Event Calendar

Tomorrow - Tue, Jan 22, 2019

Dr. Shakti Butler, Film Director

MLK Symposium Keynote Speaker: Dr. Shakti Butler

Dr. Shakti Butler, film director with World Trust Educational Services, will be speaking on "Irresistible Justice" as part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium. Dr. Butler is the founder and president of World Trust Educational Services. She has produced four documentaries which have become the core of the World Trust's teachings. Dr. Butler's "work incorporates whole-body learning through stories, art, movement and dialogue."

This is the first visit Dr. Butler will make to Amherst College. The second will include a showing of "Healing Justice: Cultivating a World of Belonging" along with workshops for faculty, staff and students. The event is free and open to the public.

Wed, Jan 23, 2019

A map of Europe, with approximate regions superimposed representing the locations of different ancestries

Where Do You Think You’re From?

Do you know about your family’s origins beyond your parents and grandparents? The ancestors of most Americans are immigrants, arriving within the last 400 years and commonly within the last 150 years. In this course you’ll learn how to use census data, archival records and other sources to trace your genealogical past and determine when your family arrived and from where. You’ll also learn how to compile this information into a free software program and share it with others.

Recommended: during the holidays, talk to your parents and other relatives to gather as much name, date and location information as you can before coming to the workshop: relationships, births, marriages, deaths, migration, etc.

Registration Required

Wall Street Journal Wednesdays

Please join Stephanie Hockman, Loeb Center program director for careers in business and finance, for a weekly informal discussion on any of your favorite Wall Street Journal articles. This informal lunch group will meet every Wednesday from noon – 1 p.m. in Terrace Room B on the lower level of Valentine Hall. Grab some lunch and join the discussion!

Thu, Jan 24, 2019

A map of Europe, with approximate regions superimposed representing the locations of different ancestries

Where Do You Think You’re From?

Do you know about your family’s origins beyond your parents and grandparents? The ancestors of most Americans are immigrants, arriving within the last 400 years and commonly within the last 150 years. In this course you’ll learn how to use census data, archival records and other sources to trace your genealogical past and determine when your family arrived and from where. You’ll also learn how to compile this information into a free software program and share it with others.

Recommended: during the holidays, talk to your parents and other relatives to gather as much name, date and location information as you can before coming to the workshop: relationships, births, marriages, deaths, migration, etc.

Registration Required

Employee Council Coffee Hours

Ease into the new year and return from the holidays by enjoying a coffee and muffin with representatives from the Employee Council. Talk to us about your ideas and/or well wishes for Amherst staff, learn about resources, benefits and training or just come socialize with us!

Fri, Jan 25, 2019

Amherst x The Great Midwest Trivia Contest

Tony Bradburn believes that if you were to be on skiis, one lap around this lake would be a SERIOUS work out. Nearby this lake is a historical building within which resides a 10 foot sculpture of a historical Illinoisan politician. In the room with the single twin bed, there is a heart-shaped box on top of a dresser. What is in the box?

Over 50 years ago, Lawrence University’s radio station WLFM-AM started the Great Midwest Trivia Contest, a 50-hour research-based trivia event. If you enjoy answering complicated questions (like the one above) or completing action challenges such as “creating and performing the best love song in under 10 minutes,” sign up to express your interest in participating in the Great Midwest Trivia Contest! Participants compete in teams that will likely be defined by class year. Student Activities and Science Center Programs is teaming up to present this weekend-long event complete with food and fun for participants of the contest. The contest begins at 9 p.m. on Friday, January 25, 2019, and ends on Sunday, January 27, at midnight. (This is the weekend right before second-semester classes begin on January 28.) Contest headquarters will be held in the Living Room of the Science Center.

Fill out this form to keep up -to-date with information regarding this contest: https://goo.gl/forms/MGYKbWqpgKXfZjwH2

For more information on the format and history of the contest: https://blogs.lawrence.edu/trivia/about

Mon, Jan 28, 2019

Yoda at Amherst

Yoda's Table: A Weekly Lunch Conversation with Religious and Spiritual Life

Does everything happen for a reason? Are there invisible forces at work? What does spirituality look like in our fast-paced, tech-driven lives? Come ponder these and other questions at this casual, drop-in time to share lunch and conversation on a topic of spirituality, belief or values. Look for Yoda to find us, and please reach out if you'd like to co-host a conversation!

