Palestinian refugees’ experience of protracted displacement is among the lengthiest in history. In her breathtaking new book, Ilana Feldman explores this community’s engagement with humanitarian assistance over a seventy-year period and their persistent efforts to alter their present and future conditions. Based on extensive archival and ethnographic field research, Life Lived in Relief offers a comprehensive account of the Palestinian refugee experience living with humanitarian assistance in many spaces and across multiple generations. By exploring the complex world constituted through humanitarianism, and how that world is experienced by the many people who inhabit it, Feldman asks pressing questions about what it means for a temporary status to become chronic. How do people in these conditions assert the value of their lives? What does the Palestinian situation tell us about the world? Life Lived in Relief is essential reading for anyone interested in the history and practice of humanitarianism today.
Twenty-five students from the Peace and Conflict Studies / Environmental Studies course “Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking” braved cold temperatures to tour the route of the Mariner East 2 pipeline (ME2) that runs near Swarthmore College.
The ME2 will carry compressed propane, ethane, and butane from fracking operations in the Marcellus shale fields of western Pennsylvania to the port of Marcus Hook where these byproducts of natural gas production will be shipped mostly to Europe for the production of plastics.
The ME2 pipeline carries highly flammable liquefied gases under pressure through populated suburban neighborhoods, often only feet from homes, schools, residential facilities, detention facilities, and businesses. The pipeline has generated significant and growing local opposition and has raised questions about risk and regulatory processes. The gases are odorless, invisible, and heavier than air, raising concerns about the possibility of evacuation in the event of a leak.
Our tour took us to Marcus Hook and its refineries, an elementary school near a valve station, and Hershey’s Mill Village, a large retirement community in the potential blast zone of the pipeline. We met with local residents and activists at the latter two sites. We are immensely grateful to our guide, George Alexander, author of the Dragonpipe Diary, where you can find more investigative work on the pipeline and local campaigns to stop or regulate the pipeline.
For information from Sunoco on the pipeline, visit their website.
A new film Half-Mile, Upwind, On Foot, about resistance to the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (that we toured last year) and the Mariner East 2 pipeline, will be released soon.
Please join the students in Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking (PEAC 055 / ENVS 031) for an infographic session (similar to a poster session) on Monday morning December 10 at 10:30 a.m. in Shane Student Lounge.
Refreshments provided. This is a zero waste event.
With thanks for support from the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility
Anti-Blackness as Latin American Nationalism
Time/Location: Monday, December 3rd from 4:30pm-5:30pm in the IC Dome (Sproul 201)
Description: You are all invited to Zahira Kelly-Cabrera’s talk on Anti-Blackness as Latin American Nationalism. Zahira Kelly-Cabrera aka @Bad_Dominicana is an AfroDominicana mami, writer, artist, mujerista, award-winning sociocultural critic, and international speaker. She is known for advocating for LatiNegra visibility and rights on social media, and unfiltered social critique, broken down in accessible language. She also aims to pick apart white supremacist capitalist hetero-patriarchy from an anticolonial AfroLatina perspective. The talk is open to the public.
Sponsors: The President’s Office, The Black Cultural Center, The Women’s Resource Center, The Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Development, Spanish Department, The Intercultural Center, Sociology & Anthropology Department, ENLACE, SASS, SOCA, Peace & Conflict Studies Department, Black Studies Program, Latin American & Latino Studies Program, The Interfaith Center, Educational Studies Program, and Religion Department.
Since 2015, the CIL has organized CIL@ SF, a trip for approximately 10 students to meet Swarthmore alums and tour tech related companies in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley areas. Students have had the opportunity to meet with entrepreneurial alumni who live and work in the region, to learn about their work and their workplaces, and engage with start-up, venture capital, and tech communities. In January 2018, CIL@ SF visited parents, alumni, and colleagues at Google HQ, Ancestry.com, Title Nine, DFJ Ventures, Stitch Fix, OpenTable, and Stanford University’s d.school.
This year the CIL@ SF trip has been redesigned to align more closely with current classes being taught in Swarthmore, and in 2019 will be delivered as a supplement course to PEAC049: Be the Change! Social Entrepreneurship Principles in Practice, delivered by Denise Crossan, Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change.
The CIL@ SF trip and supplement course is delivered as an engaged scholarship class. Preparatory classes and in-depth learning experiences combine to give students the opportunity to explore, examine and reflect on theory in practice. The required class preparation will consist of 4 classes of 2 hours duration delivered prior to Spring Break 2019. Students will be required to work in teams and individually to write short reflective reports on the learning experience throughout the course. PEAC049A is for zero credit as it is a supplement to PEAC049 for Spring Semester 2019.
CIL@ SF 2019 Learning Goals:
- Through case studies, examine a number of society’s “wicked problems”. Explore the range of contributing issues to wicked problems and the methods employed to find solutions to seemly intractable issues.
- Understand and explore the principles of social innovation as applied in a number of different scenarios.
- Examine the knowledge base, experience and career paths of individuals who are social innovators across the public to private spectrum.
