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NY Times Bestselling Mystery Writer to Speak at Library Fundraiser

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Mystery writer Archer Mayor will be the guest speaker on Saturday, April 6, 2013, at 6:30 p.m., at the Friends of the UMass Amherst Libraries’ eleventh annual “Dinner with Friends,” at the Du Bois Library at UMass Amherst. Archer Mayor is the author of The New York Times bestselling, Vermont-based mystery series featuring detective Joe Gunther, which the Chicago Tribune describes as “the best police procedurals being written in America.” He will be reading from and autographing copies of his new novel, Paradise City (2012), which takes place in Northampton, Massachusetts. The evening includes a champagne and hors d’oeuvre reception with music by UMass Amherst student jazz musicians, live and silent auctions, a gourmet meal, and a book signing.

Archer Mayor’s Joe Gunther detective series, 23 books in all, is one of the most enduring and critically acclaimed police procedural series being written today. For years, Archer has integrated actual police methodology with intricately detailed plot lines into novels that The New York Times has called “dazzling,” and Booklist has said are “among the best cop stories being written today.” Whereas many writers base their books only on interviews and scholarly research, Mayor’s novels are based on actual experience in the field. The result adds a depth, detail and veracity to his characters and their tribulations that has led The New York Times to call him, “The boss man on procedures,” and the Arizona Daily Star to write, “Few deliver such well-rounded novels of such consistent high quality.” In 2011, Mayor’s 22nd Joe Gunther novel, Tag Man, earned a place on The New York Times bestseller list for hardback fiction.

Archer Mayor is a past winner of the New England Independent Booksellers Association Award for Best Fiction — the first time a writer of crime literature has been so honored. In addition, Archer is a death investigator for Vermont’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and a detective for the Windham County Sheriff’s Office.

Corporate sponsors to date include Bassette Printing; Brattle Book Shop; Lexington Group (Gold Level); Sunshine Sign Co.; UMass Amherst University Store (Gold Level); UMass Catering (Gold Level).

The Dinner with Friends is the Libraries’ signature fundraising event. This year’s proceeds will help fund the creation of a Multimedia Production Center. Tickets are $150 per person and $275 for two (of which $100 is tax-deductible and $175 for two). Complimentary passes for the parking garage are available by request. Handicapped accessible parking is available next to the Library.

UMass Amherst Libraries are open to all residents of Massachusetts, offering a rich array of resources and services.

For more information and to make reservations contact Carol Connare at (413) 545-0995, email, or visit the Dinner with Friends web site Individual and corporate sponsorships are available starting at $250. For more information about the Libraries visit

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The Life of W.E.B. Du Bois

Its Relevance to Today


The UMass Amherst Libraries will host the 19th Annual Du Bois Lecture on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, at 4:00 p.m., on the Lower Level of W.E.B. Du Bois Library, at UMass Amherst. Harlem native and great-grandson of American civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois, Arthur McFarlane II will give a talk, “The Life of W.E.B. Du Bois: Its Relevance to Today.” The talk will be given the same day at 10:00 a.m. at St. John’s Congregational Church, 643 Union Street, Springfield, Massachusetts. Refreshments will be served. Both events are free and open to the public.

McFarlane will discuss the legacy of his great-grandfather, W.E.B. Du Bois, co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACAP), and the first African-American to graduate with a PhD from Harvard University.

McFarlane works in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and is currently an evaluator in the Epidemiology, Planning and Evaluation Branch in the Prevention Services Division. He has worked for over 25 years as a statistical analyst and manager. He went to Stuyvesant High School in New York City, the State University of New York at Brockport, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has served as co-chair for the CDPHE Employee Diversity Advisory Committee and as treasurer for the Colorado Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Coalition. He has been co-chair of the Board of Directors for the Rape Assistance and Awareness Program and Chair of the Board of the Colorado Coalition against Sexual Assault. He is currently on the Board of the Community College of Aurora Foundation. He has been a mentor for Colorado Youth at Risk.

The Library marks the birthday of W.E.B. Du Bois each year with a lecture on a topic relating to his life and legacy. The Library was named for W.E.B. Du Bois in 1994 and is home to the extensive Du Bois Papers.

