Event Calendar

September 2019

Sun, Sep 1, 2019

Min Jin Lee

2019 DeMott Lecture by Min Jin Lee

The annual DeMott lecture, a welcome address for incoming students, will be given by Min Jin Lee. The DeMott lecture is open to first-year students.
Min Jin Lee is a recipient of fellowships in fiction from the Guggenheim Foundation (2018), the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard (2018-2019) and the New York Foundation for the Arts (2000). Her novel Pachinko (2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, a runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the Medici Book Club Prize and a New York Times 10 Best Books of 2017. A New York Times Bestseller, Pachinko was also a Top 10 Books of the Year for BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the New York Public Library. Pachinko was a selection for “Now Read This,” the joint book club of PBS NewsHour and The New York Times. It was on over 75 best books of the year lists, including NPR, PBS and CNN. Pachinko will be translated into 29 languages. In 2019, Apple ordered to series a television adaptation of Pachinko, and President Barack Obama selected Pachinko for his recommended reading list, calling it, “a powerful story about resilience and compassion.” Lee’s debut novel Free Food for Millionaires (2007) was a Top 10 Books of the Year for The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Air, USA Today and a national bestseller. In 2019, Free Food for Millionaires was a finalist for One Book, One New York, a city-wide reading program. Her writings have appeared in The New Yorker, NPR’s Selected Shorts, One Story, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Times Literary Supplement, TheGuardian, Conde Nast Traveler, The Times of London and Wall Street Journal. She served three consecutive seasons as a Morning Forum columnist of the Chosun Ilbo of South Korea. In 2018, Lee was named as an Adweek Creative 100 for being one of the “10 Writers and Editors Who are Changing the National Conversation” and a Frederick Douglass 200. In 2018, Lee was inducted in the Bronx High School of Science Hall of Fame, and in 2019, she was inducted in the New York Foundation for the Arts Hall of Fame. She received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Monmouth College. She serves as a trustee of PEN America and as a director of the Authors Guild.

The DeMott Lecture was established in 2005 by Alan P. Levenstein ’56 in honor of Benjamin DeMott, a legendary and much-loved member of the Amherst English faculty from 1951 until his retirement in 1990. The DeMott Lecture seeks to expose incoming students to an engagement with the world marked by originality of thought coupled with direct social action, and to inspire intellectual participation in issues of social and economic inequality, racial and gender bias and political activism.

Additional information about Professor Benjamin DeMott and previous DeMott lectures, including last year’s talk by Danielle Allen, is available via the link below.

Music Department Orientation Showcase

Enjoy a showcase of the music department ensembles, preceded by free pizza in the Arms lobby. You'll hear from the Amherst College choral, jazz, and instrumental music programs, and find out how to become a part of the fun. It's a don't-miss if you want to find out how to get involved.

Tue, Sep 3, 2019

THDA logo

Theater & Dance Auditions

7:00 pm Webster Hall, Studio 2 (Room 122)

The Department of Theater and Dance invites any and all students to audition for four upcoming shows. Many roles are available, and no preparation is needed! First-year and Five College students welcome! Just show up either night promptly at 7 p.m.

THE SHOWS:

MEDEA by Euripides / Maki Ybarra-Young’s Senior Project in Acting. Rehearsals begin September 9, Performances October 31-November 2

PEACE IN THE HOME / MacKenzie Kugel’s Senior Project in Writing and Directing. Rehearsals begin in September. Performances November 14-16

LOVE AND INFORMATION by Caryl Churchill / Zach Horwitz’s Senior Project in Directing. A community-based ongoing performance project throughout the fall semester

GOSSAMER / Sophina Flores’ Senior Project in Writing and Directing. Rehearsals beginning in September. Performances February 27-29

Thu, Sep 5, 2019

“From the Archives” Exhibition Opening Reception at Frost Library

Local and international artists explore what it means to be inspired by research and archives. Working with a variety of materials, from institutional collections to the everyday ephemera found in the world around us, these artists recreate, draw inspiration and reinvent as a means to express personal stories and historical interests. The exhibition includes work from Linda Connor, Madeline Conover, Sara K. Lyons, Jen Morris, Tim Pinault, Laura Margaret Ramsey, Naaman Rosen, Annie Sollinger and Sara Smith.

THDA logo

Theater & Dance Auditions

7:00 pm Webster Hall, Studio 2 (Room 122)

The Department of Theater and Dance invites any and all students to audition for four upcoming shows. Many roles are available, and no preparation is needed! First-year and Five College students welcome! Just show up either night promptly at 7 p.m.

