day of the event. If you are not on that list and would like to join, please email Kathy Glista at kglista@amherst.edu.

Joy Harjo holding a saxophone

Politics and Poetry: A Conversation with U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo

7:00 pm Virtual

In this conversation, Joy Harjo and Ilan Stavans will discuss the ways in which poetry is subversive. This event is part of the Politics and Poetry: A Point/Counterpoint Series, which examines our current crossroads, both nationally and globally, from the perspective of opinion writers, poets, activists, linguists and historians.

Joy Harjo, an internationally known, award-winning poet, writer, performer and saxophone player of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation, was appointed the 23rd United States Poet Laureate in 2019, the first Native American to hold the position. Her books include For A Girl Becoming (2009), Soul Talk, Song Language (2011), Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (2015) and An American Sunrise (2019).

Ilan Stavans is the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities and Latin American and Latino Studies at Amherst and the publisher of Restless Books. His most recent books are The Seventh Heaven: Travels Through Jewish Latin America (2019), How Yiddish Changed America and How America Changed Yiddish (2020) and Selected Translations: Poems 2000-2021 (2021). He is the recipient of numerous international awards and honors, and his work has been translated into 20 languages and adapted into film, radio, TV and theater.

Registration Required

Fri, Apr 2, 2021

Chem_unity: Chemistry Goes HSTEM

Chem-unity: Chemistry Goes HSTEM

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Virtual Seminar Via Zoom Link

The Chemistry Department and Chemistry Anti-Racism Advisory Committee (CARAC) invites all students, support staff, and faculty to a “Chem-unity-building” event. At this virtual event, participants will be directed to reflect on their own Being Human in STEM (HSTEM) story and then create a short presentation. There will be breakout rooms to give people the opportunity to share stories to promote a sense of community and humanity across the College. Student CARAC members will periodically visit the breakout rooms to record common themes which will be shared with all participants before the conclusion of the event.

Mon, Apr 5, 2021


Biology Monday Seminar

Alicia Melendez, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Biology, Queens College and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, will give a talk on "Autophagy in germline development and aging."

My lab studies how autophagy, a major cellular pathway for degrading long-lived proteins and cytoplasmic organelles, functions during development and aging. Prior work by us (and others) showed that several conserved pathways that control longevity require the function of autophagy genes to live long. More recently, we have found that autophagy genes are required for the germline stem cell proliferation and meiotic fidelity. We use a combination of genetic, molecular and cellular biological approaches in the genetically tractable model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, with the aim to (1) determine the role of autophagy genes in development, specifically in stem cell proliferation, and to (2) understand the mechanism(s) by which autophagy genes are required for lifespan extension. Given the evolutionary conservation of autophagy genes from C. elegans to humans, investigating the molecular mechanisms by which autophagy genes function in vivo during development and aging will lead to a better understanding of these biological processes and may lead to novel therapeutic approaches for human disease.

Persons from the Amherst College community who wish to attend should please register by sending an email request to Professor Caroline Goutte and a Zoom link will be provided.

Tue, Apr 6, 2021

A Conversation with Joaquín José Martínez

A Conversation with Joaquín José Martínez

4:30 pm Virtual, Zoom

Amnesty International at Amherst College is excited to announce we will be hosting Joaquín José Martínez in a conversation about why the death penalty should be abolished. Joaquín is a death row exonerate and member of Witness to Innocence. Sign up for the conversation here!

Wed, Apr 7, 2021

Trans Studies event flyer

The State of Trans Studies in the 2020s

With the 2021 publication of The SAGE Encyclopedia of Trans Studies, a timely question is: What is the state of trans studies now and in the future? Join us for a panel of leading scholars in the field to discuss this topic. The panelists are all contributors to the encyclopedia, and attendees will be given free access to their entries.

-Marquis Bey, Assistant Professor, African American Studies and English, Northwestern University
-Aaron Devor, Founder and Inaugural Chair in Transgender Studies; Founder and Faculty Partner, The Transgender Archives; and Professor, Sociology, University of Victoria
-Julian Kevon Glover, Assistant Professor, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University
-Kristen Renn, Professor, Higher, Adult, & Lifelong Education, Michigan State University
-Travers, Professor, Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University

Moderated by Emily Skidmore, Associate Professor, History, Texas Tech University

Free, but registration required

Sponsored by the UMass Stonewall Center and Clark University’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Co-sponsored by UMass Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies and the Five College Queer, Trans and Sexuality Studies Certificate.

Registration Required
"Writing in Time" book cover

CHI Salon: "Writing in Time: Emily Dickinson’s Master Hours" Book Talk with Marta Werner and Peter Gizzi

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Virtual, Zoom

Join Dickinson scholar Marta Werner in conversation with Peter Gizzi about her forthcoming book Writing in Time: Emily Dickinson’s Master Hours (Amherst College Press, 2021).

