Event Calendar

February 2019

Fri, Feb 1, 2019

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.

Publik Private performance photo with both puppets

"Publik Private: Queer History in Performance"

This bilingual work grapples with the past, bearing witness to gender-nonconforming 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

Auditions: Matthew Holliday '19 Senior Dance Project

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Webster Hall, Studio 1 (Room 117)

Using a fusion of modern contemporary, Afro-Caribbean, African and hip-hop styles, the project hopes to explore resistance in diaspora dance as a means of collective healing and self-actualization. Rehearsals begin the week of February 7, with performances on April 11 - 13. Contact Matthew Holliday for more information at mholliday19@amherst.edu.

Black-and-white image of the Michael Musillami Trio +2 playing instruments

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

Studio Art Faculty Exhibition

until Mar 1 Fayerweather Hall, 105 - Eli Marsh Gallery

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, and noon - 4 p.m. on Sundays. Closed Saturdays. This exhibition will close at noon on Friday, March 1.

White flowers labeled with "male" and "female" symbols

Biology Monday Seminar: "Insights in Sex Chromosome Evolution from Genetic Mapping"

"Insights in Sex Chromosome Evolution from Genetic Mapping" is presented by Paris Veltsos, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology at Indiana University.

"I am interested in the evolutionary forces that shape sex chromosomes, such as sexual selection, and their implications to reproductive isolation. I have worked on a variety of organisms (grasshoppers, Drosophila, frogs, plants) and used theoretical models, field and lab populations (including experimental evolution) to investigate these questions. My main project at Indiana University is testing the prediction that sexually antagonistic traits (those that are beneficial for one sex but deleterious for the other) are enriched on the pseudoautosomal region of the sex chromosomes. We are performing a QTL study on >30 traits, some of which are sexually antagonistic, using a cross between plant populations (S. latifolia) that are adapted to different environments. The associated genetic map also allows us to directly identify locations of the genome that are potentially sexually antagonistic by being associated with sex more often than chance."

Disciplining the Problematic Genre: Buddhist Regulations of Theater in Late Imperial China

Mengxiao Wang of Yale University will give a talk titled "Disciplining the Problematic Genre:
Buddhist Regulations of Theater in Late Imperial China."

Existing scholarship on religion and theater in China has regarded religious drama as a medium for transmitting doctrines and spreading cults. Scholars have largely neglected the tensions between the Buddhist value of asceticism and the function of theater as entertainment. These tensions created a dilemma for Buddhist playwrights engaging in both religious and literary practices. This talk examines the strategies adopted by Chinese Buddhist playwrights to reconcile this dilemma through converting the theatrical genre into a sacred medium.

Summary by Mengxiao Wang:
I chose Guiyuan jing (歸元鏡, Mirror of the Return to the Origin)—the only extant play composed by a Buddhist monk, Zhida (智達, circa 1650), in Chinese history—as a case study. Zhida presented his play as a scripture-like text and stipulated a ritualized manner of performing and watching it. His ambition to transform his dramatic work into a sacred text has been realized on the page and defeated on the stage in the historical reception of Guiyuan jing. On the one hand, the text was published and circulated in a similar manner as Buddhist scriptures within a monastic network from the seventeenth century to today. On the other hand, performance adaptations of Guiyuan jing at the Qing royal palace and modern commercial theater diverged from the author’s aesthetic preferences by using lavish stage props to create spectacles.

A comparative reading of multiple editions illuminates how texts and paratexts construct a discursive space for the playwright, readers, publishers and actors to communicate their interpretations of the interplay between Buddhism and theater. This interdisciplinary study proposes a new way of reading drama—not just as a transparent medium for religious teachings, but as a source of anxiety for monastic playwrights and a problematic genre that both invited and challenged Buddhist regulations in late imperial China.

Tue, Feb 5, 2019

this is a photo of Jackson Katz.  He is a white man with a shirt few day growth beard, with brown hair with grey.  he is staring at the camera, wearing a serious expression. he is wearing a black shirt and the background is blurry.

Jackson Katz presents "Men and #MeToo"

Please join us for a Keynote address from Jackson Katz, a noted educator, author, filmmaker and cultural critic. Dr Katz will provide insight on this timely topic and share ways men can be proactive in their efforts to support gender equality, as well as ways to rise up against sexism on the individual and institutional levels.

For accessibility concerns, please contact Amanda Collings Vann.

Jackson Katz, Ph.D. is an American educator, author, filmmaker and cultural theorist who is internationally renowned for his pioneering work in gender violence prevention education and critical media literacy. In 1993 he co-founded the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program at Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. The mixed-gender, multiracial MVP program is one of the most widely implemented and influential sexual and relationship abuse prevention programs in schools, colleges, sports culture and the military in North America and beyond. MVP introduced the “bystander” approach to the gender violence prevention field; Katz is one of the key architects of this now broadly popular approach. In 1997 Katz created and directed the first worldwide gender violence prevention program in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. He and his colleagues have been centrally involved in the development and implementation of system-wide bystander intervention training in the U.S. Air Force and Navy. MVP has also worked with the U.S. Army on bases in the U.S. and in Iraq. Katz’s award-winning educational videos ("Tough Guise" and "Tough Guise 2"), his featured appearances in films ("Wrestling With Manhood" and "Spin The Bottle") and his thousands of lectures in North America and overseas have brought his insights into issues of gender and violence to millions of college and high school students as well as professionals in education, human services, public health and law enforcement. His TED talk “Violence Against Women is a Men’s Issue" has been viewed more than 2 million times. He is the author of The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help, and Leading Men: Presidential Campaigns and the Politics of Manhood. He is the founder and director of MVP Strategies, which provides gender violence prevention training to institutions in the public and private sectors. Katz speaks extensively in the U.S. and around the world on topics related to violence, media and multiracial, multinational masculinities. Katz has a BA in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, a Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. in cultural studies and education from UCLA.

