Stanley Tambiah To Give Three Lectures on Globalization at Amherst in April

March 29, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Stanley J. Tambiah, the John J. McCloy ’16 Professor of American Institutions and International Relations at Amherst College and Esther and Stanley Rabb Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University, will deliver three lectures on “Formations in an Age of Globalization” at Amherst College in April.

The first, “Contesting the Nation State: Ethnic Conflict and Political Violence in South Asia,” takes place on Friday, April 6, in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall; the second, “Transnational Migrations and Diasporas” on Thursday, April 12, in the Babbott Room in the Octagon; and the third, “Multiculturalism and Multiple Modernities” on Wednesday, April 18, in the Babbott Room. All three lectures begin at 4 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

Educated at the University of Ceylon and Cornell University, Tambiah has studied the cultures of South and Southeast Asia and the function of ritual in human society. A fellow of the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Anthropological Association, the Royal Anthropological Association and a member of many other learned societies, Tambiah has also taught at Cambridge University and the University of Chicago.

His early fieldwork in Thailand focused on the relationships among religion, society and politics, in works such as World Conqueror and World Renouncer: A Study of Religion and Polity in Thailand Against a Historical Background (1976). Tambiah more recently has concentrated on issues relating to nation-state-making, ethnonationalist movements, ethic conflict and collective political violence in South Asia. He has written about the ethnonationalist conflict in Sri Lanka (Ethnic Fratricide and the Betrayal of Democracy (1986) and Buddhism Betrayed? (1992).) Most recently he has written a larger comparative work on similar conflicts in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, Leveling Crowds: Ethnonationalist Conflicts and Collective Violence in South Asia (1996).

Tambiah has also written about Magic, Science, Religion, and the Scope of Rationality (1990) in both Western and non-Western cultures, considering rationality, translation, commensurability of cultures, cultural universals and cultural relativism.

The John J. McCloy ’16 Professorship was established at Amherst College in 1983 to honor John J. McCloy and his outstanding career of service and accomplishment in American politics and international diplomacy. Professor Tambiah’s visit is hosted by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

###

Amherst College Receives the Thomas P. Whitney ’37 Collection of Russian Art

March 28, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Thomas P. Whitney has given the Trustees of Amherst College his collection of modern Russian art, which includes more than 400 objects created by artists in Russia and in exile in the late 19th century and the 20th century. Tom Gerety, president of Amherst said, “It will be a great resource for many decades to come, accessible to students and scholars from around the world, including scholars and students from Russia.”

The Collection now will be housed, exhibited and studied in the Mead Art Museum and the Amherst Center for Russian Culture, which was created in 1991 by Whitney and Stanley J. Rabinowitz, the Henry Steele Commager Professor and Professor of Russian at Amherst College, to preserve Whitney’s archive of Russian printed and manuscript materials. “This remarkable collection of artworks, now rejoined with the extraordinary collection of manuscripts and documents into an organic whole, will make Amherst College a center for scholarly inquiry into modern Russian artistic contributions to international modernism,” Gerety says.

Jill Meredith, director of the Mead Art Museum, says, “Through this remarkable collection, one can gain a greater understanding of the profound impact Russian culture has had on the West. The Thomas P. Whitney ’37 Collection, in its breadth, depth and quality, not only speaks to the significance of Russian art in the 20th century, but also attests to its profound importance in the formation of modernism as an international phenomenon. Whitney’s extraordinary generosity has reshaped the content and scope of the art collection of the Mead Art Museum.”

Stanley J. Rabinowitz, director of the Amherst Center for Russian Culture, says Whitney’s “collection has accomplished his primary goal: to establish a living testimony to Russia’s aesthetic pre-eminence in the history of world culture and to constitute a monument to those brave and remarkable artists, many of whom practiced their craft under appalling, even ominous conditions.”

The Thomas P. Whitney ’37 Collection of Russian Art is a broad collection, including academic easel paintings, avant-garde mixed-media projects, stage and costume designs for ballet, opera and experimental theater, and illustrations for children’s books. The paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture and artists’ books exemplify the major innovative artistic movements of the early 20th century, such as Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism and Suprematism. The collection also includes many Russian icons, some dating as far back as the 17th century.

