Event Calendar

Tomorrow - Fri, Feb 23, 2018

Event poster featuring a muscular African dancer wearing a loincloth and body paint, in front of a colorful patterned background

African American Dance Symposium: Master Dance Class: WA Sabar with Andara Koumba and Obara Wali Rahman

Andara Koumba Rahman and Obara Wali Rahman are esteemed cultural elders, co-artistic directors of Cumbé: Center for African and Diaspora Dance in New York, and former co-directors of the popular dance company Sabar Ak Ru Afriq Dance Theater. Ms. Rahman is an authority on West African and Caribbean dance and performance techniques. Mr. Rahman is a master drummer and teacher, poet and choreographer specializing in the music and dance of the SeneGambia and old Mali empire. Together they lead The Drumsong African Ballet Theatre, which performs and presents African folkloric dance, music, drama, poetry and connections to African-American and world cultures.

This event is part of African American Dance: Form, Function and Style!, which kicks off mid-February and culminates on April 13-14. Organized by Ninoska M’bewe Escobar, Consortium for Faculty Diversity Scholar in Theater and Dance at Amherst College, the symposium will offer an exciting array of activities from February to April, including a special evening performance on Friday, April 13.

Sponsored by the Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance, Five College Dance Department, Arts at Amherst Initiative, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Center for Community Engagement and African and Caribbean Students Union

LOL.G.B.T. Standup Comedy Show!

LOL.G.B.T. Comedy is a college touring stand up show that features professional queer performers. The show tackles issues of sexuality, gender, feminism, sexism, masculinity and other social issues in the most accessible way: through humor. Both educational and hilarious, the show leaves audiences thoroughly entertained and looking at the world a little differently. This show will feature Ashley Gavin and Kate Sisk '14, as well as current students Long You '18 and Lauren Weiss '18.

Sat, Feb 24, 2018

B.A.A.M. (Black Arts at Amherst Matter) Exhibition

B.A.A.M. (Black Arts at Amherst Matter) Exhibition

Join the MRC as we conclude Black History Month with B.A.A.M. (Black Arts at Amherst Matter), an art exhibition highlighting those in Amherst’s Black community carving out a place for themselves in the arts, imprinting their vision and defining their own history at Amherst.

The exhibition opens at 5 p.m., with live performances starting at 6 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.

The Amherst College Jazz Ensemble and the Mark Zaleski Band: McBride Commission Concert

Amherst College Jazz Ensemble and the Mark Zaleski Band present music of Thad Jones, Lennie Niehaus and Matt Harris and the world premiere of “Orchids,” by Omar Thomas, as part of the McBride ’59 Jazz Commission Series.

Buckley Recital Hall is in the Arms Music Building. The concert is free and open to the public. We will be collecting donations for Puerto Rico hurricane relief.

Mon, Feb 26, 2018

amie & reggie

Boundaries Between Bodies Workshop

Boundaries Between Bodies brings artists Reggie Daniels and Amie Dowling to facilitate workshops and present projects that are striving to begin a collective process of political struggle where inside and outside artists are working side by side for a transformation that addresses the legacies of racism, segregation, disenfranchisement and mass incarceration.

This workshop is designed for people who are curious about community-engaged performance practices and how those practices can address critical systemic issues facing our communities. For over a decade, facilitators Reggie Daniels and Amie Dowling have collaborated on performance and film projects focusing on the eradication of mass incarceration.

The workshop will consider questions such as: What can artists offer to combat today’s climate of injustice? How does deficit thinking shape projects, and what can be done about it? How can performance projects build beneficial community relationships?

The workshop is free for Five College students. Wear clothing you can move in, bring a notebook and something to write with!

Tue, Feb 27, 2018

Black Panther Discussion with the MRC

Black Panther Discussion

Join the MRC and Residential Life for lunch and a discussion of "Black Panther."

Lunch at 11:30 - 1 in the Friedmann Room.
For accessibility/accommodations contact mrc@amherst.edu or call (413) 542-5372.

A woman standing in front of dryers full of laundry with her eyes closed and arms crossed

The Washing Society

Filmmaker Lynne Sachs and playwright Lizzie Olesker will be present for a discussion following a screening of their new award-winning film The Washing Society (2018, 44 mins).

