Margreta de Grazia To Speak on “Hamlet Without Hamlet” at Amherst College March 16

February 27, 2006
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AMHERST, Mass.—Shakespearean scholar Margreta de Grazia of the University of Pennsylvania will speak on “Hamlet Without Hamlet” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, in the Babbott Room in the Octagon at Amherst College. Sponsored by the English Department at Amherst College and the Eastman Fund, de Grazia’s talk is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served after the talk.

Among the world’s leading scholars on the editing of Shakespeare, de Grazia is the Joseph B. Glossberg Term Professor in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work interweaves literary study with expertise in history and philosophy. De Grazia is the author of the influential Shakespeare Verbatim (1991) and co-editor of Subject and Object in Renaissance Culture (1996) and The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare (2001). “Hamlet” Without Hamlet is also the title of her new book, forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

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Amherst College Welcomes Copeland Fellows for Spring 2006 Semester

February 24, 2006
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AMHERST, Mass.—Amherst College has welcomed five Copeland Fellows to campus for the spring semester. Each year Amherst provides scholars in the beginning stages of their careers with an opportunity to pursue their chosen field of study for a semester in residence as Copeland Fellows. Fellows are selected from any discipline, vocation or profession, to live and work with each other and with Amherst faculty and students.

In Nicole Asquith’s dissertation, she explored 19th- and 20th-century poetry’s relationship to popular culture, tracing the connection of French rap to its poetic antecedents. While at Amherst, she plans to study the aesthetics of French hip-hop, addressing the question of whether there is such a thing as a French hip-hop vernacular. She is sponsored by Rosalina de la Carrera, professor of French.

Prashant Bhargava, a writer, director and editor, is the founder and creative director of Jiva Universal Productions. His film Sangam was an official selection in the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Prashant has received awards from the New York Foundation of the Arts, the Broadcast Designers Association and Adobe Systems. During his Copeland Fellowship, he will be writing and refining the script for a feature-length film that will center on a kite festival in contemporary India. Marisa Parham, assistant professor of English, is Bhargava’s sponsor.

Yonca Köksal, whose research focuses on the empire and state formation, is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Koç University in Istanbul. While at Amherst, she plans to work on a book manuscript that is devoted to an analysis of the transformation from empire to nation-state, with the goal of re-thinking the end of the Ottoman Empire. She is sponsored by Uday Mehta, the Clarence Francis Professor in Social Sciences (Political Science.)

Umayalpuram Mahalingam (Mali) is a professional percussionist in South India’s classical music, the Carnatic music tradition, and is a virtuoso on a two-headed drum called the mridangam. He plans to work on a book manuscript about the artistry of rhythmic accompaniment in Carnatic music. David Reck, professor of music and Asian languages and civilizations, is his sponsor.

Benjamin Adisa Ogunfolakan is a lecturer in archaeology at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. His research focuses on the history of local settlements and the related material culture of the Osun Yoruba region of Nigeria. Using a combination of archaeological, oral-historical and ethnographic analyses, Ogunfolakan has been exploring ways in which smaller communities outside the ancient Yoruba city-state interacted with the capital and each other. He has already written drafts of several chapters of his work and plans to complete his study during the fellowship. Adisa is sponsored by Rowland Abiodun, the John C. Newton Professor of Fines Arts and Black Studies.

Each Copeland Fellow receives a stipend, living accommodations, meals, a travel allowance and some research support. These sponsors also work as advisors and mentors. Copeland Fellows share living quarters and spend a lot of time with each other.

Past fellows have been research scientists, a painter, a musician of Indian classical music, a photo-journalist and creative writers. Many are American citizens, but others have come from China, Africa, Russia, Poland, Switzerland and France. A fellow’s work might include an occasional guest lecture in a class, participation in a Five College Faculty Seminar, work with individual students or a recital, exhibition or public lecture.