The artists, most of whom are represented by multiple works, include Alexander Rodchenko, Pavel Filonov, El Lissitzky, Naum Gabo, Alexander Archipenko, Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Liubov Popova, Olga Rozanova, Leon Bakst and Marc Chagall. Also among the artists are such traditional painters as Isaak Levitan, Valentin Serov and Konstantin Somov, as well as later 20th-century artists Alexei Remizov, Oleg Kudryashov and Ernst Neizvestny.

The Amherst Center for Russian Culture and the Thomas P. Whitney ’37 Collection of Russian Art in the Mead Art Museum form an interdependent whole. Whitney has given them to his alma mater, a residential liberal arts college of 1,650 students, so that they could be exhibited and studied together.

Whitney, a writer, translator and journalist, graduated from Amherst College in 1937 and received a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1940.

As the first show in their ongoing collaboration, the Mead Art Museum and the Amherst Center for Russian Culture Gallery will present “The World Opened Wide: 20th-Century Russian Women Artists,” from March 3 until May 13. The Amherst Center for Russian Culture Website is at http://www.amherst.edu/~acrc. The Mead Art Museum Website is at http://www.amherst.edu/~mead.

###

Poet James Merrill To Be Remembered at Amherst College April 12

March 23, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—An extraordinary gathering of friends and admirers of poet James Merrill will meet in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College on Thursday, April 12 at 4 p.m. Former poet laureate Richard Wilbur (Amherst ’42), poets Agha Shahid Ali, Daniel Hall, Glyn Maxwell, Joe Langland, Peggy O’Brien, Mary Jo Salter, Susan Snively and David Sofield will bring to life again the words of a man who wrote poetry “the way the rest of us breathe,” as poet J. D. McClatchy has said. McClatchy, one of the editors of Merrill’s critically praised new Collected Poems (Knopf, 2001), will join in the reading and remembrances.

Following the reading, there will be a public reception in the Archives and Special Collections Room at the Frost Library, where a collection of Merrill manuscripts, books and memorabilia will be on display. The Ouija board and cup that Merrill and his companion David Jackson used to write The Changing Light at Sandover (1982), perhaps his best-known work, will also be on display.

Born in 1926, James Merrill graduated from Amherst College in 1947 and died in 1995. He taught English briefly at Amherst and lived in Stonington, Connecticut, Athens and Key West. From The Black Swan (1946) through A Scattering of Salts (1995), he wrote twelve books of poems. He also published two plays, The Immortal Husband (1956) and The Bait (1960); two novels, The Seraglio (1957) and The (Diblos) Notebook (1965); a book of essays, interviews, and reviews, Recitative (1986); and a memoir, A Different Person (1993).

He was the recipient of numerous awards for his poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize, two National Book Awards, the Bollingen Prize and the first Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress. He was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

This event is sponsored by the Amherst College Department of English and the Creative Writing Center, which has a Website at http://www.amherst.edu/~cwc/.

###

Biologist Poccia Will Study in Portugal as Fulbright Scholar

March 16, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Dominic L. Poccia, professor of biology at Amherst College has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award for 3 months starting in September, 2001. He will travel to the Gulbenkian Scientific Institute in Oeiras, just outside Lisbon, to study the regulation of nuclear membrane fusion by a membrane vesicle fraction enriched in phosphatidylinositol.

Educated at Union College and Harvard University, Poccia has taught at Amherst since 1978. In addition to teaching and research into nuclear transformations of the sea urchin sperm during spermatogenesis and following fertilization, Poccia plays jazz saxophone and clarinet.

This award is administered by the Luso-American Educational Foundation and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, and is sponsored by the United States Department of State. The Fulbright Scholar Program, founded 54 years ago, is the U.S. government's flagship international exchange program. Poccia will join some 800 U.S. academics and professionals who will have Fulbright Scholar awards in 2001-2002.

###

Filmmaker Maclean Brings “Jesus’ Son” to Amherst

March 16, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Director Alison Maclean will screen her 1999 film “Jesus’ Son” and a 1989 short film “The Kitchen Sink” on Wednesday, March 28 at 4 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium at Amherst College. Maclean will speak and take questions from the audience after the films. The event is free and open to the public.