THE SHOWS:

MEDEA by Euripides / Maki Ybarra-Young’s Senior Project in Acting. Rehearsals begin September 9, Performances October 31-November 2

PEACE IN THE HOME / MacKenzie Kugel’s Senior Project in Writing and Directing. Rehearsals begin in September. Performances November 14-16

LOVE AND INFORMATION by Caryl Churchill / Zach Horwitz’s Senior Project in Directing. A community-based ongoing performance project throughout the fall semester

GOSSAMER / Sophina Flores’ Senior Project in Writing and Directing. Rehearsals beginning in September. Performances February 27-29

Fri, Sep 6, 2019

Cartoon illustration of five "Superheroes of Summer Research," with a purple Mammoth hot-air balloon in the sky above them

Annual Summer Research Poster Session

Join us for an opportunity to recognize student achievement and experience the state-of-the-art 250,000-square-foot Science Center, which is home to the Departments of Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics and Astronomy, Neuroscience and Psychology. All are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

We will also be hosting presentations from this summer’s Robotics Team and the Book & Plow Farm.

Appetizers and beverages will be available!

Every summer, dozens of Amherst College students engage in research in the physical sciences, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. From laboratories to archives to the field, students can spend six or more weeks extending their classroom research, working on their senior theses or assisting in faculty experiments. The Summer Research Poster Session is an opportunity for student researchers to share works in progress, summer research stories, thesis ideas and experimental results.

Fall Dance Concert poster featuring a photo of a crowd of people dancing

Fall Dance Concert

Join the Department of Theater and Dance as we kick off the new school year with a fall dance concert featuring works by Amherst and Five College faculty members Shakia Johnson, Jake Meginksy, Jenna Riegel and Wendy Woodson, and guest artist Lucille Jun ’08!

Join us for a meet-and-greet with Antonio’s pizza in the Kirby Theater lounge at 7:30 p.m. A dance party for students will immediately follow the concert in Holden Theater with D.J. Jake Meginsky.

Both events are free and open to all. Tickets are not required.

Picture of comedian Caitlin Peluffo leaning into the shot and smiling

AC After Dark Presents: Women in Comedy Festival Featuring Caitlin Peluffo

Join us for the first AC After Dark event of the year this Friday—Women in Comedy Festival featuring hilarious comedian Caitlin Peluffo, who has been featured on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Joining Caitlin is Boston-based Nora Panahi. The show is free to all.

Students Only

Sat, Sep 7, 2019

Amherst Symphony Orchestra “Welcome Back” - Staycation and Pizza Party

All members of the Amherst Symphony Orchestra meet and make music - as small groups and in full ensemble - in their annual (since 2008) Welcome Back Staycation. A chance for all to get re-acquainted, rehearse in preparation for their 2019-2020 season, and have candy and pizza !

Sun, Sep 8, 2019

Secular Chapel

Secular Chapel: What Serena Williams Means to Me

Join us for "Secular Chapel" where we reflect on the human condition. This week we will talk about what Serena Williams means to us. Then we will invite you to reflect on what Serena Williams means to you. Join us for this open, casual, reflective gathering for Amherst College students, faculty and staff. Hosted by Jen Manion, associate professor of history, and Michael Kunichika, associate professor of Russian.

Some sources of information/inspiration for our conversation include the New York Times essay by Claudia Rankine from 2015, “The Meaning of Serena Williams,” and the HBO documentary series “Being Serena.” These are references for people who want to learn more; they are not required.

First Year A Cappella Showcase

Interested in joining an a cappella group? Just want to listen to some beautiful music? Come listen to performances by The DQ, The Sabrinas, Route 9, The Zumbyes, The Bluestockings and Terras Irradient! Auditions for each of the groups will be held this week. Sign-ups for auditions will be posted in the Arms music building after the show.

Amherst College jazz faculty playing instruments on the Buckley stage

Jazz Faculty Concert

The Amherst College jazz faculty welcomes new and returning students with a concert showcasing the depth and richness of jazz at the College. The concert features original compositions and arrangements of jazz standards performed by Claire Arenius (drums), Joe Belmont (guitar), Carl Clements (saxophones, flutes), Geoff Cunningham (trumpet, flugelhorn), Bruce Diehl (saxophones), Ann Maggs (voice), Stephen Page (piano), David Picchi (bass), Jason Robinson (saxophones), David Sporny (trombone) and Bob Weiner (percussion). The performance includes a special guest appearance by Hampshire College Professor Marty Ehrlich (reeds) and the Wistaria String Quartet.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Tue, Sep 10, 2019

Grosvenor House with leaf border

SWAGS Fall Reception

Join the Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies (SWAGS) Department as we kick off an exciting new year.
Connect with colleagues, chat with students about sexuality and gender studies, participate in the student raffle and enjoy some delicious refreshments!