For more than half a century, the story of Emily Dickinson’s “Master” documents has been the largely biographical tale of three letters to an unidentified individual. Writing in Time seeks to tell a different story—the story of the documents themselves. Rather than presenting the “Master” documents as quarantined from Dickinson’s larger scene of textual production, Marta Werner’s innovative new edition proposes reading them next to Dickinson’s other major textual experiment in the years between ca. 1858–1861: the Fascicles. In both, Dickinson can be seen testing the limits of address and genre in order to escape bibliographical determination and the very coordinates of “mastery” itself. A major event in Dickinson scholarship, Writing in Time proposes new constellations of Dickinson’s work, as well as exciting new methodologies for textual scholarship as an act of “intimate editorial investigation.”

Marta Werner is the Martin J. Svaglic Chair in Textual Studies and Loyola University Chicago. Her previous publications include, with Jen Bervin, The Gorgeous Nothings (Granary Books, 2012; New Directions, 2013); Radical Scatters: An Electronic Archive of Emily Dickinson’s Late Fragments and Related Texts (University of Michigan Press, 1999; republished by the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 2010); with Nicholas Lawrence, Ordinary Mysteries: The Common Journal of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne (The American Philosophical Society, 2006); and Emily Dickinson’s Open Folios: Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing (University of Michigan Press, 1995). She also co-edited The Networked Recluse (Amherst College Press, 2017), which accompanied The Morgan Library exhibition "I’m Nobody—Who Are You": The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson.

Peter Gizzi is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including most recently Now It's Dark (Wesleyan, 2020), Sky Burial: New and Collected Poems (Carcanet UK, 2020) and Archeophonics (Wesleyan, 2016), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. His editing projects include o·blēk: a journal of language arts (1987-1993), The House That Jack Built: The Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer (Wesleyan, 1998) and, with Kevin Killian, My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer (Wesleyan, 2008). He teaches in the M.F.A. program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Registration Required
Center for Restorative Practices Logo: Concentric purple circles with the text "Amherst College CRP"

The Gift of Circle Practice: A Tool to Transform the Painful U.S. Conservative/Progressive Divide and Rebuild Trust, Connection and Hope

After the 2016 presidential election, award-winning global peacebuilder Dr. Paula Green turned her focus from intractable international conflicts to address fractured U.S. relations. She co-created Hands Across the Hills, bringing together a group of self-identified progressives from Massachusetts with a group of self-identified conservatives from a coal-mining region of Kentucky. Hands Across the Hills has received a great deal of media attention, as it offers hope that we can find each other beneath the chaos, dehumanization and painful partisan divide, and shares a roadmap for how we too can participate in a just and inclusive society. Dr. Green has been a global peacebuilder for over 30 years, working with those experiencing the pain of conflict and war in Bosnia, Palestine, Israel, Nepal, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Cyrpus, Azerbijan, as well as running an international peacebuilding institute in the U.S.

Joining Paula to share about her experience is Gwen Johnson, a self-described hillbilly woman from the coal camp of Hemphill Kentucky and founder of Black Sheep Bakery. Gwen is the daughter and granddaughter of coal miners. She graduated high school unable to read beyond a second-grade level; she learned to read while reading to her children and went to college the same year her oldest daughter did, receiving a BS at the University of Pikeville and an M.A. at Goddard College in health arts and sciences.

Dr. Ben Fink is the third participant of Hands Across the Hills presenting with Paula and Gwen. Ben has organized in deindustrialized areas across the country, including the Appalachian coalfields; the Naugatuck Valley of Connecticut; and the urban centers of Baltimore, Milwaukee and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Ben holds a Ph.D. in cultural studies from the University of Minnesota. His work has been featured by Salon.com, the Brookings Institution and Harvard Law School. He and Paula Green were recently named by Time Magazine as two of "27 People Bridging Divides Across America."

Registration Required

Thu, Apr 8, 2021

Uncertainty and the Response to COVID-19, Statistics and Data Colloquia, Dr. Kline

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of our lives and reporting on epidemiological data has become almost a routine, daily occurrence. Since early in the pandemic, I have been on the OSU Comprehensive Monitoring Team that has been advising the Ohio Department of Health. One important theme throughout this work has been operating under uncertainty. As with any novel disease, there was and still is uncertainty about the disease itself. However, there is also uncertainty about the data that we can collect to try to understand rates of infection across space and time and to identify emerging areas of concern. It is critical to consider this uncertainty within the decision-making process. During this talk, I will discuss several areas where I have contributed to the response to COVID-19 including a seroprevalence study, surveillance, and an excess deaths analysis. I will particularly focus on the importance of thinking beyond the data that are observed to consider the context and the quality of what are observed. Through these examples, I will highlight important contributions of statistical and epidemiological methods and thinking.

Black-and-white John McWhorter head shot

Politics and Poetry: A Conversation with Linguist John McWhorter

7:00 pm Virtual

In this conversation, John McWhorter and Ilan Stavans will discuss how language reveals the anger we carry inside, as well as how “nasty” words change over time. This event is part of the Politics and Poetry: A Point/Counterpoint Series, which examines our current crossroads, both nationally and globally, from the perspective of opinion writers, poets, activists, linguists and historians.

