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Type of Event

Event Calendar

Today - 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.

Tomorrow - Wed, Sep 18, 2019

flier with photo of Prof. Grunow and a black and white photo of Meiji-era Japan

Ginza Bricktown

4:30 pm Fayerweather Hall, Pruyne Lecture Hall

Guest lecturer Professor Tristan Grunow, visiting associate research scholar in East Asian Studies at Yale, will be hosting 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.

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!

Mon, Sep 23, 2019

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 on 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 BECs.
Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs), in which the material is cold and dense enough such 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 a 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 towards reaching lower temperatures and achieving a BEC of SrF.

Wed, Sep 25, 2019

Nestor Medina lecture

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.

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.

Wed, Oct 2, 2019

Thirii Myint

CHI Salon: Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint Reading

4:30 pm Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint is the author of the lyric novel The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, A Haven, which Jenny Boully called “an amazingly beautiful changeling of a book,” and which won the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. She also wrote the forthcoming family history project Zat Lun, which won the 2018 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize. Her work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, TriQuarterly, and Kenyon Review Online, among others, and has been translated into Burmese and Lithuanian. She is the new visiting writer at Amherst College.

Refreshments and childcare will be provided.

Thu, Oct 3, 2019

Image of Justice Ginsburg sitting in a chair wearing a scarlet robe (court attire).

A Life of Supreme Consequence: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Conversation with President Biddy Martin.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will join Amherst College President Biddy Martin for an onstage conversation in Johnson Chapel on Thursday, October 3 at 5 p.m. This is a ticketed event open to Amherst College students, faculty and staff.

The second woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the first Jewish justice since 1969, Justice Ginsburg is well known for her clear voice in support of the constitutional rights of all members of our society. Her early career as a pathbreaking lawyer in defense of fundamental rights, as well as her nearly forty years as an appellate judge and Supreme Court Justice, have been well-documented in many media, including opera, late-night television, and two feature-length films.

For ticket and additional information please visit the link below.

Tickets Required

Thu, Oct 10, 2019

Headshot of Brett Story

Helene Keyssar Lecture: "Everything Is in Everything: Geography, Documentary and the Political Imagination" with Brett Story

Brett Story is a non-fiction 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, Dr. Story will explore the relationship between research and creative practice, arguing for a non-fiction 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.

Fri, Oct 18, 2019

collage of images from the film Finding KUKAN

Finding KUKAN - Screening and Q&A

A filmmaker turns detective to uncover the forgotten story of Li Ling-Ai, the un-credited female producer of "KUKAN", an Academy Award-winning color documentary about World War II China that has been lost for decades.

In the late 1930s China is in dire straits. The country will collapse under Japan’s military juggernaut if it doesn’t get outside help. Chinese American firebrand Li Ling-Ai jolts Americans into action with a new medium — 16mm Kodachrome color film. She hires photojournalist Rey Scott to travel to China and capture a citizen’s perspective of the war-torn country, including the massive bombing of the wartime capital Chungking (now Chongqing). Their landmark film KUKAN screens for President Roosevelt at the White House, is called “awesome” by the New York Times, and receives one of the first Academy Awards for a feature documentary in 1942. Why have we never heard of Li Ling-Ai? And why have all copies of KUKAN disappeared? Filmmaker Robin Lung goes on a 7-year quest to find the answers.

Filmmaker Robin Lung visits the Pioneer Valley for a screening of her award-winning film, Finding KUKAN, followed by a question & answer session.

Sat, Oct 19, 2019

Paul Lewis, piano

M@A Chamber Series Masterclass with Pianist Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis works with Amherst student pianists. This event is free and open to the public.
Paul Lewis is internationally regarded as one of the leading musicians of his generation. His cycles of core piano works by Beethoven and Schubert have received unanimous critical and public acclaim worldwide, and consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the central European classical repertoire. He returns to Buckley on October 18 at 8 p.m. to perform on the Hamburg Steinway D that he helped select for the Amherst Music Department.

Thu, Oct 24, 2019

Fiction Reading: Nicholas Mancusi '10

Nicholas Mancusi is the author of the new novel "A Philosophy of Ruin", which the New York Times Book Review called “riveting fun to read,” and which Alexander Chee called “An unforgettable debut. Mancusi is a writer to watch.” Mancusi has written about books and culture for the New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Daily Beast, Miami Herald, The Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Newsday, Newsweek, NPR Books, American Arts Quarterly, BOMB magazine, and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn. The event will be followed by refreshments.

Fri, Nov 1, 2019

Vulnerabilities of Data Analysis: From Political Spin to Data Manipulation

"Vulnerabilities of Data Analysis: From Political Spin to Data Manipulation" presented by Scott Alfeld
The Faculty Colloquium Series for 2019-20 presents a lecture titled "Vulnerabilities of Data Analysis: From Political Spin to Data Manipulation" presented by Scott Alfeld, assistant professor of computer science.

https://www.amherst.edu/mm/33214

Learn how to bypass a state-of-the-art security system with sugar cubes and a slingshot. New security vulnerabilities have arisen with the growing use of machine learning in decision-making systems. In this talk I discuss the field of Adversarial Learning — the study of using machine learning techniques when the input data may be corrupted by an attacker. I’ll cover various techniques hackers employ and defenses again them. We'll then get our hands dirty attacking a learner at training time and see what finesse is needed when manipulating even the simplest of learners.

