Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

On the Record with Robert Spano, OC ’84

On the Record with Robert Spano, OC ’84

September 15, 2017

Professor of Conducting Robert Spano, OC ’84, delivered the Convocation on Thursday night, a moderated Q&A session with Dean of the Conservatory, Andrea Kalyn. Spano is currently in his 17th season as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which has won six Grammy awards under his leadership. In 2012, Spano was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, one of only two classical musicians to achieve that distinction. He has made guest conducting appearances with the Cleveland Or...

On the Record with Ed Helms, OC ’96, and Daniel Radosh, OC ’91

On the Record with Ed Helms, OC ’96, and Daniel Radosh, OC ’91

April 7, 2017

Ed Helms, OC ’96, and Daniel Radosh, OC ’91, hosted this academic year’s final convocation Sunday night, “What’s the Point of Comedy? (And other pointless questions).” Helms, whose most iconic roles include an outlandish Andy Bernard on The Office and an equally obnoxious but fun-loving Stu in The Hangover trilogy, is an actor, comedian, producer, writer and musician. After graduating from Oberlin, Helms’ multifaceted skillset led him to a job as a correspondent for several years on The Daily...

‘Swimming in Dark Waters’ Powerful, if Repetitive

‘Swimming in Dark Waters’ Powerful, if Repetitive

February 26, 2016

“There’s been a lot of negativity,”Rhiannon Giddens, OC ’00, acknowledged toward the end of her Saturday night set. “But this is Oberlin. We ain’t watering none of this down.” Giddens and her collaborators — singer-guitarist Bhi Bhiman and singer and multi-instrumentalist Leyla McCalla — didn’t downplay much that evening. For the opening date of their “Swimming in Dark Waters” tour, the trio performed a dour show, telling stories of oppression and grief through multiple...

Zadie Smith Lectures on Ethics of Writing

Zadie Smith Lectures on Ethics of Writing

October 2, 2015

Renowned novelist, essayist and author of short stories Zadie Smith met with loud applause from an audience in Finney Chapel at the beginning of her convocation Tuesday evening. “You don’t know what I’m going to say yet. You might hate it,” Smith responded. Yet clearly many audience members had read her work, and that was proof enough that Smith’s talk would be interesting. Theater and Africana Studies Professor Caroline Jackson Smith said that she first encountered Smith’s work when...

Off the Cuff: Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times

Off the Cuff: Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times

April 3, 2015

Dean Baquet is the executive editor of The New York Times and the former editor of the Los Angeles Times. Baquet started his career as a reporter at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, his hometown. Baquet later won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism with his reports on corruption within the Chicago City Council for the Chicago Tribune. Before becoming executive editor, Baquet worked at the Times as a reporter, managing editor, national editor and the Washington Bureau Chief. As execu...

Departure Weakens Arguments of Sachs Protesters

Jesse Docter and Ethan Aronson

November 7, 2014

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: Fifteen minutes into last Wednesday’s convocation, the activists had exited, the banners had been removed and the last vestiges of neoliberal criticism were absent from Finney Chapel. For those unfamiliar with the events of Wednesday night, here’s a brief synopsis: Jeffrey Sachs, world-renowned economist, aid worker and proponent of neoliberal economic policy, gave a convocation lecture. Criticism of Mr. Sachs targets his neoliberal perspective, his radical restructuring of developing economies and the problematic nature of his work in foreign aid. These criticisms were voiced by Oberlin activists who distributed flyers critical of Mr. Sachs and performed a banner drop and “mic check” at the...

Sachs Convocation Exemplifies Biased, Neoliberal Agenda

Ana Patricia Robelo, Megan Gisela Bautista, and Gian-Carlo Toriano Parel

October 31, 2014

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Dear President Marvin Krislov: We are three of the students who helped organize a direct action in opposition to the convocation that took place on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. We cannot speak for everyone who organized, participated or wanted to but were not able to engage in the action, but we — speaking only for ourselves — were disappointed yet unsurprised that economist Dr. Jeffrey Sachs was invited to speak to share his research on global sustainability on Wednesday evening. Furthermore, we feel that the administration failed to report a transparent characterization of this speaker to the community, especially considering Sachs’s role as a major foreign economic advisor to transitioning nations in the 1980s...

Students Protest Economist’s Actions, Not Views

Students Protest Economist’s Actions, Not Views

October 31, 2014

Those who expected developmentalism to be the only policy deconstructed at Jeffrey Sachs’s convocation Wednesday night were in for a surprise. Sachs, an American economist and former economic advisor to a number of governments worldwide, began the first few words of his convocation speech in front of a relatively large audience of students, faculty, staff and community members, but was soon drowned out by the shouts from a group of students scattered throughout Finney Chapel. “Jeffrey Sachs...

Feature Photo: Art Spiegelman at Convocation

Feature Photo: Art Spiegelman at Convocation

October 10, 2014

Cartoonist Art Spiegelman peers over the shoulder of saxophonist Phillip Johnston during their joint convocation, titled “Wordless!”, in Finney Chapel Wednesday. Despite technical difficulties, the pair combined their respective art forms in a display of collaborative mastery. Spiegelman is best known for his graphic novel Maus, a lengthy retelling of his father’s life as a Holocaust survivor that earned the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Maus is often cited as the work that first drew scholarly...

Radiolab Event Highlights Best of Oberlin College

Marty Frazier, OC '07

September 26, 2014

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: As a high school teacher, I’m constantly regaling students with the wonders of Oberlin and encouraging them to apply. Posters and pennants fly from my classroom windows, and the new viewbook sits prominently on my front table. Students grow tired of these entreaties, and when I begin a sentence with “Back at Oberlin,” many eyes roll reflexively back into sockets, as teenage eyes are sometimes wont to do. So when a group of high school seniors accompanied me to the Radiolab event this past Friday, I panicked that perhaps I’d let nostalgia oversell my Oberlin experience to them. What if our journey to this promised world revealed my memories as completely fraudulent? Walking into an electrified,...

Off the Cuff: Ishmael Beah, OC ’04, human rights activist and best-selling author

Off the Cuff: Ishmael Beah, OC ’04, human rights activist and best-selling author

September 12, 2014

Human rights activist and Sierra Leonean author, Ishmael Beah, OC ’04, rose to fame with his best-selling memoir A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. One of the world’s leading advocates for children affected by war,  Beah sat down with the Review to discuss his rehabilitation experience, the narrative structure of Mende, his native language and his perception of beauty. Obviously you’ve experienced more tragedy and brutality in the span of a few years than most people have in a lifetime, th...

McBride Pays Homage to Abolitionist John Brown

McBride Pays Homage to Abolitionist John Brown

March 7, 2014

To call James McBride, OC ’79, a writer is to capture only a small fraction of what the man is capable of. While his 1995 memoir The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother spent over two years on the New York Times bestseller list and his most recent novel, 2013’s The Good Lord Bird, won the National Book Award, McBride is also a prolific musician and an award-winning composer. Fortunately for fans of music and the written word, both of McBride’s exceptional talents were on disp...

Established 1874.