John McWhorter teaches linguistics, philosophy and music history at Columbia University; hosts Slate’s Lexicon Valley podcast; and is contributing editor at The Atlantic. He has written over 20 books, including The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language (2001), Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English (2008) and Talking Back, Talking Black: Truths About America's Lingua Franca (2017). His next books will be Nine Nasty Words and The Elect (both 2021).

Ilan Stavans is the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities and Latin American and Latino Studies at Amherst and the publisher of Restless Books. His most recent books are The Seventh Heaven: Travels Through Jewish Latin America (2019), How Yiddish Changed America and How America Changed Yiddish (2020) and Selected Translations: Poems 2000-2021 (2021). He is the recipient of numerous international awards and honors, and his work has been translated into 20 languages and adapted into film, radio, TV and theater.

Registration Required
Vocal Action: Anti-Racist and Gender Affirming Practice in Ensemble Work poster

On Practicing Anti-racism: Convo with Choral Conductors and Musical Leaders

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Virtual, via Zoom

In our latest installment of the Vocal Action series, the Choral Society and the QRC presents a discussion with various choral conductors and ensemble leaders about anti-racist practice in ensemble work, from the inter-personal, to the selection and preparation of repertoire, and beyond. Particular emphasis will be placed on the role of leaders in modeling anti-racist action/behavior in and out of rehearsal/performance, and their role in maintaining ensemble culture.

Featuring: Felicia Barber, PhD., Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Activities at Westfield State University; Emilie Amrein, DMA., Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities at University of San Diego; and Brent Talbot, PhD., Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College.

This program was made possible by support from the Arts at Amherst Initiative.

Confluences logo: a blue wave shape striped with white text in various languages and alphabets

"Confluence of Voices: Writing and Translating Identity"

Join Confluences for a celebratory reading of four recently published pieces: “Wise and Bright” by Seoyeon Kim; “‘Deafinitely’: The Racialization of Black Communication in the U.S.A.” by Eniola Ajao; “20 Words that Painted My World” by Clara Seo; and “Sounding American” by Isabelle Doerre Torres. Come listen to writers and their translators read and talk about their original works and translations in different languages, including Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Italian, French and Portuguese. Everyone is welcome to the event, regardless of the language you speak!

Fri, Apr 9, 2021

"Manifest Disablement: Disability, Colonialism and Sexuality in the American Frontier"

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Held Via Zoom, Zoom Link: https://amherstcollege.zoom.u

The Faculty Colloquium Series for 2020-21 presents a lecture titled "Manifest Disablement: Disability, Colonialism, and Sexuality in the American Frontier" by Sony Coráñez Bolton, assistant professor of Spanish. This lecture will be held via Zoom (see link below).

Faculty Colloquium events are sponsored by a group of faculty colleagues who meet informally with the purpose of supporting and promoting the College’s commitment to faculty research. The event is open to the Amherst College Community. For more information about the Faculty Colloquium Series, please visit https://www.amherst.edu/mm/597044.


Headshot Professor Evelyn Auyeung '09

Cheminar: Everett H. Pryde '39 Lecturer Evelyn Auyeung '09, Associate Research Scientist at Dow Chemical Co.

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Virtual Seminar Via Zoom Link

Seminar title: "Advanced Materials through Catalysis: Polyolefins R&D as an Industrial Chemist"

Dr. Auyeung was one of 30 young scientists highlighted at the 2013 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: 30 under 30: Probing Structures at the Nanoscale.

Sat, Apr 10, 2021

5C Film & Media Studies Undergraduate Conference

The 5C Film and Media Studies Undergraduate Conference is designed to build community among students studying film and media on each of the five campuses, to give our most engaged students an opportunity to hone their presentation skills and to allow them to share insights from their work with a wider audience. Participants will each give a 15-minute presentation as part of a panel with 2-3 fellow students working on related themes (the organizers will assemble these panels). Each panel will include time for questions and discussion.

This event is sponsored by the Five College Film Council, the Mount Holyoke College Film Studies Program, the Smith College Film Studies Program and the Amherst College Film and Media Studies Program.


Welcome: 10-10:15am

Crises in Patriarchy: 10:15-11:00am
Patriarchal Authoritarianism in Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto
Greis Kasofo, UMass, Linguistics ‘23
The Female Face of Crisis: Seductive Women and Endangered Masculinity in Weimar Germany
Carol Song (she/her), Mount Holyoke College ‘21, Film Studies

Hitchcock (Re)considered: 11-11:45am
Musical Plot Development in Vertigo (1958) and Psycho (1960)
Hayley Fleming, Amherst College ’21, Music/Political Science

Vertigo as (Unintentional) Feminist Film
Aoife McGuire (she/her), Amherst College ‘24

Lunch break: 12-1pm (Zoom room will be left open for socializing)
Questions in 21st century media: 1-2pm
These Faces Do Not Exist
Shira Zaid (she/they), Smith College ‘23, Film & Media Studies/Art History

