Students Encounter Nature around Amherst

Submitted on Wednesday, 10/30/2013, at 9:58 AM

Encounters with Nature is an Amherst College First-Year seminar taught by Professors Nicola Courtright and Rick Lopez '93 that explores the nature surrounding the college, including the college's Wildlife Sanctuary.

Masters of Disaster: Studying Catastrophe with Douglas and Sarat

Submitted on Thursday, 3/28/2013, at 10:53 AM

by William Sweet

How are we all going to die? There are so many options, changing from week to week: killer tsunamis, mile-wide meteors, avian flu, earthquakes school shootings, and dirty bombs. If you need a little distraction from this gloom, maybe it’s time to take in a movie. The Poseidon Adventure? Armageddon? The Day After Tomorrow? Melancholia? Something with zombies?

Learn It Through the Grapevine

Submitted on Thursday, 2/28/2013, at 12:38 PM

Article by Katherine Duke ’05
Photos by Rob Mattson

Plum. Vanilla. Licorice. Leather. Oak. Old Band-Aid.

These were just a few of the scents that students were challenged to identify at a recent meeting of their seminar on “Wine, History and the Environment.” Working in small groups, the students moved around the Environmental Geology Lab of the Beneski Earth Sciences building and took turns sniffing small vials of the chemical compounds that create these aromas in wine, trying to locate each smell on an aroma wheel. Later, they sipped water subtly flavored with other compounds—as well as some actual 2009 Malbec from Argentina—and attempted to describe the tastes.   

Amherst Class Explores the Theories, Realities of Growing Old

Submitted on Tuesday, 1/8/2013, at 11:13 AM

By Caroline Hanna

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Gigi Green and Kaitlyn McInnis '13 had lunch at Valentine Dining Hall recently.

To see them eating a meal together, you might think Kaitlyn McInnis ’13 and Amherst resident Gigi Green make an odd couple: McInnis is 21 and Green is 88.

But the pair has many things in common. Both women are regular exercisers: Green frequents the Planet Fitness Gym in nearby Hadley and McInnis is a forward on the college’s hockey team. Both enjoy meditating. And both have deep interests in history, particularly World War II.

A Chemical Conviction: Emily Dickinson and Science

Submitted on Monday, 11/19/2012, at 11:45 AM

“Your welcome letter found me all engrossed in the history of Sulphuric Acid!!!!!”

—Emily Dickinson, first-year student at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, writing to her brother Austin, February 17, 1848.

Emily Dickinson, scientist?

Nighmarish Fantasy and Gruesome History: "Witches" Class Examines Folklore and Fact

Submitted on Monday, 11/19/2012, at 11:47 AM

By William Sweet

As Halloween approaches, witches fly through our imaginations, flitting through Western culture on a broomstick ride through children’s stories, TV sitcoms and movies. Witches are older than Christianity and as current as a Broadway musical hit. 

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Submitted on Monday, 11/19/2012, at 11:46 AM

Acting Like Animals

Ethan Clotfelter, associate professor of biology and neuroscience and chair of the Department of Biology, answers questions about his course Biology 281: “Animal Behavior.” He taught the course last semester and will offer it again in Fall 2013.

Interview and photos by Rob Mattson

"The Psychology of Good & Evil"

Submitted on Monday, 11/19/2012, at 11:46 AM

By Katherine Duke ’05

Last year, a 2-year-old in Foshan, China, wandered into the road, where vehicles repeatedly struck her, and for a full 10 minutes thereafter, not one of the many passersby stopped to help the child; she died of her injuries a week later. In Guyana in 1978, hundreds of members of the “Jonestown Cult” fatally poisoned themselves and their children at the urging of leader Jim Jones. In the 1930s and 1940s, more than 23,000 non-Jews in at least 45 countries risked their lives to aid, hide and protect Jewish people, even as the Nazis were committing systematic mass murder.

"Numbers Rule the World"

Submitted on Monday, 11/19/2012, at 11:46 AM

In 2010, Jerome Himmelstein, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Sociology, launched “a numbers course that wasn’t about numbers.” With the Spring 2012 semester coming to a close, he discussed his Mellon Seminar, “Numbers Rule the World.”

Below are edited excerpts from an interview with Katherine Duke ’05.


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Himmelstein%20Interview%20editClick here for an extended audio version.

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Making History Come Alive

Submitted on Saturday, 3/17/2012, at 9:57 AM

March 19, 2012

By Jenny Morgan, staff writer for the Center for Community Engagement; edited by the Public Affairs staff

Like any good history course, “Immigrant City”—which focuses on nearby Holyoke, Mass.—requires its participants to immerse themselves in their research. But this semester, the class is taking this directive to another level: Students are using what they’re learning to create an interactive computer game that allows users to explore simulations of the city throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

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