Wed, Jan 30, 2019

Russian Table

The Russian Table is an opportunity for all interested in conversing in Russian to meet regularly with Russian faculty and students. We'll meet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays on the Mezzanine level in Valentine Dining Hall. Russian speakers at all levels are very welcome!

Wall Street Journal Wednesdays

Please join Stephanie Hockman, Loeb Center program director for careers in business and finance, for a weekly informal discussion on any of your favorite Wall Street Journal articles. This informal lunch group will meet every Wednesday from noon – 1 p.m. in Terrace Room B on the lower level of Valentine Hall. Grab some lunch and join the discussion!

Fri, Feb 1, 2019

Life Stories

Life Stories Lunch with Susan Daniels, Associate in Public Speaking

The Life Stories series provides a forum to foster community through sharing stories of challenge, growth and meaning. At each lunch, a student, faculty or staff member talks about an aspect of their lives that may be meaningful to others, followed by questions and comments. Lunch is provided. Sponsored by Mental Health Promotion and the Wellness Team.

Music Composition Senior Theses: Diego Ramos-Meyer ’19 and Ella Yarmo-Gray ’19

The Amherst College Department of Music presents Garden of Snakes, an original jazz composition thesis by Diego Ramos-Meyer '19, on Friday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m., followed by A Thousand Shapes, an original jazz composition thesis by Ella Yarmo-Gray '19, at 7:45 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. The concert is free and open to the public; seating is by general admission.

Garden of Snakes
Garden of Snakes is a five-piece suite exploring African-American and Latinx jazz music. Born to a Costa Rican father and American mother, Ramos-Meyer grew up listening to music from a wide variety of traditions all over the Americas. This 10-piece ensemble, including flute, violin, trumpet, tenor saxophone, trombone and congas, takes the audience on a journey through modern-day manifestations of traditional Afro-Caribbean rhythms. From Herbie Hancock to Pérez Prado to J Dilla, Garden of Snakes has something to offer everybody.

A Thousand Shapes
Virginia Woolf writes in her novel To the Lighthouse, “Love had a thousand shapes.” In a five-piece suite, Yarmo-Gray explores the ways in which various forms of love can be encapsulated in music, particularly those that are nonromantic. The music is of the modern jazz idiom and is written for a six-piece ensemble that includes Yarmo-Gray on piano, Fumi Tomita on bass, Austin McMahon on drums, Will Fishell '20 on trumpet, Dean Gordon '22 on tenor saxophone and MacKenzie Kugel '20E on violin. This exploration takes the listener through a multitude of their own experiences with love, and introduces the possibility of many more.

Poster for Publik Private: Queer History in Performance

Publik Private: Queer History in Performance

This bilingual work grapples with the past, bearing witness to gender-non-conforming historical figures, La Monja Alferéz and The Publik Universal Friend. Puppetry and poetics lift up the lives of these trans ancestors in an exhilarating conversation honoring their genders and refusing to look away from their transgressions.

Praise for Publik Private:
“The infernal and the saintly collide in a bold intertwining of two adventures too wild to be fictional. Publik Private is a show that smashes the binary in more ways than one: out and passing, chaste and carnal, pacifist and warmonger, hero and villain, thwarted imperialist and well-intentioned gentrifier. With a wry smile, Eppchez dances between the polar opposites of these two trans lives, and joins them together in something tender, irreverent and all too human.” -Mary Tuomanen (Barrymore Award winning playwright)

Sat, Feb 2, 2019

Black-and-white photo of a man playing an electric guitar

Jazz Concert: Michael Musillami Trio + 2

Free of charge and open to the public, the Amherst College Department of Music presents a special jazz concert by the Michael Musillami Trio +2, featuring Musillami (guitar, compositions), Joe Fonda (bass), George Schuller (drums), Kirk Knuffke (cornet) and Jason Robinson (saxophones, alto flute) at 7 p.m. in Room 3 of Arms Music Center. The group will perform new original music from their 2018 release Life Anthem (Playscape), as well as new music for their forthcoming 2019 release Little Ruby Steps.

"Four stars."
--Downbeat Magazine

“[O]ne of the most stimulating contemporary sets I’ve heard in a long time.”
--Nick Jones, Jazz Journal magazine

“Michael Musillami's music is a treasure, and we are fortunate that he came through his recent crisis unscathed.”
--Tim Niland, Jazz and Blues blog

“It's one of the year's best recordings.”
--Jerome Wilson, All About Jazz

About Life Anthem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAM_tBL4Vkg

Michael Musillami's "compositions develop in leisurely style from quiet simplicity to intricate complexity," writes Jack Massarik in Jazzwise, "and the ensemble playing is civilized, sophisticated and clean." The Boston Phoenix's Jon Garelick adds, "Musillami sounds familiar—this is swinging jazz guitar, after all—but not quite like anyone else." Born and raised in California, Musillami studied with renowned guitarist Joe Diorio before moving to the east coast in the early 1980s, working primarily in organ trios led by Richard "Groove" Holmes and Bobby Buster, among others. In addition to paying his dues by sharing the stage with Junior Cook, Dewey Redman and Curtis Fuller, Musillami became part of the circle of musicians connected to the Hillside Club in Waterbury, Conn., throughout the 1980s.

Over his 40-year career, Musillami has led a variety of ensembles, releasing 19 CDs and touring throughout North America, Canada and Europe. Along with his longstanding flagship trio with bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, he has earned critical notice as the leader of groups ranging from duo to octet, featuring such prominent collaborators as Mark Feldman, Cameron Brown, Drew Gress, Michael Sarin and Matt Wilson. In 1999, Musillami founded Playscape Recordings to give himself more control over his recording career and support other musicians. Built around a cadre of frequent collaborators, the label has garnered extensive critical praise and a catalog of more than 70 diverse releases. "Like Blue Note or CTI in their prime," writes Signal to Noise reviewer John Chacona, "Michael Musillami's Playscape label has a signature sound." When not working with his own bands or managing his record label, Musillami also writes for and directs the 28-piece jazz ensemble Right Brain Logic at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. Learn more at www.michaelmusillami.com and www.playscape-recordings.com.

Michael Musillami Trio

"Working on an almost telepathic level," writes Troy Collins, "they have developed an innate familiarity with each other that enables them to second guess abrupt tempo changes and harmonic detours with split-second timing." "Musillami's trio, his alliance with his longtime friends and collaborators, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, is a superb, finely tuned unit, empathetic, swinging and dramatically expressive of emotions sweeping from joy to sadness," says Owen McNally of the Hartford Courant in his recent feature article. "More impressive than longevity, however, is the trio's remarkably tight, cohesive unity. Nurtured by Musillami's celebratory music, the band functions as a musical family, a democratic clan in which everyone expresses himself." Critics have called the group's music "truly original" (Michael G. Nastos, AllMusic.com), "challenging and adventurous" (Bill Beuttler, Boston Globe), "scintillating and provocative" (Bill Milkowski, The Absolute Sound) and "honest, frequently surprising and consistently exciting" (Ron Wynn, JazzTimes). "Working on an almost telepathic level," adds Cadence reviewer Troy Collins, "they have developed an innate familiarity with each other that enables them to second guess abrupt tempo changes and harmonic detours with split second timing. Although the trio certainly doesn't need any help navigating Musillami's compelling tunes, they are occasionally joined by a few guest soloists, always to remarkable effect."

Joe Fonda is a composer, bassist, recording artist, interdisciplinary performer, producer and educator. An accomplished international jazz artist, Fonda has performed with his own ensembles throughout the United States, Canada , Europe and Asia. He has collaborated and performed with such artists as Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp, Ken McIntyre, Lou Donaldson, Bill and Kenny Barron, Leo Smith, Perry Robinson, Dave Douglas, Curtis Fuller, Bill Dixon, Han Bennink, Bobby Naughton, Xu Fengia, Randy Weston, Gebhard Ullmann, Carla Bley, Carlo Zingaro, Barry Altschul and Billy Bang.

