The Oberlin Review

Off The Cuff: Dr. Johnnette B. Cole, OC ’57, and Princeton University Professor of Philosophy Kwame Anthony Appiah

February 8, 2013

Filed under NEWS, Off the Cuff

Dr. Cole, what it was like to be a female Anthropology major in the ’50s? Cole: Well, first I must say there was no Anthropology major in the years that I was at Oberlin. So I majored in Sociology, but I also majored in George Eaton Simpson. Which is to say that once I discovered anthropology, Professor Simpson really took me on as his student. So I did a great deal of independent study with him and, [as] I think still happens, I listened to my major professor. And when he said I should go from Oberlin to Northwestern to study with the famous [American Anthropologist] Melville J. Herskovitz, that's what I did. But let me share with you that growing up in Jacksonville, FL, I had never heard of something called anthropol...

Off the Cuff with David Halperin, author of How to be Gay

Willa Rubin

October 12, 2012

Filed under NEWS, Off the Cuff

You’ve said that “gayness is not a state or condition. It’s a mode of perception, an attitude, an ethos: in short, it is a practice.” Can you elaborate on this? I’m interested in gayness as a way of being, as a practice, as a way of life. I mean, homosexuality is obviously a sexual orientation, but it is not the sexual aspect specifically that interests me, but what it’s like to be gay, what it’s like to feel gay and what it’s like to live in the world in a gay way. What did you focus on in your class “How to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation”? Was it just about gay culture and how gay culture is defined? It was [on] the question of whether there is a gay cultural difference. In ...

Jerry Greenfield Discusses Social Activism, Business, Fire Eating

William Passannante, Staff Writer

September 28, 2012

Filed under NEWS, Off the Cuff

Jerry Greenfield: I was here from ’69 to ’73, and ... the best thing about Oberlin for me was the social and political activism. I came here as a suburban kid from Rhode Island and I was not really involved in social activism. During my freshman year here, there were the shootings at Kent State, which is just down the road, and there was a student strike at Oberlin to shut down the school. ... There was all sorts of civil rights activity, so it was just a very active and stimulating and turbulent time. It sort of helped instill values in me that have become very important — both to me personally and to Ben & Jerry’s as a company. What values would you say those are? Social justice, environmental ju...

Faculty Films Reimagine the Amerikan Documentary

Abby Hawkins, Staff Writer

September 28, 2012

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Don Matis, a Hudson, Ohio, artist and self-described “Catholic lay evangelist,” paints with his beard. In the short film of which he is the subject, part of the documentary series The Amerikans screened Sept. 22 at the Apollo, Don openly discusses his views on God, art and his path to happiness. While one couldn’t help but giggle initially at the sight of Don slapping his paint-loaded beard onto a canvas in his stylishly sparse studio, it quickly became clear that we could all do well to heed Don’s advice on the importance of kindness and authenticity in our interpersonal relationships. Such deeply resonant human connection to the screen, found in the most unexpected of characters, is the hallmark of The...

Alumni of Color Call for Action, Support

Oberlin Alumni of Color and Allies

April 27, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

It was early morning Friday, April 13 when the article in The Oberlin Review, “Afrikana Community Responds to Bigotry,” began to spread like wildfire on the Internet within Oberlin’s alumni of color community. Many of us were shocked beyond measure to learn what Afrikana students are facing every day now on Oberlin’s campus. Many of us cried. Oberlin’s Afrikana students are clearly “sick and tired,” as they stated in their powerful letter, of the blatant disrespect at Oberlin of Afrikana students, their culture and their history. The students’ faith in the institution of higher learning that they attend is being tested like never before. And we alumni of color and allies are gravely concerned — abou...

Stephen Morris Unites World, College with Lecture on Future International Cultural Conservation

Alice Shockley, Staff Writer

April 27, 2012

Filed under ARTS

“To cherish what remains, and foster its renewal, is our only hope.” This sentiment expressed by writer Wendall Berry, encapsulates the message of Stephen Morris's, OC ’82, lecture on April 23. To represent the World Heritage Convention, Curricular Committee on Archeology invited Morris to speak and show the latest World Heritage video, which highlighted their achievements, and addressed the basic historic, political, cultural and environmental projects undertaken by World Heritage Program Organization. Morris made note of the great need for support from active-minded students from our generation, emphasizing the importance of outreach and awareness in order to recruit National Park Service interns for seasonal...