Wed, Feb 6, 2019

"This Bystander with Cold, Clear Eyes: Meta-Theater in 'The Peach Blossom Fan'"

Allison Bernard of Columbia University will give a talk titled "This Bystander with Cold, Clear Eyes: Meta-Theater in The Peach Blossom Fan."

Summary by Allison Bernard: This talk addresses the uses of meta-theater in The Peach Blossom Fan (Taohua shan), a historical drama completed in 1699 by the Chinese playwright Kong Shangren. I argue that meta-theater—how the play calls attention to itself as a work of theater—becomes a way for The Peach Blossom Fan to critique the historical and dramatic contexts out of which it arises. Historically, the play uses meta-theatrical techniques to evaluate the problems of China’s turbulent 17th century, which, for many period writers, felt unmoored and even a bit surreal. Dramatically, the play uses meta-theater to question and complicate standard generic conventions, such as the classification of characters by “role-type” and the expected happy ending. In this talk, I focus on one case study that unites these historical and dramatic aspects of The Peach Blossom Fan’s meta-theatrical method: the stage character of Ruan Dacheng, a 17th-century politician who was also a popular playwright.

Closeup photo of 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

Event banner featuring cover of "Spaniards in Mauthausen" book

"Footnotes: Reflections on the Research Process" with Professor Sara Brenneis

Join us for a conversation with Associate Professor of Spanish Sara Brenneis about her new book, Spaniards in Mauthausen: Representations of a Nazi Concentration Camp, 1940-2015. In this book, Brenneis provides a historical, critical and chronological analysis of a virtually unknown body of work by examining narratives about Spanish Mauthausen victims over the past 70 years. Leah Kim '19 will interview Professor Brenneis about the project and her approaches to the research process. Coffee & tea will be provided.

"Hawks, Doves and Arms Control": Talk by Sarah Kreps

The Department of Political Science, along with funding from the Stanton Foundation, welcomes Sarah Kreps to present "Hawks, Doves and Arms Control."

Does it really take a Nixon to go to China, as pundits often claim? Does it take a Trump to get Russia to reduce their production of nuclear weapons? Sarah Kreps will explore these timely questions. Challenging common wisdom, Kreps will discuss when and why leaders with a reputation for preferring peace to war (so called “dovish leaders”) can overcome disadvantages at the negotiating table.

Sarah Kreps is a professor of government and adjunct professor of law at Cornell University. In
2017-2018, she was an adjunct scholar at the Modern War Institute at West Point. She is also a Faculty
Fellow in the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity at the Cornell Tech Campus in New York
City. Kreps is the author of four books, including, most recently, Taxing Wars: The American Way
of War Finance and the Decline of Democracy

This event is free and open to the public.

Opening Reception with Studio Art Faculty

4:30 pm Fayerweather Hall, Eli Marsh Gallery
Event poster featuring a headshot of Tara Zahra and a black-and-white historical photo

The 2018-2019 Hugh Hawkins Lecture: "Against the World: Deglobalization in Interwar Europe"

4:30 pm Beneski Earth Sciences Building, 107 (Paino Lecture Hall)

Tara Zahra, the Homer J. Livingston Professor of History at the University of Chicago, speaks on the transnational history of modern Europe. In 1914, the First World War ushered in a quarter century of anti-global retrenchment in Europe. Why did so many Europeans reject globalization after the First World War? What relationship did these anti-global movements have to the rise of radical political movements on the far right and left? And to what extent do the anti-global politics of interwar Europe resemble those of our own time? This lecture is free and open to the public.

Closeup photo of John Kasich with U.S. and Ohio state flags 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

French Film Screening: "Persepolis" (2007)

8:00 pm - 10:00 pm King Hall, French House Common Room

"Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

"Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love."

Fri, Feb 8, 2019

2019 English Capstone Symposium

9:00 am - 5:00 pm Center for Humanistic Inquiry

Join us for the third annual senior English major capstone symposium. In a series of concurrent panels, senior English majors will present critical or creative work from a 400-level seminar or their thesis project. Panels will take place in the CHI Think Tank and Seminar Room spaces. Follow the link below to view the full schedule. All are welcome to attend!

"Historical Foundations of Radical Islamist Doctrine in Northern 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.

Faculty Teaching Workshop

Do you teach at one of the Five Colleges? Join us to learn more about how to make the most of the Mead’s collection of more than 19,000 artworks and cultural objects in the classroom. Kindly RSVP to meadartmuseum@amherst.edu by Friday, February 1, 2019, so we can prepare accordingly. Space is limited.

Free and open to Five College faculty.

Cheminar - Professor Meg Stratton; UMass Amherst - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Innovation Fellow.

Seminar Title: "The structural mechanism of CaMKII regulation: from fertilization to encoding long-term memory."

Abstract: Ca2+-calmodulin dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a crucial oligomeric enzyme in neuronal and cardiac signaling, fertilization and immunity. Work in the Stratton lab is focused on understanding the role of this fascinating enzyme in different tissues. We have used RNA sequencing to determine which transcripts are present and we are characterizing these different variants in terms of their activation profiles. To facilitate our studies in cells, we have developed a novel, substrate-based, genetically-encoded sensor for CaMKII activity, FRESCA (FRET-based Sensor for CaMKII Activity), which has allowed us to monitor CaMKII activity in live cells under various conditions. We hope that by gaining an understanding of CaMKII in vitro and in cells, we will be able to better understand medical conditions in which it is implicated, such as memory deficiencies and infertility.