A native of New York City, drummer and composer George Schuller moved to Boston in 1967, where he was raised and educated, and later received a bachelor's degree in jazz performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in 1982. For the next 12 years, Schuller was a fixture on the Boston area jazz scene, performing with Herb Pomeroy, Jaki Byard, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Mick Goodrick, John Lockwood, Ran Blake, Lisa Thorson, Billy Pierce, Bruce Gertz, Mili Bermejo, John LaPorta, Dominique Eade and Hal Crook. Schuller presently resides in Brooklyn and freelances in the New York City area, performing with Ballin' The Jack, Michael Musillami, Burton Greene, Armen Donelian, Morena/Fonda Trio, Seunghee Han, Whirrr! (Music of Jimmy Giuffre), Russ Johnson's Out To Lunch (Music of Eric Dolphy), Yard Byard (Music of Jaki Byard) and Conference Call, in addition to leading his own groups Circle Wide and George Schuller Trio.

Cornetist and composer Kirk Knuffke is the winner of Downbeat Magazine's "Rising Star" critics poll for 2015. A recipient of the Jerome Foundation composers grant, Kirk has released 15 recordings as a leader or co-leader. "One of modern jazz's most skilled navigators of the divide between inside and outside, freedom and swing," he has "full command of his most demanding instrument" – All About Jazz. Kirk placed in the top five in the world in the El Intruso critics poll and was one of six nominees for Trumpeter of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. Knuffke has been based in New York City since 2005. Shortly after his arrival, Knuffke began playing with Butch Morris. Their friendship resulted in four recordings and several European tours. Kirk joined the celebrated Matt Wilson Quartet in 2009, recording "Gathering Call" (Palmetto) featuring John Medeski and touring each year. 2016 brought Matt Wilson's "Beginning of a memory" Palmetto, which received five stars in Downbeat. Michael Formanek's "The Distance" ECM was also awarded 5 stars this year. Knuffke also plays in "Sifter" with Mary Halvorson and Wilson, Ideal Bread, Allison Miller's "Boom Tic Boom," Todd Sickafoose's "Tiny Resistors" and groups led by Ray Anderson, Uri Caine, Mark Helias, Bill Goodwin, Karl Berger and Ted Brown, to name a few. "Arm and Hands," a recent release, garnered praise from every major jazz publication. The Following CDs Little Cross (Steeplechase Records) and Lamplighter (Fresh Sound Records) have also received much praise. Kirk has had feature articles in Downbeat Magazine, Jazz Times, Germany's Sonic and Denmark's JazzSpecial, among others.

The music of American saxophonist and scholar Jason Robinson ("rugged and scintillating," New York Times) thrives in the fertile overlaps between improvisation and composition, acoustic music and electronics, tradition and experimentalism. Initially a devotee of post-1960s jazz and creative music, Robinson is celebrated for bringing together various historical directions in jazz-- bebop, post-bop, the avant-garde --with an improvisatory and compositional sensibility drawn from and extending the languages of John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Lester Young. His musical interests, however, span far and wide. He is a critically acclaimed distinctive voice in a new generation of creative musicians in equal dialogue with jazz, popular music, experimental music and electronic music. Robinson's primary group is his New York-based Janus Ensemble, which ranges in size from a quintet with reedist Marty Ehrlich, guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Drew Gress and drummer George Schuller, to the full nine-piece version of the group with the addition of reedist JD Parran, trombonist and tubist Bill Lowe, tubist Marcus Rojas, and drummer Ches Smith. The group's latest release is Tiresian Symmetry (Cuneiform, 2012).

Mon, Feb 4, 2019

Chinese Language Table

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Valentine Dining Hall, Small Conference Room, 1st Floor

Bring your lunch from Val and practice your Chinese. The Chinese language table will meet this semester every Monday, Tuesday and Friday from noon - 1 p.m.

Yoda at Amherst

Yoda's Table: A Weekly Lunch Conversation with Religious and Spiritual Life

Does everything happen for a reason? Are there invisible forces at work? What does spirituality look like in our fast-paced, tech-driven lives? Come ponder these and other questions at this casual, drop-in time to share lunch and conversation on a topic of spirituality, belief or values. Look for Yoda to find us, and please reach out if you'd like to co-host a conversation!

