State Failure and War in the Middle East: A Conflict of Our Times

From our friends in the Political Science Department:

“State Failure and War in the Middle East: A Conflict of Our Times”

Wednesday 18th January
11:45 AM – 
12:45 PM
Trotter 303
Swarthmore College

*Sandwiches will be provided

Please join us for a lunchtime talk with William Reno, Professor of Political Science & Director, Program of African Studies, Northwestern University. Professor Reno will speak about his ongoing research in the Middle East. A leading expert on political violence, the organization and behavior of insurgent groups and the politics of authoritarian regimes, Professor Reno is the author of Corruption and State Politics in Sierra Leone (Cambridge University Press, 1995), Warlord Politics and African States (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998) and Warfare in Independent Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2011). He visits Swarthmore from Iraq.

Architects as Activists, Activists as Architects: Building Equality in the Civil Rights Movement

From our friends in the Art Department:

“Architects as Activists, Activists as Architects: Building Equality in the Civil Rights Movement”


Brian Goldstein
Assistant Professor
School of Architecture and Planning
University of New Mexico

Date: Monday, January 30th
Time: 4:15-5:00
Location: Beardsley 316, Swarthmore College

This talk will consider the crucial role that architecture and planning played in the broader battles for justice and equality that defined the Civil Rights Movement. More than a site in which this social movement unfolded, the built environment also served as a key medium through which activists pursued their vision of a better world. Specifically, the talk will focus on examples from Harlem, New York, where residents experimented ambitiously with design and construction in order to gain control over the future of their community.

Brian Goldstein book

Haverford Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Alum Career Panel and Dinner

Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Alum Career Panel and Dinner

Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017
Panel and conversation in Chase Auditorium at Haverford College

4:15 PM tea and refreshments
4:30 PM event


  • Angelique Bradford ’14
    (Jesuit Volunteer Corps, criminal justice/restorative justice)
  • Tamar Hoffman ’16
    (Haverford House Fellow, paralegal at Community Legal Services’ Housing Unit)
  • Leah Hollander ’15
    ( New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute)
  • Nora Landis-Shack ’13
    (Public Health/Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University, tech solutions and social justice/community empowerment)

Dinner in DC 118 (Bryn Mawr Room) following the panel, at 6:00 PM. If you wish to attend the dinner, please RSVP to Adam Rosenblatt

All are welcome; you do not need to be enrolled in the PJHR Concentration to attend this event.

GREAT PIECE OF TURF (Sound Design THEA 014E) by Anna Marfleet ’19

albumforwebListen up!

The Department of Theater presents an Independent Study in Sound Design (THEA 014E) by Anna Marfleet ’19, GREAT PIECE OF TURF (OR, KING OF THE KITCHEN), a multimedia concept album.

GREAT PIECE OF TURF (OR, KING OF THE KITCHEN) follows the life of Joel, an excellent cook, gifted gardener, avid CCR fan, and infamous host, and his unfortunate relationship with his father. Composed of half original songs and half non-musical ambient auditory “scenes” (as well as a booklet of visual accompaniments) this project gives us a window into both Joel’s childhood in the rural south touring with a youth choir, and his old age in an extravagant yet quickly crumbling country house in upstate New York.

Album Release Date: 12/13/16

West Virginia Statesman, Author Ken Hechler ’35 dies at 102

December 12th, 2016
Swarthmore News and Information

Washington Post: Ken Hechler, W.Va. congressman and author of ‘Bridge at Remagen,’ dies at 102

Ken Hechler '35

Ken Hechler, an urbane historian who carpetbagged his way into West Virginia’s gritty politics, where he battled destructive coal-industry practices, unsafe mining conditions and felonious county officials, died Dec. 10 at his home in Romney, W.Va. He was 102. …

During 18 years as a Democratic congressman, 16 more as West Virginia secretary of state, and a final act as a do-gooder without portfolio, Dr. Hechler never tired of crusades.

“I used to be an agitator, then an activist,” he wrote at age 94, in 2009. “Now I am a hellraiser.” This was soon after he was arrested while protesting mountaintop removal.

Read the full article.

In 2001, Hechler received an honorary degree from Swarthmore. He sang his acceptance speech to the tune of the College’s alma mater, which he rewrote for the occasion (lyrics below). Hechler last spoke on campus in 2011 about mountaintop removal coal mining and the struggles of Appalachian communities to stop the practice.

As we leave old Swarthmore College
and this campus fair;
Join the fight for racial justice,
show the world you care!

You will be remembered one day,
not for wealth or power;
But your work for all the people,
that’s your finest hour.

There’s a need for more crusaders,
give your heart and soul;
Fight against the special interests,
that should be your goal.

We must get along together,
with all peoples too;
Differences should be respected,
and their points of view.

Mother Earth needs conservation,
can’t you hear her cry?
We must work for preservation,
or the earth will die.

