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.

Robert Morgenthau ’41 Talks at Amherst

April 11, 2013

The Amherst Political Union (APU) welcomes former Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau back to Amherst College. Morgenthau, alum of the Class of 1941, helped to found the APU almost 75 years ago. Now, after a career as one of the most iconic figures in law enforcement history, Morgenthau returns to Amherst for a conversation with Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought Lawrence Douglas. They discuss crime, immigration, and Morgenthau’s life as a Navy officer, a New York gubernatorial candidate, and nine-time elected Manhattan DA.

The Vices and The Girl with the Sturgeon Tattoo, considered

University at Buffalo English professor Joseph Conte writes in the Buffalo News about Amherst law professor Lawrence Douglas’s new book, The Vices. He lumps it favorably into the genre beloved by academics: “An academic novel that satirizes the follies and pretentions of the very same people teachers have spent weeks staring at across a conference table.” Read the full review here.

Douglas on Dictators in Retirement

Law professor Lawrence Douglas spoke with Dan Ephron at The Daily Beast about how it’s getting harder for ousted dictators to find quiet islands or palatial estates to retire to, thanks to the increasingly powerful International Criminal Court.  “Once the ICC brings charges, you’re basically harboring a fugitive and not just allowing a cushy retirement for a former strongman,” he said.

Professor Lawrence Douglas Publishes Two New Works of Fiction

Submitted on Wednesday, 8/17/2011, at 4:25 PM

Interview by Katherine Duke '05

In Chapter Five of The Girl with the Sturgeon TattooSwedish author Lars Arffssen’s new thriller about an investigation into serial reindeer killings and the secret history of the UKEA furniture company—protagonist Mikael Blomberg sneaks into the vast but messy apartment of the brilliant young hacker Lizzy Salamander and finds, on her nightstand, a copy of the novel The Vices, by Lawrence Douglas. “Must order it on Amazon,” he thinks.

Such conspicuous product placement is a treat for readers who are in on the joke: that Arffssen and Douglas are one and the same. Aug. 30 will mark the release of Sturgeon Tattoo, a parody of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the other novels in Stieg Larsson’s bestselling crime thriller trilogy. The Vices, released on Aug. 16, is—like Douglas’s first novel, The Catastrophist—set partly at a fictional (but familiar) liberal arts college in Massachusetts.

USA Today: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has its copy cats

A brief feature in the national newspaper examined LJST professor Lawrence Douglas’ latest book, The Girl With the Sturgeon Tattoo by Lars Arffssen. “Arffssen is described in the author bio as being most famous for his investigation of the Swedish meatball,” reads the article. “In reality: he’s Lawrence Douglas, a Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College in Amherst, Mass.