News from Hampshire College
  January 2006

This electronic newsletter is designed to inform friends of Hampshire College about news stories involving Hampshire, and about the work and accomplishments of members of the college community. Media releases and announcements are regularly posted at (click on "News").

Arial photo of campus
An abundance of intellectual and cultural opportunities seem to be available to the Hampshire community at any given time, but spring semester 2006 promises to be particularly rich in its offerings. Among those offerings are two interdisciplinary series that respond to contemporary problems while drawing on ancient wisdom to broaden our understanding. Led by Hampshire faculty, both also involve significant partnerships with other institutions and organizations throughout the Pioneer Valley and beyond.

WAR & RETURN: A series of lectures and events on the return of the war veteran will reflect both awareness of the turbulent times in which we live and a commitment to the enduring relevance and healing force of ancient literature. ‘Stories of War and Return: From Troy to Iraq’ has been organized by Professor of Humanities Robert Meagher, and will feature a distinguished list of speakers, as well as films, workshops, and readings. Read more about this important series: and

ART, EXILE, MEMORY: Hurricane Katrina and other recent disasters have heightened our awareness of displacement. This series on ‘Art, Exile, Memory’ will explore how a Jewish language of exile, diaspora, and memory – from the Bible through the Spanish Inquisition and the Holocaust – can help define and frame recent experiences of displacement. And, it will explore the ways art redefines and re-imagines the experience of exile. Emerging from a course on Art and Exile that is being taught during spring semester by Rachel Rubinstein, assistant professor of Jewish American literature and culture, and Karen Koehler, associate professor of architectural and art history, the ‘Art, Exile, Memory’ series opens February 9 with a talk by writer and public radio columnist Andrei Codrescu. Learn More

FULBRIGHT SENIOR SPECIALIST: Professor of Chemistry Dula Amarasiriwardena has been selected for a Fulbright Senior Specialists Grant in Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry at the University of Concepción, Chile, this spring. While there, he will teach a short course, Analytical Chemistry Applied to Environmental Monitoring and Research, for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. He will also develop and assess academic materials for the departments of chemistry and environmental sciences at the university, and be involved with evaluation of an arsenic contaminated region and exposed population in the Atacama Desert.


Book: Angels World
ANGEL’S WORLD: Critical attention continues to be strong for Angel’s World: The New York Photographs of Angelo Rizzuto by Michael Lesy, professor of literary journalism. Lesy’s book, published by W.W. Norton, was positively reviewed in both the December 17 New York Times and the January 15 Los Angeles Times.

A LOT ON HIS PLATE: The college president's house is the frequent site of receptions and dinners related to the work of the institution. Hampshire President Ralph Hexter is featured prominently, including a cover photograph, in the January 27-February 2 weekly newsmagazine of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Hampshire Life. In "College Presidents Have a Lot on Their Plates: Food plays a big role in getting the job done," the Five College presidents discuss the role of food in their jobs, or as President Hexter well states it: "The president's house is not just our house, it's for the college community, too." (online access requires a password).

ON-AIR ESSAY: The latest essay by Secretary of the College Nancy Kelly will air on WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Tuesday, January 31, between 10:20 and 10:30 a.m. If your New Year’s Resolution was to eat healthy or drop a few pounds, and you’ve sworn food will no longer be at the center of your existence, put down that granola bar, quit just listening to your body, and tune in for some “Food for Thought.” Go to 90.3 FM Albany or (click on "Listen Live").

CULTURAL VILLAGE: A family trip back to campus and to the Eric Carle Museum and National Yiddish Book Center inspired Hampshire alumnus Roger Mummert (74F) to write about the Cultural Village for the Travel section of the New York Times on January 20, "In the Land of the Very Hungry Caterpillar" (page D8):

ASIA TIMES: Professor of Peace and World Security Studies Michael Klare’s essay, “The Botched War on Terror,” ran in the January 10 Asia Times.

VIETNAM TERRACES: Melissa Scheid-Frantz, director of the multicultural center, visited Vietnam, the land of her mother’s birth, for the first time in 2003. A new series of paintings, Vietnam Terraces, resulted and was shown in Hampshire’s main gallery during January. Her work, painted entirely with her fingers, was noted by a reviewer for its “luminescent appeal depicting architecture and landscapes in a style that, while clearly her own, combines the quiet mystery of di Chirico's paintings of buildings and street scenes with the playful perspective and bright palette of Marc Chagall.”


Book:The Mandarin Club
Forthcoming from Bancroft Press is alumnus and Trustee Gerald Felix Warburg’s (74S) first novel, “a contemporary Washington mystery with a high tech, China twist.” Due out this spring, The Mandarin Club presents “vivid portraits of characters trying to honor fundamental values in busy lives, even as a violent world intrudes.” Learn more: 

Cynthia Canary (77S), featured in the January 10 Chicago Tribune, is a reform advocate pushing for change in Illinois politics. As executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, she often finds herself in a spotlight position. Her office advocates for tighter ethics, as well as tracking campaign contributions and other political practices in Illinois.

The Billy G is a boat used by Greenpeace in its efforts in the Southern Antarctic Whale Sanctuary to stop whale hunting. It is named to honor the memory of Hampshire alumnus Billy Greene (88S), a promising young filmmaker and animator who was murdered in 2001 in Emeryville, California. Greene's mother donated the boat to Greenpeace as one way to respond to the tragedy of her son's death in a manner that affirms life and prevents violence. The boat's operator has written about his work and the gentleness of Billy Greene on the Greenpeace blog.

Jeffrey Hollender (74S), president of the natural household products company Seventh Generation, is featured in the January/February issue of Natural Home and Garden magazine. Hollender and his family built a natural, healthy home in Vermont, designed to reduce exposure to allergens. ("Seventh Heaven," pp. 50-53) (download “Seventh Heaven” pdf)

Adam Shemper (93F), who is an editorial assistant at Mother Jones magazine in San Francisco, recently covered the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams at San Quentin State Prison for Read More

Tom (75F) and Denise Warren (76F) own Stone and Thistle Farm in East Meredith, New York, where they use guard dogs to protect their goats and sheep.


While the general approach to this newsletter’s content remains familiar, continuing established efforts to get Hampshire news out to close friends of the college, we are trying out a new design and format. We hope the new format will enable us to expand the content we can offer you, as well as make it easy to archive the information on the college Web site.

Now we need to know the most important thing: Does this new format work for you? If you experienced difficulties accessing and opening the newsletter, please let us know (it is still possible to receive the content in a text-only email). Also, if you are viewing this as a forwarded message and would like your email address added to the list of subscribers, just send us that information. And, lastly, if you have suggestions for stories related to Hampshire that you think might be good for any of the college’s communications efforts, please let us know about those, too. Just send your feedback by email to Elaine Thomas, director of communications, at