Abstract mixed media work of art, featuring purple, gold, orange, red and green

Panel Discussion and Opening Reception: “Curating the Contemporary”

Tiffany Bradley, founder of Colored Criticism, a company for cultural heritage stories, will moderate a panel of contemporary art curators, featuring David E. Little, the John Wieland 1958 Director and Chief Curator of the Mead; Horace D. Ballard, curator of American art at the Williams College Museum of Art; and Emma Chubb, the Charlotte Feng Ford ’83 Curator of Contemporary Art at the Smith College Museum of Art. An opening reception for the Mead’s new fall exhibitions will follow.
The panel discussion will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium and the opening reception from 6-7 p.m. in the Mead Art Museum.
Both events are free and open to all.

Wed, Sep 11, 2019

Photo of Tiffany Bradley, side by side with logo of Colored Criticism

Grab and Don't Go with Tiffany Bradley

Join Tiffany Bradley for lunch and conversation in the MRC. Bradley is the founder of Colored Criticism, a company for cultural heritage stories. Her focus is on intersectional, interpersonal, and interdisciplinary arts. Bradley’s film work has been shown at Brooklyn Community Foundation and Rush Arts Foundation. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, Colorlines, Racialicious, and the Americans for the Arts blog. Tiffany has worked in audience development at the U.S. Department of Arts & Culture, Race Forward, Americans for the Arts, and Fractured Atlas.

Free and open to Amherst College faculty, staff and students!

Fiction Reading: Min Jin Lee

Min Jin Lee is the author of Pachinko, a four-generation saga of a Korean family that the San Francisco Chronicle called “Beautiful ... an extraordinary epic,” and which President Barack Obama selected for his recommended reading list, calling it, “a powerful story about resilience and compassion.” She is also the author of the prize-winning novel Free Food for Millionaires, and the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships. She is a current writer-in-residence at Amherst College. The event will be followed by refreshments.

Thu, Sep 12, 2019

Image of the Bailey Brown House

New Arts Faculty and Staff Welcome Reception

4:30 pm - 6:30 pm Bailey Brown House

Join the Arts at Amherst Initiative to welcome new arts faculty and staff at the newly renovated Bailey Brown House! The Arts at Amherst Initiative is a collaboration between the Mead Art Museum and the Departments of Art and the History of Art, Music, and Theater and Dance. Enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres and conversation with new and returning colleagues across campus. Please RSVP to arts@amherst.edu if you plan to attend this event!

Registration Required
Event poster showing a stack of gray stones on the rocky shore of a body of water

“The New Mooreans: On Personal and Impersonal Good”

5:00 pm - 6:15 pm Fayerweather Hall, Pruyne Lecture Hall (Room 115)

Professor Nandi Theunissen of the philosophy department at the University of Pittsburgh will present this lecture, which is sponsored by the Philosophy Department and the Joseph Epstein Lecture Fund. For further information, contact the Department of Philosophy at (413) 542-5805.

Fri, Sep 13, 2019

Claire Arenius with her drumsticks

Adjunct Faculty Concert: Claire Arenius and Resonance

Drummer/composer/educator Claire Arenius presents a concert of original and contemporary jazz with her group Resonance. The ensemble features pianist Eugene Uman, bassist Wayne Roberts, flutist and saxophonist Carl Clements, and violinist David Eure. Together they create a blend of spontaneous collective improvisation as well as hard-driving swing and beautiful ballads and Brazilian influences.

Admission is FREE, and no tickets are required.

Sat, Sep 14, 2019

Mr. Gad’s House of Improv Workshops and Auditions

Come workshop and/or audition for Mr. Gad’s (the best AND WORST improv group on campus). No experience necessary! No funniness necessary! Just come!
Workshops on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2 to 4 p.m.
Auditions on Sunday, Sept. 15, 4 to 6 p.m.

Students Only
Photo of Darryl Harper '90 playing clarinet; abstract painting by Naya Gabriel; produce from Book & Plow Farm; and black-and-white print by Kevin Pomerleau

Community Makers' Day

All are invited to a day of art, craft, food and music. Join us as we consider the core elements of art-making, featuring a live jazz performance by Amherst College’s resident faculty string quartet; art-making demonstrations with local artists Naya Gabriel, Kevin Pomerleau and Wouter Schievink; snacks from Book & Plow Farm; and more!

Live demos hourly, with activities and snacks throughout the day

Free and open to all!