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Beauty and Terror: Modern Music at Amherst College March 10

February 23, 2006
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AMHERST, Mass.—Pianist Marilyn Nonken and clarinetist Michael Norsworthy will present a concert of new music in at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 10, in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. The program, titled “Beauty and Terror,” will include recent works by British, American and Australian composers. The concert and a reception to follow are free and open to the public.

Nonken has been called “a determined protector of important music” by The New York Times and “one of the greatest interpreters of new music” by American Record Guide. She is a major figure in the contemporary music scene in New York, where she is artistic director and co-founder of Ensemble 21. Her concerts have been presented by Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, IRCAM, Theatre Bouffe du Nord, the ABC (Australia) and the Guggenheim Museum. She has also appeared as a guest with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Norsworthy is the executive director of the Boston-based new music ensemble Callithumpian Consort, and is a member of Ensemble 21. He currently is artist-in-residence at Harvard University.

Both musicians have premiered works by prominent living composers such as Milton Babbitt, Elliot Carter and Brian Ferneyhough, and their appearance in Amherst represents the only local concert of such music in recent memory.

The program includes two world premieres: Michael Finnissy’s “Marilyn, Mike, Brian and the Cats” (2004) and Amherst College Valentine Professor of Music Richard Beaudoin’s “La bella confusione” (2005). Also included are Jason Eckardt’s “Tangled Loops” (1996), Finnissy’s “Kemp’s Morris” (1978) and Chris Dench’s “The Sadness of Detail “(2002). Julian Anderson’s “The Bearded Lady “(1994) rounds out the program. Anderson is the head of composition at Harvard University.

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Historian James T. Campbell To Discuss Uncovering a University’s Ties to Slavery March 12

February 23, 2006
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AMHERST, Mass.—James T. Campbell, associate professor of American civilization, Africana studies and history at Brown University, will deliver a lecture titled “Navigating the Past: Brown University, the Slave Trade, and the Voyage of the Slave Ship Sally” at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Departments of American Studies, Black Studies and History, the Amherst College Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Eastman Fund, Campbell’s talk is free and open to the public.

Brown has a complex and highly profiled history with the slave trade. Founded in 1764 by the Rev. James Manning, who eventually freed his only slave, Brown University was supported largely by the donations of several prominent slave owners and traders in the Providence area. The Brown family, heavy contributors after whom the university was named, included both John Brown, notorious promoter of the slave trade, and Nicholas Brown Jr., staunch abolitionist.

Campbell, a member of Brown University's Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, discusses how a university confronts its own controversial relationship to slavery and the slave trade, focusing on the voyage of a slave ship to Africa in 1764 by the four Brown brothers.

Campbell received his B.A. degree from Yale University in 1980 and his Ph.D. degree in history from Stanford University in 1989. He is the co-director of “Freedom Now: An Archival Project of Brown University and Tougaloo College,” an archive of the Mississippi Freedom Movement, a historical consultant for the “Forgotten History: Slavery and the Slave Trade in New England” project and is also involved in a collaborative project documenting the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education. His works include the upcoming Middle Passages: African-American Journeys to America, 1787-2005 (2006) and the award-winning Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa (1995).

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Tenor Peter W. Shea To Offer A Musical Homage to Heinrich Heine At Amherst College March 1

February 23, 2006
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AMHERST, Mass.—The German House at Amherst College will present a recital by local tenor Peter W. Shea at 4 p.m., on Wednesday, March 1, in Porter House, next to the Lord Jeffery Inn in Amherst. Accompanied by pianists Gregory Hayes and Monika Jakuc, Shea will pay homage to the Romantic poet Heinrich Heine on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his death. Sponsored by the Amherst College German Department and the Eastman Fund, the concert is free and open to the public.

The concert of Heine poems set to music will include Schumann’s song cycle Dichterliebe and pieces by international composers. Additional settings of Heine poems will feature local Amherst composers Willis Bridegam, librarian emeritus of Amherst College, David Kidwell, Zeke Hecker and others. The performance will be in German, Hebrew, Dutch, Italian, Romanian and Slovenian, with side-by-side translations provided.