“Jesus’ Son” is an adaptation of Denis Johnson’s 1992 collection of short stories about alienation, ennui and drugs in the American heartland in the 70’s. “Jesus’ Son” stars Billy Crudup, Holly Hunter, Samantha Morton, Denis Leary and Dennis Hopper.

The New York Times found “Jesus’ Son” a “scruffy, likeable” film, and described its hero as a “Candide strung out on every drug he can find, or an itinerant holy man hitchhiking across the Midwest in wet, filthy hipster hand-me-downs.” The Times also praised Maclean’s “loose, improvisatory rhythm that matches Mr. Johnson’s discursive riffing, and gives her scenes a keen edge of surprise.”

Maclean was born in Canada and raised in New Zealand, where she attended art school. Her first feature was the noirish psychological thriller “Crush,” made in New Zealand in 1992. Maclean has worked in television as well as film; she directed the first two episodes of “Sex and the City” in 1998 and an episode of “Subway Stories: Tales from Underground” in 1997 for HBO, as well as an episode of “Homicide: Life on the Street” in 1993.

Alison Maclean’s films and talk are sponsored by the Amherst College Department of English.

###

Kirtana Presents South Indian Classical Music

March 15, 2001
Concert Manager
413/542-2195

AMHERST, Mass.—Kirtana will present a concert of the classical music of south India on Sunday, April 8, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. The concert is free and open to the public.

Performing will be Gordon Korstange on the venu or bamboo flute, Amherst College Professor of Music David Reck on the veena or lyre, David Nelson on the mridangam or double-headed drum, and Rusty Gillete on the ghatam or large clay pot.

The classical music of India balances the performance of a repertoire of exquisite songs with extensive improvisations ranging from the meditative to the explosive and virtuosic. The drumming style is one of the rhythmically most complex in the world.

###

Amherst College Trustees Approve Comprehensive Fee Increase

March 14, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College Board of Trustees has established $33,860 as the College’s comprehensive fee for 2001-02. This figure represents a 4.5 percent increase over this year’s comprehensive fee, which includes tuition, room and board.

Amherst maintains a need-blind admission policy that ensures that a student’s admission to Amherst is not influenced by financial need. In addition, Amherst ensures that any student admitted to the College will receive financial aid equal to determined need. Amherst also has a longstanding commitment to providing only need-based aid, rather than merit scholarships.

Increased support for financial aid has been one of the priorities of The Amherst College Campaign, which aims to raise $200 million by June 30, 2001. Of the $200 million campaign total, $38 million is dedicated to financial aid. To date, the campaign has raised almost $31 million toward the $38 million financial aid goal.

Consistently ranked among the nation’s best liberal arts colleges, Amherst also has been ranked as a “Best Value” by U.S. News & World Report, which also has noted that Amherst students have one of the lowest average levels of indebtedness at graduation. In addition, Amherst ranked sixth in a survey of the “Top 100 Values in Private Colleges” published in the September 1999 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. The survey evaluated which private colleges and universities provide an excellent education “but also care about how much it costs.”

###

Diplomats Robert and Margaret Pearson To Speak April 2

March 14, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Ambassador W. Robert Pearson and his wife, Margaret Pearson, a senior United States Foreign Service officer, will discuss U.S. diplomatic, economic and cultural relations with Turkey on Monday, April 2 at 4 p.m. in Porter Lounge in Converse Hall at Amherst College. The event, sponsored by the Program in European Studies, is free and open to the public.

Robert Pearson has been U.S. ambassador to Turkey since September 2000. Formerly Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy to France, Pearson has had assignments at NATO, in China and in New Zealand. He also has held posts with the State Department in Washington and as Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Security Council in the Reagan administration.

Margaret Pearson, the Special Advisor to the State Department for European Property Affairs, was the Director of Information and Press Spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. She also has been the director of the United States Information Agency China desk in Washington.

The Pearsons will provide an opportunity for conversation about current American diplomacy, Turkey, the Middle East and the U.S. diplomatic service.