The Art of Looking
Diego Duckenfield-Lopez (he/him), Amherst College ‘24, Black Studies/Film & Media Studies

Archie​ Eats ​Twin Peaks ​(1990): Quality Television’s Gender Paradigm, Genre Theory, and Intertextual Relevance in ​Riverdale​ (2017-)
Clare O’Gara (she/her), Smith College ‘22, Film & Media Studies

Feminist Interventions: 2-2:45pm
Four Women: Looking through U.S. Black female subjectivity in film and media
Cate Boram (she/her), Smith College, AC, Film & Media Studies

Nostalgia for a Place That Doesn’t Exist: Archival Imagination in Lesbian Film
Erin Walsh (she/her), Smith College, ‘22J. American Studies

Challenges to Convention in horror/slasher film and video games: 2:45-3:30pm
‘This Is Not A Man’: Masculine Identity and Male Anxiety in the Slasher Film
Jordan Foley (they/them), Hampshire College, ‘21

Filmic and Ludic Conventions and the Purpose of the Film-Based Horror Game
Margaret Welsh (she/her), Smith College ’21, Film & Media Studies/Psychology

Wrap up: concluding at 4pm

Registration Required

Mon, Apr 12, 2021


Biology Monday Seminar

4:00 pm Virtual

Jeeyon Jeong, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology, Amherst College, will give a talk on "Navigating the Paradox of Iron: Two Tales from Plants."
Iron is an essential micronutrient in nearly all organisms, but it is also potentially toxic. Therefore, iron must be tightly controlled at the molecular, cellular, and physiological levels. Research in the Jeong Lab focuses on investigating the molecular mechanisms of iron homeostasis in plants. Our goal is to contribute critical knowledge that will advance biology and provide insights to improve plant and human nutrition.
This seminar will focus on two highlights from the Jeong Lab: 1) the characterization of Ferroportin3 (FPN3), a dual-targeted mitochondria/chloroplast iron exporter, and 2) the discovery that histone3 lysine27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) attenuates the induction of iron acquisition gene during iron deficiency.

Persons from the college community that wish to attend should please register by sending an email request to the Biology Department Chair, Professor Josef Trapani, who will provide the Zoom link.

Tue, Apr 13, 2021

Event poster featuring three examples of artwork and headshots of Carrabino and Vigeant

"Paint and Pestilence: Art During Pandemic Times"

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Held Via Zoom

The Departments of Political Science and Anthropology at Amherst College, with additional funding from the Eastman Fund, Lamont Fund and Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty, presents "Paint and Pestilence: Art During Pandemic Times."

This event is free and open to the public.
Via Zoom: Registration in advance is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Zoom Link: https://amherstcollege.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcldOuupzovGNzD4WDeuXVh...

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Danielle Carrabino is curator of painting and sculpture at the Smith College Museum of Art. She is an Italian Renaissance and Baroque art scholar and educator who previously served as a member of the curatorial team at the Harvard Art Museums. The plague ravaged Europe from the 14th to the 18th centuries, but its cause was not identified until 1884. At a time when vaccines were still unimaginable, strict quarantines helped control the spread of the disease, at least until subsequent surges. People took matters into their own hands by resorting to prayer and charitable acts, believed to placate an irate God. This talk will focus on a few examples of art created in Italy during several bouts of the plague to demonstrate its impact on art as well as to illustrate how this disease was perceived at the time.

Michelle Vigeant has been drawing animals since she was a child. She holds a degree in biology to further her understanding about how critters work. Spending years studying their bones, tracks and more gives her a very intimate perspective on their habits, anatomy and placement within the world. Vigeant's illustration style is inspired by American comic book line work as well as color from illustrators such as James Gurney of the Dinotopia books. She has illustrated the cover of the book The Whispering Basket, done a number of shows in the Western Massachusetts area, and can often be found at fandom conventions throughout the Eastern Coast of the U.S. She has also live-painted for the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in New York. She will speak on how the pandemic impacted her life as a modern working artist, changing workflow, venues and style, especially as a mom, and how public art can offer connection and resiliency.

For more information, contact Ruxandra Paul at rpaul@amherst.edu.

Registration Required
Kazim Ali

Kazim Ali: A Reading and Conversation

7:00 pm Virtual

Please join us for a reading by multi-genre writer Kazim Ali, and a conversation between Ali and Amherst College Visiting Writer Thirii Myint. Ali’s books include several volumes of poetry, novels, essays and translations. He is currently a professor of literature at the University of California, San Diego. His newest books include a collection of three long poems entitled The Voice of Sheila Chandra and a memoir of his Canadian childhood, Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water.

“Much of what the poet has presented to us is painful, yes, but it is also beautiful in how it uses voice as a symbol for continued imagination. Altogether, The Voice of Sheila Chandra is both an excavation and compilation of our survival.” – NPR

Registration Required

Wed, Apr 14, 2021

Portrait of Sam Presnal

CHI Salon: "Cooking Between the Lines: What Can We Learn from Rereading and Recreating Recipes of the Past?"

