Featured Philosopher: Donna-Dale Marcano
“APA Online” blog
What is black feminist philosophy? To raise this question, argues Donna-Dale Marcano, an associate professor of philosophy and Director of the Human Rights Center at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, is to take on responsibility for rethinking the meaning of philosophy altogether. Indeed, Marcano’s work suggests that the task of philosophy demands constant and careful reconsideration of what philosophy is. That black feminist philosophy prompts radical reconsideration of this task implies, in turn, that black feminist thought is necessary to render philosophy more philosophical.
These issues are taken up through a provocative engagement with a text of central importance to the philosophical canon in Marcano’s essay, “Re-Reading Plato’s Symposium through the Lens of a Black Woman.” This paper was originally delivered at the inaugural meeting of the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers and was later published in the volume Reframing the Practice of Philosophy. Eschewing the typical focus on Diotima’s tutelage of Socrates in the philosophy of love, Marcano focuses on Alcibiades’ intoxicated remarks on Socrates. Alcibiades draws out the desirability of philosophy as embodied in Socrates; philosophy incurs, in short, a desire to be a better human being. Yet the figure of Socrates, if read from Alcibiades’ perspective, is also deeply troubling: he seems incapable of reciprocating love, to the point of appearing inhuman. Marcano juxtaposes this conflict with the problematic relationship between philosophy and black women…

Hartford Stage’s New Scrooge Brings Darkness, Comedy to ‘Christmas Carol’
Connecticut Magazine
After nearly two decades, Hartford Stage’s holiday perennial A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas is getting a new Ebenezer Scrooge.
Michael Preston, who has been playing the role of Mr. Marvel for the last five years, is succeeding Bill Raymond in the lead role in Michael Wilson’s stage version of the Charles Dickens classic. The new production plays Nov. 24 to Dec. 30.
“When I was a young actor in New York I wanted to be the kind of actor that Bill Raymond was, who was then performing in Mabou Mines [the avant garde theatre company],” Preston says over coffee recently in Hartford. “Then I went off to circus land.”
Preston is referring to his years from 1991 to 2000 with The Flying Karamazov Brothers, the vaudeville troupe of comedy, juggling and cirque skills that played internationally, including Broadway.
Preston’s hope of working with Raymond on stage came about when Preston became associate professor of dance and theater at Trinity College and he joined the Christmas Carol cast.
“He was funny, really funny,” Preston says of Raymond, who ended his 17-year run as Scrooge last year. “That physical training and sense of physical comedy is something that we share.”
Preston shares his thoughts on the classic character, how the play relates to modern times, and if he’ll find a way to work in his juggling skills…

Coach Anne Parmenter: Resiliency, Mindset, Ethics
“Finding Mastery” podcast
Imagine being within striking distance of your lifelong dream, only to come to a fork in the road.
Continue onward but in doing so, put others lives in danger, or turn back and potentially never have another shot at fulfilling your dream.
What would you do?
How would you respond?
Ethical decision making under duress is a fascinating process.
I don’t know anyone that says, “I’m a bad human being. I’m a terrible human being and I do bad things.”
But some people put up an armor, a shield of denial, when there is a something at stake they badly want.
When there is money, effort, years of commitment on the line, the moral compass can become clouded.
This conversation with mountaineer and Trinity College field hockey and lacrosse coach Anne Parmenter touches on just that, and more!
Anne has a unique perspective – she’s been in the trenches summiting the World’s greatest mountains and has also coached for over 20 years.
Anne has climbed Aconcagua in Argentina, Denali, Chimborazo in Equador, Mount Blanc in the French Alps, and two expeditions to Mount Everest.
In this conversation, we discuss how to prepare for moments of true test.
Resiliency has been a profound theme over the course of Anne’s life. We dive into strategies she’s used to overcome setbacks and how she helps do the same for her athletes…

