W. E. B. Du Bois Center Visiting Scholar Talk

Thu, Feb 6 2020 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Location: 
Library, W.E.B. Du Bois Room: 2220
Freeden Blume Oeur
This talk considers how Du Bois’s various litanies, culminating in his end-of-life trilogy The Black Flame, evinces an evolving theory of the racial unconscious, or "the Du Boisian creed.” Departing from efforts to recognize Du Bois’s place as the father of modern U.S. sociology, a Du Boisian creed locates in his late-career writings a proto-psychoanalytic strand of thought—an attempt to go “beneath the veil”—spawned by the grief over a father’s loss of a child (his son, Burghardt, in 1899) decades prior. 
 
A work of historical fiction and quasi-autobiography, and foremost a tragic family drama, the narration of The Black Flame finds Du Bois asserting a "fourth-person” point-of-view that expresses the collective and intergenerational trauma and melancholia of African-Americans, and the collective racist neuroses and fantasies of whites. Guided by Moon-Kie Jung’s recent call for a new “under-discipline” of sociology, this analysis goes subterranean into the unconscious and in doing so offers a few recommendations for sociological analyses of Du Bois. 
 
Freeden Blume Oeur is associate professor of sociology and education at Tufts University, and co-chair for the Boston Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality. His research examines the interplay of gender and masculinity, education, youth, feminist theory, and Black politics. Blume Oeur is the author of the award-winning book Black Boys Apart: Racial Uplift and Respectability in All-Male Public Schools (2018) and co-editor (with Edward W. Morris) of Unmasking Masculinities: Men and Society. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Du Bois Center at UMass, he is undertaking two projects: a revival and reimagination of Du Bois’s prayers written between 1909 and 1910 (with Phillip Luke Sinitiere and Becca Leviss); and a work of historical ethnography and historical fiction that uses Du Bois’s Black Flame trilogy to reassess the politics, the promise, and the propaganda of modern U.S. sociology.
Campus: 
UMass Amherst
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Free admission
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Zube Lecture with Richard T. T. Forman of Harvard Graduate School of Design

Thu, Feb 13 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Location: 
Olver Design Building Room: 170
Richard T. T. Forman

Town Ecology: For the Land of Towns and Villages  

Richard T. T. Forman Professor Emeritus, Harvard University  

Richard T. T. Forman is often considered a “father” of landscape ecology and also road ecology, helps spearhead urban ecology, and recently pioneered town ecology.  His primary scholarly interest links science with spatial pattern to interweave nature and people on the land.  Other research interests include changing land mosaics, conservation, and land-use planning.  With a Haverford College B.S., University of Pennsylvania Ph.D., and two honorary doctoral degrees, he now teaches ecology in the Harvard Graduate School of Design and formerly also in Harvard College.  He taught at the Escuela Agricola Panamericana, University of Wisconsin and Rutgers University, and received the Lindback Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching.  He served as President or Vice-President of three professional societies, and has received honors/awards in France, Colombia, England, Italy, China, Czech Republic, Australia, and the USA.  Internationally, he deciphers spatial patterns from cities to wilderness, and catalyzes the spread of ecological ideas and applications for society.  Professor Forman has authored numerous articles; his books include Landscape Ecology (1986), the award-winning Land Mosaics (1995), Landscape Ecology Principles in Landscape Architecture and Land-Use Planning (1996), Road Ecology (2003), Mosaico territorial para la region metropolitana de Barcelona (2004), Urban Regions: Ecology and Planning Beyond the City (2008), award-finalist Urban Ecology: Science of Cities (2014), and Towns, Ecology, and the Land (2019).

Campus: 
UMass Amherst
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Free admission
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Running from the Washingtons: Ona Judge and the Quest for Freedom

Wed, Feb 12 2020 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Location: 
Commonwealth Honors College Room: Events Hall
Never Caught

Erica Armstrong Dunbar will discuss the life of Ona Judge, a woman whose life story examines the irreconcilable tension between the concept of freedom and the institution of slavery. "Running from the Washingtons" illuminates the contradictions and flaws of America and its Founding Fathers and highlights the bravery and courage of a young enslaved woman who literally stole herself from George and Martha Washington. 

