Past Events

Lecture: “Confucian Filial Sons in the Philosophy of Plato”

Oct. 3, 2018 4:30 pm – 6:40 pm
Skinner 216

A lecture by Eric Hutton, associate professor and associate chair, philosophy, University of Utah.

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Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Apr. 25, 2018 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Gamble Auditorium

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Esra Özyürek: "Generation Allah: Democratizing Young Muslim Men and Working Through Holocaust Memory in Germany"

Mar. 19, 2018 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Gamble Auditorium

Please join us for the 2017-2018 Mary E. Johnson Lecture on Social Justice and Human Rights, featuring Associate Professor Esra Özyürek from the London School of Economics. Özyürek is a political anthropologist who seeks to understand how Islam, Christianity, secularism, and nationalism are dynamically positioned in relation to each other in Turkey and Europe. Her most recent book is "Being German, Becoming Muslim: Race, Religion and Conversion in the New Europe" (2014). This event is free and open to the public.

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“Songs of Desire” — Pharaoh’s Daughter in concert

Feb. 10, 2018 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
McCulloch Auditorium, Pratt Music Hall

In music both hip and deeply informed by her Hasidic, Yiddish-speaking background, singer Basya Schecter leads seven-piece band Pharaoh’s Daughter in songs of erotic and spiritual desire drawn from the Song of Songs. The band creates a tapestry of sounds influenced by Sephardic, Arabic, and other Middle Eastern musical traditions. Free and open to the public.

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Meredith Coleman-Tobias: “Thirst: Sobonfu Somé’s: Po(r)table Ritual”

Feb. 6, 2018 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm
Skinner 216

Religion, Race, & Ethnicity in the Americas Lecture Series 

Guest Speaker Meredith Colman-Tobias from Williams College discusses how the primary fundraiser, The Walk for Water, for Sobonfu Somé's nonprofit organization, Wisdom Spring Inc., grows out of and departs from Somé’s ritual life. As Somé’s only annual event that directly interfaced with her home country, Burkina Faso, “Thirst” functions as a meditation on the role of “Africa” and “the West” in a movement that, otherwise, does not explicitly privilege specific geographic places for its practice. Coleman Tobias posits that The Walk for Water, as an event, ironically presents a challenge for Somé’s otherwise portable ritual practice. Reception follows. Free and open to the public.

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“Sexy for Jesus:” Contemporary Gospel Performance

Jan. 31, 2018 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm
Skinner 216

"Planting Yourself in the Land: Urban Indian Religious Regeneration."

Jan. 29, 2018 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm
Skinner 216

Racial Profiling and Mexican Religion in the United States: Beyond the 100-Mile Border

Jan. 25, 2018 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm
Skinner 216


Nov. 28, 2017 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Chapin Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College

Egyptian American musician, dancer and educator, Karim Nagi delivers this dynamic concert and demonstration.  He performs on various traditional Arabic percussion and melodic instruments, while including the audience to participate from their seats.  Additionally, he demonstrates various styles of folkloric dance from around the Arab world.

A Middle Eastern dinner will be served after the event.

This event is co-sponsored by MHC Asian Studies Program, MHC President's Office, MHC Dean of Students, MHC Multicultural Community and College Life Committee, MHC Dance Dept., MHC Theatre Dept., MHC Religion Dept., and the Five College Arabic Language Initiative.

"Telling Our Own Stories"

Nov. 13, 2017 4:15 pm – 6:30 pm
Dwight Hall 101

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Religion and Jewish Studies Department Tea

Oct. 23, 2017 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm
Skinner 210

The Religion and Jewish Studies Departments invite you to join us for a sushi snack and to find out more about Religion Courses, Majors and Minors.

The Social Lives of Manuscripts (and the People that Read them)

Apr. 19, 2017 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Surviving manuscripts are foundational for our understanding of almost every pre-modern society. But Michael Penn contends that scholars often read the “wrong” parts of manuscripts. What if instead of focusing on a manuscript’s main text, we instead focus—quite literally—on the margins? In 40 minutes of colorful pictures (and colorful stories), Professor Penn will introduce to you the social worlds preserved in ancient manuscripts. 

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Religion Department Social

Mar. 22, 2017 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm
Skinner 201

For all students interested in Religion Courses, Majors and  Minors:

Have a sushi break with us and lets talk about it!

Catherine Chin, University of California, Davis presents: "Marvelous Things Heard: History and the Problem of Weirdness"

Dec. 8, 2016 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
305 Kendade Hall

The Mount Holyoke College Department of Religion presents:  Catherine Chin, University of California, Davis

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Iconoclasm and the Claim to Culture: Case Studies in the Islamic Context

Apr. 28, 2016 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Skinner Hall 216

Featuring Professor Jamal Elias, the Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies and South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

A Concert of Indian Classical Vocal Music

Apr. 8, 2016 8:00 pm
Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary

MHC is proud to welcome Vocalist Pandit Vinayak Torvi accompanied by Pandit Ashis Sengupta on Tabla and Dr. Vinay Kumar Mishra on Harmonium. Chai will be served at 7:30.
This concert is generously sponsored by: The Five Colleges Lecture Fund, Five Colleges, Inc.; Mount Holyoke College Inclusiveness Initiatives Fund, Asian Studies Program, Music Department, Amherst College Hamilton Fund and Dean of Faculty; Religion Department, and Smith College Music Department

Fifth Annual Arabic Night

Apr. 8, 2016 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Coolidge Cage, Lower Level of Alumni Gym, Amherst College, 216 S. Pleasant St.

Amherst College is hosting this year's fifth Annual Arabic Night with live music from Layaali, Middle Eastern Food and Guest Speaker John Eiselle, Associate Professor of Arabic Studies at The College of William & Mary. Admission is free. For more information.
Sponsored by the Five College Arabic Language Initiative and Amherst College's MESSA.