Domhnall Mitchell To Talk on Dickinson Manuscripts at Amherst College April 19

March 29, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Domhnall Mitchell, a Dickinson scholar and Copeland Fellow at Amherst College, will give a lecture called “Getting Nearer, Knowing Less: Reading Emily Dickinson’s Manuscripts” on April 19, at 4 p.m. in Porter Lounge at Converse Hall at Amherst College. The talk, part of “Dickinson Alive” week, is free and open to the public.

Mitchell’s book Emily Dickinson: Monarch of Perception was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2000. He has published articles on Emily Dickinson in American Literature, The Emily Dickinson Journal, The Harvard Library Bulletin, Legacy and Nineteenth-Century Literature. Mitchell is a professor of 19th-century American literature at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology at Trondheim in Norway. He also served as the co-organizer of the fourth conference of the Emily Dickinson International Society, held in Trondheim.

Mitchell’s talk is sponsored by the Friends of the Amherst College Library, the Dickinson Homestead, and the Evergreens. The Archives and Special Collections department in Frost Library will have a small exhibition of Dickinson manuscripts related to Domnhall's talk and will host a reception following the lecture.

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“Loyalty and Dissent in Dangerous Times” at Amherst College April 5 and 6

March 29, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—A diverse group of scholars of law, politics, history and other disciplines will gather at the Alumni House at Amherst College on April 5 and 6 to discuss “Loyalty and Dissent in Dangerous Times.” They will respond to the “new challenges for our culture as well as for our political and legal institutions” raised by acts of terrorism, according to Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College and one of the organizers of the event. The talks at this event are free and open to the public.

Sarat says, “A significant challenge is posed by the ‘new patriotism’ and political dissent. Already we have seen efforts to curtail civil liberties, proposals for new restrictions on our personal freedoms, increased surveillance of persons based solely on their ethnicity and accusations of disloyalty. We will explore these developments by recalling earlier eras and how they responded to danger, theorizing about the nature of political loyalty, thinking about danger and dissent as cultural, political, and legal phenomena, examining the nature of political repression in liberal societies, and the political and legal implications of fear.”

On Friday, April 5, at 3 p.m., Wendy Brown, professor of political science at the University of California at Berkeley, will address “Political Idealization and Its Discontents.” At 5 p.m., Lauren Berlant, professor of English, gender studies and the humanities at the University of Chicago, will speak on “Tearjerker: Ordinariness and Banality in Crisis Times.” On Saturday, April 6, at 9 a.m., Katherine Franke, professor of law at Columbia University, will discuss “Sex and the Governmentality of Attack.” At 10:45 a.m., Hugh Gusterson, professor of anthropology and science and technology studies at MIT, will consider “Surveillance and Patriotic Incorrectness in the Millennium.” David Cole, professor of law at Georgetown University, will discuss “Freedom and Security: Whose Rights are in the Balance” at 2 p.m. At 3:45 p.m., Nancy Rosenblum, professor of government at Harvard University, will consider “Constitutional Reason of State: The Fear Factor.”

“Loyalty and Dissent in Dangerous Times” is sponsored by the president, dean of the faculty, lecture committee and department of law, jurisprudence and social thought at Amherst College.

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Raymond Smullyan To Speak at Amherst College April 11

March 29, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.— Raymond Smullyan will talk on “Logical Legerdemain” at 4 p.m. and on “Satan, Logic and Infinity” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Both events, sponsored by the philosophy department at Amherst College, are free and open to the public.

An emeritus professor of philosophy at Indiana University, Smullyan dropped out of high school and earned a mathematics degree at the University of Chicago, paying his way performing magic. A Ph.D. from Princeton followed, and Smullyan taught mathematics and logic at Dartmouth, Princeton, and Yeshiva Universities and the City University of New York before joining the faculty at Indiana in 1981.

Smullyan has had a remarkably diverse sequence of careers. A former distinguished professor of mathematical logic, he is also a magician, essayist and musician, having authored over twenty books and forty research papers on mathematical logic, recreational mathematics, retrograde chess analysis, religion, Chinese philosophy, stereo photography and life in general. His magic is reflected in his mathematical lectures.

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Schola Cantorum from Westminster Choir College at Amherst College April 16

March 29, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Heather J. Buchanan will conduct Westminster Schola Cantorum from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in a concert on Tuesday, April 16, at 12:00 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. The concert is free and open to the public. For information contact Greg Brown at 413/542-8208.

The repertoire of the Schola Cantorum includes hymns and anthems by Finzi and Mendelssohn, motets by Stanford, plus Rheinberger’s Mass in E-flat, traditional spirituals and contemporary somgs from Venezuela, Brazil and Australia. Other works performed are Wilby’s If Ye Love MeCome Thou Fount of Every Blessing; Stanford’s Three Motets, Op. 38; and arrangements of Leek’s Simple Gifts and Millett’s Eliza Jane. Three spirituals either composed or arranged by Moses Hogan are also included in the repertoire: I’m Gonna Sing ‘Til the Spirit Moves in My Heart, Abide With Me and Ride On, King Jesus.