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Virtual, Zoom

"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are." This aphorism of famed French gastronome Brillat-Savarin is oft cited by scholars working in the sundry field of "food studies."

In this salon, CHI Fellow and Visiting Lecturer in French Samantha Presnal will flip the script, asking not what people ate, but what they cooked, how they cooked, and why they cooked, in order to better understand their lives and cultures. This hybrid presentation-- part talk, part demonstration, part conversation --will discuss her research approach, which blends methods from social and cultural history, literary criticism, and the culinary arts.

She will begin with the presentation and close reading of a popular cooking magazine from the Belle Epoque and then reproduce one of its featured dishes. By unpacking recipe rhetoric and strapping on an apron herself, Samantha will illustrate the value of studying familiar, quotidian forms of writing and interpreting them from multiple perspectives, from critic to cordon-bleu.

Registration Required
Author, Dr. Naomi Oreskes

RESCHEDULED: The 2020-21 Annual Hawkins Lecture with Dr. Naomi Oreskes

5:30 pm Virtual

Dr. Naomi Oreskes, the Henry Charles Lea Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University and the author of Why Trust Science?, will deliver a lecture titled "Diversity Isn’t Just the Right Thing to Do; Diversity Helps Us Get the Right Answers."

Science has lagged behind other professions in working to purposefully create opportunities to expand diversity in its workforce. Critics of such efforts have framed diversity as antithetical to the pursuit of excellence in scientific inquiry, but this framing has the problem backwards. In this talk, I argue that we cannot have scientific excellence without diversity.

Sponsored by the Hawkins Lecture Fund and the Department of History at Amherst College, this event is free and open to the public.

Registration Required

Fri, Apr 16, 2021

"Settler Militarism: World War II in Hawai'i and the Making of U.S. Empire"

12:00 pm Virtual

This interdisciplinary project focuses on the martial law period in Hawai'i during the Pacific War and explores the overlapping regimes of settler colonialism and militarization in the domains of public health, domestic science, education, land acquisition and internment.

Juliet Nebolon is an assistant professor of American studies at Trinity College. She received her Ph.D. in American studies from Yale University. Her research and teaching bring a transnational perspective to the study of race, indigeneity and gender in the United States, with a particular focus on U.S. war and empire in Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Wed, Apr 21, 2021

Center for Restorative Practices Logo: concentric purple circles with the text "Amherst College CRP"

Restorative Justice Through the Power of Storytelling with Circles of Support and Accountability

How do we welcome you back?

Following the lives of five people, the film Coming Home takes an intimate and powerful look at a state/community partnership called COSA (Circles of Support and Accountability) as it portrays the struggles and challenges of folks coming out of prison and the successes of this restorative justice model in repairing harm. Filmmaker Bess O’Brien will discuss how the restorative power of sharing one’s story and gaining trust from local community members moves people forward in their healing process and moves them away from reoffending.

Registration Required
Helen Zia headshot photo

"Asian American Activism and Anti-Asian Violence: A Conversation with Helen Zia"

8:00 pm Virtual

Amherst College will welcome Helen Zia, activist, award-winning author and former journalist, in conversation with Robert Hayashi, associate professor of American Studies. This event is part of the President’s Colloquium on Race and Racism, a series that centers the voices of scholars studying intersections of race and American democracy.

Helen Zia is a writer, activist and Fulbright Scholar. She is the author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People, about the contemporary civil rights struggles of Asian Americans; her latest book, Last Boat out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese who Fled Mao's Revolution, was an NPR best book of 2019 and shortlisted for a 2020 national PEN AMERICA award. An award-winning magazine journalist, she was the executive editor of Ms. Magazine, where her reporting on neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizations sparked new thinking on the relationship between race and gender in hate violence. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Helen has been outspoken on issues ranging from human rights to countering hate violence and homophobia. Her leadership in the landmark civil rights case of anti-Asian violence in the 1982 hate killing of Vincent Chin in Detroit has been documented in the Oscar-nominated film Who Killed Vincent Chin?. Helen has honorary doctorates from the University of San Francisco and the City University of New York Law School. She attended Princeton University on a full scholarship and was a member of its first graduating class of women. Helen quit medical school to work as a construction laborer, an autoworker and a community organizer, until she discovered her life’s work as a journalist and writer.

Robert Hayashi is an associate professor of American Studies at Amherst College. He is the author of Haunted by Waters: A Journey Through Race and Place in the American West and has written about Japanese American incarceration, Asian American literature and sports. His current research focuses on early Asian American sports history.

This event is supported by the Victor S. Johnson Lecture Fund, established for the president to bring to Amherst lecturers in the best tradition of the liberal arts.

Registration Required

Thu, Apr 22, 2021

Asian Americans in an Anti-Black World

Registration Required
Event poster featuring overlapping photos of two ancient statues

"Classics and White Supremacism in the United States: A Brief History"

Rebecca Futo Kennedy, who studies notions of race and ethnicity in the ancient world, will speak on the reception of classical antiquity within the U.S. white supremacist movement.

