Mae Ngai will deliver the 2019-2020 Hugh Hawkins Lecture, "'Mother of Exiles': Refugees in American History and Myth." Ngai is the Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and a professor of history at Columbia University. She is the author of the award-winning book Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America.
Emma Lazarus called America the “mother of exiles” in her poem “The New Colossus,” which graces the Statue of Liberty. This lecture will examine the enduring idea of America as a land of hope and refuge for the persecuted and oppressed. It goes beyond the familiar narratives of the Puritan settlers and the Statue of Liberty to think about how the idea of asylum has historically justified and obscured nation-building and racial agendas. It will compare the politics surrounding Cold War refugees from Europe, Cuba and Asia, and consider the contemporary recasting of Central American asylum seekers as undocumented migrants.
Brett Story is a nonfiction filmmaker and geographer whose work focuses on capitalism, ideology and the production of space. She is the director of the recent feature documentaries The Hottest August (2019) and The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (2016), and is the author of Prison Land: Mapping Carceral Power Across Neoliberal America.
In this talk, Story will explore the relationship between research and creative practice, arguing for a nonfiction cinema that incites the radical imagination. With reference to select scenes from her own documentary films as well as other visual material, Story will discuss geography as a cinematic method, the dynamic between rigorous research and aesthetic form, and the political stakes of trusting one’s audience.
A reception will follow. Childcare will be available in Johnson Chapel.
The Arts at Amherst Initiate invites you to attend our annual Fall Soirée. The Soirée gives faculty and staff members a chance to socialize over drinks and food at the Bailey Brown House. As part of the Soirée, Jenna Riegel (Theater and Dance) and Karen Koehler (Art and the History of Art) will give short presentations on their recent work. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending.
The Arabic Program at Amherst College and the International Prize for Arabic Fiction are proud to present an evening of Arabic literature and music, part of the Second US IPAF book Tour!
The evening features Shahad Al Rawi, author of The Baghdad Clock, the novel shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2018, and Luke Leafgren, professor of Arabic at Harvard University and translator of the novel.
There will be live Arabic music by Layaali Arabic Music Trio, and Middle Eastern refreshments will be served.
This event is free and open to the public, and sponsored by the Five College Arabic Language Initiative, the International Prize for Arabic Fiction and the Tagliabu Fund.
CHI director and music department faculty member Darryl Harper considers this year’s themes of home, belonging and memory through a performance of musical works in tribute to former Amherst faculty members, Amherst alumni and others who have helped to shape the Amherst community through music. Included are works by Andy Jaffe, Horace Boyer, Freddie Bryant and Harper. Performers include Harper (clarinet), David Picchi (bass), Claire Arenius (drums) and Marianne Solivan (voice).
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.