The 71-voice Westminster Schola Cantorum is the core choral experience for students in their second year of undergraduate study at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, N.J. Conducted by Heather J. Buchanan, the ensemble performs a wide range of repertoire in a variety of genres from the Baroque to the 21st century. Established in 1920, Westminster Choir College is a four-year music college and graduate school with a unique choral emphasis that prepares men and women for careers as music leaders in schools, universities, churches and professional and community organizations. It has been estimated that each week, Westminster graduates conduct and teach more than one million musicians worldwide.

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Surbahar Presents Indian Music in Concert at Amherst College April 15

March 29, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—A concert of classical Indian music by the ensemble Surbahar, featuring the rarely-heard surbahar, an instrument like a bass sitar, will take place in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College’s Arms Music Building on Monday, April 15 at 8 p.m. Shubha Sankaran will play the surbahar, accompanied by Khansahib Brian Q. Silver on sitar, and Mohan Shyam Sharma on pakhawaj and frame drum. The performance is free and open to the public.

Sankaran plays the surbahar, a mellow-toned Indian stringed instrument or esraj, that resembles a larger, deeper-toned sitar. Usually 60 inches long, the surbahar has movable frets that allow a glissando of six or seven notes on the same fret by pulling the string across the fret. The neck, made of Cedrela tuna or teak wood, is fixed on a large pumpkin used as a resonator. The surbahar has four rhythm strings, four play strings, and 11 to 17 unplayed sympathetic strings, all lying on a flat bridge. The strings are played with a metallic pick, or mizrab, fixed on the index finger of the right hand. The surbahar has a practical range of 4 octaves. The deep powerful sound of the surbahar makes it ideal for contemplative music.

Shubha Sankaran studied instrumental music with Ustad Imrat Khan, and vocal music with the late Pandit Shrikant Bakre. Both Sakaran and Silver have been honored by the Washington D.C. Commission of Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, performing in concert and on radio and television broadcasts in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Morocco, Central and South America and throughout the United States. Sakaran appeared before President Narayanan of India and the former President Fujimori of Peru, and at a benefit concert in Lima for the efforts of the Mother Theresa Orphanage in Lima, Peru. Silver traveled to India on a Fulbright grant to learn sitar with the late Ustad Ghulamhusain Khan. He is currently Chief of the Voice of America’s Urdu Service in Washington, as well as founder and Executive Director of International Music Associates.

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Examining the Legacy of Amiri Baraka at Amherst College April 7

March 26, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Jazz critic Stanley Crouch; Werner Sollors, the Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English Literature and professor of Afro-American studies at Harvard University; and Jerry Watts, associate professor of American studies at Trinity College, will examine the cultural, political and artistic legacy of author, poet, playwright, music critic and cultural activist Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones) on Sunday, April 7, at 3 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Marisa Parham, assistant professor of English at Amherst College, will moderate “Baraka: Examining a Legacy.” The event, sponsored by the departments of English, music and black studies at Amherst College, is free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, April 3, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall, Baraka himself will perform in the Magic Triangle Jazz Series as a featured vocalist in the William Parker Ensemble with William Parker, bass; Dave Burrell, piano; Darryl Foster, saxophone; Lewis Barnes, trumpet; Hamid Drake, drums; Leena Conquest, voice; and the Macedonia Church of God in Christ Choir. (Tickets are $6 for students and $9 for the general public, from the University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center Box Office at 1-800-999-UMAS.)

Watts is the author of the controversial book, Amiri Baraka: The Politics and Art of a Black Intellectual (2001). He views Baraka as a vaunted outsider, whose love of his “outsiderness” and penchant for instigation often overshadow his commitment as an artist working for social change. In Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones: The Quest for a ‘Populist Modernism’ (1978), Sollors portrays Baraka as an artistic and political hero of the Beat generation who evolved into a unique array of aesthetic and social identities. Crouch takes Baraka as he takes everything related to jazz: with a sharp bite.

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Heidi Gilpin To Speak on New Media and Performance at Amherst College April 2

March 26, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Heidi Gilpin, assistant professor of German at Amherst College, will talk about contemporary and international new media and performance projects in the Teaching Gallery of the Mead Art Museum on Tuesday, April 2, at 12:15 p.m., as part of the museum’s “First Tuesday” series of talks. The event is free and open to the public.