A New Museum for an Old Colony, Puerto Rico
The New York Times
The images from Puerto Rico show devastated landscapes, flooded streets and barefoot children. In some cases, they are accompanied by snide comments that tease or blame the subjects for their predicament. Are these from 2017, post-Hurricane Maria?
No, try 1899.
A year after the Treaty of Paris ended the Spanish-American War and the United States acquired Puerto Rico (along with Cuba and the Philippines), images from an illustrated census provide early insight to the nebulous, paternalistic and at times violent relationship between the United States and its island territory.
The photographer Pablo Delano has long collected images of Puerto Rico: In some ways, it is in his blood, since his father, Jack Delano, had gone to Puerto Rico in the 1940s as a photographer for the Farm Security Administration, then returned after World War II to work in film, television and photography, producing one of the most telling (and loving) looks at the island.
But these photos from 1899 appealed to him for different reasons. A few years ago, while poring over the countless images he had collected over the decades, he decided to use them in an installation that looks at how Puerto Rico — and Puerto Ricans — were portrayed by their colonial masters. Long interested in museums — especially ethnographic ones — he was inspired to open his own: The Museum of the Old Colony, a movable installation comprising images, text and objects that has already been exhibited at New York University and will open in the coming weeks at the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art.
“I was struck by how similar the 1899 pictures looked to the ones we’re seeing from Hurricane Maria,” said Mr. Delano, who teaches at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. “Some of the photos were even taken in the same towns and streets. It was difficult to look at because to me it suggested visually maybe we are back where we started. It raised the question: What has been the outcome of this century of occupation?”…

Immigrant-destination cities in the US brace for uncertainty
Assad al-Majid grew up helping his father prepare sweets and ice cream at his family’s shop in Damascus, Syria. Later in life, he opened up his own chocolate factory there. When the war broke out in 2011, he and his family escaped to Jordan. Last year, the father of four resettled to Syracuse, New York, with his wife and children — a long way from his former home, but a place where he is determined to stay and open his own sweets shop.
“God brought me here,” he says, “so I have to continue here.”
Syracuse, like other cities in upstate New York and elsewhere in the United States that struggle economically, has begun to reverse decades of population decline by attracting immigrant workers and entrepreneurs, and refugees like al-Majid.
While Donald Trump’s plan to reduce overall immigration and cap the refugee resettlement program at 45,000 — a dramatic drop from the Obama-era cap of 110,000 — starting in 2018 has kept Canadian immigration officials on alert, the policy change is also bad news for the many small and medium-sized cities around the United States, often in very conservative regions, which have courted migrant resettlement as a means of survival.
Measuring economic impact
While some Republicans, including Trump, claim that immigrants come to the United States to steal US jobs, the reality is that even in some of the most conservative parts of the country, immigrants and refugees are recruited by business owners and politicians alike to supplement the local labour force or to bring new businesses to shuttered main streets.
Anthony Messina, a political science professor at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, who studies migration in the US and Europe, says that what is happening now is “basically the historical re-write of what happened in the US in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” when immigrants came from Europe to settle in large US cities. Now, he says, “new immigrants are coming to towns and small cities that had not previously been sites for immigration,” like the Rust Belt and the South…

Everything You Need to Know About Initial Coin Offerings
U.S. News & World Report
You don’t need to know much about investing and finance to grasp that pro boxers make money by bashing each other’s brains in. Perhaps they pull down lots of lucre from endorsements, too. Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. does both – he’s reportedly worth a half billion dollars – but in the same month he defeated Conor McGregor to go a historic 50-0, he scored another TKO by ICO, as in initial coin offering.
In August, Mayweather hit Instagram to promote Stox, known officially as “a blockchain-based prediction market.” Sold in similar fashion to initial public offering, the ICO for Stox raised 134,000 in etherium coins. That’s $30 million in a little more than six hours.
What is an initial coin offering? Now if all this digital-finance jargon leaves you punch drunk, here’s the gist: ICOs, which operate on the same platform as the cryptocurrency bitcoin, make people incredibly wealthy incredibly fast. How fast? In the time it takes to boil an egg, the Stox ICO raised $1 million: 12 minutes versus the more than 12 years it takes for the vast majority of American households to earn as much…
“In terms of a typical person, I doubt my beloved aunt would be able to set up an ICO, but doing so requires putting together a business plan or even the simplest elevator pitch to sell to potential investors,” says Edward Stringham, president of the American Institute of Economic Research and a professor at Trinity College in Hartford.
“Many companies don’t even have the product yet, but seek outside investors to help make it possible,” Stringham says. “So without resources or a track record, the successful ICO depends on convincing investors to take a shot with an enterprise.”
And so we come to the “Eureka!” moment of this article. The ICO truly represents a gold rush for the times. Some will strike prodigious pay dirt, while others buy the rights to empty mines or chase fool’s gold that will never pan out.
“The market,” Stringham says, “is still new and still in its Wild West days.”