Geckos

Biology Departmental Showcase

11:00 am Science Center, 2nd and 3rd floor lounge, B-wing

This Saturday, the biology department will host a Department Showcase. Come by to talk with students doing research in the department, meet faculty, eat some snacks, and learn about the fascinating research happening in the biology department! There will be two sessions, one from 11 a.m. to noon and the other from 3 to 4 p.m. You can find us by the spiral staircase on the 2nd and 3rd floor of B-wing in the Science Center.

Headshot of Hiromi Fukuda

Adjunct Faculty Concert: Brahms and the Schumanns—Pianist Hiromi Fukuda and Friends

Hiromi Fukuda, piano
Emily Taubl, cello
Alex Hurd, baritone

As is well-known, Robert and Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms shared a close musical as well as personal connection. The young Brahms was lauded by Robert as the future of German Romanticism. Brahms looked up to Robert, and Clara critiqued and premiered many of his compositions.

Fukuda and friends present a program that exemplifies the musical synergies among these three giants of High German Romanticism. The program includes a selection of lieder by R. Schumann, C. Schumann’s "Variations on a Theme by R. Schumann," and a Brahms sonata for piano and cello.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Mon, Sep 16, 2019

Untitled, ripped and damaged black-and-white photo from the series "Love Notes," showing shrubbery in a field by the side of a road, under a cloudy sky

“Do Things to Images”: An Exhibition by Odette England

Do Things to Images presents for the first time a selection of photographs from 2014 to 2019 by the artist Odette England. It includes images from her newest series Love Notes.

England’s parents’ former dairy farm, and the archive of snapshots her family made there, serve as raw material for England’s practice. Many of her photographs are unique pieces. By mixing preciousness with low-fi, unrepeatable processes, England highlights the infidelity of memory.

This exhibition includes prints from negatives that England buried and then dug up, and hand-torn paper prints. It features pages ripped from family photo albums, and vintage snapshots that have been hole-punched, among other works. Her need to cut, crop, sand, fold and otherwise manipulate photographs is in contrast to the French meaning of her name, Odette, “Lover of Home.”

Join Odette England for a lecture and the opening of her exhibition on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 4:30 p.m. in Pruyne Lecture Hall, 115 Fayerweather.

Tue, Sep 17, 2019

Event banner with text on a background that looks like a Transgender Pride flag

Five College Queer/Trans/Sexuality Studies Reception

Join faculty, staff and students from Amherst, UMass, Smith, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire to kick off the school year and learn more about the Five College Queer/Trans/Sexuality Studies Certificate. An informal reception will be followed by a panel discussion on "Queer/Trans/Sexuality Studies Now!," featuring faculty from each college. All are welcome. The program is co-chaired by Ren-Yo Hwang, assistant professor of gender studies and critical social thought, Mount Holyoke College; Jina Kim, assistant professor of study of women and gender, Smith College; and Khary Polk, assistant professor of sexuality, women's and gender studies, Amherst College.

Headshot of Simone White

Poetry Reading: Simone White

Simone White is the author of the poetry collections Of Being Dispersed, Unrest and House Envy of All the World, as well as the collaborative poem/painting chapbook Dolly and, most recently, a book of criticism and poems, Dear Angel of Death. White is a Cave Canem Fellow and was selected as a New American Poet for the Poetry Society of America in 2013. Eileen Myles described her poetry as “an ur text of the fourth wave of feminism which we come to realize is ocean and women are now standing on it and amidst this clatter of voices Simone White walks." The event will be followed by refreshments.

Wed, Sep 18, 2019

Abstract print featuring person in yellow in the foreground; person in swimsuit emerging from blue and green in background

Gallery Talk with Galina Mardilovich

What is possible in a print? Join Curator of Russian and European Art Galina Mardilovich for a gallery talk about the various techniques of printmaking in the works on view at the Mead, and the economic, political and artistic forces that made them all possible in their respective times.

Free and open to all!

Event flier with photo of Professor Grunow and a black-and-white photo of Meiji-era Japan

"Ginza Bricktown and the Politics of Urban Space in Early Meiji Tokyo"

4:30 pm Fayerweather Hall, Pruyne Lecture Hall

Guest lecturer Professor Tristan Grunow, visiting associate research scholar in East Asian Studies at Yale, will host a special talk on "Ginza Bricktown and the Politics of Urban Space in Early Meiji Tokyo."

Professor Grunow specializes in modern Japanese history; urban history; colonial urban planning and architecture; environmental and spatial history; imperialism, colonialism and postcolonialism.

All are welcome to attend.

Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble collage, 10 faces

SPECTRUM: Joint Concert Featuring the AC Concert Choir, Elm City Consort and Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble

In their premiere performance, Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble joins the Amherst College Concert Choir and the Elm City Consort in Spectrum, a concert featuring the Schütz Musikalische Exequien as well as works by Bach, Gesualdo, Purcell, Monteverdi, Caroline Shaw, Reena Esmail and Jonathan Woody.

Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble, founded and led by Artistic Director Arianne Abela, consists of professional solo vocal artists, including several Grammy Award- winning singers.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call (413) 542-2484 or visit www.kaleidoscopevocalensemble.com.

DVD Cover: On The Basis Of Sex

On The Basis Of Sex: Outdoor Movie Night Celebrating Ruth Bader Ginsburg

On The Basis Of Sex is the true story of U.S. Supreme Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights and the early cases of a historic career that lead to her nomination and confirmation as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.

Popcorn and other snacks will be provided at this outdoor movie showing, held in anticipation of Justice Ginsburg's visit to campus on October 3.

Thu, Sep 19, 2019

APF logo showing green outlines of the Homestead and The Evergreens houses of the Emily Dickinson Museum

The Seventh Annual Amherst Poetry Festival

The Emily Dickinson Museum presents the seventh annual Amherst Poetry Festival from Sept. 19 to 22. Experience one-of-a-kind programs around downtown Amherst, including workshops, master classes, poetry discussions, and readings from headliners Adrian Matejka, Paige Lewis and Paisley Rekdal. And don’t miss the Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon, an epic one-day reading of all 1,789 of Dickinson’s poems! Visit https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/apf/ for our full schedule of events.

Untitled black-and-white photo from the series "Love Notes," showing shrubbery in a field by the side of a road, under a cloudy sky

Opening Lecture and Reception with Odette England

4:30 pm Fayerweather Hall, 115 - Pruyne Lecture Hall

Join Odette England for a lecture and the opening of her exhibition Do Things to Images, on view in the Eli Marsh Gallery Sept. 16–Oct. 11.

“Law, Infamy and the Time of Sovereignty”

Sherally Munshi, associate professor of law at Georgetown Law, will present a paper. This is the first presentation in a series of seminars that will take place this year on the theme “Law’s Infamy.”
Professor Munshi’s areas of scholarly interests include property law, immigration law, and critical legal theory. Her writings have been published in the Yale Journal of Law & Humanities, the American Journal of Comparative Law, and Harper’s. Forthcoming works by Munshi include: Immigration and the Imperial, in THE OXFORD HANDBOOK ON LAW AND THE HUMANITIES (Simon Stern, Bernadette Meyler & Maksymilian Del Mar eds., Oxford University Press) and Before the Muslim Ban, in DEEPENING DIVIDES: HOW BORDERS AND SOCIAL BOUNDARIES DELINEATE OUR WORLD (Didier Fassin ed.,).
To receive a copy of the paper being presented which will explore the ambivalent status of the 1823 property law case, Johnson v. M’Intosh, please email the LJST department assistant coordinator at mlestes@amherst.edu.

Fri, Sep 20, 2019

Publishing Masterclass with The Common and [PANK]

Hoping to get your creative writing published? Join editors from The Common and [PANK] for a masterclass on publishing. Learn how to find the right publications for your work and prepare a successful submission as part of the 2019 Amherst Poetry Festival. All are welcome!

Professor Maren Buck standing outdoors

Cheminar with Professor Maren Buck, Smith College Department of Chemistry

Professor Maren Buck will be visiting from the Smith College Department of Chemistry.

Seminar Title: "Poly(2-alkenyl azlactone)s: Versatile Polymers for the Synthesis of Multifunctional Gels and Drug Delivery Platforms"

"My research interests fall at the intersection of organic chemistry, polymer chemistry and materials science. We use a polymer bearing reactive, azlactone functional groups to assemble multifunctional hydrogels of interest in the contexts of drug delivery, in vitro cell culture, and tissue engineering and regeneration. We are currently developing both complex 2-D and 3-D hydrogel scaffolds functionalized with a broad range of chemical and biological motifs that can direct the behavior of mammalian cells cultured on these materials. A second major area of research focuses on the use of these azlactone-based polymers as macromolecular drug delivery vehicles. We are fabricating nanoscale polymeric micelles that can be used to deliver chemotherapeutics with control over where and when the drug is released. We are also working in collaboration with Sarah Moore’s lab in engineering to synthesize protein-polymer-drug conjugates that specifically target cancer cells as well as cells at the blood-brain barrier."

Luciana Souza clapping, wearing white, in a hat

M@A Parallels Series Presents Luciana Souza: “The Book of Longing”

The M@A 2019-2020 Series begins with a Parallels Series concert, presenting Luciana Souza: “The Book of Longing,” featuring Chico Pinheiro and Scott Colle. Tickets are required.

