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SwatTalks Recordings

SwatTalk sessions are recorded as permitted by the presenters. 

2023-24 SwatTalks

“Academic Freedom”

with Robert George ’77, Princeton University legal scholar and political philosopher (June 25, 2024)

“Crossword Puzzles and the Politics of Language”

with Anna Shechtman ’13, crossword constructor and author (May 21, 2024) 

“Investing for Social and Environmental Change”

with Amit Bouri ’99, CEO and co-founder of the Global Impact Investing Network (April 15, 2024)

"Biomythography: Creating a Novel Inspired by Genealogy, Memory, and 'Truth'"

with Kim Coleman Foote '00, writer (March 19, 2024)

"The Making of the Opera 'X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X'"

with Christopher “Kip” Davis ’75, writer, and Hernease Davis ’04, visual artist (Feb. 20, 2024)

"Social Media and the 2024 Elections: The Threats to Democracy, Free Speech, and Online Safety"

with Yoel Roth '11, researcher and practitioner in the emerging field of online trust and safety (Jan. 24, 2024)

"How Swarthmore Realized Its Hoop Dreams"

with Landry Kosmalski, Swarthmore Men’s Basketball Coach (Dec. 18, 2023)

"Killers of the Flower Moon and the Importance of Strong Native Nation Governments"

with Miriam Jorgensen '87, Senior Researcher at the University of Arizona Native Nations Institute (Nov. 14, 2023)

"The Politics of Transgender Health"

with Kellan Baker '04, Executive Director of the Whitman-Walker Institute (Oct. 24, 2023)

"What Wildflowers and Bees in a Rocky Mountain Valley Can Teach Us About Climate Change"

with Brian Inouye '91, Professor of Biology at Florida State University (Sept. 26, 2023)

2022-2023 SwatTalks

"The Republican Party and the Authoritarian Threat"

with William Saletan '87, writer at The Bulwark (June 21, 2023)

"Anti-Globalism, Then and Now"

with Tara Zahra '98, Professor of History at the University of Chicago and Author of Against the World (May 22, 2023)

"Sunrise from the West: California and the Clean Energy Future"

with David Hochschild '93, Chair of the California Energy Commission (April 18, 2023)

"The Fight for Academic Freedom in Florida and Beyond"

with Miriam Wallace '84, Professor of English and Gender Studies at the New College of Florida (March 27, 2023)

"The Oscars and the Future of Film"

with Ben Fritz '99, Wall Street Journal West Coast Bureau Chief and Author of The Big Picture (Feb. 27, 2023)

"The Role of Juries in Social Change"

with Sonali Chakravarti '00, Professor of Government at Wesleyan University and Author of Radical Enfranchisement in the Jury Room and Public Life (Jan. 31, 2023)

"Avatar: The Way of Water" A Conversation About Acting, Filmmaking, and Criticism

with Stephen Lang '73, actor (Dec. 19, 2022)

"The 2022 Midterms and the State of American Democracy"

with Arlie Hochschild '62, H'93, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and Author of Strangers in Their Own Land (Nov. 21, 2022)

"Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts"

with Rebecca Hall '85, historian and author of Wake (Oct. 18, 2022)

"Seven Months of War in Ukraine: Reflecting on Race, Gender, and Sexuality"

with Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon '12, History Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, and Sibelan Forrester, Professor of Modern and Classical Languages at Swarthmore College (Sept. 20, 2022)

2021–22 SwatTalks

"Climate Outrage & Climate Optimism: Swarthmore and the World"

with Christiana Figueres '79, leader on global climate change (June 22, 2022)

"A Conversation with Two Guggenheim Fellows: Laments, Loss, the Black West, and Reimagining a Father's Photographs"

with Steven Hopkins, Mari S. Michener Professor of Religion at Swarthmore College and Ron Tarver, Associate Professor of Art at Swarthmore College (May 18, 2022)

"Filmmaking and 'The Young Wife'"

with Tayarisha Poe '12, filmmaker (April 28, 2022)

"The Natural Mother of the Child" 

with Krys Malcolm Belc '09, author (March 30, 2022)

Request: "Crossroads with Jonathan Franzen '81"

with Jonathan Franzen '81, author

The recording for this event is only available to members of the Swarthmore community. Contact Amanda Whitbred at to request a link to this recording. Upon receipt, please do not post the video online, share on any listservs or online groups, or share the link with individuals outside the Swarthmore community. 

"Storming Democracy: Two Journeys on Jan. 6" 

with Alex Friedfeld '12, researcher with the Anti-Defamation League with Jamie Stiehm '82, journalist (Jan. 24, 2022)

"Two Poets and the Extended Elegy"

with Octavio González '97, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Wellesley and Julia Bouwsma '02, poet laureate of Maine (Dec. 14, 2021)

"Making a Home While Invisible: A Conversation about an Undocumented Childhood"

with Qian Julie Wang '09, author (Nov. 22, 2021)

"A Human Affair: James Baldwin’s Philosophy of Optimism and Active Love"

with Paul Cato '14, doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago (Oct. 26, 2021)

"From the Big Bang to 30 Trillion Networked Computers (That's You!!!)"

with John Mather '68, H'94 NASA's senior project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope (Sept. 28, 2021)

2020-21 SwatTalks

"Pride Month: The 25-Year Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage"

with Sasha Issenberg '02, journalist, author, and Professor of Political Science (June 14, 2021)

"Impact Investing for Social Change"

with Morgan Simon '04, founding partner of Candide Group (May 24, 2021)

"The Nation and Reflections on the Politics of U.S. Foreign Intervention"

with Roane Carey '82, former managing editor of The Nation (May 12, 2021)

"Will America See Another 'Upswing'?"

with Robert Putnam '63, Malkin Research Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University (April 7, 2021)

"Religion in America's Story of Racial Justice"

with Shreena Gandhi '01, Professor of Religious Studies at Michigan State University, and Cheryl Sanders '74, Professor of Christian Ethics at Howard University and Senior Pastor of the Third Street Church of God in Washington, D.C. (March 29, 2021). This SwatTalk is part of the Racial Justice Series.

