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Our America

Open Letter from Amherst Faculty to the Hamphire College President

- By Members of the Amherst College Faculty

Dear President Nelson,

In 1965, an editorial in The Amherst Student stated that the Amherst College community “can justly be proud of the disproportionate contributions of their own college to the initial phases of Hampshire’s development.” Since then, five decades of close partnership with our colleagues at Hampshire College have joined our two faculties in strong bonds of shared professional interest, personal trust, mutual respect, and common educational pursuit. These bonds are a daily reality, a living tissue, and a continuing point of pride. They give us, members of the faculty of Amherst College, a direct interest in the future of Hampshire College, and they make us a stakeholder in the conversation about that future.

We write to you...

Our America

To Our Five College Colleagues

- By The Hampshire College Chapter of the AAUP

The Hampshire College Seal and Motto ("to know is not enough")

Hampshire College faculty and staff are very grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from our colleagues in the Five Colleges. This support is enormously important to us and gives us strength to weather this storm. Statements of support from Five College colleagues have also been accompanied by bewilderment at the situation at Hampshire and the inability to separate fact from rumor and speculation. We’d like to clarify the situation, as we see it right now.

As a tuition-driven institution, Hampshire is accustomed to financial pressures, which in recent years have grown due to ...

Our America

Peace, Love, and Understanding

- By Jim Hicks, for the editors

The Hampshire College Seal and Motto ("to know is not enough")

Frankly, when I read the shocking news from Hampshire College this week, it brought back memories. Shortly after I got anointed or conned into taking the job as MR editor, I received an email from my Dean at UMass, asking me to give her a few talking points about the history and importance of the magazine, in order to prep the Provost for a meeting with the Deans Council. Oh shit, I thought, this is trouble. I quickly cobbled something together, of course, but also immediately began doing some serious spadework. Eventually, with the help of our friends, we put...

Our America

Beyond Maternal Instinct

- By Erri De Luca, translated by Jim Hicks

Matthais Grünewald, detail from the Isenheim Altarpiece, Musée d'Unterlinden, Colmar

During my days at sea with Médicins Sans Frontières, I brought the Aeneid with me to read. As is true of the Odyssey, I was more taken by the maritime crossings than the episodes on land. It’s the unfavorable, not the fair, winds that determine their voyages.

A tempest lands Aeneas on the Libyan coast, where he is welcomed as a hero by Dido, Queen of Carthage.

At her request, Aeneas tells the story of the fall of Troy, of its last valiant resistance, of his own salvation, the voyage at sea and losing their way.

One of the lines Virgil has Aeneas speak is so extreme it seems paradoxical: Una salus victis, nullam sperare salutem. For...

Our America


- By Erri De Luca, translated by Jim Hicks

Photo by Nicole Parson, from Buzzfeed and The Hill.

I report here testimony gathered by the French journalist Jean Hatzfeld. Hatzfeld managed to interview in prison numerous perpetrators of the massacres in Rwanda, nearly entirely done with machetes. During the 90s, the Tutsi population was hunted down by Hutus and the killing was everywhere.

One of these exterminators said that, “During the time of the killings I never...

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