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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.