The Amherst Conversations series began in the fall of 2020, with talks, lectures, and dialogues involving a wide variety of noted experts, alumni, faculty, and others. Addressing current issues, the series engaged and connected the Amherst community through shared intellectual experiences. Four primary types of events comprised the Amherst Conversations: the Spotlight Series, the President’s Colloquium on Race and Racism, the Provost’s Lecture Series, and Faculty Focus. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni were invited to participate.

Watch video recordings of the spring 2020 series, COVID Conversations: Thinking Through the Pandemic.

Past Virtual Events

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Point/Counterpoint Series: Fall 2021

The Point/Counterpoint conversation series features guests attempting to bridge the growing ideological divide in our nation. This years speakers will include Kwame Anthony Appiah, Adolph Reed Jr., Geoffrey Stone and Melissa Murray.

A photo of Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Ibram X. Kendi

President’s Colloquium on Race and Racism

Hosted by President Biddy Martin, this series centers the voices of scholars studying intersections of race and American democracy. 

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Politics & Poetry: A Point/Counterpoint Colloquium Series

View conversations exploring the reverberations of President Kennedy’s 1963 speech at Amherst College. Hosted by Ilan Stavans, the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities and Latin American and Latino Studies.

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Forced Online: How COVID Will Impact the Future of Higher Education

A discussion on how the rise of educational technology has redefined the physical bounds of the classroom and how its now-central role will impact the future of higher education.

A man and woman talking in two windows over Zoom with the Amherst College wordmark beneath them

Faculty Focus

This series takes participants inside the classrooms of our esteemed faculty, looking at their expertise and fields of research, their campus collaboration, their students’ work and their experiences teaching at Amherst.

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Spotlight Series

This series presents recognized and engaging alumni and experts from within and outside the Amherst community discussing and debating important issues of our time. The events are hosted by President Biddy Martin.

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The History of Anti-Black Racism in America Provost Lecture Series

This series brings together students, faculty, staff and alumni for lectures by distinguished historians so that we can deepen our understanding of racism in America today.

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COVID Conversations

In a series of conversations addressing different facets of the pandemic, alumni experts and friends of the College shared their insights concerning this cataclysmic event and its ramifications for our society and ourselves.