###

Environmentalists Daniel Botkin and Stuart Pimm To Speak March 26 and 29

March 14, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Daniel Botkin and Stuart Pimm will give a series of lectures at Amherst College sponsored by the Thomas F. Pick Environmental Studies Fund. On Monday, March 26, Botkin will discuss “What Thoreau Would Say to George W. Bush: Solving Environmental Problems in the 21st Century.” On Thursday, March 29, Pimm will address “Life on Earth: Does it Have a Future?” Both lectures will take place in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at 4 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

Daniel B. Botkin is a biologist working to solve immediate environmental problems, and has also been a professional journalist. According to Botkin, our cultural legacy often dominates what we believe to be scientific solutions, so he considers the place of science, business and government in new approaches to environmental issues, often drawing on historical accounts.

Educated at the Universities of Rochester and Wisconsin and Rutgers University, with degrees in physics, biology and literature, Botkin is now a research professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has previously been associated with the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole and Yale University.

Botkin is now the president of the Center For The Study Of The Environment in Santa Barbara, which he helped to found in 1991. His writings include Our Natural History: Lessons From Lewis and Clark (1995), No Man’s Garden: Thoreau and A New Vision for Civilization and Nature (2000), Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the 21st Century (1990) and Forest Dynamics: An Ecological Model (1993).

Stuart L. Pimm’s research interest is the biology of conservation. He has conducted theoretical and empirical studies on the problems of endangered and introduced species. Pimm contends that conservation biology raises the most challenging questions for ecological theory. Now professor of ecology at the Center for Ecological Research and Conservation at Columbia University, Pimm was educated at Oxford University and New Mexico State University. Pimm’s books include Food Webs (1982), The Balance of Nature? Ecological Issues in the Conservation of Species and Communities (1991) and The Bird Watcher's Handbook: A Field Guide to the Natural History of European Birds (1994). He has been selected as a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, and received the Kempe Prize for Distinguished Ecologists.

###

“The Color of School Reform” Conference at Amherst College March 30 and 31

March 14, 2001
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Sonia Nieto, professor of language, literacy and culture in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts, will speak about “Multicultural Education: Beyond Diversity Dinners and Sensitivity Training,” on Friday, March 30, at 8 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Her talk is free and open to the public.

Nieto will be the keynote speaker of a two-day conference, continuing on Saturday, March 31, called “The Color of School Reform: Inequalities, Public Education and the Challenge of Change.” Theresa Perry, vice-president for community relations and professor of education at Wheelock College, will speak at the conference about “How Racism Affects African-American School Achievement” on Saturday, March 31, at 10 a.m. Michele Foster, professor of education at Claremont Graduate University, will discuss “Racism in Schools: Here and There, Now and Then” at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Ira Shor, professor of English at the College of Staten Island (CUNY), will address “Class Issues: Critical Pedagogy for Social Change in the Classroom” at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Designed for teachers interested in exploring issues of reform and racism in public schools, the conference talks are open to the public at no charge. There is a $25 fee for participation in the workshops and other events for teachers who wish to earn between seven and nine professional development points.

Sonia Nieto worked as a public school teacher in Brooklyn before she joined the University of Massachusetts faculty in 1980. She has taught courses in language, literacy,and culture. Among her research topics are the education of Latinos and the instructional value of Puerto Rican children’s literature. From 1989 to 1992, she was director of the cultural diversity and curriculum reform program in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts.

“Multicultural education is education for and about everybody, not for and about African-Americans, with Latinos and Asians thrown in once in a while,” Nieto has said. She is the author of many essays and journal articles. Her books include Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education (1992), The Light in Their Eyes: Creating Multicultural Learning Communities (1999) and Puerto Rican Students in U.S. Schools (2000).

“The Color of School Reform” is the work of a group of Amherst College students and recent graduates, and is sponsored by the Language and Literature Fund of the Department of English, the Charles Houston Fund for Social Justice and the Office of the President at Amherst College.

###

Pages

 

Contact

Office Communications
(413) 542-2321
comm@amherst.edu


eNews

eNewsSubscribe to the biweekly eNews by emailing alumni@amherst.edu.