Event Calendar

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thu, Mar 28, 2019

Five College Faculty Seminar in Digital Humanities: Dr. Amanda Henrichs on "Computational Approaches to Shakespeare's Sonnets"

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm Frost Library, Periodical Reading Room

The Five College Faculty Seminar in Digital Humanities and the Amherst College Library welcome Amanda Henrichs for a talk called "Computational Approaches to Shakespeare's Sonnets."

Henrichs is a postdoctoral fellow in English (next year, visiting assistant professor of English) at Amherst College.

This talk brings together Shakespeare's sonnets and topic modeling (a popular digital humanities process) in order to propose that word clouds are poems. As an author steeped in the humanist educational system of late-16th-century England, Shakespeare relies on the forms of his poetry to perform communicative functions; and in fact, early modern conceptions of shaped language help us understand word clouds. What unites humanist poems and digital humanities word clouds is an abiding concern with form, and particularly form as endowed with social meaning. Taken together, theories of early modern poetic form and modern digital humanities topic modeling practices emphasize that digital humanities products are not transparent keys to the text: they are generative, and are best when read like poems, a shaped remediation of language.

Photo of Michael Warner

"Fake Publics" with Michael Warner

In this talk, Michael Warner will take a long view of media infrastructures as grounds from which to project publics, to ask what might have changed as well as what features of the public sphere might simply be newly exposed.

The current political crisis in the United States revolves around a media crisis: Twitter rivals official communiqués, bots plant invented news stories on social media to swing elections, television networks brand themselves with rival versions of the truth and reporters who document lies are accused of peddling “fake news.” It has become clear in retrospect that the comparatively stable public sphere of the 20th century rested on the gatekeeping function of major newspapers and television news, a function they no longer play. Their model of broadcast-plus-feedback has come to seem archaic. Social media, especially Facebook, have introduced new structuring principles in public discourse, having to do with their own architecture and profit model. The media infrastructure by which publics come into existence has fractured. In other respects, though, the combat of representation has been a condition of the public sphere from its emergence in the early 18th century, the very notion of the public has always been an imaginary, and publics have always been more plural than anyone wanted to admit.

Michael Warner is the Seymour H. Knox Professor of English at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins and taught at Northwestern and Rutgers before going to Yale, where he served as chair of the Department of English. His books include Publics and Counterpublics (2002), The Trouble with Normal (1999) and The Letters of the Republic: Publication and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century America (1990). With Craig Calhoun and Jonathan VanAntwerpen, he has edited Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age (2010). He is also the editor of The Portable Walt Whitman (2003), American Sermons (1999), The English Literatures of America (with Myra Jehlen) and Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory (1993).

A reception will follow. Childcare will be provided.

An abstract image in blue, white and gray

"Dimensionism": Opening Keynote and Reception

Join us for a keynote talk with Vanja Malloy, the Mead Art Museum's curator of American art, as she explains her pioneering research on Dimensionism, an art movement during the early 20th century in which American and European artists responded in their work to the air of excitement from the scientific discoveries happening around them. After the talk, come experience this first-of-its-kind exhibition, Dimensionism: Modern Art in the Age of Einstein, at the opening reception. This program is offered with support from the Arts at Amherst Initiative.

Free and open to all!

Keynote will begin at 5 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium, with reception to follow at the Mead.

Event poster showing an illustration of a human face in profile with the top of the head replaced with a stopwatch

First Lecture in the Forry and Micken Lecture Series on "Philosophy of Time"

Nina Emery from Mount Holyoke College will present the first lecture in the 2018-2019 Forry and Micken Lecture Series on "Philosophy of Time." The title of her lecture is "What Was and What Could Be: What Makes Time Different from Modality." All lectures are free and open to the public. For further information, please contact the philosophy department at (413) 542-5805.

Rabbi Saul Berman

"Protest, Prison and Purim: A Rabbi Remembers 1965 in Selma, Alabama"

Rabbi Saul Berman, a leading Orthodox thinker and teacher, was part of a group of clergy who responded to a plea from Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for clergy to participate in voter registration campaigns and demonstrations in Selma, Ala., in March 1965. Arrested twice, he will share his motivation for that participation, his experiences while incarcerated with other activists and memories of the March from Selma to Montgomery.

Rabbi Berman will be introduced by Norm Jones, Ph.D., Amherst's chief diversity and inclusion officer.

Rabbi Berman was ordained at Yeshiva University, from which he also received his B.A. and his M.H.L. He completed a J.D. in law at New York University and an M.A. in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. Rabbi Berman has served in pulpits in Berkeley, Calif.; Brookline, Mass.; and Manhattan and run Edah, an organization invigorating Modern Orthodox thought and religious life. Currently, Rabbi Berman is professor of Jewish studies at Stern College and the Rotter Fellow in Talmudic Law at Columbia University Law School. Rabbi Berman is a contributor to the Encyclopedia Judaica and is the author of numerous articles published in journals such as Tradition, Judaism, Journal of Jewish Studies and Dinei Yisrael. His book entitled Boundaries of Loyalty: Testimony Against Fellow Jews in Non-Jewish Courts was published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press.

Jazz@Schwemm's featuring the WW Project

The spring edition of Jazz@Schwemm's concludes on Thursday, March 28, at 9 p.m. Help us welcome the WW Project (featuring Bob Weiner, Joe LaCreta, David Picchi and Bruce Diehl) and two student groups: Impressions and Blue Trade.

The pro groups start at 9 p.m., followed by student groups at 10 p.m.

Thanks to Jazz@Amherst, the Office of Student Activities, and Schwemm's.

Ongoing Events

 A print depicting a 4,000x magnification of a microscope photograph

"Between the Imagined and Seen: The Hand-Pulled Prints of Betsey Garand and Microscope Images of Caroline Goutte"

until Aug 30 Frost Library, Mezzanine Gallery (2nd Floor)

Visit the Mezzanine Gallery in Frost Library to view Between the Imagined and Seen: The Hand-Pulled Prints of Betsey Garand and Microscope Images of Caroline Goutte, on exhibit from March 4 to Aug. 30. This exhibition is sponsored by the Arts at Amherst Initiative

Professor Caroline Goutte is chair of the Department of Biology and a member of the Program in Biochemistry and Biophysics at Amherst College. Betsey Garand is senior resident artist in the Department of Art and the History of Art at Amherst College.

A Pressing Conference

Against Doom - an exhibition by artist-in-residence Macon Reed

until Apr 5 Fayerweather Hall, 105 - Eli Marsh Gallery

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, and from noon - 4 p.m. on Sundays. Closed Saturdays. This exhibition will close at noon on Friday, April 5.