A member of the German faculty at Amherst since 2000, Gilpin taught comparative literature and cultural studies, new media and performance studies at the University of Hong Kong and at the University of California at Riverside since 1991. Since 1989 she has worked in Frankfurt, Germany as the dramaturg (conceptual author) for choreographer William Forsythe and the Ballet Frankfurt, where they developed strategies of movement research involving interactive technologies. Gilpin has lectured and published internationally on cultural studies in performance, with an emphasis on issues of bodily practice, critical theory, technology and architecture.

Gilpin holds a B.A. in European Studies from Amherst College, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in comparative literature from Harvard University. She was a founding editor of Copyright and Parallax, journals of cultural criticism. She currently serves on the editorial board of Convergence: The Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, and is completing a book about trauma and performance.

The Mead Art Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and holidays. More information can be obtained on the Museum’s Website at http://www.amherst.edu/~mead or by calling the museum at 413/542-2335.

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Poet Thom Gunn To Read at Amherst College April 11

March 26, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Poet Thom Gunn will read at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, in Stirn Auditorium at Amherst College. The event, sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center and the Scott Turow Foundation, is free and open to the public.

Born in England in 1929, Gunn studied at Trinity College, Cambridge. He then spent two years in the national service, six months in Paris, and in 1954 relocated to San Francisco where he held a one-year fellowship at Stanford University, working with Yvor Winters. Since then he has made his home in the United States.

Daniel Hall, a poet and visiting writer at Amherst College, says, “Thom Gunn has reinvented himself and his art at every stage of his long career. He is an endlessly fascinating poet whose subjects range from the varieties of ecstatic experience to the darkly existential; in his ability to write formal verse as well as free he has few rivals.” The Guardian (London) wrote that “Gunn’s generous poetry, passionate and tactful in equal measure, moves between elegy and celebration with enviable fluency and breadth of technique.”

Gunn has published more than 30 books of poetry in the United States and Britain, including Boss Cupid (2000); Frontiers of Gossip (1998); Collected Poems (1994); The Man with Night Sweats (1992), for which he received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; The Passages of Joy (1983); Selected Poems 1950-1975 (1979); Jack Straw’s Castle (1976); To the Air (1974); Moly, and My Sad Captains (1971); Touch (1968); and The Sense of Movement (1959). He has also written several collections of essays, including The Occasions of Poetry (1982; U.S. edition, 1999). Among his honors are a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations. He teaches at the University of California at Berkeley.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center puts on a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. See The Center’s Website.

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“Argentina: What Went Wrong?” at Amherst College April 10

March 25, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Economists and political scientists will consider “Argentina: What Went Wrong?” at a panel discussion at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10 in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hallat Amherst College. The event is open to the public at no charge.

Javier Corrales, an assistant professor of political science at Amherst College will moderate the discussion, which will include Carol Wise, professor of political science at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University; James E. Mahon, Jr., professor of political economy at Williams College; and Peter Montiel, professor of economics at Williams.

This event is part of the 2001-02 lecture series “Globalization Pressures on Latin America,” sponsored by the Amherst College departments of political science and economics, the Five-College department of peace and world security studies and the Corliss Lamont Lectureship for a Peaceful World fund.

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Mexican-American Filmmaker Gregorio Rocha To Speak at Amherst College April 4

March 25, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.— Mexican-American filmmaker Gregorio Rocha will present a multimedia discussion of the lost film archive of Edmundo Padilla, an itinerant Mexican-American exhibitor, on Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium. This event, the final presentation in a semester-long Mexican-American film series, will be free and open to the public.

Rocha, a resident of New York and Mexico City, has been making independent films and videos for 15 years. His explorations of Mexico-U.S. cross-cultural issues have been realized in both experimental and traditional productions that have won top prizes in film festivals in both the U.S. and Mexico. Wars and Images (1996) treats the history of visual representations that Americans and Mexicans have created about each other, focusing on the still- and motion-picture imagery of three wars. The stereotyped “Gringo” characterizes the Mexican-American War; the “Greaser” reflects the Mexican Revolution; and the “Amigo” distinguishes the 20th-century revision of U.S. influence in Mexico in the time of the World War II and the “Good Neighbor policy.” Other films by Rocha include The Arrow (1996), an experimental film about the search for Aztec roots, and Railroad to Utopia (2000). His work has been honored by the Rockefeller Foundation, Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Sistema Nacional de Televison Cultural and 22 Cinefest, San Antonio.

Rocha’s presentation will be followed by a reception in the Mead Art Museum. This event is in conjunction with the exhibition Casa Mañana: The Morrow Collection of Mexican Popular Arts on view in the Fairchild Gallery of the Mead Art Museum through April 21. Support for the exhibition and public programs has been provided in part by the U.S.-Mexico Fund for Culture/Fideicomiso para la Cultura México-EUA.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday evenings until 9 p.m., and is closed on Mondays and holidays. More information can be obtained on the Museum’s Website or by calling the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2335.

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