The Oberlin Review

On the Record With Hector Aristizábal, Actor

On the Record With Hector Aristizábal, Actor

March 3, 2017

Hector Aristizábal is the founder and artistic co-director of ImaginAction, a non-profit theater arts organization based in Los Angeles. ImaginAction uses techniques from Theatre of the Oppressed, Playback Theatre, Theatre of Witness, Psychodrama, traditional storytelling, mask-making, drumming, dance and creative ritual to facilitate dialogue, community-building, liberation and healing in communities worldwide. Educated as a theater artist and psychologist, Aristizábal has won numerous awards ...

On The Record with Professor Justin Emeka

On The Record with Professor Justin Emeka

February 24, 2017

Associate Professor of Theater and Africana Studies Justin Emeka, OC ’95, discovered acting at a young age, but racially restrictive casting drove him more toward directing. He graduated with a master’s degree in directing from the University of Washington School of Drama in 2005 and has been extensively involved in staging works of classical theater productions with Black casts for many years. Emeka hosted an event called “Re-imagining Classical American Theater” at the Playhouse Square...

On the Record with Musicologist Maria Williams

On the Record with Musicologist Maria Williams

February 17, 2017

Professor Maria Williams was born and raised in Anchorage, AK. She received a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from University of California, Los Angeles and currently directs the Department of Alaska Native Studies at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, where she teaches courses in Alaska Native and world music. She recently produced a documentary called A Beautiful Journey, which chronicles Athabascan Elder Daisy Demientieff’s 750-mile journey in search of roots for her tribe’s indigenous basket-makin...

On The Record With Aoife O’Donovan

On The Record With Aoife O’Donovan

February 10, 2017

Irish-American singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, who graduated from New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Improvisation department in 2003, has made her career touring and recording both solo and with other artists, including members of the Punch Brothers. Lead singer for bluegrass-folk band Crooked Still and a member of the female folk-trio Sometymes Why, O’Donovan has previously appeared at Oberlin to perform and teach master classes with the Conservatory’s American Roots residency ...

On The Record with TIMARA Professor Peter Swendsen

February 3, 2017

Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts Peter Swendsen, OC ’99, spent Winter Term in Norway performing his new hour-long, fixed-media piece What Noises Remain with percussionist Jennifer Torrence, OC ’09. Swendsen, who also holds an M.F.A. from Mills College Center for Contemporary Music in California and a Ph.D. in Music Composition and Computer Technologies from the University of Virginia, has written extensively for dance and film and often works collaboratively with other a...

On the Record with Matthew Rarey, African Art Scholar

On the Record with Matthew Rarey, African Art Scholar

December 9, 2016

Assistant Professor of the Arts of Africa of the black Atlantic Matthew Rarey joined Oberlin’s art history department in fall 2015 and has since made strides toward building a comprehensive African art history curriculum for students. The first professor in his position at Oberlin, his background ranges from the study of Andean archaeology to the study of the ways in which African art developed during and after crossing the Atlantic with an emphasis on its presence in Brazil. His work has been pu...

On the Record with Sage Lewis, Composer

On the Record with Sage Lewis, Composer

December 2, 2016

A multimedia composer from Minneapolis specializing in film, Sage Lewis, OC ’04, graduated with a BA in Music Composition before completing his studies at California Institute of the Arts with an MFA. Though based in Los Angeles, his work has been screened at festivals diverse as Cannes, the Havana Film Festival, SXSW and others. The Sundance Film Composer Fellow’s recent compositions have included the scores for Logan Kibens’ film Operator, starring Martin Starr and Mae Whitman, and Flaher...

On the Record with Kazim Ali, Associate Professor

On the Record with Kazim Ali, Associate Professor

November 18, 2016

Oberlin’s own Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature Kazim Ali’s new book Uncle Sharif ’s Life in Music made its official release Tuesday. A poet, novelist, essayist and translator, Ali’s writing has appeared in prestigious publications such as The American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Barrow Street, Jubilat, The Iowa Review and in The Best American Poetry 2007. Ali will read selections from the book Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Review chatted with Ali to discus...

On the Record with Ben Sinclair, High Maintenance

On the Record with Ben Sinclair, High Maintenance

November 11, 2016

Ben Sinclair, OC ’06, co-created the hit web and television series High Maintenance with spouse Katja Blichfeld. The show revolves around the experiences of New Yorkers connected by their shared transactions with a pot dealer known as The Guy. Meant to tell subtle truths about the human experience while de-stigmatizing marijuana use, the series focuses on different characters and stories with each episode. After two seasons on Vimeo featuring mini-episodes, HBO picked up the show. The new season, com...

On the Record with Artist Christi Birchfield

On the Record with Artist Christi Birchfield

October 28, 2016

This past Wednesday, 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship award-winning artist Christi Birchfield visited Oberlin for a talk about her work as a multimedia artist with a passion for printmaking. Having received her BFA in printmaking from the Cleveland Institute of Art and an MFA in visual art at Columbia University in New York City, Birchfield has participated in artist exchanges in Skowhegan, Maine and Germany. In 2006, she held a residency with the Cleveland print shop Zygote Press, where she now wo...

On the Record with Peter Coviello

Vida Weisblum, Editor-in-Chief

October 7, 2016

Filed under ARTS, On the Record

A professor of English at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Peter Coviello specializes in 19th-century American literature and queer studies and formerly served as Chair of the departments of English, Africana Studies and Gay and Lesbian Studies at Bowdoin College. Coviello recently penned Tomorrow’s Parties: Sex and the Untimely in Nineteenth- Century America, which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Studies and an Honorable Mention for the Alan Bray Memorial Book Prize from the Modern Language Institute’s GL/Q Caucus. His writing has appeared in noted venues including the LA Review of Books, Frieze and The Believer. Coviello chatted with the Review via email about his upcoming talk at Oberlin, ti...

On the Record with Jennifer Torrence

Eilish Spear, Staff Writer

September 23, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Music, On the Record

Percussionist Jennifer Torrence, OC ’09, is a solo and collaborative performer based in Oslo, Norway, where she is a research fellow at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Torrence specializes in contemporary percussion writing and performance, and her recent projects include writing evening-length solo productions and other percussion pieces with artists such as François Sarhan, Peter Swendsen, Trond Reinholdtsen, Woljtek Blecharz, Johan Jutterström, Carolyn Chen and Anna Mikhailova. She plays with the AJO ensemble and NorthArc Percussion in Norway and is the former principal percussionist of the Artic Philharmonic. She has worked with music legends such as Pierre Boulez and Jonathan Harvey and has premiered Unsuk ...

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