Sat, Feb 9, 2019

Students looking at art at the Mead

Close Looks at the Mead

Stop by the Mead to find new connections among works on view with student museum educators. Each week we’ll focus on different themes that bring student interests to the fore. Come back every week for a fresh perspective on the works on view in our galleries. Be sure to check our website and Facebook page for updates on weekly topics. All programs are free and open to the public!

Event poster showing Nardone and Rauschelbach outdoors, in front of a wooden fence and a field

Music Composition Senior Theses: Patrick Rauschelbach ’19 and Katianna Nardone ’19

The Amherst College Department of Music presents original composition theses Nor Any Tide and Snapshots of Summer. Nor Any Tide, by Patrick Rauschelbach '19, begins at 7 p.m., and Snapshots of Summer, by Katianna Nardone '19, begins at 7:45 p.m. The concert is FREE and open to the public; seating is by general admission.
Nor Any Tide parallels the outlook of an increasingly disillusioned people unprepared for the hardships brought about by the First World War. Over 100 years ago, this war carried society into the present era, and many of the concerns faced continue to echo into today. Rauschelbach conveys this period’s voices and their relevant woes for the modern audience. An extended suite comprising movements ranging from blues and R&B to film score and classical, this reflection is written for an ensemble of two dozen, a blend of acoustic and electric sound created from string quartet, bass, brass, guitars, harp, piano, percussion and a chorus.
Nardone presents her composition Snapshots of Summer, a collection of short movements depicting moments in time during the period of its composition. The work, scored for string quartet, upright bass, piano and voice, is primarily classical but includes stylistic elements of jazz as well as two original orchestrated pop songs. It is performed by an all-student ensemble composed of Maya Bulos ’20 and Andrea Boskovic ’21 on violin, Daniel Lee ’22 on viola, Jonah Botvinick-Greenhouse ’21 on cello, Sarah Montoya ’21 on bass, Faith Wen ’20 on piano and vocals by Anna Van Der Linden ’20. By taking the listener through a series of the composer’s memories expressed through music, Snapshots of Summer explores the ways that music can capture and preserve the feeling of a memory.

Sun, Feb 10, 2019

Event poster showing members of Mnozil Brass dressed as old-fashioned circus performers

M@A Chamber Series Presents Mnozil Brass: "Cirque"

This septet from Vienna is probably the strangest brass ensemble you will ever hear. With a musical virtuosity mixed with their own special kind of comedy, they really have to be seen to be believed.

Tickets go on sale two weeks before each performance. Evening box office opens one hour prior to the concert. Free Amherst student rush tickets are available on the night of the performance.

Ticket website: https://amherst.universitytickets.com

Chamber Series:
General public: $28
Senior citizens (65+) and Amherst College employees: $22
Students, with valid ID: $12
Amherst student rush tickets on the night of the performance: FREE

Tickets Required

Mon, Feb 11, 2019

"Karma in Translation: Buddhism, Darwinism and the Rediscovery of Children in Modern China"

Lei Ying, postdoctoral fellow at Fudan University in Shanghai, will give a talk titled "Karma in Translation: Buddhism, Darwinism and the Rediscovery of Children in Modern China."

When Thomas Henry Huxley’s Evolution and Ethics was translated into Chinese at the end of the 19th century, thanks to the ingenious efforts of Yan Fu, it became an immediate hit among Chinese intellectuals who were preoccupied with China’s fate in a colonial world order.

This study traces how evolutionary thinking entered China through Buddhist translingual practice and brought with it unexpected implications, when Huxley’s invocation of the notion of karma stirred the power of darkness in Lu Xun. The leader of “New Literature” who championed the call to “save the children” was torn between a widespread developmentalist faith among his contemporaries and his own deep-rooted fear for karmic inheritance and a spectral past that constantly returns to haunt the present. This study highlights the global circulation of Buddhist ideas as a distinct facet of the modern age. Moreover, in revisiting some of Lu Xun’s best-known and lesser-known works, it celebrates literature as a vehicle for spiritual reflection and pays homage to writing as existential courage.

Tue, Feb 12, 2019

Assistant Professor Jinglei Ping, UMass Amherst: "¬2D-Material Biosensors"

The emerging field of biosensors based on two-dimensional (2D) materials offers a pathway to new opportunities in microbioanalytics, highlighting next-generation tools for point-of-care diagnostic, health care, and environmental monitoring. My talk will focus on the unique transduction properties of 2D materials and the downstream biomolecular-sensor applications with unprecedented high sensitivity and efficiency in power, size and cost. I will discuss the self-transducibility of 2D materials at the interface to biofluids; the methodologies I developed to fabricate, functionalize and implement small-scale (~ ????m) 2D-based biosensing devices; and label-free detection of various biomarkers (nucleic acid oligomers, proteinaceous antigens, opioid-neuropeptides, pH) with high sensitivity, e.g. attomolar for DNA, by using the devices. I will conclude by introducing a handheld multiplexed water-quality monitoring robot enabled by graphene aptasensors.

Wed, Feb 13, 2019

mage: Meme of Leslie Knope from tv sitcom Parks & Recreation. Caption: "Oh, it's only the best day of the year."

Galentine's Day: A Celebration of Friendship

Join us for a waffle breakfast to celebrate platonic friendship and the closing of Fragmented Identities: The Gendered Roles of Women in Art Through the Ages. This program is offered with support from Amherst College’s Human Resources Activities Committee.