Commonwealth Honors College will host Erica Armstrong Dunbar, writer, historian, and lecturer, as part of its 20th Anniversary Black History Month Celebration. Dunbar is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University. Her first book, A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City was published by Yale University in 2008. Her second book, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge (37Ink/Atria) was a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and a winner of the 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Prize. The young readers version of Never Caught (Aladdin/Simon and Schuster) was published in January 2019. In the fall of 2019, Dunbar published She Came To Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman, an accessible biography of one of the most remarkable social activists of the 19th century. Dunbar’s op-eds in outlets such as the New York TimesThe NationTIMEEssence, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, her commentary in media outlets such as CNN and the LA Times, and her appearances in documentaries such as “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment,” “The Abolitionists” an American Experience production on PBS, and the forthcoming Ken Burns’ documentary on Ben Franklin, place her at the center of America’s public history. 

Campus: 
UMass Amherst
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Free admission
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Ocean Plastic Pollution from Sources to Solutions

Thu, Feb 6 2020 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Location: 
Dwight Hall, Room 101
Kara Lavender Law

"Ocean Plastic Pollution from Sources to Solutions," a talk by Dr. Kara Lavender Law, Research Professor at Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.  Dr. Lavender Law has been collecting plastic data in the Pacific ocean for more than a decade and is an expert in this field.

Campus: 
Mount Holyoke College
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The Quran in the American Imagination

Mon, Feb 10 2020 - 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Location: 
Willits-Hallowell Center, Morrison/ Andreola Rooms
Zareena Grewal

The Jane Freeman Crosthwaite Lecture on Religion in American Public Life by Zareena Grewal, Associate Professor of American Studies, Anthropology, and Religious Studies at Yale University. Grewal will discuss how the Quran became one of the most iconic objects in American debates about racial and religious tolerance. She asks whether or not the Quran is considered a “good book” like the Bible and other scriptures. Too often the Quran’s message is imagined as more violent, more sexist, and more intolerant. Tracking the Quran in the American imagination, she provides a window into today’s culture wars.

Campus: 
Mount Holyoke College
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Hampshire Dance Program, “Winter Dance Concert”

Repeats every day 1 times.
Fri, Jan 31 2020 - 8:00pm to 9:00pm
Location: 
Main Dance Studio/Theater, Music & Dance Building
Winter Dance Concert

The Hampshire Dance Program is proud to present the 2020 Winter Dance Concert, an annual concert featuring student and faculty choreography that embraces dance as an expansive, inclusive, and incisive art form.

This year’s concert features choreography by Hampshire College professor and dance artist Deborah Goffe entitled We Owe Each Other the Indeterminate. Performed by an ensemble of nine dancers (Kiara Badillo, Tessa Boose, Veronica Israel, Rhiannon Larsen, Daisy Maas, Mira Malcolm, Amisi Nazair-Hicks, Sophie Pollak, and Joshua Swift). Their performance is accompanied by recorded conversation between scholars Saidiya Hartman and Fred Moten overlaid with music, We Owe Each Other the Indeterminate invites the audience to dwell in a world as rich in ideas as it is in movement and sensation. The dancers don’t illustrate, but instead move within and alongside Hartman and Moten’s discussion—articulating the body’s capacity to listen as well as its own fluid, potent knowledge.

Other work in the program includes But My Room is a Mess, a work made by six student dance makers enrolled in Goffe’s Collaborative Dance Making course. The co-choreographers - Ernie Alugas, Kiara Badillo, Tessa Boose, Hannah Cunningham, Tiz Rome, and C. Ross -- navigated their compositional process with a focus on communication, connection, and care, yielding a compelling and intimate journey for both performers and viewers. Related to the Architecture of a Hallway, a video choreographed, shot, and edited by Eleanor Crawford and Makenna Finch opens with two dancers pressed into a narrow hallway. The cramped passageway, like the pressure and space between their two bodies, becomes a site of enlivened creative discovery.