The event is sponsored by the W.E.B. Du Bois Center at the UMass Amherst Libraries: For more information, contact Rob Cox (, 413-545-6842).

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Peace and War

Assessing the Legacies of Sixties Activism Today


The UMass Amherst Libraries will host talks by author Tom Fels and media artist Mark Tribe on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., in Room 2601 on Floor 26, of the Du Bois Library at UMass Amherst. The event, “Peace and War: Assessing the Legacies of Sixties Activism Today,” marks the completion of the eighth annual Social Change Colloquium. The event is free and open to the public.

Longtime independent writer and researcher Tom Fels’ new book Buying the Farm: Peace and War on a Sixties Commune (UMass Press, 2012) explores the long history of Montague Farm, north of Amherst, one of the era’s iconic experiments in social change. Before drawing his own conclusions about it in the book, he recounts the farm’s many early contributions to the counterculture, and later the farm’s devolution at the hands of competing farm-family factions, inviting us to question the balance between idealism and effectiveness. “For today’s young,” says Tom Hayden, author of The Long Sixties, “the economic future is far more bleak and global warming an unprecedented threat. Out of necessity, many will be searching for meaningful forms of communal self-sufficiency, healthful food, and renewable energy. Tom Fels’ captivating and profound reflection on one earlier commune, Montague Farm, founded in the 1960s, offers hard-learned reflections, some practical, some eternal, from a time when communes were the chosen path of many.” In the first hour of the colloquium Fels will read from Buying the Farm. There will be a question and answer period following the reading.

Mark Tribe is part of the next generation to be inspired by sixties activism. His Port Huron Project (2006-2009) is a series of reenactments of protest speeches from the New Left movements of the Vietna m era. Enacted at the site of the original event, each speech was delivered by an actor or performance artist. Videos of these performances have been screened on campuses, exhibited in art spaces, and distributed online as open-source media. As Julia Bryan-Wilson wrote in Artforum, in January 2008, “More than just recovering the past, these re-speaking projects use archival speeches to ask questions about the current place of stridency and forceful dissent, and the possibilities of effective, galvanizing political discourse.” In bringing the words of Cesar Chavez, Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael, and others to the public through contemporary media, Tribe, in this portion of his work, creatively recycles earlier activism to relate it to issues of today. In the second hour of the colloquium, Tribe will show and discuss some of his work.

Tom Fels was for 25 years an independent curator and writer. Some of his many exhibitions have appeared at the J. Paul Getty Museum in California and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. He is the author of numerous articles and several books. In 2008, his lengthy research on the 1960s, and his years at the Montague Farm commune north of Amherst resulted in Farm Friends: From the Late Sixties to the West Seventies and Beyond, and in 2012 in his new book Buying the Farm: Peace and War on a Sixties Commune. He lives in Vermont.  Fels is interested in the long-term trajectory of the idealism of the 1960s – can the benefits of altruistic enthusiasm be preserved and extended to be of ongoing use? Can the ideals and commitment evident in the early years of the Post-World War II generation be re-aroused to counteract the strong conservative reaction to those times? Such are the thoughts raised by his Buying the Farm, recently published by the University of Massachusetts Press. Fels is also, with archivist Rob Cox, co-founder of the Famous Long Ago Archive at the Du Bois Library:

Mark Tribe is an artist whose work explores the intersection of media technology and politics. His photographs, installations, videos, and performances are exhibited widely, including recent solo projects at Momenta Art in New York, the San Diego Museum of Art, G-MK in Zagreb, and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. Tribe is the author of two books, The Port Huron Project: Reenactments of New Left Protest Speeches (Charta, 2010) and New Media Art (Taschen, 2006), and numerous articles. He teaches courses on radical media, the art of curating, open-source culture, digital art, and techniques of surveillance, at Brown University, where he is an Assistant Professor of Modern Culture and Media Studies. He also teaches in the Art Practice MFA program at School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 1996, Tribe founded Rhizome, an organization that supports the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology. He lives in New York City.

The colloquium is sponsored by the UMass Amherst Libraries Department of Special Collections and University Archives, the University of Massachusetts Press, and the Famous Long Ago Archive. UMass Press books relevant to the history of the 1960s will be on display and available for sale.

For more information on Tom Fels, visit For more information on Mark Tribe, visit:

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