The Oberlin Review

Off the Cuff: Juan Méndez, Professor and Human Rights Activist

Off the Cuff: Juan Méndez, Professor and Human Rights Activist

March 31, 2017

Juan Mendez is a Professor of Human Rights Law at American University’s Washington College of Law who served on the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment from 2010–2016. Mendez is originally from Argentina, where he defended political prisoners in the 1970s. Following his arrest and subsequent exile from Argentina, Mendez moved to the U.S. where he worked for the Human Rights Watch for 15 years. Mendez gave a talk Wednesday eve...

Off the Cuff: Jodi Dean, Professor of Political Science

Off the Cuff: Jodi Dean, Professor of Political Science

March 10, 2017

Jodi Dean is a Political Science professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and has written multiple books on political theory and communist revolution. Dean’s 2016 book, Crowds and Party, explains why movements such as Occupy Wall Street were unable to maintain momentum after they ended and explains how the left should reinvigorate itself. Dean’s talk, “Crowds and Party: Movements, Organizing, and Fighting Back,” is the Oscar Jászi Memoral Lecture hosted by the Politics department. Mu...

Off the Cuff: Pawan Dhingra, Professor at Tufts University

Off the Cuff: Pawan Dhingra, Professor at Tufts University

March 3, 2017

Professor Pawan Dhingra is a professor of Sociology and American Studies at Tufts University, specializing in Asian American studies, immigrant adaptation, race and ethnic relations and social and cultural inequalities. From 2011 to 2012, Dhingra served at the Smithsonian Institution as museum curator for the Indian American Heritage Project and was involved with its exhibition, Beyond Bollywood, which was featured at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. He is the author of two award...

Off the Cuff: Sophie Smith and Alicia Dinsmore, Activists

Off the Cuff: Sophie Smith and Alicia Dinsmore, Activists

February 24, 2017

Sophie Smith and Alicia Dinsmore both work in Arizona with La Coalición de Derechos Humanos and No More Deaths, providing humanitarian aid for undocumented immigrants. Smith is a writer, community organizer, and desert aid volunteer. She joined the Abuse Documentation Team in 2015 and coauthored the report series The Disappeared. Dinsmore is from Phoenix, AZ, and has worked providing aid in the Sonoran Desert. She received her bachelor’s in anthropology and global health from Arizona State Univer...

Off the Cuff: Zoé Samudzi, Medical Sociology Ph.D. Candidate

Off the Cuff: Zoé Samudzi, Medical Sociology Ph.D. Candidate

February 17, 2017

Zoé Samudzi is a Medical Sociology Ph.D. student at the University of California, San Francisco, where she specializes in issues related to transgender people’s impediments to receiving adequate health care. Aside from policies and oppression related to transgender people, Samudzi has also conducted research related to race, sex workers and communities that suffer from HIV. Her talk is titled, “Conceptualizing Oppression: Umbrellas and Webs,” during which she will discuss how political sy...

Off the Cuff: Michael M. Lederman, Professor of Medicine

February 10, 2017

Dr. Michael M. Lederman is the Scott R. Inkley Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals/Case Medical Center where he is also a professor of biomedical ethics, pathology, microbiology and molecular biology. He is a member of the American Association of Immunologists, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the HIV Medicine Association and a councilor of the Clinical Immunology Society. He is on the editorial boards of AIDS, the Journal ...

Off the Cuff: Janet Garrett, Two-Time Congressional Candidate

Off the Cuff: Janet Garrett, Two-Time Congressional Candidate

February 3, 2017

Janet Garrett is a life-long Oberlin resident and spent many years as a teacher at Eastwood Elementary School before retiring in 2015. Garrett ran for Congress in Ohio’s 4th Congressional District both in 2014 and 2016, losing twice to current Republican congressman Jim Jordan. Since President Donald Trump’s victory, Garrett has been hosting a monthly reading group at the Oberlin Public Library where community members discuss books and how to respond to Trump’s presidency. The next meeting is ...

Off the Cuff: Theodore M. Shaw, Civil Rights Lawyer

Off the Cuff: Theodore M. Shaw, Civil Rights Lawyer

December 2, 2016

Theodore M. Shaw is the director of the Center for Civil Rights and the Julius L. Chambers Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill. He previously served as the fifth director-counsel and president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense Fund from 2004 to 2008, spending a total of 26 years at the Legal Defense Fund. Shaw also worked in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department during the Carter and Reagan adm...

Off the Cuff: Todd Baker, OC ’90, Medical Association CEO

Off the Cuff: Todd Baker, OC ’90, Medical Association CEO

November 18, 2016

Todd Baker, OC ’90, was recently named CEO of the Ohio State Medical Association after working as co-CEO of the organization since 2014. The Ohio State Medical Association lobbies for Ohio doctors in Columbus and helps them cope with changes in the medical industry. Prior to working as co-CEO, Baker was the association’s senior director of professional relations. Baker graduated from Oberlin in 1990 with a degree in Economics and went on to study at the University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon B. ...

Off the Cuff: Professors Shelly Lee and Gina Pérez

Off the Cuff: Professors Shelly Lee and Gina Pérez

November 11, 2016

Professors of Comparative American Studies Shelley Lee and Gina Pérez held a teach-in on immigration, education policy and the rights and opportunities afforded to undocumented students Monday. The event took place as part of UndocuWeek 2016, a series of events sponsored by Obies for Undocumented Inclusion to raise awareness of the struggles that undocumented students go through. Pérez specializes in Latinx studies. Lee, a history professor who authored A New History of Asian America, focuses o...

Off the Cuff: Eboo Patel, President of Interfaith Youth Core

Off the Cuff: Eboo Patel, President of Interfaith Youth Core

October 28, 2016

Eboo Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that works to promote interfaith dialogue on college campuses. In 2007, Patel published an autobiography titled Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, which won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Patel was a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships and in 2011 helped develop his administration’s Interfaith a...

Off the Cuff: Gregory Kulacki, Nuclear Weapon and Control Expert

Off the Cuff: Gregory Kulacki, Nuclear Weapon and Control Expert

October 7, 2016

Gregory Kulacki specializes in cross-cultural communication between the United States and China. He has been working for the Union of Concerned Scientists since 2002, promoting dialogue amongst experts in the U.S. and China on nuclear weapon control and security. He has worked with the House of Representatives’ U.S.-China Working Group, the Senate Armed Services Committee, the U.S. National Academies, NASA and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Kulacki, who is fluent in Mandarin, has...

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