Luciana Souza is a Grammy-nominated jazz singer and composer best known for thoughtful takes on her native Brazilian songs. In “The Book of Longing,” she explores saudade, or yearning, through poetry by Leonard Cohen, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Emily Dickinson, and Souza in her own arrangements. She is joined by guitarist Chico Pinheiro and bassist Scott Colley.

“[Luciana Souza is] a New Yorker from Brazil whose singing bridges with breathtaking finesse the not-so- wide gap between Brazilian pop and American jazz. Souza’s voice is low, soft and as agile as an otter in water, and it is a sensual pleasure to hear her sing in Portuguese, that most liquid and supple of languages. How marvelous that a singer unknown to me a month ago should now be one of my favorites!” —The Washington Post

The box office for this performance opens on September 6, 2019. Ticket prices are $18 for the general public, $12 for senior citizens and $10 for students with valid ID. FREE Amherst College student rush tickets are available at the door beginning at 7 PM on the day of the show.

For a complete listing of upcoming Amherst College Department of Music events, please visit us at:
www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/music/events.

Tickets Required

Mon, Sep 23, 2019

Photo of Matthew Dane, wearing a white shirt and smiling

Matthew Dane '93 and Gregory Hayes '73: "Reflections" - Viola d’Amore Recital

Violist Matthew Dane '93 and harpsichordist Gregory Hayes '73 present Reflections, a program showcasing the viola d'amore as an extraordinary instrument to express the diverse music of our time and world. The program includes music by Antonio Vivaldi, Arvo Pärt and Reena Esmail, and features a premiere by Amherst College's Professor Eric Sawyer. The concert is free and open to the public.

Headshot of Juan Castro

“Territory as Home: Maya Resistance Against Extractivism in Guatemala”

Lawyer and scholar Juan Castro will discuss Maya concepts of home, including the deep and complex roots of Mayan conceptualization of place. He will show how this concept of home arises from the longstanding historical and literary traditions of Mayan people and informs ongoing resistance to colonization and extraction. This talk is a vital aspect of the courses that we are teaching, which embed interaction with Indigenous scholars, knowledge keepers and activists. We are especially aware of the crucial relevance of this discussion in light of both global climate change and localized manifestations, including the burning of the forests in Brazil and the continuing dispossession of Mayan and other indigenous people.
Castro can speak directly to the criminalization of Maya authorities defending lands and rivers in Guatemala, including women. In doing so, he analyzes the legal mechanisms by which the state of Guatemala has historically appropriated Maya territories for the profit of extractive industries. He complements this historical approach with insights into the politics of state repression against Indigenous resistance today, which has resulted in the state-orchestrated assassination of leaders like Berta Caceres. Castro argues that “our Maya identity is a political one; we defend our territories, we speak Indigenous languages and understand Maya cosmovision.” A Maya lawyer is a political identity, one that challenges conventional legalities and quietly redefines state authority. His presentation offers a decolonial approach to litigation.
Juan Castro is an indigenous Maya lawyer and scholar in Guatemala. He is the founder and director of the Legal Center for Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala. He is a dynamic member of the Association of Maya Lawyers and Notaries of Guatemala and also teaches law at the Maya University of Guatemala. He has previously worked at the OHCHR in Guatemala. He specializes in Indigenous collective rights and is considered by Maya Indigenous authorities as their representative in state courts. He is currently one of Guatemala’s most prominent lawyers, working on 19 such cases, some very emblematic, like the defense of Maya authorities taken as political prisoners for contesting extractivism in their territories.

Tue, Sep 24, 2019

Thomas Langin, Yale: “Ultracold Molecules: A New Tool for Studying Strongly Interacting Quantum Systems”

Thomas Langin from Yale University will be speaking on Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs).

BECs, in which the material is cold and dense enough that the wavefunctions of the particles overlap (e.g., when the DeBroglie wavelength (λ∝1/√T) equals the interparticle spacing (a∝n^(- 1/3))), are typically created by cooling N≥1000 atoms to T≤100 nK. These systems have many interesting properties, such as superfluidity, easily tunable interactions and phase coherence. However, in most atoms, interactions are limited to short-range van der Waals interactions.

At Yale, we are attempting to create BECs of SrF, a polar molecule which has strong, tunable, long-range dipole-dipole interactions. Molecules also have many easily accessible long-lived rotational states, which make them attractive for quantum information studies. In this talk, I will discuss the techniques we have implemented thus far to cool thousands of SrF molecules to T∼10μK. I will conclude by discussing our progress toward reaching lower temperatures and achieving a BEC of SrF.

