Amherst Drives Conversation on Improvisation and Interdisciplinarity in the Liberal Arts

Submitted on Wednesday, 12/10/2014, at 2:00 PM

Faculty Workshop

“Improvisation, Interdisciplinarity and the Liberal Arts,” a three-day faculty workshop at Amherst, brought together professors and researchers from leading liberal arts institutions across the country with the goal of building collaborative networks among faculty whose research and teaching explore the burgeoning field of improvisation studies.

Organized primarily by Jason Robinson, assistant professor of music at Amherst, and sponsored by the Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges, the workshop hosted scholars from Amherst, Barnard, Hampshire, Oberlin, Pomona, Reed, Smith, Swarthmore and Wellesley Colleges; Columbia, Denison, Furman, Harvard and Wesleyan Universities; and the University of Guelph in Ontario. The attendees’ departmental affiliations ranged from art, theater, dance and music, to biology, comparative literature, American studies and computer science.


Impromptu jazz-fusion jam w/ various musicians in 2001

Dolphin Dance Improv (solo)

Submitted by Adam I. Kraus
Piano Improvisation

The Marx of a Killer

Article by Katherine Duke '05
Photos by Jessica Mestre '10

On the evening of Dec. 13, I make my way to Keefe Campus Center and follow the signs directing me to the Presidential Candidates’ Dinner. I’m eager to meet some of the people hoping to succeed Tony Marx as the next president of Amherst College, to enjoy a free dinner from a local Italian restaurant and to witness a homicide.

Free Your Mind

Nov. 24, 2010

By Katherine Duke '05

More than a dozen student performers were crowded around me, making some very catchy music together. They were stomping and clapping in rhythm, making doo-wop sounds and singing lyrics in at least two different languages. But this wasn’t an a cappella concert—at least, not a planned one. This was a lesson for students in the First-Year Seminar “Thinking Through Improvisation.”

Three New Albums, Three Entirely Different Directions

October 28, 2010

It’s not likely that you’ll ever find music professor Jason Robinson just sitting around.

Mere Entertainment

imageMatt Johnson '10E (with purple glove) and
Adam Barton '11 (with scarf) on stage.

By Sarah Cassel '03