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Film Critic Set to Reveal ‘Secret Swarthmore Life’

LA Times film critic Kenneth Turan graduated from Pennsylvania’s Swarthmore College the same year as the release of The Graduate. This coming weekend, the 1967 alum, who went on to earn his master’s at Columbia University in New York, will return for an Arts Weekend speech entitled “Swarthmore Made Me: A Critic’s Secret Life.”

Turan tells Swarthmore’s The Phoenix, a student newspaper founded the same year as the LA Times (1881), that his current teaching style is heavily influenced by his time on campus as a history major:

Teaching film reviewing and nonfiction writing at USC, Turan sees a lot of himself in his own students. “I’m excited by the field and I was hoping there was a place for me, which is exactly how my students feel,” he said… His teaching style is “an attempt to make my students get as much out of my class as I got out of the classes I took at Swarthmore.”

Other notable Swarthmore journalism industry grads include former Variety editor Peter Bart, New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley, and Glamour magazine editor-in-chief Cynthia Leive. There’s also, for better or worse, Justin Hall, widely credited as being the Internet’s original blogger.

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