When you drop off a bag of dirty laundry, who’s doing the washing and folding? The Washing Society brings us into New York City laundromats and the experiences of the people who work there. A collaboration between filmmaker Lynne Sachs and playwright Lizzie Olesker, the film observes the disappearing public space of the neighborhood laundromat and the continual, intimate labor that happens there. The Washing Society combines interviews and observational moments, re-enactment and choreography to produce a stark yet poetic vision of underpaid work, immigration and the sheer math of doing laundry. Inspired by To ’Joy My Freedom, author Tera Hunter’s depiction of the 1881 organization of African-American laundresses in Atlanta, the filmmakers interweave dirt, skin, lint, stains, money and time into the fabric of their film to create a dreamlike yet hyper-real portrayal of a day in the life of a laundry worker, both past and present.

Wed, Feb 28, 2018

"Heirloom" by Barbie Diewald. Photo by Jim Coleman

Five College Faculty Dance: Collective Tissue

8:00 pm Music and Dance Building, Hampshire College, Main Studio Theater

Five College Faculty Dance: Collective Tissue

The Five College Dance Department, in collaboration with the Hampshire College Dance Program, presents an evening of dance featuring contributions from faculty across all five campuses, including works by Deborah Goffe, assistant professor at Hampshire College, Barbie Diewald, visiting artist at Mount Holyoke College, Dante Brown, visiting assistant professor at Amherst College and Marilyn Sylla, Five College Lecturer in Dance. The evening will also feature a duet by improvisation masters Angie Hauser and Chris Aiken, associate professors at Smith College, and a video installation from Rodger Blum, professor at Smith College. In the theater lobby, Mount Holyoke College Professor Jim Coleman’s dance photography will be on display.

$10 General Admission/$5 Students and Seniors
To reserve tickets, contact HampDanceReservations@gmail.com or 413-559-5889

Tickets Required

Thu, Mar 1, 2018

LitFest logo with yellow and white text on purple background that says "LitFest 2018 illuminating great writing and Amherst College's literary life"

LitFest 2018: Illuminating Great Writing and Amherst College's Literary Life

Now in its third year, Amherst’s annual literary festival celebrates the College’s extraordinary literary life by bringing to campus distinguished authors and editors to share and discuss the pleasures and challenges of verbal expression—from fiction and nonfiction to poetry and spoken-word performance.

This year’s festival features Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz, 2017 National Book Award finalists Carmen Maria Machado and Min Jin Lee, 2017 National Book Award winner and Amherst professor Masha Gessen, and acclaimed Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, among others. All events are free and open to the public, no tickets required.

Visit www.amherst.edu/go/litfest to see the LitFest 2018 festival schedule and biographies of each guest.

Srinivas Reddy & Nitin Mitta

Srinivas Reddy and Nitin Mitta Live at the Mead!

Join us for a closer look at New Publics: Art for a Modern India, 1960s–90s. Yael Rice, exhibition curator and Amherst College assistant professor of the History of Art and Asian languages and Civilizations, will lead a gallery talk on this exhibition. Srinivas Reddy and Nitin Mitta will join us for tabla and sitar performances following the talk.

This program is free and open to all!

Portrait of Carmen Maria Machado

A Conversation with National Book Award Finalists Carmen Maria Machado and Min Jin Lee

As part of Amherst College LitFest 2018, New York Times book critic Parul Sehgal hosts a conversation with 2017 National Book Award finalists Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties) and Min Jin Lee (Pachinko).

This event is part of the National Book Awards on Campus program, hosted in partnership with The Common and the National Book Foundation. It will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. It is free and open to the public.

*Please note: The venue for this event is Johnson Chapel, which seats 600 people. We recommend arriving early to get a seat. In the event that the venue is full, we will provide seating and a video feed (for on-campus visitors only) in Stirn Auditorium.

Visit www.amherst.edu/go/litfest to see the LitFest 2018 festival schedule and biographies of each guest.

Uncanny

Uncanny Valley

8:00 pm Webster Hall, Studio 3 (Room G9)

Senior Honors Thesis in Directing by Denison Marsland-Rello '18.

Written by Thomas Gibbons
Set Design by Sylvia Hickman '16, Costume Design by Joanna Booth '19, Lighting Design by Kathy Couch
Starring: Michaela Ednie and Oumou Toure

Drawing on current research in artificial intelligence and robotics, Uncanny Valley charts the relationship between Claire, a neuroscientist, and Julian, a non-biological human. As Julian is “born” a few body parts at a time over the course of the play, Claire teaches him how to be as human as possible: mirroring people’s speech, engaging in small-talk, playing a musical instrument. Their deepening friendship and Julian’s growing “humanity” lead to the revelations of an unhealed sorrow in Claire’s personal life and, ultimately, the purpose for which Julian has been created. Uncanny Valley explores the painful divide between creator and creation, the inherent unpredictability of consciousness, and how we are redefining what it means to be human in the twenty-first century.