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.

Wed, Nov 6, 2019

Poetry Reading: Erica Dawson

Erica Dawson has expanded the possibilities of what we think poetry can do,” Jericho Brown said of her most recent collection, "When Rap Spoke Straight to God", which won the 2018 Florida Book Awards Gold Medal for Poetry. She is also the author of "The Small Blades Hurt", winner of the 2016 Poets’ Prize, and "Big-Eyed Afraid", winner of the 2006 Anthony Hecht Prize. Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, The Believer, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other journals and anthologies. She directs The University of Tampa’s Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing. The event will be followed by refreshments.

Mon, Nov 11, 2019

yMusic

M@A Parallels Masterclass: yMusic

yMusic’s performers work with Amherst College students on new compositions. Free and open to the public.

Wed, Nov 13, 2019

Joseph O'Neill

CHI Salon: Joseph O'Neill Reading and Book Talk

4:30 am Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

Ploughshares at Emerson College called "Good Trouble", Joseph O’Neill’s new book of short stories, “Funny and fierce. [. . .] An essential book, full of unexpected bursts of meaning and beauty.” O’Neill also wrote the novels "The Breezes", "This Is the Life", and "The Dog, Netherland", which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. He has also written a family history, "Blood-Dark Track". He lives in New York City and teaches at Bard College.

Childcare and refreshments provided.

Fri, Dec 6, 2019

Conservation Coalitions of the Future: From Landscape Approaches to a Pro-Indigenous Environmental State

"Conservation Coalitions of the Future: From Landscape Approaches to a Pro-Indigenous Environmental State" presented by Ashwin Ravikumar

The Faculty Colloquium Series for 2019-20 presents a lecture titled "Conservation Coalitions of the Future: From Landscape Approaches to a Pro-Indigenous Environmental State" presented by Ashwin Ravikumar, assistant professor of environmental science.
https://www.amherst.edu/mm/33214

"In this talk I will present new evidence concerning how ‘quality of life plans,’ tools designed to
improve indigenous people’s well-being while supporting conservation in and around
communities, have delivered on their promises in the Peruvian Amazon. In order to assess this,
I worked with a small team to carry out focus groups and semi-structured interviews with
community members, NGO professionals, and government actors working in the Ampiyacu Apayacu watershed and adjacent protected area in the Peruvian Amazon region of Loreto. Our
results show that while community members view quality-of-life plans in a largely positive light,
they do not generally use them to assert their priorities to outside actors, and see them as
conflated with other conservation and sustainable land use initiatives. I present three major
barriers for communities in using quality-of-life plans in the manner that they were intended.
Despite these issues, community members expressed that after going through the process of
creating quality-of-life plans and other activities related to managing their regional conservation
area, they no longer allow private loggers, miners, fishers, and hunters to enter their territory,
and no longer deal with them commercially. With the available evidence, though, we cannot
causally link quality-of-life plans to these changes.

Taking this analysis a step further, I ask whether quality-of-life plans can serve communities in
leveraging funds from large external conservation programs. Specifically, I examine how the
Peruvian National Forest Conservation Program’s conditional cash transfer initiative has worked
to improve people’s well-being as defined in their quality-of-life plans. I find that the Program
has not supported priorities that were found in quality-of-life plans, and has instead generated
concerning dynamics that may undermine the effectiveness of conservation. I argue that the
Program’s current approach is in fact disrupting the local subsistence economy that ultimately
favors conservation, compromising the long-standing culture of reciprocal labor and noncommodified production systems. It therefore risks undermining the existing tools of political
organizing including quality-of-life Plans. Despite these issues, I suggest some ways forward for
the Program, and argue that State initiatives may still be able to alleviate some of the barriers to
community empowerment through quality-of-life plans."

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.

Wed, Dec 11, 2019

Photograph of Emily Dickinson

CHI Salon: Emily Dickinson's Birthday Party

We are celebrating Emily Dickinson's 189th birthday! Please join us for poetry readings, period music, tapas, wine and birthday cake! Childcare is available.

Fri, Feb 14, 2020

Hyper Education: When Good Grades, Good Schools and Good Behavior are Not Enough

"Hyper Education: When Good Grades, Good Schools and Good Behavior are Not Enough" presented by Pawan Dhingra.

The Faculty Colloquium Series for 2019-20 presents a lecture titled "Hyper Education: When Good Grades, Good Schools, and Good Behavior are Not Enough" presented by Pawan Dhingra, professor of American studies.

https://www.amherst.edu/mm/33214

"A recent truth in middle-class parenting is the over-scheduling of young children in extracurricular activities. Hyper-education refers to a growing trend of young children already performing well in school and yet participating in privatized, extracurricular education. After-school math learning centers and academic competitions (e.g. spelling bees) are two main types. This trend is normally associated with Asian Americans (e.g. “Tiger moms”) but is growing among whites as well. Based on ethnographic research on Asian Americans and others, I explain the motivations of this seemingly foreign practice and demonstrate that it is in line with contemporary education reforms, and as such should be expected to grow. The rise of hyper education has implications for educational inequality."

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.