Peter W. Shea, a frequent tenor soloist with groups such as the Arcadia Players Baroque Orchestra, the Hampshire Choral Society and the Brattleboro Community Chorus, has sung professionally since 1972. He studied voice at the Hartt School in West Hartford and historical musicology at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Shea is a cataloger of Germanic languages and musical materials for the University Libraries at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is devoting his current sabbatical to the collection, performance and recording of Heine songs.

Gregory Hayes is a 1973 graduate of Amherst College and of the Manhattan School of Music. He has taught piano at Dartmouth College since 1991 and is a frequent participant in the New England Bach Festival and the Mohawk Trail Concert series.

Monika Jakuc is the Elsie Irwin Sweeney Professor of Music at Smith College, where she has taught since 1969. She has released several CDs on Titanic Records and is a frequent performer on fortepiano with Arcadia Players.

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Amherst College is a “Local Hero” With Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture

February 21, 2006
Director of Media Relations
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AMHERST, Mass.—Amherst College has joined the “Be a Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown”™ program of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), a South Deerfield-based non-profit organization of farmers, consumers and professionals working together to sustain agriculture and preserve the unique rural character of communities in western Massachusetts through the purchase of local farm products. Amherst is the second college to join the campaign.

Charlie Thompson, the director of dining services at Amherst College, says, “The college has been trying to buy local products as often as possible. We are completely committed to the ideals of buying locally grown now and in the future.” Thompson comments, “We have been buying local produce for close to 20 years through a local produce company, Squash Inc.” Squash Inc. is committed to the support of local agriculture and is the link that brings local farmers and end users together. Amherst College Dining Services has increased its purchase of locally produced items over the past six months to include, honey, jam, beef, maple syrup and apples, among other items.

“College students are increasingly interested in having their dining centers use locally grown farm products,” says Kelly Coleman, program coordinator at CISA. “Students taste the high quality of local products and appreciate connecting to farmers and the wider community. We welcome Amherst College and its students to the Local Hero program.”

CISA is the creator of the “Be a Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown”™ marketing campaign to promote the purchase of local agricultural products by local consumers. Learn more about CISA or call 413/665-7100.

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Amherst College Purchases Renewable Energy; Receives EPA award for Million Monitor Drive

February 21, 2006
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AMHERST, Mass.—Personal computers at Amherst College are now being powered by clean, wind-generated energy. Jim Brassord, director of facilities planning and management at Amherst, recently announced that the green power is being purchased to celebrate and reward participation in the Million Monitor Drive (MMD), which resulted in more than 1,700 students, faculty and staff pledging to let their computers “sleep” when idle.

As an incentive to the campus community Amherst College Physical Plant offered to purchase 175,000 kilowatt-hours of wind-powered Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), also called Green Tags, through the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Purchasers consortium, for the students’ participation in the MMD. This zero-emissions wind energy is enough to power all the Amherst College computers, or light 140 homes, for a year.

By making this joint purchase with Smith and Mount Holyoke, Amherst joins other Massachusetts colleges and universities such as Harvard, UMass Lowell and Williams in purchasing electricity generated from renewable resources. This is the first purchase of renewable energy in the campus’ 185-year history.

“The purchase of wind power is an exciting move toward a sustainable campus. Small colleges like ours have the resources and capability to take these first important steps, setting the example for bigger entities, like large organizations, or even states and nations. We’re proud that the college is taking a leadership role in purchasing renewable power,” stated the Green Campus Advocates, a student environmental group at the college.

Making the green energy purchase contingent upon participation in the Million Monitor Drive demonstrated an important fact, says Brassord, “The environmental benefits from reducing the energy used by idle computers actually outweigh those from the green energy purchase,” he notes. Enabling the “sleep mode” will offset 150 tons per year of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Running all the computers on wind-generated renewable energy will save another 125 tons. The total carbon reductions are equivalent to planting 94 acres of trees, according to figures from the EPA.