RBG outline

RBG: Movie Night Celebrating Ruth Bader Ginsburg

At the age of 85, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a lengthy legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But the unique personal journey of her rise to the nation's highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans – until now. RBG is a revelatory documentary exploring Ginsburg's exceptional life and career from Betsy West and Julie Cohen, and co-produced by Storyville Films and CNN Films.

Snacks will be provided at this indoor documentary showing, held in anticipation of Justice Ginsburg's visit to campus on October 3.

Wed, Sep 25, 2019

Sculpture of arm chair missing one leg and one arm; blue and black circle print on chair back.

Gallery Talk with David E. Little

What is contemporary about contemporary art? Join David Little, the John Wieland 1958 Mead Director and Chief Curator, in a participatory discussion of this question based on close examination of the works on view. Audiences will explore how artists borrow from pop culture, use new materials, and apply new conceptual approaches to addressing pressing issues in art and society.

Free and open to all!

Eric Sawyer playing keyboard amid multicolored lights

CHI Salon: "Unstuck in Time: A Song Album" with Eric Sawyer

Eric Sawyer, of Amherst College’s music faculty, has composed an album of popular songs. Or are they?

Sawyer, the composer of three operas and a range of instrumental and vocal music, introduces and performs this new album that draws on a range of popular forms, raising the questions: What does the classical tradition have to offer popular song, and vice versa? And what, if anything, is the distinction between art song and pop song?

A wine and tapas reception will follow. Childcare will be provided.

Illustration of a heavily tattooed man sitting next to a mirror in an ornately decorated room

"Culture, Race and Religion: On the Construction of the Logic of Mestizaje in Latin America"

The arrival of Europeans to the Americas brought about a complex process of ethnocultural and racialized intermixture, which has come to be known as mestizaje. This session explores the intersection of racial, cultural and religious markers as contributing factors to the formation of colonial societies. It explores how these three markers helped create and shape the racialized ideology and logic of mestizaje as a divinely inspired foundational mechanism for the whitening of the population of these societies.

Dr. Néstor Medina is a Guatemalan-Canadian Scholar and assistant professor of religious ethics and culture at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto. He received his Ph.D. from University of St. Michael's College, University of Toronto. He was the recipient of a First Book Grant for Minority Scholars (2014) and a Project Grant for Researchers (2018) from the Louisville Institute. He studies the intersection between people’s cultures, histories, ethnoracial relations and forms of knowledge. Among his numerous articles and publications, he is the author of Mestizaje: (Re)Mapping "Race," Culture, and Faith in Latina/o Catholicism (Orbis, 2009), a booklet On the Doctrine of Discovery (CCC, 2017) and his recent Christianity, Empire and the Spirit (Brill 2018).

The public is welcome!

Thu, Sep 26, 2019

"From Spoils to Saviors: Re-valuing the First Roman Wives as Civic Actors in Livy's 'From the Foundation of the City'"

This talk will focus on the episode traditionally known as “the rape of the Sabine women,” in which the first Romans staved off the extinction of their new community and established Rome’s version of marriage, but did so by obtaining their wives through a mass bride abduction. Unlike most of the women who fall victim to violence in Rome’s founding myths, the Sabine women not only survive their assault; by the end of their story, as told by the Roman historian Livy, they’ve won universal respect and recognition for saving both new and old communities, which they risk their own lives to defend.

Movie poster for Paradise Now, featuring the backs of the two protagonists

Arabic Movie Night: "Paradise Now"

6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Science Center, E110 - Lipton Lecture Hall

The Arabic Program at Amherst College Presents Paradise Now, a riveting and timely political thriller in which two childhood friends are recruited for a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. Palestinians Said and Khaled, now in young adulthood, have been lifelong friends living in Nablus in the West Bank.

The screening is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Point/Counterpoint Banner Image

Point/Counterpoint: "The Arc of U.S. History," with Jill Lepore and Ross Douthat, moderated by President Biddy Martin

The Point/Counterpoint conversation series features an Amherst College professor and guests engaging in thoughtful discussion and attempting to bridge the growing ideological divide in our nation.

Join Amherst College President Biddy Martin for a discussion on "The Arc of U.S. History" with Harvard University professor Jill Lepore and New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. A Q&A will follow, with books available for purchase through Amherst Books.

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University. She is also a staff writer at The New Yorker. A prize-winning professor, she teaches classes in evidence, historical methods, humanistic inquiry and American history. Much of her scholarship explores absences and asymmetries in the historical record, with a particular emphasis on the history and technology of evidence. As a wide-ranging and prolific essayist, Lepore writes about American history, law, literature and politics. She is the author of many award-winning books, including the bestselling These Truths: A History of the United States (2018). Her latest book is This America: The Case for the Nation (2019).