Prepare to Become an Alum

Rick Pender

April 20, 2012

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Although I’m certain you’re getting an excellent education at Oberlin, I want to tell you something you might not have learned yet: You’re officially on your way to becoming an alum. That’s right — by virtue of your enrollment, you’ll be part of the Oberlin Alumni Association, an institution that dates back to 1839. For 173 years, graduates of Oberlin have been uniting to appreciate and support the institution that’s turned them into people who make a difference in the world. I graduated from Oberlin in 1971 with a degree in English, thinking I would teach. I’ve done that, to be sure, but so much more. Using fundamental skills I learned during my undergraduate years I’ve worked...

Off the Cuff with Judge Susan Richard Nelson

Rosemary Boeglin, News Editor

March 9, 2012

Filed under NEWS, Off the Cuff

You have a long history in litigation centered on product liability and tort cases, perhaps the most impactful of which was your 1998 tobacco case that resulted in a multi-billion dollar settlement. How did you become involved in that case? What do you perceive to be its significant results? I started practicing law in 1978, and in 1984 I joined a law firm in Minneapolis. They were well known for doing high-level product liability cases and representing the plaintiffs, which was unusual for a big law firm. Product liability was a big field, generally speaking, in the law back then. It is less so now, but it certainly was back then. So, I did a lot of trial work, and then in 1994 the firm was considering this big underta...

Symposium Honors Kornblith, Showcases Obie Historians

Elizabeth Dobbins

February 24, 2012

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

A symposium titled “Doing American History” will be held in Craig Lecture Hall tomorrow, Feb. 25, to honor Professor of History Gary Kornblith’s retirement after 30 years of teaching at Oberlin. Instead of using the symposium to showcase scholarly papers, 12 of Kornblith’s former students are coming back to give speeches on becoming American historians and the future of the field of American history. “My idea here is to have some fun, not just serious academic stuff,” said Kornblith. Many of the speeches will draw on the speakers’ autobiographical experiences pursuing careers in history. Kornblith says that this will provide ideas for students as to what to do with their history major after graduation....

Robert Shannon Proves Model For Conservatory Pianists

Meghan Farnsworth, Staff Writer

February 10, 2012

Filed under ARTS, Music

Wednesday's recital at Warner Concert Hall featured the talented Robert Shannon, OC ’72, a man famous for being the head of Oberlin’s Keyboard Studies Division, founder of the Cooper International Piano Competition and a highly sought-after piano professor in the Conservatory. With such a reputation, expectations were high. Shannon walked across Warner’s stage as though he were emotionally wounded. His shoulders slumped and his arms swung to their own momentum. When he took his place at the piano, the music that ensued contrasted the reputation preceding him. The performance was very personal, reflective and emotional, rather than purely virtuosic. This effect was both strange and enlightening, especially give...

Billie Streets Speaks on Athletics, Success

Emma Eisenberg, Staff Writer

February 10, 2012

Filed under Campus News, NEWS

Billie Streets, OC ’86, remembers her years playing for the Oberlin women’s basketball team in a way many Division III athletes would understand: “We were not good — we had fun, but we really weren’t good.” Still, at her talk on Sept. 7, Streets emphasized the importance of achievement. Indeed, her frequently sports-oriented vocabulary lent itself well to discussing corporate and personal success with her audience. “I would hope that you guys come to understand that winning is important,” she said. “When you come out into corporate America, you’ve got to compete.” Streets has certainly competed well in her professional life since Oberlin. After serving as director of special events for ...

Lev Rosen Returns to Oberlin with Newly Published Novel

Kara Brooks, Arts Editor

November 11, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

On the night of Nov. 8, a modest yet devoted number of students and faculty gathered in King 106 to hear Lev A.C. Rosen, OC ’03, read passages from his work of fiction. All eyes were on Rosen as the attendees of his reading towered over him in the massive lecture hall. Nevertheless, Rosen appeared comfortable and familiar with how to perform in front of fellow Obies. Diving into his reading, Rosen perhaps proved himself too familiar as an Obie, as he gulped his water into the microphone and spoke too loudly at times. Raised in New York City, Rosen attended Oberlin and then Sarah Lawrence College, where he received his MFA in Creative Writing. His work has been featured in Esopus Magazine and various blogs...

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