During the pandemic, Hampshire commemorates its semicentennial with numerous online presentations
This year marks an important milestone for Hampshire College — its 50th anniversary. Sadly, for the safety and well-being of our students and guests, we had to postpone the in-person portion of our celebration to October 15–17, 2021, but we’ve been honoring the impact Hampshire continues to have on the world through a calendar full of virtual events with impressive alums and faculty.
We’ve already hosted two great opportunities to learn, connect, and celebrate together. Both centered on timely topics, addressing some of the big questions our students are currently wrestling with. Nearly 100 alums, students, staff, faculty, friends, and even past presidents of the College were in attendance for each. If you missed the chance to take part, you can access recordings of our past events online.
The first event, moderated by Hampshire Professor of Sociology Margaret Cerullo, took place on October 8. Professor Alex Vitale 84F, author of The End of Policing and coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College, discussed the “Defund the Police” movement and its roots in both community-based safety organizing and police and prison abolition. “The movement is not just about this summer,” said Vitale. “It’s been percolating for years.”
An attendee said this: “Alex’s discussion (with Margaret’s facilitation) was very interesting, thoughtful, and engaging. His presentation style was straightforward, lacking in hyperbole, and realistic, and I feel it helped bring a radical idea down to an understandable and actionable plane.”
On October 14, Professor Emeritus of History Aaron Berman introduced one of his former Div II and III students, the journalist and author Jeff Sharlet 90F. Sharlet, who teaches writing at Dartmouth College, talked about how he started covering Donald Trump four years ago after many years of delving into evangelical Christianity and right-wing politics. “Hate had become my ‘beat,’” Sharlet said. He showed a clip of the documentary he coproduced, The Family, and read from a recent article he wrote for Vanity Fair about QAnon conspiracy theorists and the president’s rise to power. “Some of us were lulled into believing his ascension was an aberration,” Sharlet said. “The hate that is Trump was an inevitability.”
Check out the events coming up next.