Kennedy is an associate professor of classics, women’s and gender studies and environmental studies at Denison University and director of the Denison Museum. She is the author of Immigrant Women in Athens: Gender, Ethnicity, and Citizenship in the Classical City and editor of the Handbook to Identity and the Environment in the Classical and Medieval Worlds. She is a translator and editor of Race and Ethnicity in the Classical World: An Anthology of Primary Sources and editor of The Companion to the Reception of Aeschylus.

This lecture is sponsored by the Department of Classics at Amherst College and the Department of Classical Studies at Trinity College, with support from the Lamont Fund. All Five College faculty, staff and students are welcome.

Zoom registration: https://trincoll.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_dxZxAfKkTLigQv1K_YXK-w

Registration Required

Statistics and Data Science Colloquium: "Evaluating Potential Critical Windows of Exposure to Antiretroviral Treatment Using Multiple Informant Models"

It is widely known that antiretroviral treatment (ART) has been successful in reducing mother-to-child HIV transmission. Some studies report that infants of women living with HIV (WLHIV) who start ART before conception may have a higher risk of adverse birth and infant neurodevelopmental outcomes than those starting ART during pregnancy. However, differences in the potential adverse effects of ART based on their timing (i.e., preconception, first trimester, etc.) require further investigation. Many studies define ART exposures based only on the timing of initiation (i.e., initiated prior to conception vs early in pregnancy vs later in pregnancy), rather than considering continued exposures over multiple trimesters during pregnancy, and thus may not correctly reflect the effects of multiple time points of exposure. This is true especially when ART regimens change during pregnancy. Also, observational studies may be missing information for each time point of exposure, creating a statistical challenge when attempting to compare ART effects across preconception and each trimester. We explore a method that can evaluate potential periods of heightened vulnerability to ART exposure while accounting both for missing data and correlated exposures.

Jemar R. Bather is a biostatistics Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University and a Fostering Diversity in HIV Research Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. Before joining Harvard, he was a quantitative research assistant at New York University, publishing work in diverse outlets such as Public Health Reports and Patient Education and Counseling. His current research focuses on statistical methods for improving perinatal and reproductive outcomes among infants and women living with HIV. Beyond his research, Jemar specializes in coaching prospective doctoral applicants through their application process. Applicants that he worked with are now in Ph.D. programs at Stanford, Emory and Boston Universities. Jemar holds a B.S. in statistics from Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. in applied statistics from NYU and an M.A. in biostatistics from Harvard University. He is also the founder of the NYU Chapter of the National Statistics Honor Society. For this service and his involvement with NYU’s statistics club, he received the President’s Service Award and the Samuel Eshborn Service Award.

Eduardo C. Corral

Eduardo C. Corral: A Reading and Conversation

7:00 pm Virtual

Eduardo C. Corral is the son of Mexican immigrants. He is the author of Guillotine, which was longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award for Poetry, and Slow Lightning, which won the 2011 Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition. Natalie Scenters-Zapico describes Corral as “A master artist. [...] Only a poet as skilled as Corral could connect rejection from the US nation-state with unrequited love to such effect. Carefully code-switching between Spanish and English, Corral is a poet to be studied for his radical contributions to the American canon.” He's the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. He teaches in the M.F.A. program at North Carolina State University.

Please register in advance for this event:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

Registration Required
Fred Sievert discussion

Fast-Starting a Career of Consequence: Practical Christ-Centered Advice for Entering the Workforce

Former Fortune 100 company president and Yale Divinity School graduate, Fred Sievert (Amherst ’70) will summarize the 10 practical, Biblically-based tips on entering the professional world from his latest book. The program will include ample time for Q & A and discussion. Co-sponsored by Amherst Christian Fellowship and Religious and Spiritual Life.

Book cover image of "Amherst College: The Architectural Guide" by Blair Kamin '79

"The Storm and the War that Changed Amherst: An Amherst College Bicentennial Event"

The War Memorial, with its panoramic view of the Holyoke Range, and the Main Quadrangle, with its lush carpet of grass and soaring tree canopy, almost surely are the most beloved outdoor spaces at Amherst. Each appears inevitable, timeless, as if it had always been there. In fact, both are relatively recent additions to the campus, which looked very different before their creation in 1939 and 1946, respectively.

We are extending three opportunities to virtually attend this richly illustrated slide lecture—please select the option that best suits your schedule and location.
Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Blair Kamin '79, P'15, will discuss how the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 and World War II led to a profound reorientation of Amherst’s hilltop campus. He’ll also paint a portrait of the little-known landscape architect who designed these signature spaces. The lecture will conclude with an analysis of the War Memorial’s original design as well as an appreciation of how the passage of time has transformed the memorial into the campus icon it is today. A question-and-answer session will follow.

Fri, Apr 23, 2021

Stories in STEM with Dr. Stephen Hoge '98, President of Moderna

Dr. Stephen Hoge ’98, the president of Moderna, will be sharing his journey in STEM – from Neuroscience major at Amherst and resident physician in NYC to partner at McKinsey & Company and leader of a company at the forefront of biotechnology. All are welcome to attend the talk and Q&A.

