This year marks the 100th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s birth. To celebrate that occasion and also President Kennedy’s October 26, 1963 visit to, and speech at, Amherst College, the College will host a forum on “Poetry and Politics.” The forum will trace the thread connecting President Kennedy’s concerns with the College’s current interest in, to use President Martin’s words, setting “an example of community characterized by openness and respect, freedom with responsibility, and politics inflected by poetry.”
President Kennedy used his remarks at the College to honor Robert Frost and to extoll the virtues of the poetic in political life. The President noted that Frost “saw poetry as the means of saving power from itself.” “When power,” President Kennedy continued, “leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.”
Recently, President Martin returned to this theme, saying that a politics inflected by poetry would nurture “a way of approaching things that lets them come in in their strangeness or their otherness and does not rush to grasp things in the terms we have adopted in advance. An approach that lets others live requires…the art of receiving and the lessons of slowness, which foster the ability to see before comprehension.”
Join the Office of Residential Life in an afternoon of leisure reading in Stearns common room every Saturday from 2-4 p.m. Bring a book, a cozy blanket/stuffed animal and reading material. It can be in any form and from any genre. Come make new friends who love to read, de-stress, maybe accomplish your new year reading resolutions and gain all the benefits that come with reading. Coffee, tea and biscuits will be provided.
Throughout the week, we will have lots of art activities to help you destress from finals period. We also have comfy chairs, plenty of outlets, great lighting, and extra tables to give you an inspirational place to work and study.
Closed on Mondays, but open until Midnight on school nights!
What is decolonization? What are its origins and its connection to the histories and memories of a given geographical space? What legacies does decolonial thinking pass on to contemporary thought? And what can we learn about decolonization from comparative contexts?
Friday, October 27 from 4-6 p.m. and Saturday, October 28 from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.