Campus: 
Hampshire College
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Spring Opening Reception at the Mead

Tue, Feb 11 2020 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Location: 
Mead Art Museum
Spring Opening Reception at the Mead

Celebrate the opening of the Mead’s spring exhibitions at this evening reception, featuring “The Best Impressions: Inside the Edward C. Crossett Collection of Prints,” along with new rotations of works in “Starting Something New: Recent Contemporary Acquisitions and Gifts and Ten Years of Trinkett Clark Memorial Student Acquisitions.” Join us for curatorial remarks, live music, and refreshments in the galleries.

Campus: 
Amherst College
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Free and open to all!
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Cameron Chandler ’20 and Shane Auguste ’20 Senior Thesis Concert: “The Motley Crew” and “Outlets”

Sun, Feb 9 2020 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Location: 
Buckley Recital Hall

The Amherst College Department of Music presents The Motley Crew and Outlets, original theses in composition by Cameron Chandler ’20 and Yohan Auguste ’20. The concert is free and open to the public; seating is by general admission.

The Motley Crew is a collection of six movements stylistically ranging from big band jazz, to tango, to Japanese pop music. Inspired by different styles of music, each “member” of the crew has a distinct, interesting and fun personality.

In student composer Shane Auguste’s words: “Plug into Outlets, a string quartet cycle performed by the Wistaria Quartet. The piece rests upon musical concepts I have encountered at Amherst and explores my own interpretation and relationship to those concepts.”

For a complete listing of upcoming Amherst College Department of Music events, visit us on the web: www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/music/events

Campus: 
Amherst College
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Protik K. Majumder, Williams College: "Heavy Metals, Cheap Lasers and Precision Measurements of Atomic Structure"

Tue, Feb 4 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Location: 
Science Center, A011

With important contributions from many Williams undergraduates over recent years, we have completed a series of high-precision spectroscopic measurements in Group III and IV atoms such as thallium, indium and lead. These results test state-of-the art theoretical models of these complicated atoms and guide further refinement. I will discuss some recent results including a new precision measurement of a “forbidden” transition in lead which makes use of a laser polarimetry technique capable of microradian optical rotation resolution. Improved models of these heavy atoms aid in the bigger goals of testing the Standard Model (and beyond) with table-top atomic and laser physics experiments.

Campus: 
Amherst College
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"Can We Build Social Media That's Good for Society?" with Ethan Zuckerman

Thu, Jan 23 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Location: 
Integrative Learning Center Room: Communications Hub, 3rd floor
Ethan Zuckerman

Presented by the UMass Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. 

The tech backlash is in full force, and it's rapidly becoming conventional wisdom that social media is polarizing our politics, abusing our attention, misinforming our democracy and damaging our emotional health. But the situation is far more complex than it seems at first glance. Some of these critiques are not well supported by research. And those that are true apply to a particular model of social media, based around surveillant advertising and an endless quest for human attention. What would it mean to build social media expressly designed to strengthen democratic society? Can we imagine an alternative system where public service digital media overcomes some of the thorniest problems of our contemporary online world?

Ethan Zuckerman is Director of the Center for Civic Media, Associate Professor of the Practice at the MIT Media Lab, Cofounder of the citizen media community, Global Voices, and the author of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection. Prior to MIT, Ethan worked with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University on projects focused on civic media, freedom of speech online, and understanding media ecosystems. He led a team focused on Media Cloud, a project that continues to build an archive of news stories and blog posts in order to apply language processing and present ways to analyze and visualize the resulting data. Zuckerman also founded Geekcorp, a non-profit technology volunteer corps that has done work in over a dozen countries, and helped to found Tripod, an early participatory media company.

NOTE: This event currently scheduled for January 23, 2020 will take place on February 3, 2020 if postponed due to inclement weather. All registered attendees will receive a notification with more details.

Campus: 
UMass Amherst
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Free admission
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