Tue, Feb 5, 2019

Chinese Language Table

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Valentine Dining Hall, Small Conference Room, 1st Floor

Bring your lunch from Val and practice your Chinese. The Chinese language table will meet this semester every Monday, Tuesday and Friday from noon - 1 p.m.

Junior Political Science Majors Thesis Informational Session

Professor Javier Corrales will be holding an informational session for junior political science majors who are interested in writing a senior thesis.

Wed, Feb 6, 2019

Russian Table

The Russian Table is an opportunity for all interested in conversing in Russian to meet regularly with Russian faculty and students. We'll meet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays on the Mezzanine level in Valentine Dining Hall. Russian speakers at all levels are very welcome!

Wall Street Journal Wednesdays

Please join Stephanie Hockman, Loeb Center program director for careers in business and finance, for a weekly informal discussion on any of your favorite Wall Street Journal articles. This informal lunch group will meet every Wednesday from noon – 1 p.m. in Terrace Room B on the lower level of Valentine Hall. Grab some lunch and join the discussion!

Phillip B. Williams

Poetry Reading: Phillip B. Williams

Phillip B. Williams is a poet who “sings for the vanished, for the haunted, for the tortured, for the lost, for the place on the horizon where the little boat of the human body disappears in a wingdom of unending grace” (The Best American Poetry). Williams is the author of the chapbooks Bruised Gospels and Burn, as well as the collection Thief in the Interior, winner of a number of awards, including the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a 2017 Lambda Literary Award. Williams is a Cave Canem graduate and the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry. He is the recipient of a Whiting Award and teaches at Bennington College.

This reading is free and open to the public and will be followed by refreshments.

Thu, Feb 7, 2019

close-up photo of John Kasich with flag in background

Talk by Governor John Kasich

John Kasich served as the 69th governor of Ohio from 2011 to 2019 and was a Republican presidential contender in 2000 and 2016. As governor, his priorities included restoring fiscal stability to Ohio, driving economic growth and job creation, modernizing infrastructure, developing a model to fight drug abuse and addiction and seeking bipartisan solutions on key national issues such as health care.

Prior to serving as Ohio’s governor, he was a member of Congress for 18 years, where he served as chairman of the House Budget Committee and worked to balance the federal budget. Kasich also served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

He left Congress in 2001 and served as a managing director of Lehman Brothers, as well as a commentator for FOX News and a presidential fellow at The Ohio State University, from which he graduated in 1974 with a degree in political science.

He is the author of four New York Times best-selling books: Courage is Contagious; Stand for Something: The Battle for America’s Soul; Every Other Monday; and, in 2017, Two Paths: America Divided or United.

The talk is free and open to the public. Amherst students, faculty and staff will receive priority seating. Tickets are required for admission.

Tickets Required

Fri, Feb 8, 2019

Olufemi Vaughan Photo

"Sharia Politics, Common Law, and Transition to Civil Democratic Government in Nigeria" presented by Olufemi Vaughan

The Faculty Colloquium Series for 2018-19 presents a lecture titled "Sharia Politics, Common Law, and Transition to Civil Democratic Government in Nigeria" presented by Olufemi Vaughan, professor of black studies.

Chinese Language Table

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Valentine Dining Hall, Small Conference Room, 1st Floor

Bring your lunch from Val and practice your Chinese. The Chinese language table will meet this semester every Monday, Tuesday and Friday from noon - 1 p.m.

Ongoing Events

RAD Self-Defense Classes

RAD Self-Defense Classes

This is a program of realistic self-defense tactics, concepts, and techniques. It is a comprehensive course open to folks who self-identify as trans or cis women, and/or as nonbinary. It begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing to the basics of hands-on defense training. Available to all faculty, staff and students. Email RAD@Amherst.edu

Next Gen Leadership Institute

Next Gen Leadership Institute

Coordinated by the Loeb Center & Office of Campus Diversity & Student Leadership, the Next Gen Leadership Institute is an interterm program designed for first-generation and/or low-income students to cultivate and highlight existing social and cultural capital in their personal and professional lives. We hope to create an affirming space where students can acquire and integrate transferable skills that prepare them for their future and create a culture of peer support and knowledge-sharing.

Students Only
Registration Required