Making Sense of Calamity
By William Sweet
[Courses] How are we all going to die? There are so many options: killer tsunamis, mile-wide meteors, avian flu, earthquakes, dirty bombs. If you need a little distraction from this gloom, maybe it’s time to take in a movie. The Poseidon Adventure? Armageddon? Melancholia?
Ours seems to be an age of permanent catastrophe, with our time split between suffering disaster, worrying about it, making plans to minimize it and arguing over why it happened.
Masters of Disaster: Studying Catastrophe with Douglas and Sarat
Submitted on Thursday, 3/28/2013, at 10:53 AM
by William Sweet
How are we all going to die? There are so many options, changing from week to week: killer tsunamis, mile-wide meteors, avian flu, earthquakes school shootings, and dirty bombs. If you need a little distraction from this gloom, maybe it’s time to take in a movie. The Poseidon Adventure? Armageddon? The Day After Tomorrow? Melancholia? Something with zombies?
3 Percent of All Executions Since 1900 Were Botched, Amherst College Study Finds
Submitted on Wednesday, 6/6/2012, at 4:39 PM
May 25, 2012
AMHERST, Mass.—Since the beginning of the 20th century, an estimated 3 percent of all executions in the United States were “botched,” according to Amherst College Professor Austin Sarat and a team of undergraduate researchers. The group found that, of approximately 9,000 capital punishments that took place in the country from 1900 to 2011, 270 of them involved some problem in carrying out the death penalty.
Free Speech: Feingold Talks Campaign Finance at Amherst Colloquium
Submitted on Thursday, 5/3/2012, at 2:46 PM
May 3, 2012
by Adam Gerchick ’13
“Speech doesn’t corrupt. Money corrupts. Money isn’t speech.” So argued former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold during his keynote address at an Amherst political science conference on April 20.
Austin Sarat Edits Two New Books, Prepares For NEH Seminar for School Teachers
Submitted on Friday, 8/12/2011, at 6:33 PM
By William Sweet
For many, the legal system can be a remote entity, something known mostly through film and literature. But for some, the U.S. justice system is anything but remote. It is the means by which they will die.
WFCR-FM: Justice Tested in the Prince Case
News of the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the resolution of the Phoebe Prince bullying case in May of 2011 placed a spotlight on widely differing aspects of the U.S. justice system. LJST professor Austin Sarat spoke with WFCR’s Susan Kaplan that in cases like the Prince suicide, in which a small community is galvanized around a terrible event, the justice system is put to it’s severest test.
What They Are Reading
Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, teaches such courses as “America’s Death Penalty” and “Secrets and Lies.” Here, he writes about the books on his figurative bedside table: