A Letter to Spacetime by Shashank Sule ’20

Dear spacetime,

I was going to write separate letters to space and to time but someone told me that your addresses were the same. I have never written to you. You don’t really know me. My role in your grand existence is that I cause little distortions. Very tiny distortions. In the spacetime where I exist, I am always told to believe that everyone starts by creating equal distortions. Equally little, or equally large. They bend you, stretch you, causing you to spiral in towards or away from them. That has been my existence so far: Being pulled and, on occasion, pulling others. But I also get pushed and sometimes nothing happens at all. It is all in your fabric.

Continue reading “A Letter to Spacetime by Shashank Sule ’20”

The Long Life of Names by Sam Wohlforth ’17

In protesting the racist Lord Jeff mascot, student activists often cite his record of approving of genocidal tactics against the Native tribes his British army was trying to suppress.  They rightly quote his letter to a subordinate in which he wonders “Could it not be contrived to send the Small Pox among those disaffected tribes of Indians?”  In other letters, it becomes quite clear that Lord Jeff saw the Native American tribes whose rebellion he was violently suppressing as contemptible, as barely human: in one, he writes, “for their commencing hostilities against us and persisting therein might be attended with the [illegible] of our inferior posts and a few of our people but must inevitably occasion such measures to be taken as would bring about the total extirpation of those Indian nations.”  Blaming the Native tribes for resisting British expansion into the hinterlands of the Northeast demonstrates Lord Amherst’s gallingly short memory and legitimized the colonialist violence the British would soon dispense on the heads of the Native tribes of the Northeast.

But the Lord Jeff is not our only symbol that dates from the days of Old Amherst, the old-boys network of white Amherst men who attended and ran the College for its first century and a half.   Continue reading “The Long Life of Names by Sam Wohlforth ’17”

Asking For It (Review by Sara Schulwolf ’17)

Both on our campus and in the national news, “rape culture” has become a recent buzzword, catapulted into the forefront of our thoughts and conversations. When reading news articles, it’s easy to feel enraged about Donald Trump and “pussygate,” or fume over Brock Turner’s grossly expedited jail sentence and marvel at how anyone might question the integrity of his victim. And while these are unquestionably serious—and awful—examples of the prevalence of rape culture and minimization of sexual assault that pervades our country, they can sometimes distract us from how we conduct ourselves in everyday life. Peel your eyes away from the headlines for a few moments, and it becomes evident just how insidious rape culture is, how it’s not merely possible but also likely that ordinary, well-meaning people will become complicit in perpetuating a society that’s hostile to survivors of assault, and to women in general. Continue reading “Asking For It (Review by Sara Schulwolf ’17)”