"Public Works: Academics in the Arena in the Trump Era and Beyond"

The Amherst College Department of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought; the Center for Humanistic Inquiry; The Amherst College Press; and The Conversation are co-sponsoring this event. It will explore and assess the work of academics who responded to the Trump years by writing commentary and opinion pieces for public audiences. The conference will examine the motives that led scholars to take on this role in their work, reflect on the work they have done, and discuss what they might do in the near future. We will also consider the lessons learned about writing for a public audience and the place of the public intellectual in today's academy.

--Austin Sarat, Moderator and Presenter, Professor of Political Science and Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought at Amherst College
--Stephen Vladeck, Chair in Federal Courts at the University of Texas School of Law
--Elizabeth Cobbs, Chair in American History at Texas A&M University
Bernadette Meylar, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research and Intellectual Life at Stanford University
--Corey Brettschneider, Professor of Political Science at Brown University
--Julian Zelizer, Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University
Sarah Binder, Professor of Political Science at the George Washington University
--Jason Stanley, Professor of Philosophy at Yale University
--Eliot Borenstein, Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University
--Nadia Brown, Associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Purdue University
--Jill Lawrence, Commentator, USA TODAY
--Beth Daly, Commentator, The Conversation

Registration Required

Cheminar: Senior Student Talks with Matthew Albino '21 and Kaylen Xie '21

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Virtual Seminar Via Zoom Link

Matthew Albino's talk title: "MATE1: A Human Transporter Protein for Toxic
Organic Cations"
Link to article: https://www.pnas.org/content/102/50/17923

Kaylen Xie's talk title: "Multicolor Fluorescent Graphene Oxide Quantum Dots
for Sensing Cancer Cell Biomarkers"
Link to article: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsanm.0c02526

Mon, Apr 26, 2021

Gathering at the Crossroads: Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Symposium 2021

The Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Symposium 2021 is being held virtually from April 26 to May 10 from 7:30 to 9 pm.

The next event, titled "Seeds and Soil," is being held this Monday, April 26, as a Zoom Webinar and will feature local indigenous activists and food experts from Southern New England tribes, including a visiting Hampshire College faculty who specializes in Choctaw foodways, a farmer at Amherst College, and a student from Isleta Pueblo. The five panelists will engage in dialogue about what indigenous foods, seeds, and soil mean to them, and how to perpetuate these seeds for future generations.

Next events:

Monday May 3: Teaching and Learning
Historian Christine DeLucia (Williams College) considers how to infuse Indigenous methodologies into teaching and research in the Northeast. Recipients of Mellon funded mini-grants will discuss their efforts to bring NAIS into Five College classrooms.

Monday May 10: Celebration
Join us as we celebrate our graduates with surprise events and discussion.
The virtual format acknowledges that we can still be together even if we cannot meet in person.
For additional information and registration, please visit https://www.fivecolleges.edu/natam/symposium.

Registration Required

Tue, Apr 27, 2021

Cheyenne Teng 14E, Pendar Technologies: "From the lab to the field"

This talk will focus on designing and building mid-infrared spectrometers for field applications. We will survey the various applications where mid-infrared spectroscopy has become an attractive solution, and specifically describe how point sensing and remote sensing can be used for large area fugitive gas monitoring. I will also share my interest in bringing lab-built systems to the field, and hopefully transitioning them to handheld battery-operated platforms.

Headshot of David Blight

"Frederick Douglass: Assaulter of Our Minds, Troubling Guide in Our Present"

7:00 pm Virtual

Amherst College Assistant Professor of Black Studies and History Mary Hicks will moderate a discussion with David Blight, Sterling Professor of American History at Yale University and author of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, on the resonance of the life of Frederick Douglass for today’s national conversation about the nature and promise of American democracy.

This virtual event is part of the President’s Colloquium on Race and Racism, a series that centers the voices of scholars studying intersections of race and American democracy. This event is supported by the Victor S. Johnson Lecture Fund, established for the president to bring to Amherst lecturers in the best tradition of the liberal arts.

Registration Required

Wed, Apr 28, 2021

Headshot of Lili Kim

CHI Salon: "In Transit: Gender, Race and Korean Migration to Argentina and Remigration to the United States"

In this virtual talk, Lili M. Kim, a CHI Fellow and visiting lecturer in history at Amherst College and associate professor of history and global migrations at Hampshire College, examines the little-known history of Korean migration to Argentina that began in 1965 as a result of the agricultural treaty signed between war-torn South Korea and Argentina, as well as the subsequent remigration of Koreans to the United States in the 1990s. This presentation will focus on reconstructing the history of early settlements of Koreans as agricultural workers in the rural town of Lamarque, Argentina, and how Korean migrants came to dominate the garment industry as laborers and business owners in Buenos Aires. Utilizing both Korean and Spanish sources, Kim explores the centrality of Korean women's gendered labor and the formation of Korean Argentine communities in the face of racial discrimination and economic scapegoating during multiple Argentine economic crises in the context of globalization of labor and migration.

