This spring’s COVID Conversations series, featuring alumni experts and friends of the College, was so well received that a second lecture series, Amherst Conversations, launched in July and will continue into the fall. Watch live moderated conversations with audience questions submitted both in advance and in real time. The series features faculty members, alumni, and invited guests. The topics address our current moment, in recognition of the complexity of these times, but also address a wider range of subjects.

Watch video recordings of past Amherst Conversations below.

Upcoming Events

Learning to Jailcare: Anthropology, Medicine, and Reproduction Behind Bars

Part of the Amherst Conversations series

Monday, October 5, 2020
4:30 p.m. EDT

Two portrait photos of women smiling at the camera Women are the fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population in the U.S., despite a numerical narrative that the numbers of incarcerated people are declining—which is only true for men. Most of these women are mothers, and many will enter prison or jail pregnant. What happens at this intersection of mass incarceration and the controlling politics of reproduction, both shaped by racist policies?
Anthropologist, obstetrician-gynecologist, and author of Jailcare: Finding the Safety Net for Women Behind Bars, Carolyn Sufrin '97 talks with her long-time Amherst mentor Deborah Gewertz, G. Henry Whitcomb 1874 Professor of Anthropology, about her path from Gewertz’s seminar room to jail clinic. Read more.


Past Events

Amherst Conversations: Will He Go?

September 10, 2020

Attorney and CNN co-anchor Laura Jarrett ’07 moderates a discussion with Lawrence Douglas, James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought, about his book, Will He Go?: Trump and the Looming Election Meltdown in 2020. Read Bios »

Teaching Through (and About) the Pandemic

August 11, 2020

Professor Austin Sarat discusses remote teaching and what students can expect from their professors this fall at Amherst College. Moderated by Chief Advancement Officer Betsy Cannon Smith ’84. Read Bios »

Attack, Defend, Steal: Student-Led Research Projects in Adversarial Machine Learning

July 28, 2020

Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Scott Alfeld, discusses research on adversarial learning led by his students, including attacks against learning systems, methods of hardening learners against attackers, and stealing data from sequential learners.
Read Bios »

COVID-19, Civil Unrest, and Communitas: Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being in the Summer of 2020

July 22, 2020

A discussion of coping with stress and anxiety through the COVID-19 pandemic with Kimberlyn Leary '82 and Paula Rauch '77. The discussion is moderated by Associate Professor of Psychology Julia D. McQuade. Read Bios »

1619 and the Legacy that Built America: A Conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones

July 9, 2020

Associate Professor Khary Oronde Polk moderates this discussion of the legacy of slavery in our nation’s history and in our understanding of ourselves as a nation with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones.
Read Bios »