Ross Douthat joined The New York Times as an op-ed columnist in April 2009. His column appears every Wednesday and Sunday. Previously, he was a senior editor at The Atlantic and a blogger for theatlantic.com.

He is the author of Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, published in 2012, and Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class (2005), and a co-author, with Reihan Salam, of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream (2008). He is the film critic for National Review.

The Point/Counterpoint series is based on a course of the same name. The course and associated event series received special funding through a generous gift from 36 members of the 50th Reunion Class of 1970.

Fri, Sep 27, 2019

Not of Glass, But of Paper: When Texts Become Lenses (And Why This Matters)

"Not of Glass, But of Paper: When Texts Become Lenses (And Why This Matters)" presented by Sanam Nader-Esfahani.

The Faculty Colloquium Series for 2019-20 presents a lecture titled "Not of Glass, But of Paper: When Texts Become Lenses (And Why This Matters)" presented by Sanam Nader-Esfahani, assistant professor of French.
https://www.amherst.edu/mm/33214

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries mark a pivotal moment in the history of visual theories and technologies. From enhancements in the understanding and craftsmanship of lenses to new conclusions about the location and form of the image inside the eye, from progress in ophthalmology to telescopic discoveries, these developments raised questions about the nature of vision, exposed the vulnerability and limitations of “the most noble sense”, and created a rivalry between the natural organ of sight and the artificial instrument.

This talk analyzes works from the French and Italian traditions in the early modern period in light of the conversations that animated their contemporary scientific debates. Why might an author privilege the lens as a means of representation, be it through an explicit use of the metaphor or more implicitly in the text’s formal components? What does it mean for a text to behave as a lens, and what are the implications of its lenticular nature for the dynamic between vision, knowledge and power?

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. Colleagues interested in joining this endeavor are welcome and should contact us by email: adsarat@amherst.edu . Faculty, staff, and members of the administration are cordially invited to attend these presentations.

Dr. Jacob Olshansky

Chemistry Seminar with Professor Jacob Olshansky

His seminar is titled “Photogenerated Spin Qubits in DNA.”

Sat, Sep 28, 2019

Mark Lane Swanson leaps into the air in front of ASO musicians

ASO Welcomes the Class of ’23: Music of Dmitri Shostakovich

The Amherst Symphony Orchestra (ASO), directed by Mark Lane Swanson, opens its 2019-2020 season of Russian masterworks at its annual concert welcoming the incoming class at Amherst College. Tickets will be available at the door beginning at 7 p.m.

The hour-long concert, devoted to the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, opens with his Festive Overture, a boisterous piece d'occasion composed to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the October Revolution. It also features his powerful and moving Fifth Symphony-- his life-or-death response to Stalin’s scathing critique of his work as “muddle instead of music.” Undoubtedly Shostakovich’s greatest masterpiece, the symphony may appear on the surface to project Soviet triumphalism, but the Russian people could discern its deeper meaning as an indictment of internal repression and Stalin’s inhumane political purges.

For information on ticketing and directions to the concert, please visit https://www.amherstsymphonyorchestra.com/musicians.

Tickets may be purchased only at the door. Prices are $10 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens, students with ID and children under 12; and free to Amherst and all Five College students with ID.

Interested in learning more about this concert?

Join the Center for Russian Culture throughout the 2019-20 season of AMHERST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, “A RUSSIAN FESTIVAL,” for pre-concert round-tables at the Center for Russian Culture featuring scholars of music and Russian cultural history. The first of these, "Shostakovich in Context," takes place Friday, Sept. 27, at 4 p.m., and is presented by Professors Klára Móricz (music) and Boris Wolfson (Russian) in the Amherst Center for Russian Culture (202 Webster Hall, Amherst College) and is FREE and open to the public.

Tickets Required

Sun, Sep 29, 2019

Secular Chapel RBG

Secular Chapel: What RBG Means to Me

Join us for Secular Chapel, A Reflection on the Human Condition. For our second meeting, we will talk about what RBG means to us and invite you to reflect on what RBG means to you. This is an open, casual, reflective gathering for Amherst College students, faculty and staff hosted by Associate Professors Jen Manion and Michael Kunichika. There will be a light reception. See link below for suggested inspiration.

Mon, Sep 30, 2019

“Pursuing a Ghost”: Illustrating the Russian Classics

This exhibition takes as its starting point Oleg Vassiliev’s portfolio of lithographs “The House with a Mezzanine” (1991), which centers around the artist’s conversation across time with Anton Chekhov’s short story. The show examines the complex relationship in Russian culture between art and literature, the dynamic between image and text, and illustration and artistic freedom.