Event Calendar

December 2019

Wed, Dec 4, 2019

La Causa’s Spoken Word/Poetry Competition

La Causa presents their annual student spoken word/poetry competition. We host this event in preparation for VOICES, our yearly spoken word event. Join us as we choose three winners: 1st place will be the opening act for VOICES 2019 and receive a $30 gift card, 2nd place will receive a $20 gift card, and 3rd place will receive a $10 gift card.

Rosalind Schneider, "Abstraction" (1971)

“Women Filmmakers, Embodiment and Abstraction (1970-1995)”

Curated by Tess Takahashi and Josh Guilford

Free Admission

This program presents eight short films created by women filmmakers between 1970 and 1995 which have been drawn from the collections of three experimental film distributors in the U.S. and Canada. It highlights a prevalent – yet under-examined – tension that structures diverse forms of women’s experimental cinema from this period, gathering a range of works that exhibit a complex oscillation between abstraction and embodiment, where non-representational images and sounds continuously merge and clash with representations of gendered, raced, and sexualized bodies. Examining the co-presence of these seemingly divergent tendencies within the work of filmmakers from different regions, generations, and cultural locations, the program considers how the aesthetic conflict between abstraction and representation indexes broader cultural tensions negotiated by women artists working within the traditions of experimental cinema after the 1960s, revealing how such artists sought to reconcile prevailing inquiries into medium specificity with emergent discourses on identity politics. By foregrounding works that reference mediums other than film – such as dance, painting, and collage – the program also points to affinities between women’s experimental cinema and explorations of abstraction conducted in parallel artistic disciplines.

“Swish,” Jean Sousa, 1982, 16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes
“This film deals with the physical properties of the film medium, and pushing those distinctive features to their limit. The subject of the film is motion, and it is an attempt to get inside of it. It was made with a moving subject and a moving camera with an open shutter, the result being that each frame is unique, without the smooth continuity that is expected in film. The subject, a female body at close range, provides an intimacy and eroticism. At the same time it can be seen as a modern version of Futurist simultaneity.” — JS

“Abstraction,” Rosalind Schneider, 1971, 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes
“Abstraction deals with the interpretation of abstract form as found in the combination of the nude body, landscape, and objects. Imagery is achieved through visual distortion dealing with reflective surfaces, as well as the superimposition of subject matter. The rhythmic structure focuses on a pulsating expansion and contraction that simulates a life force. An attempt has been made to reveal the basic concepts of a painter's approach to the distillation of reality.” — RS

“Roseblood,” Sharon Couzin, 1974, 16mm, color, sound, 8 minutes
“The dance of Carolyn Chave Kaplan; Music from Stockhausen's ‘Hymnen’ and ‘Mantra,’ Enesco's ‘Sonata No. 3 in A Minor.’ Images of a woman in dance, in flora, in picture, in eyes, in architecture, in sunshine, in color, in crystal, in space, in confusion, in danger, in disintegration, in her hand, in birth, in the Valley of Sorrow, in the sea, in repetition, in sculpture and in herself.” -SC “Some really extraordinary subliminal combinations are happening.” – Pat O’Neill

“Yogurt Culture,” Patti Lee Chenis, 1970, 16mm, b&w, sound (digital file), 11 minutes
“Animated pen and ink Cartoon space-like drawings on transparent acetate sheets & silver paint superimposed plastic bubble packing material & plastic helmet approaching 3D without the use of 3D glasses. Part of a series of yogurt culture film.” — PC

“Girl from Moush,” Garine Tarossian, 1993, 16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes
“‘Girl from Moush’ is a poetic montage of the artist's journey through her subconscious Armenia. It is not an Armenia based in a reality, but one which appears, like the mythical city of Shangri La, when one closes one's eyes. Rooted in what Jung may call a ‘communal consciousness,’ her Armenia appears on film as a collage of myth, legend, experience and immigration. In her memoir, Gariné reveals a longing which is visualized but yet never solidly based in our reality. Icons of Armenia appear on the screen for only a second, and then disappear from both the viewer's and the artist's minds. The world of the traveller is filled with uncertainty and fascination. As viewers we are engaged and forced through unchartered landscapes that have been traditionally been restricted to the mind of the artist. Projected into proportions which are larger than life, the viewer is forced to confront and assimilate all that s/he views and perceives.” — Berlinale, Panorama 40th Anniversary Screening, 2019

“Stranger Baby,” Lana Lin, 1995, 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes
“Micro-narratives moving between fiction, non-fiction, and science fiction elaborate multiple meanings of the term ‘alien.’” - LL “Substituting sly metaphor for political rhetoric on immigration, Lin examines our world of ethical and racial complexities.” — LA Asian Pacific Film Festival catalogue