Translating Korea to the Chinese Stage: The Politics of Theatrical Adaptation in Tale of Chunxiang

Anne Rebull, postdoctoral fellow, Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigam, will give a talk titled "Translating Korea to the Chinese Stage: The Politics of Theatrical Adaptation in Tale of Chunxiang"
In celebration of the Chinese new year in 1955, two staged excerpts were filmed of the most recent hit— not Beijing opera, and not even a Chinese story, at all. The adaptation of the Korean classic Tale of Ch’unhyang into Shanghai’s favored yueju opera form was the focus of attention, a feat that would have been hard to predict even just five years before. In the backstory of this play’s creation is a complicated knot of politics both domestic and foreign, pitting the shifting fortunes of Beijing opera actors against the rising stars of yueju on the stakes of the spotlight of an international stage. In this talk, I explore what the implications of this shift were for theatrical politics of all kinds, including the delicate balancing act of expressing Koreana on Chinese terms.

Thu, Feb 14, 2019

Russian Film Screening: "I Am Dragon" (ОН-ДРАКОН)

4:30 pm Keefe Campus Center, Theater (Room 008)

The Department of Russian presents I Am Dragon (ОН-ДРАКОН), a 2015 film directed by Indar Dzhendubaev.

Synopsis: During her wedding ceremony, Princess Mira is snatched by a dragon and is carried away to its lair on a remote island where rescue is impossible. The princess is unharmed and has nothing but a stone cage and a mysterious young man named Arman who finds her food and drink but keeps his distance from her. Who is he, and what's he doing on the island? Is he also the dragon's prisoner?

The movie is in Russian with English subtitles and will be screened at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. The runtime is 110 minutes.

Greek Doctors and Money

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Frost Library, CHI Think Tank (2nd Floor)

Nigel Nicholson (Walter Mintz Professor of Classics and Dean of the Faculty, Reed College) will be giving a talk on the the development of medical ethics by looking at ancient (Greek) and modern examples and ideas. Nigel has just completed, with Dr. Nathan Selden of Oregon Health Sciences University, a book for Oxford University Press, The Rhetoric of Medicine: Contemporary Lessons from Ancient Greece. Refreshments will be served. This talk is sponsored by the Ampersand working group, the Department of Classics, the Corliss Lamont Lecture Fund, the Health Professions Committee, and the Center for Humanistic Inquiry.

Fri, Feb 15, 2019

Music Department Tea Time

Music Department Tea Time

Come take a break from your busy week and enjoy tea, coffee, snacks and good company in the Arms Green Room. The music department's tea times are casual get-togethers where you hang out and chat with other musical folks from around campus. Everyone is welcome — students, faculty, staff and visitors. No affiliation with the department is required!

This event follows the "Workshop for Non-Majors and Majors: Research in Music" hosted by Faculty in Music.

WAMH Presents: Carinae, Gabe's Mystery Band, and TWEN

WAMH Presents: Carinae, Gabe's Mystery Band, and TWEN

89.3 WAMH presents three bands, Carinae, Gabe’s Mystery Band, and TWEN, at Marsh House on Friday, February 15 at 8:30 p.m. Ring in the weekend with great music, friends, and your favorite college radio station.

Sat, Feb 16, 2019

Students looking at art at the Mead

Close Looks at the Mead

Stop by the Mead to find new connections among works on view with student museum educators. Each week we’ll focus on different themes that bring student interests to the fore. Come back every week for a fresh perspective on the works on view in our galleries. Be sure to check our website and Facebook page for updates on weekly topics. All programs are free and open to the public!

Mon, Feb 18, 2019


Biology Monday Seminar

Kristen M DeAngelis, PhD
Associate Professor, Microbiology Department
Microbiology Honors Program Director
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Title: Soil Microbes Acclimate to a Warming World
The acceleration of global warming due to terrestrial carbon (C)-cycle feedbacks is likely to be an important, though poorly defined, component of future climate change. Both the sign and magnitude of these feedbacks in the real Earth system are still highly uncertain due to gaps in basic understanding of terrestrial ecosystem processes. This research takes advantage of an ongoing long-term soil warming experiment in which soils at the Harvard Forest LTER in Massachusetts have been heated for 27 years. Our approach includes a combination of soil biochemistry, isotopic labeling, and trait-based modeling methods. By examining this long-term climate warming manipulation, this research targets two of the biggest questions in soil carbon response to climate warming: how will carbon use efficiency and physical protection of carbon alter microbial feedbacks to climate in a warming world?

Making the Compassionate Spectator: Annihilation and Affliction in the Films of Brillante Mendoza

Making the Compassionate Spectator: Annihilation and Affliction in the Films of Brillante Mendoza.
A lecture by award winning film scholar and filmmaker Professor Celine Shimizu on Monday, February 18, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. in Paino Lecture Hall, Beneski.

Wed, Feb 20, 2019

Stephen Vitiello performing at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York. (Photo: Anna Lee Campbell)

Artist Talk with Stephen Vitiello

"Listening, Hearing and the Human" is a course taught by Associate Professor of Music Jeffers Engelhardt and Associate Professor of Music Darryl Harper that asks us to think about listening and hearing as culturally specific practices that are guided by particular histories, identities, technologies and other factors. All are invited to a talk by sound artist Stephen Vitiello, followed by a discussion led by Professors Engelhardt and Harper. This program is made possible with support from Amherst College Departments of Anthropology and Sociology and Music as well as Arts at Amherst.

This event is free and open to all.

Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr.: "Interrogation of Excellence in the Black Experience"

Join Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr./Black History Month Symposium Keynote, "Interrogation of Excellence in the Black Experience."

Glaude is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University, columnist for Time magazine, and a regular contributor to MSNBC. In one of his most notable books, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, he takes a wide look at black communities and reveals complexities, vulnerabilities and opportunities for hope.

There will be a reception at 5:15 p.m., followed by the keynote at 6:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall, Amherst College. The event is free and open to the public.

