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THE GLEEFUL RETURN of the Crum Regatta brought a bit of unscripted joy to campus this spring. Students’ creative approach to boat building — and the exuberance that came with it — is a beacon for navigating life in 2022: Use the tools you have to stay afloat and keep connected.
In this Bulletin, we set off on an adventure to explore the role of storytelling in the film and entertainment industry. I asked Leo Braudy ’63, H’16, a pioneer in film studies, why that’s especially meaningful during times of conflict and crisis. He shared this insight: “The history of narrative in general, and the movies in particular, can be seen as a continuing effort to create often contrasting and conflicting views of life and experience,” Braudy says. “Storytelling is the human effort to make sense of the world while paying tribute to its contradictions. Its evil twin is paranoia, so rampant now, which allows no contradictions and consistently narrows its perspective. In times of crisis, anxiety often leads to the seeming solace of paranoia. But it is the flexibility of storytelling that is truly needed.”
Thanks to Braudy, and the alumni profiled in “Screen Time” we take a look at the craft behind the curtain in the entertainment world. With Film & Media Studies celebrating 10 years as a department, it’s a perfect moment to learn how the faculty helped to shape this ongoing success.
In “A Call to Action” we talk with Marcella Nunez-Smith ’96, MD, MHS, about her important role in the fight against COVID-19. She’s kept the focus on health equity during the pandemic and beyond. “Question deeply and imagine differently,” she says. We also explore how the College reacted to the war in Ukraine, examine the powerful role of coincidence in our lives, and discover how one alumna turned to her bicycle to raise awareness for peace.
Enjoy these inspiring stories of creative, committed Swarthmore alumni who continue to instill hope for a brighter tomorrow.
— Kate Campbell