Amherst Panel Conversation Raises Awareness about Contemporary Arabic Literature

Roughly 3 percent of books published in the U.S. every year are works in translation. Of that 3 percent, only about 4.3 percent are translated from Arabic.

The Common panel participants
Panelists Michel S. Moushabeck, founder of Interlink Publishing; John Siciliano, executive editor at Penguin Random House; and Jennifer Acker '00, founder and editor-in-chief of The Common, Photo by Steven Tagle. 

How often do you read books in English that have been translated from other languages? Chances are, not often. Have you ever read a book in English that was translated from Arabic? Chances are, you haven't. Statistically speaking, your chances of finding any work in translation—works from the Arab world in particular—on the shelves of your local bookstore are minimal.

Roughly 3 percent of books published in the U.S. every year are works in translation; of that 3 percent, only 4.3 percent are translated from Arabic. This spring, Jennifer Acker '00, founder and editor-in-chief of Amherst's literary magazine The Common, moderated a panel conversation at Amherst about contemporary Arabic fiction and began by citing these bleak statistics (which come from publisher Chad Post, who provided them to Publishers Weekly for this article).

"Our hope," Acker explained, "is that all of our collective efforts as readers and writers, community members and publishers ... can help to increase that number."

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Former Defense Secretary at Johnson Chapel Talk: U.S. Cannot Be the “World’s Policeman”

April 29, 2015

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Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Amherst History
Professor Frank Couvares speak at Johnson Chapel on April 28

The use of U.S. military force in the world has become “too easy” for American presidents, having become “the first option rather than the last resort,” said former Defense Secretary Robert Gates during a talk to a full Johnson Chapel on April 28.

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Physics Professor David Hall and Team Observe Quantum-Mechanical Monopoles

Submitted on Thursday, 4/30/2015, at 2:13 PM

April 30, 2015

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An artistic illustration of a quantum-mechanical monopole. Credit: Heikka Valja.

AMHERST, Mass.—Building on his own previous research, Amherst College professor David S. Hall ’91 and a team of international collaborators have experimentally identified a pointlike monopole in a quantum field for the first time. The discovery, announced this week, gives scientists further insight into the elusive monopole magnet, an elementary particle that researchers believe exists but have not yet seen in nature.

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Member of Class of 1981 to Receive Amherst College’s Medal for Eminent Service at Commencement May 24

Submitted on Friday, 4/24/2015, at 10:51 AM

April 23, 2015

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Leo Arnaboldi ’81

AMHERST, Mass.—The trustees of Amherst College have voted to award Leo Arnaboldi, a member of the College’s class of 1981, the Medal for Eminent Service during the school’s commencement exercises on Sunday, May 24. The medal is presented to members of the Amherst community who have demonstrated exceptional devotion to the College.

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Renowned Children’s Book Author, Entrepreneur and Economist Among Six to Be Honored at Amherst College’s Commencement on May 24

Submitted on Monday, 4/20/2015, at 2:47 PM

April 7, 2015

AMHERST, Mass.—Entrepreneur and philanthropist Jim Ansara ’82, renowned children’s book author and illustrator Eric Carle, contemporary artist and educator Sonya Clark ’89, economist Alice Rivlin, computational geneticist Pardis Sabeti and attorney and activist Paul Smith ’76 will all receive honorary degrees from Amherst College during its 194th Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 24, at 10 a.m. on the school’s main quad.

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Ready for the Year 3015? World’s Slowest Photograph Will Chart a Millennium’s Evolution

Jonathon Keats
Jonathon Keats '94

The Mead Art Museum is already planning an exhibition in the year 3015 that will unveil the world's slowest photograph, taken in a single exposure over the course of 1,000 years. 

The conceptual artist behind the project is Jonathon Keats '94, whose "millennium camera" will be installed atop Amherst's Stearns Steeple in June 2015 to document the evolution of the nearby Mount Holyoke Range until the summer of 3015.

The technology behind Keats' camera is simple—so simple, in fact, that it doesn't involve much technology at all. Any technology we have now, says Keats, is going to be unintelligible 10 years from now, much less 1,000 years from now. In order for the camera to be sustainable over time, he continues, it can't rely on a mechanical shutter, a developing process or an operating system. 

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Spring Arts Festival Celebrates the Arts on Campus

Spring Arts Festival  

A 1,000-year exposure camera created by an Amherst alum. The Amherst College Glee Club's sesquicentennial. Student and faculty collaborations across artistic disciplines. All this and more is celebrated at the Spring Arts Festival, taking place at various locations on campus Friday, April 10, through Sunday, April 19.

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