Thu, Feb 21, 2019

A picture of Nate Chinen

"Change of the Guard": A Talk by Jazz Critic Nate Chinen

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

The story of jazz has often been upheld in terms of cultural triumph, as a transcendent response to African-American struggle. Jazz is also presented as a story of succession, a chain of creative genius passing from one "Great Man" to the next. These are persuasive frameworks that define the artform by a canon and a fixed set of values, inscribing a kind of perimeter.

In this multimedia presentation, which draws from the first chapter of Playing Changes: Jazz For the New Century (Pantheon, 2018), Chinen will address the rise of a conservation agenda in the jazz culture of the 1970s and '80s, and the stubbornly powerful trope of a jazz messiah, which now exists in a different form.

Nate Chinen was born in Honolulu, to a musical family: he grew up around the local Musicians Union, as his parents were popular nightclub entertainers. He began writing about jazz in 1996 for the Philadelphia City Paper, and has now authored content for several national music publications, including DownBeat, Blender and Vibe. Chinen spent about 12 years working as a jazz and pop critic for The New York Times and wrote monthly columns for JazzTimes. He is a 10-time winner of the Helen Dance-Robert Palmer Award for Excellence in Writing, presented by the Jazz Journalists Association. The same organization presented him with its award for Best Book About Jazz, for his work on Myself Among Others, the autobiography of impresario George Wein. Chinen is currently working as director of editorial content at WBGO, while still closely engaging with programs like Jazz Night in America, The Checkout and a range of jazz programming on NPR.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Music, the Corliss Lamont Lectureship for a Peaceful World and the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series at Amherst. This event is free and open to the public.

For more music department events, see our department calendar at https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/music/events.

Photo by Michael Lionstar

TRUTH: Amherst College's Speaking Competition 2019

TRUTH. Arrive curious. Leave inspired.
On Thursday, Feb. 21, support student speakers by attending TRUTH: Amherst College’s Speaking Competition. Ten students have written persuasive speeches about this year’s theme, “Truth,” and will speak compellingly about what matters to them. Speaking prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event.

"The Bible: Bane and Blessing"

Phyllis Trible earned a Ph.D. in 1963 from Union Seminary, Columbia University, with an emphasis in Old Testament. By the time she earned her Ph.D., there were regularly 300+ women enrolled at Union Seminary—but women were still not correspondingly visible in the faculty. Trible taught at Wake Forest University and Andover-Newton Theological School before being appointed professor of Old Testament at Union, and later became the first woman to hold the post of Baldwin Professor of Sacred Literature. Trible has become a leading authority on what is now known as feminist interpretation of biblical texts, as well as literary and rhetorical methods of biblical criticism. She is an internationally known lecturer, and also has served as President of the Society of Biblical Literature. Professor Trible left Union to pursue a deanship at the new Wake Forest School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, N.C. She is the author of what are considered to be two of the groundbreaking works in feminist biblical scholarship: God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality and Texts of Terror. She also contributed Jonah to the New Interpreters' Bible Commentary Series; appeared on television as part of Bill Moyers' PBS special Genesis; and has written numerous articles, book reviews and columns for various publications.

Book Discussion with Author Dr. Tom Wickman: "Snowshoe Country"

Dr. Tom Wickman, associate professor of history and American studies at Trinity College, will discuss his new book, titled Snowshoe Country: An Environmental and Cultural History of Winter in the Early American Northeast, on Thursday, Feb. 29, at 5 p.m. in Paino Lecture Hall (Beneski 107).

Camille Brown performance

Five College Dance: "SPRING"

Five College Dance, in collaboration with the Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance, presents SPRING, an evening of dance featuring contributions from faculty, guest artists and dancers across all five campuses, including Camille A. Brown’s New Second Line, Five College Dance’s 2018-19 guest artist repertory project, made possible with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This dance is a celebration of the spirit and culture of the people of New Orleans.

The concert also features Picture This, a new work by critically acclaimed choreographer David Dorfman. Picture This is a kinetic, visual, musical and textual homage to the next generation of dance citizens-- a brief look at what makes these fine performers both joyous and angry in regard to love and politics.

Dances by Danté Brown (visiting assistant professor, Amherst College), Lailye Weidman (visiting assistant professor, Hampshire College) and Barbie Diewald (visiting artist, Mount Holyoke College), as well as a lobby installation by Rodger Blum (professor, Smith College), complete the program.

Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended: (413) 542-2277 or fcddance.reservations@gmail.com

French Film: "Les Petits Mouchoirs" (2010)

"Every year, Max, a successful restaurant owner, and Véro, his eco-friendly wife, invite a merry group of friends to their beautiful beach house to celebrate Antoine's birthday and kick-start the vacation. But, this year, before they all leave Paris, their buddy Ludo is hurt in a serious accident, which sets off a dramatic chain of reactions and emotional responses. The eagerly anticipated vacation leads each of the protagonists to raise the little veils that for years they have draped over what bothers and upsets them. Pretenses become increasingly hard to keep up. Until the moment when the truth finally catches up with them all..."

Fri, Feb 22, 2019

"Stalin: Waiting for Hitler": Talk by Stephen Kotkin

"Stalin: Waiting for Hitler" is a talk by Stephen Kotkin, who is the John P. Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is also a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He directs Princeton's Institute for International and Regional Studies and co-directs its Program in the History and Practice of Diplomacy. His books include Uncivil Society, Armageddon Averted and Magnetic Mountain. Kotkin was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928.

The talk is sponsored by the Amherst Center for Russian Culture and the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series at Amherst College. This event is free and open to the public.

Cheminar - Senior Major Student Talks

Jayne Vogelzang and Kevin Wang will each speak about a recent journal article of interest.

Congolese basket with lid made by the Kongo people, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire).

