Steve ScarpaAugust 16, 20212min
It’s Spring 1966. Steve Englehart, a first-year Wesleyan student, is hanging around his dorm when one of his floormates thrusts a copy of Spider-Man at him saying, “You have to read this. This is great.” Like many students his age at that time, Englehart read comic books as a child but thought that he’d grown out of them. They were considered “downmarket”—a lot of them weren’t particularly good. Englehart read it through in one shot and sensed something very different than the wooden characters and corny storylines he encountered as a kid. Marvel had gone through a renaissance in the…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 16, 20212min
After nearly 50 years, Steve Englehart '69 will see one of his original Marvel characters make its big-screen debut this fall. Englehart’s creation, martial arts master Shang-Chi, is the lead character of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” starring Simu Liu, perhaps best known for his work in the Canadian comedy “Kim’s Convenience.” The film debuted Aug. 15 in Los Angeles and will be released nationwide on Sept. 3. Although Englehart was not involved in the movie production, he sees core elements of the backstory he created in the trailer for the upcoming film. In Englehart’s original story…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 13, 20214min
Assistant Professor of Government Alyx Mark’s aspiring law students arrived at her new service-learning class with a typical set of assumptions about how American courts work: Lawyers do most of the talking, decisions by the Supreme Court are followed to a tee by lower courts, and people who have legal problems tend to resolve them. However, most individuals' interactions with the law come through small civil actions—lawsuits, traffic court, and evictions, for example. For many people who live in low-income neighborhoods, not only is finding legal assistance difficult, but when they do access the law, often representing themselves in court,…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 26, 20213min
María Ospina, associate professor of Spanish, believes that writing fiction is another powerful way to engage the subjects that have driven her academic work—memory, violence, and culture. “Right now, I think that this is the way that I am going to continue exploring intellectual issues that interest me, including those related to history and politics,” said Ospina, who previously published a book of cultural criticism. Her debut book of short stories, Variations on the Body, has been translated into English from Spanish by Heather Cleary and was published in the United States in July by Coffee House Press. The book…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 26, 20213min
It’s common today to speak of building one’s brand—everyone from world leaders to precocious teens are worried about their image, shaping their personalities online, creating a persona that straddles reality and the imagined. For the Medici family, the 16th-century rulers of Florence and Tuscany and patrons of some of the most famous Renaissance artwork, the tools to accomplish this were very different from those of today. However, the objective was the same. Wesleyan's Davison Arts Center (DAC) is participating in an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art called “The Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512-1570,” currently on display through October…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 16, 20213min
For many first-generation and low-income students, simply the idea of attending college can be daunting. The cost of higher education might be prohibitive. The application process can be complicated and overwhelming. Even with a committed support network, it can all be too much. “Oftentimes for first-generation students, college is not something that's expected … It is now starting to be a little bit more like ‘hey, you should go to college’ but it is not as widespread as in more affluent communities,” said Miguel Peralta, director of Wesleyan's Upward Bound Math-Science program. The Upward Bound Math-Science program is pulling down…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 6, 20212min
After wrapping up a successful Spring 2020 issue showcasing the intellectual vibrancy and risk-taking Wesleyans employ in their creative pursuits, the Wesleyan University Magazine team thought they had their next issue’s subject all figured out. With a highly divided political landscape and a contentious presidential election looming, it was clear that the next issue should focus on Wesleyan’s long history of civic engagement and the University’s recently announced commitment to Engage 2020—an initiative aimed at encouraging widespread participation in the political process. But then COVID-19 hit. And just as the world was busy adapting to a new and scary reality,…