Who: 10 Swarthmore students
Where: Start-up, venture capital, and tech communities with a social entrepreneurship or innovation focus + more in San Francisco and Silicon Valley
When: March 10-16, 2019
Cost: $0. All travel, food, and accommodations are covered by the CIL
How to Apply
Registration for this supplemental class will be through a written online application and a short interview. Please note that this supplemental course is open to all students. While students enrolled in “PEAC049: Be the change! Principles in Practice” are encouraged to apply, it is not compulsory as part of the PEAC049 requirement, nor will places be reserved. To apply, students will be asked to submit:
- A current resume (PDF)
- An essay, no longer than 1,000 words, (PDF) answering the following questions
- What do you think you’ll gain from the CIL@ SF Trip?
- What would you most like to ask or learn from alumni working in social innovation and social entrepreneurship?
Applications will be reviewed by a CIL panel, and on first round selection based on the essay, students will be asked to attend a short interview. Only 10 students can go on the trip and must confirm that they are available and committed to travel on dates between March10-16, 2019 (Spring Break week). Please note that this supplemental course is open to all students. While students enrolled in “PEAC049: Be the change! Principles in Practice” are encouraged to apply, it is not compulsory as part of the PEAC049 requirement, nor will places be reserved.
- An Information Session on CIL@ SF will be held: Tuesday, November 27th, 12:30pm in Shane Lounge
- Online applications should be submitted by: Friday November 30th by 11:59pm via Google Form above
- Interviews will take place: the weeks of December 3rd/10th, Social Innovation Lab
- Notification by: No later than December 17th
Please contact Katie Clark at kclark2 if you have any questions!
On November 15, 2018, Prof. Lee Smithey joined his co-editor and colleague, Prof. Lester Kurtz (George Mason University) to talk about their new edited book, The Paradox of Repression and Nonviolent Movements (Syracuse University Press). The webinar was recorded, and you are welcome to view it here. The Communications Office, also published a piece on the College’s website that you may also read below. You can learn more about the book at http://paradox.swarthmore.edu
Lee Smithey, associate professor of peace & conflict studies and sociology, is a co-editor and contributor to a new book, The Paradox of Repression and Nonviolent Movements (Syracuse University Press, 2018), that offers an in-depth exploration of the use of repression in political arenas and its unintended effect of sometimes fanning the flames of nonviolent resistance.
“The concept of backfire, or the paradox of repression, is widely understood to be fundamental to strategic nonviolent action, but it has not been fully investigated. It was work that needed to be done,” says Smithey, who in addition to writing and teaching about nonviolent resistance has also participated in peaceful protests. “Power is not only about repression but also about building public support.”
The book, edited by Smithey and Lester Kurtz, a George Mason University sociology professor, is meant as a tool for scholars and activists to understand how repression works, as well as to study significant incidents when nonviolent activists took measures to help make repression a defining moment. For example: “When authorities are seen as attacking or disrespecting widely shared symbols, they may mobilize people in defense of shared collective identities,” write Smithey and Kurtz.
The editors first wrote about the topic in 1999, but organizing for the new book began in 2009—bringing together diverse, global contributors to study how repression can energize nonviolent movements and how nonviolent activists have worked to manage repression in their favor. It includes the grassroots efforts of nonviolent resistance such as Women of Zimbabwe Arise, who bravely joined forces as “mothers of the nation” to stand against dictator Robert Mugabe.
As they planned the book, Smithey and Kurtz organized a two-day writing retreat for the contributors to help build an integrated approach to the project. “It was intellectually exciting,” Smithey says. “We were committed early on to making this book a collaboration between academics and practitioners.”
One practice the book’s authors explore is called repression management—enacted by withstanding or avoiding repression or by creating scenarios in which repression against nonviolent activists would more likely elicit a sense of public outrage (and ultimately support).
One example, Smithey says, is the now-iconic photo of Ieshia Evans, who stood stoically in a flowing dress and faced a line of law enforcement officers in riot gear as she protested the shooting death of Alton Sterling. The photo, taken in downtown Baton Rouge, La., on July 9, 2016, quickly became a cultural touchstone.
The Paradox of Repression and Nonviolent Movements also examines the psychological costs for agents of repression, elites’ attempts to avoid triggering the paradox of repression, repression of online activism, and the work of overcoming fear.
“Repression is an attempt to demobilize nonviolent movements by sowing fear,” Smithey says, “but activists can work together to overcome fear and continue to mobilize.”
The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict will host a webinar by Smithey and Kurtz Nov. 15 from noon to 1 PM. Smithey will also offer an Alumni Council webinar on the book on Nov. 28.
On Wednesday November 7, Malinda Clatterbuck, a co-founder of Lancaster Against Pipelines and a staff member at the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund will speak in our “Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking” course in Science Center room 183 at 10:30-11:20. You are welcome to attend to hear more about the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline and local resistance. (An RSVP to lsmithe1 would be welcome but not necessary.)
Last year, our class toured part of the route of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, including property owned by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, a Catholic order that is fighting the seizure of their land through eminent domain.
After class on November 7, anyone is invited to join us at noon for a brown-bag conversation over lunch in the new Sproul Hall kitchen (Room 205 in the Hormel/Nguyen Intercultural Center). Brown bag means you bring your own lunch. Drop by Essie Mae’s next door to grab some food if you wish, and then come join us. No need to RSVP.