"On Appreciating and Understanding African Art" with Nichole Bridges '97 and Rowland Abiodun

Nichole Bridges, class of 1997, is the associate curator for African art and the associate curator overseeing the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Saint Louis Art Museum. All are invited to a conversation with Bridges and Rowland Abiodun, the John C. Newton Professor of the History of Art and Black Studies at Amherst College.

Free and open to all!

Lama Rod Owens standing with arms crossed in front of a brick wall

"Fierce Love": Lama Rod Owens

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Science Center, Lipton Lecture Hall

Stevie Wonder once sang, “Love’s in need of love today.” His words couldn’t be more true as we face a global community struggling with war, poverty, illness, climate instability, and the rise of political authorities and governments who do not seem to be grounded in compassion or kindness. We speak about love and attempt to practice love, but some of us are losing faith in the transformative power of the wish for ourselves and others to be happy. Our practice of love is in need of our renewed faith in love. In this talk, we will be exploring the question of how practicing love can become a strategy that resists and undoes our experiences, fear, apathy and numbness as we attempt to live and love in a challenging world.

Lama Rod is a formally trained Buddhist teacher working to be as open, honest and vulnerable as possible and to help others do the same. Because on the other side is liberation.

This event is open to the public and is generously sponsored by the Amherst College Department of Religion, Amherst College Religious & Spiritual Life, Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley and the Willis D. Wood Fund.

"The Timbre of Trash": Talk and Performance by Joe Cantrell

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Frost Library, Center for Humanistic Inquiry

Talk and Performance

"The Timbre of Trash: Anthropomorphic models to Resist Obsolescence in Technological Sound Practices"

"Electronic sound artists and musicians, in their choice of the tools of their craft, have a close, working relationship with a specific form of mass-produced commodity, that of technological audio devices. Like other manufactured goods, they originate from a global production system that is historically exploitative and environmentally unsustainable. The nature of electronic and digital technology, however, warrants an additional layer of scrutiny: they are beholden to the expectations of continuous technological improvement and obsolescence.

"To counter these continuing tendencies, I offer a reading of new materialist theory with an eye toward how it may be specifically applied to electronic and digital musicians. New materialism projects a monistic perception of the world, in which the differentiation between humans, non-humans and objects is called into question. Applied to technological audio devices, porous boundaries allow a vision of audio technology that is inclusive of all the bodies with which it has come in contact, and urges a limited sense of anthropomorphic identification with its users. This sense of interaction is extended into the realm of audio feedback, in which all audio processors, regardless of their intended functionality, contribute to a common sonic end. Seen in this way, sound technology that was once subject to the whims of constant development, becomes imbued with a personal sense of vitality, making it more difficult to be perceived as a disposable and obsolete."

Joe Cantrell is an artist specializing in sound art, installations, compositions and performances inspired by the implications of technological objects and practices. His work examines the incessant acceleration of technological production, its ownership and the waste it produces. Joe holds a B.F.A. in music technology from CalArts, an M.F.A. in digital arts and new media from UC Santa Cruz, and a Ph.D. in music at UC San Diego. His work has been honored with grants from the Creative Capital Foundation, New Music USA and the Qualcomm Institute Initiative for Digital Exploration of Arts and Sciences, among others.

HLW Poster, image description: sepia photo of two people looking at each other, background in different blues, with text in yellow, blues and red orange.

HLW: Tell em how you survived

An open space for expression, articulation, resistance and gathering that centers healing, affirmation, resilience, and magnificence of/found in our complicated interwoven selves, this space aims to center all folks who hold marginalized identities. All forms of performance/art/expression welcomed.

Sign-up ahead of time is strongly encouraged. To do so, please contact Jxhn T. Martin, at jsmartin@amherst.edu with a brief description or draft of what you intend to perform or submit by the end of the day on Thursday, February 21. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out.

Camille Brown performance

Five College Dance: "SPRING"

Five College Dance, in collaboration with the Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance, presents SPRING, an evening of dance featuring contributions from faculty, guest artists and dancers across all five campuses, including Camille A. Brown’s New Second Line, Five College Dance’s 2018-19 guest artist repertory project, made possible with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This dance is a celebration of the spirit and culture of the people of New Orleans.

The concert also features Picture This, a new work by critically acclaimed choreographer David Dorfman. Picture This is a kinetic, visual, musical and textual homage to the next generation of dance citizens-- a brief look at what makes these fine performers both joyous and angry in regard to love and politics.

Dances by Danté Brown (visiting assistant professor, Amherst College), Lailye Weidman (visiting assistant professor, Hampshire College) and Barbie Diewald (visiting artist, Mount Holyoke College), as well as a lobby installation by Rodger Blum (professor, Smith College), complete the program.

Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended: (413) 542-2277 or fcddance.reservations@gmail.com

Colorful poster showing eight musicians standing in a row

M@A Parallels Series Presents Nicole Mitchell: “Mandorla Awakening II”

With her Black Earth Ensemble, Mitchell uses science fiction to address the question: “What would a world look like that is truly egalitarian, with advanced technology that is in tune with nature?”

Tickets are required and are available at amherst.universitytickets.com or the Concert Office at (413) 542-2195.

Single ticket prices:
General Public: $18
Senior Citizens (65+) and Amherst College Employees: $12
Students, with valid ID: $10
AC student rush one hour before each concert: FREE

Recorded in May 2015 at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Mandorla features Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble with new collaborators Tatsu Aoki (bass, shamisen, taiko) and Kojiro Umezaki (shakuhachi). Also in the mix is Chicago artist, scholar and poet Avery R. Young, who brings the composers’ lyrics to life with visceral humanity; and longtime collaborators Tomeka Reid (cello, banjo), Alex Wing (electric guitar, out, theremin), Mazz Swift (violin) and Jovia Armstrong (percussion).

Mandorla Awakening II explores what Mitchell describes as a “collision of duality,” urban vs. country, hegemonic vs. vulnerable, acoustic vs. electric, with the dialogue of contrasting musical languages: Japanese, African-American gospel, R&B, jazz. The work chronicles the journey of a couple as they find themselves navigating between two civilizations: the World Union, a crumbling society rampant with disease and inequality, and Mandorla, a utopia where spirituality, technology and nature coexist harmoniously. Mandorla Awakening was included among the top 10 jazz albums for 2017 by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR and Wire (UK).

Nicole M. Mitchell is an award-winning creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. She is perhaps best known for her work as a flutist, having developed a unique improvisational language and having repeatedly been named “Top Flutist of the Year” by DownBeat magazine's critics poll and the Jazz Journalists Association (2010–17). Mitchell initially emerged from Chicago’s innovative music scene in the late ’90s, and her music celebrates contemporary African-American culture.

“One of the most exciting jazz soloists and composers in the world” –Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

Tickets Required

Sat, Feb 23, 2019

Students looking at art at the Mead

Close Looks at the Mead

Stop by the Mead to find new connections among works on view with student museum educators. Each week we’ll focus on different themes that bring student interests to the fore. Come back every week for a fresh perspective on the works on view in our galleries. Be sure to check our website and Facebook page for updates on weekly topics. All programs are free and open to the public!

Camille Brown performance

Five College Dance: "SPRING"

Five College Dance, in collaboration with the Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance, presents SPRING, an evening of dance featuring contributions from faculty, guest artists and dancers across all five campuses, including Camille A. Brown’s New Second Line, Five College Dance’s 2018-19 guest artist repertory project, made possible with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This dance is a celebration of the spirit and culture of the people of New Orleans.

The concert also features Picture This, a new work by critically acclaimed choreographer David Dorfman. Picture This is a kinetic, visual, musical and textual homage to the next generation of dance citizens-- a brief look at what makes these fine performers both joyous and angry in regard to love and politics.

Dances by Danté Brown (visiting assistant professor, Amherst College), Lailye Weidman (visiting assistant professor, Hampshire College) and Barbie Diewald (visiting artist, Mount Holyoke College), as well as a lobby installation by Rodger Blum (professor, Smith College), complete the program.

Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended: (413) 542-2277 or fcddance.reservations@gmail.com

Sun, Feb 24, 2019

Black Art Matters Festival

Black Art Matters Festival

Join the MRC and the Mead as we conclude Black History Month with the Black Art Matters Festival, a visual art exhibition and performance showcase highlighting the work and artistic talent of Black student artists across the Five Colleges. Sunday February 24 at the Mead. The exhibition opens at 7 p.m., with live performances starting at 8 p.m.

Mon, Feb 25, 2019

Biology Monday Seminar: “The Forgotten One: ApoD, Lipoprotein Oxidation and Atherosclerosis”

Kamilah Ali, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Basic Science
Course Director, Pharmacology
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Title: “The Forgotten One: ApoD, Lipoprotein Oxidation and Atherosclerosis”
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The pathogenesis of CAD is complex and is due to the development of plaque, the accumulation of cholesterol in macrophages, in blood vessels that can cause thrombosis, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Some of the key players or steps in accumulation of cholesterol are the levels of plasma lipoproteins, oxidative capacity of LDL-cholesterol, and the inflammatory state of macrophages. Apolipoproteins (apos) are major determinants in regulating human plasma lipoprotein levels, thus affecting plaque formation (atherogenesis) in blood vessels. Our protein of interest, ApoD, is associated with plasma high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), and is ubiquitously expressed in tissues and present in cell types (endothelial cells (EC), vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), macrophages) involved in plaque formation. However, we have a poor understanding of the role(s) and mechanism(s) of apoD in plaque development. We use in vivo animal models on a Western diet, lipid biochemistry and cell culture to address our hypothesis. Our preliminary data suggest that apoD is anti-atherogenic whose effects may be mediated by modulating LDL oxidation and/or downstream activation of macrophage- vascular smooth muscle cells signaling pathways.

Education Studies Initiative Speaker Series Presents Derron Wallace: “Safe Routes to School? Black Caribbean Youth Negotiating Police Surveillance in London and New York City”

This talk examines how Black Caribbean youth perceive and experience the state-endorsed "Stop and Search" program in London and then-ongoing "Stop and Frisk" practices in New York City while on route to and from public schools between 2007 and 2014. Despite a growing body of scholarship on the relationship between policing and schooling in the U.S. and U.K., comparative research on how school students experience stop-and-frisk/search practices remains sparse. Drawing on the BlackCrit tradition of Critical Race Theory and in-depth interviews with 60 Black Caribbean secondary school students, this article explores how adolescents experience adultlike policing to and from schools. The findings indicate that participants develop a strained sense of belonging in British and American societies due to a security paradox—a policing formula that promises safety for all in principle, but does so at the expense of some Black youth in practice. Participants learned that, irrespective of ethnicity, Black youth are regularly rendered suspicious subjects worthy of scrutiny, even during the school commute. This paper concludes with recommendations that can assist in improving students’ safety while en route to and from school.

Derron Wallace is an assistant professor of education and sociology at Brandeis University, with joint affiliations in African and Afro-American studies and social justice and social policy. He is a sociologist of race, ethnicity and education who specializes in cross-national studies of inequalities and identities in urban schools and neighborhoods, focusing specifically on the experiences of young people of African descent. His work has appeared in journals such as Sociology: The Journal of the British Sociological Association, The British Journal of Sociology of Education and Harvard Educational Review. His research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Gates Cambridge Trust, the Marion & Jasper Whiting Foundation and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. Prior to joining the Brandeis faculty, he served as a professional community organizer in London, working on youth safety, living wages, fair housing and immigrant rights campaigns.