“Chronicles of a Lying Spirit (by Kelly Gabron),” Cauleen Smith, 1992, 16mm, color, sound, 13 minutes
"CHRONICLES OF A LYING SPIRIT (BY KELLY GABRON) is less a depiction of ‘reality’ than an exploration of the implications of the mediation of Black history by film, television, magazines and newspapers. Using her alter ego, Kelly Gabron, Smith fabricates a personal history of her emergence as an artist from white-male-dominated American history (and American film history). Smith collages images and bits of text from a scrapbook by ‘Kelly Gabron’ that had been completed before the film was begun, and provides female narration by ‘Kelly Gabron’ that, slowly but surely, makes itself felt over the male narration about Kelly Gabron (Chris Brown is the male voice). The film’s barrage of image, text and voice is repeated twice, and is followed by a coda. That most viewers see the second presentation of the imagery differently from the original presentation demonstrates one problem with trusting any media representation.” — Scott MacDonald

“Lie Back and Enjoy It,” JoAnn Elam, 1982, b&w, sound, 8 minutes
“JoAnn Elam’s LIE BACK AND ENJOY IT is an absorbing eight-minute dialectical film about the politics of representation. More specifically, it examines the politics of filmic representation of women under patriarchy .... An undergraduate male student paid it a true compliment in declaring that he can no longer look at a woman in a film without thinking about the consequences of the filmmaker’s use of her as a person and as a spectacle .... The film is endowed with remarkable structural and rhetorical lucidity .... Its image track consists of technologically manipulated images of women, and some printed titles. Its soundtrack consists of a dialogue between a Man (a filmmaker) and a Woman (of whom he’s going to make a film) .... Everyone who watches movies with women in them ought to see it.” — Claudia Gorbman, Jump Cut

TRT ca. 77 minutes

Support for this program is provided by the Amherst College Department of English and Film and Media Studies Program, as well as by the Arts at Amherst Initiative, the Lucian Root Eastman 1895 Fund, and the Corliss Lamont Lectureship for a Peaceful World Fund.

Fri, Dec 6, 2019

Holiday Craft Fair

Holiday Craft Fair

12:00 pm - 6:00 pm Science Center, Living Space and Ground Floor

It's beginning to look a lot like a Holiday Craft Fair! Over twenty members of the Amherst College community will be showing their artisan crafts just in time for the gift giving season. Come warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and goodies while you browse one-of-a-kind art made by Amherst staff and associates. This event is hosted by the Employee Council.

Photo of Jumatatu Poe dancing; he is bare-chested and wearing black shorts. A man wearing white shorts stands in the background.

J-Sette Performance Workshop with Jumatatu Poe

4:30 pm - 6:30 pm Webster Hall, Studio 1 (Room 117)

Guest artist Jumatatu Poe joins the Department of Theater and Dance to present BIG BODY: Experimental J-Sette Performance Workshop.

J-Sette, also known as Bucking, is a performance style popular in the Southern United States, practiced widely among majorettes and drill teams at historically Black colleges and universities, and also among teams of primarily queer men who compete at gay clubs and pride festivals. The workshop focuses on bombastic performance energy, complex relationships to rhythm and music, movement precision, group dynamics, and discovering joy in flesh and community. Participants will explore how the performance of J-Sette creates expectations around attention and accountability to a community, and how it positions leadership.

Jumatatu Poe is a choreographer and performer based between Philadelphia and NYC. He produces dance and performance work with idiosynCrazy productions, a company he founded in 2008 and now co-directs with Shannon Murphy.

All bodies are encouraged to participate, regardless of previous training or ability.

A row of ACJE musicians playing saxophones in front of microphones

Amherst College Jazz Ensemble Winter Concert

Music by Jeff Tyzik, Todd Marcus, Oliver Lake, Johnny Hodges, Antonio Carlos Jobim, David Springfield and others. Free admission. Collecting cash for Amherst Survival Center.

Sat, Dec 7, 2019

Abstract mixed media work of art, featuring purple, gold, orange, red and green

Saturday Close Looks

Join us on Saturdays to explore works of art on view with student museum educators. Keep coming back each week for fresh perspectives!

Free and open to all!


La Causa is hosting its 22nd VOICES Spoken Word Event! VOICES is the largest free ALANA (African/Latino/Asian/Native American) spoken-word concert in the Northeast. The event is meant to expose the Amherst College campus and Five College area to the diversity, complexity and power of the national ALANA poetry scene and to combat the underrepresentation of literary examples in schools by promoting cultural literacy.

This year’s VOICES will bring together seven established poets on one stage, for an evening of poetic engagement that decolonizes the arts within the Five Colleges. This event has become a hallmark for students of color and a campus favorite, receiving 250+ guests each year. We hope that everyone will join us on Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Powerhouse!