You can read more about Lancaster Against Pipelines and their partners, the Sisters of the order Adorers of the Blood of Christ at http://www.wearelancastercounty.org/
The new documentary film, Half-Mile, Upwind, On Foot, features clips of interviews with Malinda and the sisters. See https://vimeo.com/283257412
Exhibit: The War to End All Wars: Devastation, Resistance, and Relief in World War I
Atrium, McCabe Library
November 5 – December 1, 2018
Open to the public
November 11, 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. To commemorate this event the Swarthmore College Libraries is sponsoring an exhibition of materials from the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Friends Historical Library, and the College Archives will on display. See materials on the reaction of Swarthmore College, Quakers, and peace activists to the first global war, 1914-1918.
Opening event, Thursday, November 8, 2018
Atrium, McCabe Library, 4:30 p.m.
Open to the public
“Looking Back at the Great War From a Writers’ Point of View”
Mystery writers Charles Todd and Caroline Todd will talk about their books set during World War I and immediately after. Their detectives, front line nurse Bess Crawford, and soldier-turned Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Rutledge face war time battles and the terrible consequences of war. Open to the public
There will be an opportunity to buy some of the authors’ books and light reception to follow the talk.
Win a signed copy of Charles Todd book! Free raffle for a book from the Swarthmore College bookstore
Visit the bookstore for a free raffle ticket
As we mourn the loss of our lives in another recent mass shooting and as neighbors endure the persistent tempo of gun violence here in Delaware County, Heeding God’s Call will sponsor a rally and walk at Swarthmore Friends Meeting House on our campus this Sunday, November 4. You are invited to attend and show your concern.
Delco interfaith group to hold gun awareness walk and memorial in Swarthmore on November 4
Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence, a faith-based organization, will hold a Delco Gun Violence Awareness Day walk and memorial in Swarthmore on the afternoon of Sunday, November 4. It will begin at 2:00 P.M. with a gathering at the Swarthmore Friends Meeting House, 12 Whittier Place, on the Swarthmore College campus, to be followed by a walk through Swarthmore. The walk will end at Trinity Episcopal Church, 301 North Chester Road. Those who have lost loved ones due to gun violence will be among the speakers at the closing ceremony. A Memorial to the Lost display of T shirts with the names of Delaware County victims will serve as a visual reminder of the heavy toll in lives from gun violence. While, as a tax-exempt organization, Heeding God’s Call does not take sides in elections, it urges people to find out where candidates stand on the gun violence issue and let them know where they themselves stand.
For further information, phone 251-238-8550 or email email@example.com.
Congratulations to our alum Fatima Boozarhomehri ’17 as well as A’Dorian Murray-Thomas ’16!
As this year’s pair of Lang Social Impact Fellows, A’Dorian Murray-Thomas ’16 and Fatima Boozarjomehri ’17 will “scale up” their efforts for social change with support from the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility.
Murray-Thomas and Boozarjomehri will build upon their Lang Opportunity Scholarship projects this year and mentor current Lang Scholars and other Swarthmore student innovators.
“It is through the vision and generosity of Eugene M. Lang ’38, H’81 that communities facing significant challenges have come to know Swarthmore College students and alumni like A’Dorian and Fatima as social change-makers,” says Jennifer Magee, senior associate director of the Lang Center, who designed the Lang Social Impact Fellows program with input from Ben Berger, executive director of the Lang Center, and Salem Shuchman ’84, former Lang Scholar and current Board of Managers chair.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to innovate and build upon the success of the Lang Opportunity Scholarship Program with this pilot program in its second year,” Magee adds. “And we are motivated and inspired to work with A’Dorian and Fatima as they sustain and scale their initiatives.”
The fellowship will allow Murray-Thomas to scale up her SHE Wins project, which started as a Lang Scholar project working with 12–15-year-old girls in Newark, N.J., who had lost a parent or sibling to homicide. Since then, SHE Wins has expanded to an Engaged Scholarship project that works at “the intersection of educational studies, restorative justice, and adolescent psychology” to “empower the next generation of young women leaders.”
“I am thrilled about the opportunity to collaborate with various parts of the greater Swarthmore College community to further enhance the SHE Wins model, and to use my experience to give back to current Lang Scholars, like so many other Lang alumni have given to me,” says Thomas-Murray, who graduated from Swarthmore with a special major in political science and educational studies and, in 2016, was named College Woman of the Year by Glamour and a White House Champion of Change.
Boozarjomehri will expand her efforts with the Afghan refugee population of southern Tehran, designing projects to improve education access and quality for Afghan youth and diversifying economic opportunities for Afghan women. This year, she will broaden the scope of The Fanoos Project, a vocational training program for single mothers.
“I am most looking forward to continue building strong partnerships with local [nongovernmental organizations] and expanding the reach of the program to more mothers in new locations and with better facilities,” says Boozarjohmehri, who majored in Islamic studies and peace & conflict studies at Swarthmore, with support from the Project Pericles Fund. “I’m also really excited about developing a sustainable business model to ensure the continuation of the program for many years.”