Peace and freedom for all nations;
feed and house the poor.
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater;
Hail, All Hail, Swarthmore!

Prof. Sa'ed Atshan

Dr. Sa’ed Atshan takes up tenure track position in Swarthmore’s Peace and Conflict Studies program

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Sa’ed Atshan’s visiting position in the Peace and Conflict Studies program has been converted into the program’s first full-time tenure-track position.

In his first year-and-a-half at the College, Prof. Atshan has made a tremendous impact both in the program and at the College. His dynamic teaching has drawn students across all cohorts into new and regular courses:

  • PEAC 003 Crisis Resolution in the Middle East
  • PEAC 015 Introduction to Peace and Conflict
  • PEAC 023 First Year Seminar: Global Responses to Violence
  • PEAC 043 Gender, Sexuality, and Social Change
  • PEAC 053 Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • PEAC 103 Humanitarianism: Anthropological Approaches

Dr. Atshan has also provided important programming. He has brought a steady stream of outstanding speakers and sponsored two film festivals in conjunction with his Israeli-Palestinian Conflict course. That course also includes an exceptional 10-day trip to the region.

Sa'ed Atshan

Dr. Atshan graduated from Harvard University in 2013 with a Ph.D. in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies. He holds an M.A. in Social Anthropology from Harvard, an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a B.A. in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies from Swarthmore College. Before taking up a visiting position last year, Prof. Atshan held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

While a graduate student, regularly taught “Introduction to Peace and Justice Studies” in the Peace and Justice Studies Program at Tufts University, where he also taught courses on “The Arab Spring and Nonviolent Strategic Action” and “Gender, Sexuality, and Human Rights in the Middle East.”

Dr. Atshan designed and taught courses at Harvard and Brown on social movements in  the Middle East and the Arab Spring, among other topics. He earned four of Harvard’s excellence in undergraduate teaching awards along the way.

Sa’ed has been the recipient of multiple awards and fellowships from important organizations that include the National Science Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the Paul and Daisy Soros Foundation, and in 2009, he was awarded a Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace.

In addition to his work on humanitarian politics and aid intervention, Atshan has conducted research into nonviolent Israeli and Palestinian social movements, countering old characterizations of nonviolence as foreign to the region. Instead he discovers and reveals “co-resistance” or coalition and joint struggles for social justice between Israeli and Palestinian activists.

Professor Atshan has worked with a range of organizations that include Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Seeds of Peace International Camp, the Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Department, and Medical Aid for Palestinians, all indicating his commitment to the practical pursuit of peace and justice to which our field aspires.

The creation of Prof. Atshan’s position is truly a historic moment for the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and for Swarthmore College, where the first peace studies course in higher education was taught in 1888.

PCS 125 logo thumbnail


Prof. Olivia Sabee debuts choreography in DC (12/10 @ Dance Place)

2016_1023_agoradance_thekindofthing_cleanimage_v1The Kind of Thing That Would Happen, a new piece by Olivia Sabee, at Washington DC’s Dance Place 

The Kind of Thing That Would Happen asks the audience whether or not they believe what they are seeing and harks back to Aristotle’s precept of theater as making real not what has happened, but rather, the kind of thing that would happen. The performance—with choreography by Olivia Sabee, original sound designs by DeLesslin George-Warren, and new sets by Ben Levine—features choreography that ranges from happy-go-lucky dances to contemplative solo work set to a rhythmically driving score, as the enduring love of the main characters unfolds, interwoven with monologues from an inquisitive, insightful poetess.

The Kind of Thing That Would Happen
December 10 at 8 p.m. and December 11 at 7 p.m.
3225 8th St. NE, Washington, DC.
Running time: 45 minutes with no intermission

NIGHT OF SCENES from the Directing I Workshop (12/7 + 12/8)

Directing I Workshop (THEA 035) &nosforweb6
Lighting Design (THEA 004B)

Directed by
Wesley Han
Oliver Lipton

Yoshifumi Nomura
Emily Uhlmann
John Wojciehowski

with excerpts and one acts from
Annie Baker,
Maria Irene Fornes,
Tony Kushner,
Martin McDonagh,
and Sarah Ruhl

LPAC Frear Ensemble Theater
Wed 12/7 at 8PM
Thurs 12/ 8 at 8PM


Fall 2016 Dance Concert (12/2 + 12/3)

The Department of Music and Dance sends a warm invitation to all! This Fall concert will feature fall-dance-concert-posterdances and music from a variety of styles and from various cultural traditions including Ballet, Taiko, Modern, Tap and more!

Come celebrate our students and faculty with this joyous end of the semester showcase. Free and open to the public. All ages are welcome.

LPAC Pearson-Hall Theater

Friday 12/2 4:30PM
Saturday 12/3 8PM

There is a “Talk Back” Q & A panel immediately following the Saturday show. Please join Professor K. Elizabeth Stevens from the Department of Theater for a moderated discussion about dance.