Tickets are free and open to the Amherst community. Reservations recommended: (413) 542-2277.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

This Time Tomorrow: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

8:00 pm Pratt, O'Connor Common

A staged reading of acclaimed Kenyan writer and activist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s play. Performed by Five College students, directed by award-winning playwright Kim Euell from the Department of Theater at UMass.

"Heirloom" by Barbie Diewald. Photo by Jim Coleman

Five College Faculty Dance: Collective Tissue

8:00 pm Music and Dance Building, Hampshire College, Main Studio Theater

Five College Faculty Dance: Collective Tissue

The Five College Dance Department, in collaboration with the Hampshire College Dance Program, presents an evening of dance featuring contributions from faculty across all five campuses, including works by Deborah Goffe, assistant professor at Hampshire College, Barbie Diewald, visiting artist at Mount Holyoke College, Dante Brown, visiting assistant professor at Amherst College and Marilyn Sylla, Five College Lecturer in Dance. The evening will also feature a duet by improvisation masters Angie Hauser and Chris Aiken, associate professors at Smith College, and a video installation from Rodger Blum, professor at Smith College. In the theater lobby, Mount Holyoke College Professor Jim Coleman’s dance photography will be on display.

$10 General Admission/$5 Students and Seniors
To reserve tickets, contact HampDanceReservations@gmail.com or 413-559-5889

Tickets Required

The Onus with special guest Todd Marcus at Amherst College

9:00 pm Marsh House, Marsh House 81

"The Onus" with Darryl Harper (clarinet/leader), Matthew Parrish (bass), and Harry "Butch" Reed (drums) and special guest Todd Marcus, will perform a concert as part of their residency at Amherst College. The ensemble has been together for over 20 years and has garnered best album of the year recognition for two releases. Their 2012 album, The Edenfred Files (Hipnotic), was featured on National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross. The band will be joined by award-winning bass clarinetist/composer Todd Marcus.

Part of the Embodied Knowledge Colloquium led by Harper and visual artist Sonya Clark.

Last year's poetry slam winners with host Daniel Gallant

Poetry Slam by Amherst Students

As part of Amherst College LitFest 2018, Daniel Gallant, a playwright and executive director of New York’s famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe, hosts a poetry slam for Amherst College students.

All students are invited to attend. Keep an eye out for sign-up information.

Visit www.amherst.edu/go/litfest to see the LitFest 2018 festival schedule and biographies of each guest.

Fri, Mar 2, 2018

Portrait of Parul Sehgal

Tell Us What You Think with Parul Sehgal & Christopher Benfey

11:00 am - 12:00 pm Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

As part of Amherst College LitFest 2018, Professor and award-winning author Judith Frank hosts a conversation, “Tell Us What You Think: The Pleasures and Perils of Writing about Books,” with Parul Sehgal, New York Times book critic, and Christopher Benfey, author, journalist and professor of English at Mount Holyoke College.

This event is free, open to the public and will be followed by Q&A. Light lunch served.

Visit www.amherst.edu/go/litfest to see the LitFest 2018 festival schedule and biographies of each guest.

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o: The River Between African And European Languages

Film screening and Q&A with Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o and director and documentary biographer David Ndirangu Wachanga.

Portrait of Junot Díaz

An Evening with Junot Díaz

As part of Amherst College LitFest 2018, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz will give a reading followed by a conversation with Jennifer Acker '00, editor-in-chief of The Common literary magazine.

This event will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. It is free and open to the public.

*Please note: The venue for this event is Johnson Chapel, which seats 600 people. We recommend arriving early to get a seat. In the event that the venue is full, we will provide seating and a video feed (for on-campus visitors only) in Stirn Auditorium.

Visit www.amherst.edu/go/litfest to see the LitFest 2018 festival schedule and biographies of each guest.

Uncanny

Uncanny Valley

8:00 pm Webster Hall, Studio 3 (Room G9)

Senior Honors Thesis in Directing by Denison Marsland-Rello '18.

