Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Frost Library hosts Amherst College faculty writers

Alicia LaRosa, Collegian Staff
On Thursday, Oct. 28, at Amherst College’s Frost Library, a fall book party recognizing new works by Amherst faculty in the humanities was held.

The library was buzzing with chatter amongst the authors and their colleagues. Eight of the college’s professors presented, either reading excerpts from their books or offering some thoughts on their projects’ creation. Each author had a fellow professor, to speak about the book overall.

Each person read a prepared speech, peppering in jokes to the crowd. The audience consisted of about 30 people, slowly rising to 40 as the party progressed. The event was almost a battle for time as the host librarian, Bryn Geffert, kept time to make sure no one went over their allotted minutes.

The authors included Laure Katsaros, Carol Clark, Andrew Dole, Rick López, Hilary Moss, Christian Rogowski, Paola Zamperini and Catherine Epstein. The topics of their books were extremely diverse, ranging far and wide. Geffert remarked that they had “the workings of a Hollywood thriller.” The crowd roared with laughter. There were a lot of friendly, humorous remarks; however, in some cases, the presenters said with a bit of sadness, their areas of research had no room for laughter.

Katsaros, assistant professor of French, wrote the book titled “Un Nouveau Monde Amoureux: Célibataires et prostituées au dix-neuvième siècle [A New World of Love: Bachelors and Prostitutes in Nineteenth-Century France],” which is about the correlation between bachelors and prostitutes and the affinity that they share.

After her lead in, she goes on to say that she wrote about these “twin scourges of a modern city” because, “fiction or not, they play a role on the most important stage of all.”

Clark, the William McCall Vickery 1957 Professor of the History of Art and American Studies – who was absent – had David Wills step up to the plate for her. He casually joked around with the crowd before going into detail about her book, “Charles Deas and 1840s America.”

Following Clark’s pinch-hitter was Dole, an assistant professor of religion, with his “meticulously and closely argued” book, “Schleiermacher on Religion and the Natural Order.”

Next was López, associate professor of history, with his intriguing book, “Crafting Mexico: Intellectuals, Artisans, and the State After the Revolution.”

“Art is as important as history itself,” López said. He went on to ask, “So what? Does this really make a difference? How?” about his area of research. He said that question alone was what propelled him into research.

Moss, assistant professor of black studies and history, next elaborated on her research in “Schooling Citizens: The Struggle for African American Education in Antebellum America,” her book. She is the recipient of many awards and honors for her work.

Following her was Rogowski, professor of German, to explain the method behind his book, “The Many Faces of Weimar Cinema: Rediscovering Germany’s Filmic Legacy.”

“The essays collected in the volume seek to redress the neglect such genre films have suffered,” said Rogowski.

“Few have survived; even fewer are available outside archives, with English subtitles, for an international audience,” continued Rogowski.

Zamperini, associate professor of Asian languages and civilizations, was second to last, promoting her book, “Lost Bodies: Prostitution and Masculinity in Chinese Fiction,” which illuminates some of the major themes in the construction of Chinese modernity.

Finally, Epstein, an associate professor of history, spoke about her book, “Model Nazi: Arthur Greiser and the Occupation of Western Poland,” which sheds light on a relatively unknown yet influential figure in Nazi Germany – the man who initiated the first mass gassing of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe.

This idea of hosting a book party for the humanities is going to spread to the social sciences and sciences in future semesters. Copies of these books are on sale at Amherst College.

Alicia LaRosa can be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *