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Event Calendar

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Sat, Mar 3, 2018

"Emily Dickinson and Her Amherst Literary Milieu: A Walking Tour"

Join us during LitFest on Saturday, March 3, as the Emily Dickinson Museum hosts "Emily Dickinson and Her Literary Milieu," a walking tour offered at 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. The tour is free and open to the public, but participants must sign up at a prior LitFest event.

Registration Required
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 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 to see the LitFest 2018 festival schedule and biographies of each guest.

Book by fire

Leisure Reading Afternoons: Historical in Graphic Novels

Join the offices of First Year Experience and Residential Life in our third installment of Leisure Reading this Saturday, March 3, from 2-4 p.m. in James Common Room. We will be featuring historical graphic novels and giving away three books, "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi, "Maus" by Art Spiegelman, and "Last Day in Vietnam" by Will Eisner, on a first come basis.

Class of 2021, attend 4 of 6 sessions and enter a raffle to win wireless Bluetooth headphones and a Kindle reader! We will have beverages and pastries from Whole Foods. Come with a book in any form, stay as long as you would like, and relax and meet your reading goals.

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.

Event poster featuring illustrations of two human heads facing each other-- one with a brain in the skull and the other with gears

"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 '18 and Oumou Toure '18

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 21st century.

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

Leonard Bernstein Amherst Symphony Orchestra

Amherst Symphony Orchestra and Choral Society Collaboration

The Amherst Symphony Orchestra & Amherst College Choral Society join forces to celebrate the 100th birthday of iconic conductor, composer, educator, pianist and Massachusetts native son, Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). Perhaps more than any other 20th century American composer, Bernstein successfully fused classical, popular and jazz styles, and no work reflects this integration more than the masterful Symphonic Dances from the Broadway musical West Side Story. Mark Lane Swanson, Music Director, conducts.

Dr. Gregory Brown, accomplished composer/conductor and interim director of choral activities at Amherst, guest conducts the ASO and the Choral Society in Bernstein's 1965 Chichester Psalms. The well-known piece offers expressions of faith ranging from boisterous sacred dance to contemplative devotion, all contributing to an overall message of peace and brotherhood. The pairing of Chichester Psalms and West Side Story is a natural one, as some of the rejected material from West Side Story was repurposed and used in Chichester Psalms. The combined choirs of the Amherst College Choral Society will sing as one, massed choir along with countertenor soloist Wee Kiat Chia.

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

For a complete listing of upcoming Amherst College Department of Music events, please visit us at

Tickets Required
"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 or 413-559-5889

Tickets Required
Event Poster

WAMH Presents: Concert at Marsh

Are you interested in spending your Saturday in the company of cool people and great music? Is the Amherst Bubble making you restless? Fear not, comrades!

On Saturday, March 3, three exceptional acts will be taking the stage in Marsh for what promises to be a transformative experience. Come support local music, and find a new favorite band in the process. The festivities will begin at 8 p.m., so be sure to leave time in your schedule!

The bands performing will be:
Spacekase, from Amherst, MA (Lucid Dream Pop)
Strange Fuzz, from Brookline, MA (Indie Garage Punk)
Amateur Radio, from Northampton, MA (Mystery Noise)

Greg Brown, Visiting Lecturer in Music and Director of Choral Music Program Spring Semester

ASO and Choral Society Collaboration: Bernstein

In addition to performing selections from Bernstein's classic West Side Story, the ASO collaborates with the Amherst College Choral Society to perform Chichester Psalms.

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

For further information, please contact the Concert Office at (413) 542-2195 or

Tickets Required

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.

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 to see the LitFest 2018 festival schedule and biographies of each guest.