Written by Thomas Gibbons
Set Design by Sylvia Hickman '16, Costume Design by Joanna Booth '19, Lighting Design by Kathy Couch
Starring: Michaela Ednie and Oumou Toure

Drawing on current research in artificial intelligence and robotics, Uncanny Valley charts the relationship between Claire, a neuroscientist, and Julian, a non-biological human. As Julian is “born” a few body parts at a time over the course of the play, Claire teaches him how to be as human as possible: mirroring people’s speech, engaging in small-talk, playing a musical instrument. Their deepening friendship and Julian’s growing “humanity” lead to the revelations of an unhealed sorrow in Claire’s personal life and, ultimately, the purpose for which Julian has been created. Uncanny Valley explores the painful divide between creator and creation, the inherent unpredictability of consciousness, and how we are redefining what it means to be human in the twenty-first century.

Tickets are free and open to the Amherst community. Reservations recommended: (413) 542-2277.

"Heirloom" by Barbie Diewald. Photo by Jim Coleman

Five College Faculty Dance: Collective Tissue

8:00 pm Music and Dance Building, Hampshire College, Main Studio Theater

Five College Faculty Dance: Collective Tissue

The Five College Dance Department, in collaboration with the Hampshire College Dance Program, presents an evening of dance featuring contributions from faculty across all five campuses, including works by Deborah Goffe, assistant professor at Hampshire College, Barbie Diewald, visiting artist at Mount Holyoke College, Dante Brown, visiting assistant professor at Amherst College and Marilyn Sylla, Five College Lecturer in Dance. The evening will also feature a duet by improvisation masters Angie Hauser and Chris Aiken, associate professors at Smith College, and a video installation from Rodger Blum, professor at Smith College. In the theater lobby, Mount Holyoke College Professor Jim Coleman’s dance photography will be on display.

$10 General Admission/$5 Students and Seniors
To reserve tickets, contact HampDanceReservations@gmail.com or 413-559-5889

Tickets Required

Sat, Mar 3, 2018

Portrait of Rafael Campo

Poets of Amherst: Readings by Rafael Campo ’87 and Tess Taylor ’99, and a tribute to Richard Wilbur ’42

11:00 am - 12:00 pm Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

As part of LitFest 2018, Assistant Professor of English Amelia Worsley hosts a special event featuring readings by alumni poets Rafael Campo ’87 and Tess Taylor ’99, and a tribute to Richard Wilbur ’42.

This event is free, open to the public and will be followed by Q&A. Light lunch served.

Visit www.amherst.edu/go/litfest to see the LitFest 2018 festival schedule and biographies of each guest.

Portrait of Masha Gessen

Writing in America: Siblings Masha Gessen and Keith Gessen on their literary lives and work

As part of LitFest 2018, Cullen Murphy ’74, Vanity Fair editor-at-large and chair of the College's Board of Trustees, hosts a conversation with 2017 National Book Award winner and Amherst professor Masha Gessen and her brother, Keith Gessen, author and co-founder of n+1 literary magazine.

This event will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. It is free and open to the public.

*Please note: The venue for this event is Johnson Chapel, which seats 600 people. We recommend arriving early to get a seat. In the event that the venue is full, we will provide seating and a live video feed (for on-campus visitors only) in Stirn Auditorium.

Visit www.amherst.edu/go/litfest to see the LitFest 2018 festival schedule and biographies of each guest.

Ngugi wa Thiongo

Ngũgĩ@80: This Time Tomorrow, with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

As part of Amherst College LitFest 2018, acclaimed Kenyan author NgũgĩwaThiong’o will give a reading followed by a conversation with award-winning author and current Amherst College Visiting Writer Peter Kimani.

This event will be followed by a Q&A. It is free and open to the public.

Ongoing Events

Adventures in Photography Exhibition

During January interterm nine students from Amherst, UMass, Smith, and Mount Holyoke participated in “Adventures in Photography,” an interterm course taught by Joshua Baum and Takudzwa Tapfuma. Over the five-day course, students learned fundamental techniques of digital photography: manual exposure, composition, lighting, and post-production. The class ventured into the field for hands-on excursions to the New England Peace Pagoda, Montague Bookmill and downtown Northampton. The images in this exhibit are a selection of work created during the class.

Thank you to the Department of Art and the History of Art, and the Center for Community Engagement for sponsoring the course, and to Valentine Dining Hall for hosting this exhibition.