Registration Required

Thu, Apr 29, 2021

Martin Baron sitting at a desk

Politics and Poetry: A Conversation with Former Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron

7:00 pm Virtual

In this conversation, Martin Baron and Ilan Stavans will discuss the ideological polarization of the American media and the sustainability of national and local newspapers in the digital age.

This event is part of the Politics and Poetry: A Point/Counterpoint Series, which examines our current crossroads, both nationally and globally, from the perspective of opinion writers, poets, activists, linguists and historians.

Martin Baron retired in February 2021, after eight years as executive editor of The Washington Post. News staff under his leadership have won 17 Pulitzer Prizes, including 10 at the Post. While he was top editor of The Boston Globe, it won six Pulitzer Prizes, including for its investigation into the Catholic Church’s concealment of clergy sex abuse. That coverage was portrayed in the Academy Award-winning movie Spotlight. The Miami Herald, under his leadership, won the Pulitzer for reporting on the raid to recover Elián González, the Cuban boy at the center of a fierce immigration and custody dispute.

Ilan Stavans is the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities and Latin American and Latino Studies at Amherst and the publisher of Restless Books. His most recent books are The Seventh Heaven: Travels Through Jewish Latin America (2019), How Yiddish Changed America and How America Changed Yiddish (2020) and Selected Translations: Poems 2000-2021 (2021). He is the recipient of numerous international awards and honors, and his work has been translated into 20 languages and adapted into film, radio, TV and theater.

Registration Required
Headshot of speaker Su Lin Blodgett, smiling

"Towards Building Equitable Language Technologies"

Language technologies are now ubiquitous. Yet the benefits of these technologies do not accrue evenly to all people, and they can be harmful; language technologies reproduce stereotypes, prevent speakers of “nonstandard” language varieties from participating fully in public discourse, and reinscribe historical patterns of linguistic stigmatization and discrimination. In this talk, I (Su Lin Blodgett) will take a tour through the rapidly emerging body of research examining bias and harm in language technologies. I will offer some perspective on the challenges of this work, among them the complex role of language in constructing our social world and the need to study language technologies in their deployed contexts. Along the way, I will highlight how other disciplines, including sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, education, human-computer interaction, and fairness and justice in AI, can provide vital methods and insights towards understanding the social implications of language technologies and building more equitable ones.

Registration Required

Fri, Apr 30, 2021

Event poster featuring headshots and information about each of the panelists and the moderator, as well as an illustration, in various shades of orange, of three people standing with their arms across each other's shoulders

"The Afro-Descendant Experience in Latin America and the Caribbean"

12:00 pm - 1:20 pm Held Via Zoom

The Departments of Political Science and Economics at Amherst College, through the generosity of the Robert C. Vogel '60 Fund, present The Annual Vogel Lecture 2021, a panel discussion on "The Afro-Descendant Experience in Latin America and the Caribbean."

Alejandro de la Fuente: Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics; professor of African and African American studies and of history; director of graduate studies; director, Afro-Latin American Research Institute, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Professor de la Fuente is a historian of Latin America and the Caribbean who specializes in the study of comparative slavery and race relations. His works on race, slavery, law, art and Atlantic history have been published in Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, German and French. His latest book is Becoming Free, Becoming Black: Race, Freedom, and Law in Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana (Cambridge University Press, 2020, co-authored with Ariela J. Gross).

Odette Casamayor-Cisneros: associate professor of Latin American and Caribbean cultures at the University of Connecticut-Storrs. She received her Ph.D. in art and literature from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Her book, Utopia, distopía e ingravidez: reconfiguraciones cosmológicas en la narrativa post-soviética cubana (Utopia, Dystopia and Ethical Weightlessness: Cosmological Reconfigurations in Post-Soviet Cuban Fiction), published by Iberoamericana-Vervuert in 2013, examines, through the lens of literary production, the existential void experienced by Cubans after the collapse of the Socialist Bloc in the 1990s.

Peter Wade: professor of social anthropology in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester. He is a British anthropologist who specializes in issues of race and ethnicity in Latin America. He has written numerous books and articles about the social and historical meanings of race, ethnicity and sexuality in the context of Latin America. His Race and Ethnicity in Latin America has been described as an "essential text for students studying the region" and has been published in a second edition. He most recently co-authored Cultures of Anti-Racism in Latin America and the Caribbean (University of London Press, 2019).

Solsiree del Moral: professor of American studies and Black studies at Amherst College. She is a historian of modern Latin America and the Caribbean, with a focus on Puerto Rico, the circum-Caribbean and U.S. colonialism.

Registration in advance is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Zoom Link: https://amherstcollege.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMrf-yqrTMuG9xDLSAHAHU3...

This event is free and open to the public. The mission of the Vogel Lecture is to raise awareness of Latin America's political economy across the Amherst community.

For more information, contact Professor Javier Corrales at jcorrales@amherst.edu.