Virtual Lecture February 2014: Deborah Gewertz
The anthropology of food does far more than celebrate the world’s various foodways. In this lecture, Deborah Gewertz will show that anthropologists study food because of its cross-cultural significance in, for example, creating groups, building kinship, defining the holy, verifying personal and moral value, and shaping relations of equality and inequality.
Amherst Reads April 2014: Melissa Kantor '91 and Nancy Updike '91
In the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, critically acclaimed author Melissa Kantor masterfully captures the joy of friendship, the agony of loss, and the unique experience of being a teenager in this poignant new novel about a girl grappling with her best friend's life-threatening illness.
Amherst Reads March 2014: Michael Gorra ’79 and Alicia Christoff
Michael Gorra has taken an original approach to this great American progenitor of the modern novel, combining elements of biography, criticism, and travelogue in re-creating the dramatic backstory of James’s masterpiece, Portrait of a Lady (1881). Gorra, an eminent literary critic, shows how this novel—the scandalous story of the expatriate American heiress Isabel Archer—came to be written in the first place.
Amherst Reads February 2014: Jonathon Keats '94 andAlexander George
According to Vasari, the young Michelangelo often borrowed drawings of past masters, which he copied, returning his imitations to the owners and keeping originals. Half a millennium later, Andy Warhol made a game of "forging" the Mona Lisa, questioning the entire concept of originality.
Amherst Reads January 2014: Mark Gerchick '73, P'13 and Al Checchi '70
"Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight," our pilots still intone. But who are they kidding? In Full Upright and Locked Position, former FAA chief counsel and senior aviation policy official Mark Gerchick unravels the unseen forces and little-known facts that have reshaped our air travel experience since September 11, 2001.
Amherst Reads February 2014: Jonathon Keats '94 and Alexander George
According to Vasari, the young Michelangelo often borrowed drawings of past masters, which he copied, returning his imitations to the owners and keeping originals. Half a millennium later, Andy Warhol made a game of "forging" the Mona Lisa, questioning the entire concept of originality. Forged explores art forgery from ancient times to the present. In chapters combining lively biography with insightful art criticism, Jonathon Keats profiles individual art forgers and connects their stories to broader themes about the role of forgeries in society.
Amherst Reads December 2013: Fred Hoxie '69 and Kiara Vigil
In this bold and sweeping counter narrative to our conventional understanding of Native American history, celebrated academic historian Frederick E. Hoxie presents the story of Native American political activism—a chronicle that spans more than two hundred years. Highlighting the activists—some famous and some unknown beyond their own communities—who have sought to bridge the distance between indigenous cultures and the U.S. republic through legal and political campaigns, Hoxie weaves a powerful narrative that connects the individual to the tribe, the tribe to the nation, and the nation to broader historical processes and progressive movements.
Amherst Reads November 2013: Helen Wan '95 and Michele Barale
In the eyes of her corporate law firm, Ingrid Yung is a "two-fer." As a Chinese-American woman about to be ushered into the elite rank of partner, she's the face of Parsons Valentine & Hunt LLP's recruiting brochures - their treasured "Golden Girl." But behind the firm's welcoming façade lies the scotch-sipping, cigar-smoking old-boy network that shuts out lawyers like Ingrid. To compensate, Ingrid gamely plays in the softball league, schmoozes in the corporate cafeteria, and puts in the billable hours - until a horrifically offensive performance at the law firm's annual summer outing throws the carefully constructed image way out of equilibrium. Scrambling to do damage control, Parsons Valentine announces a new "Diversity Initiative" and commands a reluctant Ingrid to spearhead the effort, taking her priority away from the enormous deal that was to be the final step in securing partnership. For the first time, Ingrid finds herself at odds with her colleagues - including her handsome, golden-boy boyfriend--in a clash of class, race, and sexual politics.
Amherst Reads October 2013: Tess Taylor '99 and Erica Ehrenberg '00
In The Forage House, the speaker unravels a rich and troubling history. Some of her ancestors were the Randolph Jeffersons, one of Virginia's most prominent slaveholding families. Some were New England missionaries. Some were dirt-poor Appalachians. And one was the brilliant, controversial Thomas Jefferson.
Amherst Reads September 2013: Dan Brown ’86 and Prof. Rick Griffiths
In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history's most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante's Inferno.
Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante's dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.