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Swarthmore in the News May 20, 2011

Business Wire

Thorp Reed & Armstrong Expands Philadelphia Office with Two New Partners;
David Nasatir and Jonathan Hugg move financial services, transactional and litigation practices to Thorp Reed

May 19, 2011

Thorp Reed & Armstrong, LLP (Thorp Reed) continues to increase the firm's presence in the Philadelphia market with the addition of two new partners, David A. Nasatir and Jonathan W. Hugg .

The additions are in line with Thorp Reed's continued focus on expanding the firm's Philadelphia office and growing its thriving practice areas. ....

As a partner in the Litigation Department , Mr. Hugg will focus his practice on commercial and appellate litigation, with an emphasis on financial institution, regulatory enforcement, defamation, and lender liability matters.

"Dave and Jonathan bring great skill and expertise to our firm and we are thrilled to welcome them on board as the newest members of our growing Philadelphia office," said Jeffrey J. Conn , Managing Partner of Thorp Reed. ...

Mr. Hugg previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Appeals Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, where he prosecuted more than 130 matters, both as appellee and appellant, before the Pennsylvania Supreme and Superior Courts.

He currently sits as a Senior Hearing Committee Member serving the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and regularly speaks regarding lender liability issues. Mr. Hugg earned his B.A., with honors, from Swarthmore College and his J.D. from Boston College Law School. He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (blog)

Local author traces Italian immigrants to Philadelphia area

May 16, 2011

An alumnus and visiting professor of Swarthmore College, Christopher Castellani is the critically acclaimed author of the historical fiction novels A Kiss from Maddalena (2003) and The Saint of Lost Things (2005). Castellani's writing draws from his own past as an Italian-American born and raised on the east coast.

A Kiss from Maddalena takes place against the backdrop of World War II in Santa Cecilia, Italy. Vito Leon has his eye on Maddalena Piccinelli, who is so far out his league that no one takes Vito's affections seriously. When the young men of the village rush off to join the fight, Vito stays behind to care for his ailing mother. Maddalena's family also leaves after Italy surrenders and a group of Germans in retreat occupy the village. As Vito waits for a letter from Maddalena, he formulates a scheme to win over her heart. His plans are thwarted by an American who wants Maddalena to return home with him to Philadelphia. Vito now has to convince Maddalena that a life with him is better than a chance at the American Dream in Philadelphia.

The Saint of Lost Things is a continuation of the first novel. Maddalena finds herself settled in Wilmington, Delaware in 1953, pregnant with her first child. This story is more directly inspired by the struggle of the author's parents to scratch out some form of financial security for their children in America. Castellani says of The Saint of Lost Things, "I wanted to hear the music and peek under the roofs of the houses in the Italian neighborhood. I wanted to see through the eyes of the immigrants who built it. " Inspired by Italian-American singers at the time like Jerry Vale and Julius La Rosa, Castellani's novels tell, with the frankness and tenderness brought on by real-life experiences, the story of so many families who immigrated to the Philadelphia area.


The Miami Herald

MAM Marx the spot - Mark Boulos reflects on capitalism and Big Oil with two videos.

Tom Austin, Special to The Miami Herald

May 15, 2011

...The synched, 15-minute films about the horrors of oil production and capitalism, created by artist and neo-Marxist Mark Boulos and something of a conversational centerpiece at a recent Miami Art Museum opening, extends Marx's thinking into the contemporary art realm. Marx, Boulos says, "wasn't all that concerned with capitalism being too materialistic. He really didn't like how capitalism abstracted commodities and created a world of illusion."

One screen of Boulos' installation in the museum's small Focus Gallery is devoted to oil and other commodities traders at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange who look like over-fed Sufi mystics of finance. They frantically jab a finger or two into the air to send buy and sell orders across the room, and their baying for money gradually becomes a dull roar on the soundtrack.
Screening at the gallery's opposite end is a sort of documentary on the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), a guerrilla group that has declared war on foreign oil corporations and the corrupt Nigerian government, in between dealing with assorted tribal conflicts.

In Nigeria, oil companies have polluted the water that supported the livelihood of local fisherman, who moved from tapping into pipelines and taking back their country's oil for the black market to kidnapping oil executives. On occasion, when the mood for mayhem strikes, they blow up oil refineries, a gesture of pure spite, given that they lack the technical means to process the oil.

The presentation of a vaguely Marxist film among the moneyed white-wine conversation set is full of class ironies. To Boulos, the black radicalism of the 1960s, the charged imagery of black men with guns, had indulgent Blaxploitation elements, just like hip-hop now and - as Boulos concedes - his work, to some extent. Born in Boston, Boulos studied philosophy at Swarthmore and documentary filmmaking at the National Film and Television School in England. ...




The Davis Enterprise (CA)

Sports briefs: Former Blue Devil breaks a school record at Swarthmore

Enterprise Staff

May 16, 2011

Davis High graduate Rebecca Hammond, now a sophomore, broke the school 800-meter record on Saturday when she posted a time of 2:13.44 to lead Swarthmore College at the Tuppany Twilight Last Chance Track & Field Meet.

Hammond delighted the home fans by taking 13th place in a field of 34 runners in Divisions I-III. The former Blue Devil's time provisionally qualified her for the NCAA Division III Championships.

The record-breaking performance capped off an exceptional month for Hammond, who earned a gold medal at the 2011 Centennial Conference Championship Meet last week as the anchor of the 4×800 team (9:23.18) and a silver medal in the 1,500 (4:42.20). She also was selected as a member of the conference's Academic Honor Roll.