Amherst Magazine

College Row

Verbatim

A compilation of recent remarks made at Amherst.

“I lay awake for 10 years wondering who was going to come for me. Today there are a million other kids—not only in Southern Sudan, or Western Sudan, or Africa, but around the world, kids in bondage. I want to be their voice. I want you to join me and become abolitionists. I want you to ask yourself, What good is your freedom, if you don’t use it to help other people?”

Escaped Sudanese slave Francis Bok
In a talk titled “21st Century: Living Proof”
Johnson Chapel, Feb. 23, 2006

“What the Sudanese are trying to do now is pose serious questions: Who are we, really? What is this country? But the more those questions are posed to those whose self-perception has been distorted and who have actually distorted the framework of identity, the more they become entrenched.”

Francis Deng, director of the Center for Displacement Studies and a research professor at Johns Hopkins University
In a talk on “New Sudan in the Making”
Pruyne Auditorium, April 10, 2006

“Whatever one wants to say about policies, it’s the reclaiming of patriotism…the affirmation of the nation’s values which are transgressed by the policy commitments of the administration—that affirmation ought to be of the essence. We ought to declare a final terminus to the era of defensiveness. If it is a conservative age, and it is in many respects, it is partly because we have felt that it [is] their country. I think it is time to stop feeling that, and time to stop feeling that that title is automatic. They’re the ones that have the explaining to do.”

Todd Gitlin, Professor at Columbia University
In a talk on “Whose Flag Is It? Liberal Patriotism in a Conservative Age”
Pruyne Auditorium, March 6, 2006

“Theatre is one of the last examples in society of real community, where people both on stage and in the audience, against all odds, and perhaps against their own natures, can put away their vanity and their greed and their self-regard for a few evening hours and collect around a common object.”

Drama critic, essayist and director Robert Brustein ’47
Speaking on “Territorial Art: The Politics of Adaptation”
Holden Theater, March 31, 2006

“The snakes had fled, and so it didn‘t look good.”

Filmmaker Werner Herzog
On making his documentary La Soufriere
Stirn Auditorium, April 9, 2006