Tue, Feb 26, 2019

Associate Professor Takeuchi Tatsu, Virginia Tech: "Proposal of a New Terminology for Newton's Third Law: From Force-centric to Momentum-centric Pedagogy of Newton's Laws"

Newton's Third Law, aka the action-reaction law, can be quite confusing to many students, instructors and even to some textbook writers as well. The main reason for this is the unfortunate choice of terminology by Newton in his Principia. Many people think that what Newton meant by "reaction" is the reaction to "action" (which it isn't), and this misunderstanding is prevalent not only in the classroom but in popular media as well. I propose that even though "action" and "reaction" are the terms used by Newton himself (they are the same in Latin), it is high time we abandoned them for better ones that would aid in our own and our students' understanding. I will present my own proposal in this talk, though I suspect there may be better ones, and also propose a new pedagogy which emphasizes the concept of momentum above force in teaching Newton's Laws.

"Leave No Mark: Blackness Inviolate, 1700-1731"

In the first three decades of the 18th century, a series of personal accounts, sworn attestations and trial records of the Portuguese Inquisition detail how enslaved and free black people, many African-born, would publicly take knives to their own flesh but not be harmed. These unworldly powers, they claimed, emerged from a type of pouch-form talisman called "mandinga." While these objects contained a wide array of empowering contents, a necessary and occasionally singular inclusion was writings and drawings inscribed on paper. This talk considers the role of these papers and the pouches which contained them against a longer Atlantic history of "marking" black bodies with scarifications, in slave ship registers, through iron brandings and torturous wounds. In so doing, it asks what new archives of Atlantic slavery may emerge from a seemingly violating performance of blackness that left no mark.

Matthew Francis Rarey is assistant professor of art hHistory at Oberlin College, and a 2018-2019 visiting scholar at the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University. His writing on Black Atlantic visual culture has appeared in African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World (2015) and African Arts (2018). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Wed, Feb 27, 2019

Q&A with Professor of Environmental Justice Dorceta Taylor

Dorceta Taylor is professor of environmental justice at the University of Michigan. She is also the program director of the Multicultural Environmental Leadership Development Initiative and the University’s director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She has successfully worked with students and organizations to collaborate across difference to address interrelated social and ecology issues. Professor Taylor is an extremely distinguished and leading scholar. She was the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Professor Taylor is the founder of the Minority Environmental Leadership and Diversity Initiative and is one of the world’s foremost experts on diversity and inclusion in environmental fields, including in the academy and in workplaces (public and private).

Blackalicious Performance and Q&A

Come see hip-hop group Blackalicious perform and get a chance to ask them about their music and career. Acclaimed for the sublime combination of rapper Gab's verbal dexterity and lyrical eloquence and producer X's bracing beats and distinctive soundscapes, Blackalicious has earned widespread respect, both inside and outside of the hip-hop community, for the wildly inventive, personally charged innovations of its first three albums, 1999's Nia, 2002's Blazing Arrow and 2005's The Craft.

"1937, or Pushkin Divided": Talk by Klára Móricz

Klára Móricz is the Joseph E. and Grace. W. Valentine Professor at Amherst College. Her book Jewish Identities: Nationalism, Racism, and Utopianism in Twentieth-Century Music, was published by University of California Press in 2008, and the volume Funeral Games in Honor of Arthur Lourié, which she co-edited with Simon Morrison, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.

This talk is sponsored by the Amherst Center for Russian Culture. The event is free and open to the public. Reception to follow.

Amherst Poetry Slam

Spoken Word Slam by Amherst Students

As part of LitFest 2019, Daniel Gallant, a playwright and executive director of New York’s famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe, hosts a spoken word slam for Amherst College students. All students are invited to attend. Keep an eye out for sign-up information.

The LitFest 2019 schedule has additional event information and biographies of each guest.

Poetry Slam

LitFest Poetry Slam

Hosted by David Gallant of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City. First place winner will receive a trip to NYC and a guest of honor appearance at the Nuyorican. Second place wins an iPad, and third place will get a free writing session at the Emily Dickinson House. Email studentactivities@amherst.edu to sign up.

Students Only

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

Russian Film Screening: Mermaid (РУСАЛКА)

4:30 pm Keefe Campus Center, Theater (Room 008)

The Department of Russian presents Mermaid (РУСАЛКА), a 2007 film directed by Anna Melikyan.

Synopsis: A green-haired girl's family is forced to move from their rural home to Moscow. Once there, the quirky, introverted girl comes of age while clashing with the trappings of the big city.

This movie is in Russian with English subtitles and will be screened at 4 and 7:30 p.m. The runtime is 115 minutes.

Event Poster; Image: Sol Lewitt, Nine Part Modular Cube, sculpture. 1978.

"Symmetry in Art & Science"

All are invited to the Mead for a talk on symmetry with Amherst College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Chris Durr. Join us to learn more about a chemist’s perspective on symmetry, structure and time. Attendees will walk away with a greater understanding of how scientific principles play out visually in our galleries.

Free and open to all!

Photos of Jamel Brinkley, Brandon Hobson and their book covers

National Book Awards on Campus: A Conversation with Jamel Brinkley and Brandon Hobson

As part of Amherst College LitFest 2019, author and WNYC editor Rebecca Carroll hosts a conversation with two 2018 finalists for the National Book Award for Fiction: Jamel Brinkley (A Lucky Man: Stories) and Brandon Hobson (Where the Dead Sit Talking). This event is part of the National Book Awards on Campus program, hosted in partnership with The Common and the National Book Foundation, and will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. It is free and open to the public.

The LitFest 2019 schedule has additional event information and biographies of each guest.

*Please note: The venue for this event is Johnson Chapel, which seats 600 people. We recommend arriving early to get a seat.