"Health Policy, Ethics, and Equity"

with Carolyn Rouse '87, Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Princeton University, and Maria-Elena De Trinidad Young '04, Assistant Professor of Public Health at the University of California, Merced (March 9, 2021). This SwatTalk is part of the Racial Justice Series. This SwatTalk is part of the Racial Justice Series.

"Unlearning our Learning: Challenges, Change, & Future Directions for Equity and Justice in Education" 

with Chris Edley '73, President of the Opportunity Institute, and Jonathan Glater '93, Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law (Jan. 19, 2021). This SwatTalk is part of the Racial Justice Series.

"Interrupting the Impact of Racism on Health"

with Miriam Zoila Pérez '06, writer, speaker, and activist (Dec. 15, 2020). This SwatTalk is part of the Racial Justice Series.

"The Power Behind the Count: The Census & Representation"

with Hansi Lo Wang '09, reporter for National Public Radio (Nov. 18, 2020). This SwatTalk is part of the Racial Justice Series.

"Remembering RBG: Her Life & Legacy"

with Jed Rakoff '64, Andrea Young '76, and Phil Weiser '90 (Nov. 5, 2020)

"Racial Justice: Activism & Art"

with Audrey Chan '04, artist and educator (Oct. 24, 2020). This SwatTalk is part of the Racial Justice Series.

"Motherhood, Caregiving, and Storytelling"

with Maya Shanbhag Lang '00, Author (Sept. 10, 2020)

"The Arc of Suffrage: from Lucretia Mott to Alice Paul"

with Jamie Stiehm ’82, columnist (Aug. 26, 2020)

"Mass Incarceration and the Pandemic: A Perfect Storm"

with Judge Jed Rakoff '64, H'03, Senior U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York (Aug. 17, 2020)

"Documenting a Champion of Social Justice"

with Dawn Porter '88, filmmaker and producer (Aug. 5, 2020)

"Being a Black Police Officer"

with Sanjay Richards '04, New York Police Officer (July 22, 2020)

"Louis Armstrong Made America Great...But We Still Can't Breathe"

with John Alston H'15, Executive and Artistic Director of the Chester Children's Chorus (July 7, 2020)

2019–20 SwatTalks 

"Learning with Pride: Cultivating a Culture of Equity and Success in Schools"

with Sable Mensah '11, Founder and CEO of Equitable Outcomes, LLC (June 30, 2020)

"Recruiting the Class of 2024 in the Time of COVID and the Future of Admissions"

with Jim Bock '90, Vice President and Dean of Admissions (June 10, 2020)

"US Politics in 2020"

with Michael Dukakis '55, former Governor of Massachusetts and Democratic candidate for President in 1988, Carl Levin '56, former U.S. Senator for Michigan, and Chris Van Hollen '83, U.S. Senator for Maryland (May 28, 2020)

"The Gut Microbiome: How the Host and Microbial Communities Influence Each Other"

with Amy Vollmer, Isaac H. Clothier Jr. Professor of Biology at Swarthmore College (April 22, 2020)

"The Response to COVID-19: A Global Health Perspective"

with David Kaufman ’94, head of Translational Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute (April 16, 2020)

"Disaster Economics — Getting Through the Coronavirus Pandemic"

with Dean Baker '81, Senior Economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (April 19, 2020)

"The Response to COVID-19: A Global Health Perspective"

with David Kaufman '94, Head of Translational Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute (April 16, 2020)

"Biomedical Research and the NIH in the Age of COVID-19"

with Jon Lorsch '90, Director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (April 6, 2020)

"Economic Espionage: A New National Security Threat?"

with Mara Hvistendahl '02, writer (Feb. 19, 2020)

"Crisis Management 101"

with Davia Temin '74, President and CEO of Temin & Company, Inc. (Jan. 8, 2020)

"Housing Is Healthcare, Homeless Solutions"

with Josh Green '92, Lieutenant Governor of Hawai'i (Dec. 12, 2019)

"The Importance of a Learning Mindset"

with Phil Weiser '90, Attorney General of Colorado (Oct. 29, 2019)

"Budget Essentials"

with Greg Brown, Vice President for Finance and Administration (Sept. 24, 2019)


2018–19 SwatTalks

"Getting Green Done: President's Sustainability Research Fellowship Program"

with Joy Charlton, Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College, and Aurora Winslade, Director of Sustainability at Swarthmore College (May 13, 2019).  A video recording and transcript of this SwatTalk is not available, but you may view the presentation slides here.

"Environmental Justice and Education"

with Edwin Mayorga, Assistant Professor of Educational Studies at Swarthmore College, and Melissa Tier '14, Sustainability Program Manager at Swarthmore College (April 30, 2019)

"Energy, Decarbonization, and the Carbon Charge"

with Betsy Bolton, Professor of English Literature at Swarthmore College, and Nathan Graf '16, Climate Action Senior Fellow at Swarthmore College (April 16, 2019)

"Denying Refuge: Refugee and Asylum Policies Under the Trump Administration"

with Alex Aleinikoff '74, University Professor and Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School (March 5, 2019)

"On Nonviolent Civil Resistance"

with Lee Smithey, Associate Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College, and Thomas McGovern '17, former Teaching Assistant for the Global Nonviolent Action Database Research seminar at Swarthmore College (Feb. 26, 2019)