Members of Amherst College’s Million Monitor Drive Coalition include the Physical Plant, the Department of Information Technology and MassPIRG.

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Amherst College Spanish Professor Ilan Stavans Receives National Jewish Book Award

February 21, 2006
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AMHERST, Mass.—Ilan Stavans, the Lewis-Sebring Professor of Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College, recently received the National Jewish Book Award for The Schocken Book of Modern Sephardic Literature, which he edited in 2005.

A member of the Amherst faculty since 1993, Stavans is also author of Growing up Latino (1993), The Hispanic Condition (1995), The Oxford Book of Jewish Stories (1998), On Borrowed Words (2001), The Poetry of Pablo Neruda (2003) and most recently Dictionary Days (2005.) Stavans has published the first dictionary of Spanglish, titled Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language (2003), and has debated in public the role language plays in public life and civic affairs for African Americans, Latinos and other immigrant groups. Stavans also published a selection of the interviews that he conducted on Conversations with Ilan Stavans on the WGBH (PBS) program La Plaza. He is the editor of the forthcoming Norton Anthology of Latino Literature.

The Jewish Book Council promotes the reading, writing and publishing of quality English language books of Jewish content in North America, and sponsors a variety of activities and programs, among them the National Jewish Book Awards, established in 1948/9, and the Jewish Book Month. Its publications include Jewish Book Annual and Jewish Book World.

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Painter Thomas Nozkowski To Present Rapaport Lecture at Amherst College March 15

February 21, 2006
Director of Media Relations
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AMHERST, Mass.—Painter Thomas Nozkowski will give the annual Rapaport Lecture in Contemporary Art at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. This talk is free and open to the public.

Professor of painting at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Nozkowski has had more than 60 one-person shows. The New York Times has written that Nozkowski is “unable to make an uninteresting painting. This is pretty amazing considering that for 25 years he has restricted his vocabulary to the fundamental elements of two-dimensional design and refused to venture beyond the boundaries of the easel-size canvas. Yet he persists in producing one surprising, punchy, near-perfect composition after another.”

Nozkowski’s most recent exhibitions include a show of new work at the Max Protetch Gallery, New York (2006); Gorney Bravin + Lee Gallery, New York (2006); Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles (2005) and a 10 year survey of paintings at Haunch of Venison, London (2004). The New York Studio School presented a 25 year survey of his drawings in 2003. He is represented in the collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the High Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Phillips Collection, among others. He is a Guggenheim fellow and has received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Painting.

The Rapaport Lectureship in Contemporary Art Fund, established in 1999, provides support for an annual lecture by an artist, art writer or art critic on some aspect of contemporary art. The goal of the Rapaport Lectureship is to increase awareness and appreciation of contemporary art among students and the community.

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Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony at Amherst College March 5

February 20, 2006
Director of Media Relations
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AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College Symphony Orchestra and Choral Society join forces in their annual collaboration to present, for the first time in the college’s history, the massive Second Symphony in C minor, the “Resurrection,” by Gustav Mahler, at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, March 5, in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College.

Approximately 180 musicians will perform the five-movement, 85-minute work with text by Friedrich Klopstock and Mahler himself. Long interpreted as addressing abstract eschatological questions and the meaning of existence itself, Mahler’s symphony traces a progression from apocalypse to redemption and has both stunned and moved audiences since its premiere in 1896.

Stephanie Dawn Johnson, soprano, and Kimberly Gratland James, mezzo-soprano, familiar to Amherst audiences from their previous performances of the Beethoven Ninth and the Verdi Requiem, return as soloists. The performance will be conducted by Mark Lane Swanson, with assistance from Rob Lane ’05, and the Choral Society has been prepared by Mallorie Chernin and Rachel Dunham ’05.

Tickets for the event are $5, with free admission for Amherst College students. There will be reserved seating only, and advance reservations by writing AmherstMahler@gmail.com are strongly recommended.

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