Closeup of Swanson conducting ASO musicians

Amherst Symphony Orchestra Concert, Russian Season III: Rimsky-Korsakov’s "Scheherazade"

The Amherst Symphony Orchestra (ASO) presents the third of its ongoing series of works by Russian classical composers with a concert of music by Khatchaturian, Glazunov and Rimsky-Korsakov.

The concert opens with the propulsive and percussive “Sabre Dance,” from Aram Khatchurian’s ballet Gayane, a wild “wedding dance” of Armenian folk melodies so popular that it topped U.S. jukebox charts in 1948. The performance continues with the Romantic violin concerto of Alexandr Glazunov, with soloist Maya Bulos '20, and closes with Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s showpiece "Scheherazade." This iconic masterpiece depicts the heroic legend of a vizier’s daughter who outwits an embittered, murderous monarch. She thus saves her own life and those of countless other women by telling captivating tales over the course of 1,001 nights.

For information on ticketing and directions to the concert, see https://www.amherstsymphonyorchestra.com/musicians.

Tickets may be purchased at the door only. Tickets are $10 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens, students with ID and children under 12; and free to Five College students with ID.

Tickets Required

Sun, Dec 8, 2019

Amherst College Vespers poster featuring an image of a lit candle

Amherst College Vespers: A Festival of Christmas Readings and Carols

The Amherst College Choral Society and the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life present Amherst College Vespers: A Festival of Christmas Readings and Carols on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 4 and 7:30 p.m. in Johnson Chapel. Music includes familiar carols performed by the Choral Society and guest musicians. The readings will be provided by Amherst College students, faculty, staff and their children.

The event is free; no tickets are required. Monetary donations may be made to Not Bread Alone.

Mon, Dec 9, 2019

Concert by the Voice Studio of Ann Maggs

Enjoy a terrific mix of jazz, Broadway and ethnopop songs performed by Amherst College voice students of Ann Maggs. The concert is free and open to the public.

Japanese Breakfast Promotional Poster

WAMH 89.3 FM PRESENTS! Japanese Breakfast!

WAMH 89.3 FM (Amherst College Radio), the Asian Students Association, and the Women & Gender Center are proud to present Japanese Breakfast live!
Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner not only boasts an expansive discography of indie pop, making her one of the staples of the indie festival circuit (playing shows in the past year at Lollapalooza, Shaky Hands, and Voodoo Music and Arts Festival, to name a few). She’s also establishing herself as a powerful force in the writing world and as a video producer. Don’t miss the opportunity to see her perform! Free and open to all Five College students!

Tue, Dec 10, 2019

The Noah Garabedian Quartet

The Noah Garabedian Quartet is based in New York City and is led by bassist and composer Noah Garabedian. The band includes Carmen Staaf on piano, Raffi Garabedian on saxophone and Jimmy Macbride on drums. Their debut album, Where Fables Meet, will be released in Spring 2020. When not on the road or performing at New York’s premiere venues, the ensemble enjoys Stephen King novels, spicy noodles and animal memes.

Sponsored by Jazz@Amherst, AAS and Arts at Amherst. Doors open at 6 p.m.

ASA x CSA x ACH Screening: <i>The Farewell</i>

Join CSA, ACH and ASA for a screening of Lulu Wang’s The Farewell. Kick off your reading period with with this humorous and poignant film, boba, Insomnia cookies and an intellectually stimulating discussion afterwards.

Wed, Dec 11, 2019

Black-and-white photograph of a cook standing at a window, below which is a sign reading, "PEACE Homecooked Meals 10 & 15 [cents]"

"Embodied Taste" Opening Reception

Embodied Taste explores art that takes food, in all its complexities, as a starting point, and sees how collaborations, connections, sensual experiences and stories are consumed every time you take a bite. This exhibition was organized by students enrolled in “Eat! An Exhibition Seminar at the Mead,” a course led by Amy C. Hall, visiting assistant professor of anthropology, and Emily Potter-Ndiaye, the Dwight and Kirsten Poler & Andrew W. Mellon Head of Education and Curator of Academic Programs.

Join us for the opening reception of Embodied Taste to learn more about this exciting exhibition directly from student curators.

Free and open to all!

ASA x CSA x ACH Screening: <i>The Farewell</i>

Join CSA, ACH and ASA for a screening of Lulu Wang’s The Farewell. Kick off your reading period with with this humorous and poignant film, boba, Insomnia cookies and an intellectually stimulating discussion afterwards.

Tue, Dec 17, 2019

Student-Written 10 Minute Play Festival

Interested in writing a 10-minute play? Interested in having your 10-minute play performed in an hour-long student-written play festival? Submit your 10-minute plays (approximately 10 pages) to acgreenroom@gmail.com by Saturday, Feb. 1, to be considered. Plays will be provided one set: a dining room table and chairs. Do with that what you will. Any questions, submissions or interest in design to be e-mailed to acgreenroom@gmail.com.

Students Only