The Oberlin Review

Proposal for Journalism Concentration Passes

Alana Blumenstein

November 8, 2019

The College Faculty committee passed an Educational Plans and Policies Committee proposal on Wednesday to establish a journalism concentration at Oberlin. The motion passed with 49 out of 51 committee members’ approval and is currently set to begin in fall 2020. Although Oberlin has a long history of producing successful journalists, this is the institution’s first formal academic program in journalism. Proposed by John C. Reid Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Composition and English Jan Cooper, Professor of Rhetoric and Composition Laurie McMillin, and Professor of Hispanic Studies Sebastiaan Faber, the integrative concentration will combine academic coursework with co-curricular experiences. “I am very happ...

Senior Creative Writing students on stage at the Cat in the Cream after their reading. Back row: Rebecca Wood, Claire Wong, Jacob Fidoten, Madi Mettenburg, Gabi Shiner; Front row: Michelle Chu, Em Marcus.

Creative Writing Seniors Give Dazzling Reading at the Cat

May 10, 2019

 Graduating seniors in the Creative Writing Program read their work aloud to an audience of about 70 at the Cat in the Cream on Monday, May 6, their final chance to present their work as undergraduates.  The event was organized by Madi Mettenburg, Creative Writing major representative and graduating senior. Mettenburg credits the large crowd with the fact that she booked the event at the Cat, a popular venue on campus, as well as advertising the event in advance with enticing memes. She said ...

Nationally- Acclaimed FIELD Magazine Ends After 50 Years, 100 Issues

Roman Broszkowski, Senior Staff Writer

April 19, 2019

With the release of its spring 2019 issue, FIELD: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, an Oberlin College Press publication, concluded its 50-year run as one of the country’s most prestigious contemporary poetry reviews. The milestone was celebrated with several readings of past and present poems that had been part of the magazine’s long history as a staple of the American poetry scene.  Back in April 2018, FIELD editor and former Oberlin professor David Young announced that he would retire the following year and that as a result, FIELD would be publishing only two more issues. He and his co-editor, Oberlin Professor of English and Creative Writing David Walker, OC ’72 — who is planning on retiring from teaching ...

Blas Falconer, Poet

November 16, 2018

Blas Falconer is a queer Latinx poet and editor who came to Oberlin to read from his new book, Forgive the Body This Failure, on Thursday, Nov. 15. Falconer teaches in the MFA program at San Diego State University. His other published works are The Foundling Wheel, A Question of Gravity and Light, and The Perfect Hour. Falconer received a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers, and the Barthelme Fellowship, among others. He i...

Professors Emily Barton and Tom Hopkins, new staff in the Creative Writing department, are quite proficient in the art of the selfie and taking family portraits around Oberlin.

Emily Barton and Thomas Israel Hopkins, Oberlin’s Newest Creative Writing Faculty

September 21, 2018

Professors Emily Barton and Tom Hopkins are the two newest faculty members of Oberlin’s Creative Writing department. Barton is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing — one of the two recently hired tenure-track faculty, the other of whom is Chanda Feldman, who was hired as a visiting assistant professor last year. Hopkins is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing. The professors are married with two children. Both Barton and Hopkins graduated from Harvard College. Ba...

Interaction Outside Classroom Not Always Abusive

Louise Edwards

February 16, 2018

To the Editors: On Feb. 9, 2018, The Oberlin Review published Emily Clarke’s Letter to the Editors (“Matambo’s Mentorship Lacked Boundaries”), which describes interactions that Clarke had with former professor of Creative Writing Bernard Farai Matambo. Matambo recently resigned from Oberlin College due to sexual misconduct allegations. From Clarke’s perspective, the interactions described in the letter made their student-teacher relationship “insidious.” I understand that all of Matambo’s students had different experiences with him; however, to me, the actions described in the third paragraph of Clarke’s letter do not seem like boundaries crossed, with the exception of showing up to Clarke’s house at 1...

Creative Writing Program Unfairly Accused

Milena Williamson

February 9, 2018

On Dec. 1, The Oberlin Review broke the news of allegations against Professor Bernard Matambo (“Matambo Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations,” Dec. 1, 2017). The Review followed up with an editorial on the importance of preventing sexual misconduct (“Oberlin Faculty, Administration Must Be Active in Preventing Sexual Misconduct,” Dec. 8, 2017). It is this editorial that I am responding to now. I firmly believe that Oberlin faculty and staff should do everything in their power to protect students from sexual misconduct. I also want to address the problematic statements that were presented in this editorial by the Review. The editorial demonstrated unethical journalism through the implication that other profes...

Matambo’s Mentorship Lacked Boundaries

Emily Clarke

February 9, 2018

To the Editors: I’m writing to share my experiences with Bernard Matambo, in the hope that making it public will continue to open up space for the kind of reflection and change that Sarah Cheshire called for. Bernard shaped my time at Oberlin and my values and stances as a writer. He was my advisor and someone I thought of as a mentor, but looking back, the dynamic doesn’t seem like mentorship. I was trying very hard to be a close friend rather than a student, and he did nothing to discourage and much to encourage those efforts. At the time, I felt a powerful kind of approval from feeling “worth” the phone calls, long one-on-one meetings at coffee shops and restaurants (never his office), and late-night con...

Oberlin Faculty, Administration Must Be Active in Preventing Sexual Misconduct

Editorial Board

December 8, 2017

Editor’s Note: Language in this editorial has been updated to clarify the sources used in its writing and more explicitly express the views of the Editorial Board. Some of the most important relationships at Oberlin are those between students and members of the faculty and staff. Faculty, advisors, and deans all take meaningful roles in the lives of students that they work with — which is how it should be. After all, students come to small liberal arts schools like Oberlin for the accessibility of mentorship and guidance, as well as research opportunities predicated on working closely with faculty members that are not readily available to undergraduates at large universities. With these relationships comes...

Safia Elhillo Delivers Sharp, Candid Poetry Performance

Ananya Gupta, Arts and Culture Editor

September 15, 2017

“As usual, I was thinking about race; I wrote a poem.” said Sudanese-American performance poet Safia Elhillo as she delivered her sassy wit in a soothing voice last Friday at the Cat in the Cream. Author of the full-length poetry collection The January Children, Elhillo is an acclaimed slam poet who has performed at the South African State Theatre, the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway, and at TEDxNewYork, and has competed nationally with the New York University collegiate championship slam poetry team and the DC Youth Slam Poetry Team. Having earned accolades including the 2015 Brunel University African Poetry Prize (co-winner) and the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, Elhillo, though young, is truly...

College senior Dana Fang won the Creative Writing department’s Emma Howell Memorial Poetry Contest this year. They are the first femme of color and the first Asian American to win the $1,000 prize.

Fang First Femme of Color to Win Howell Poetry Prize

May 6, 2016

College senior Dana Fang won this year’s annual Emma Howell Memorial Poetry Contest, awarded by Oberlin’s Creative Writing department. Fang is both the first femme of color and the first Asian-American poet to win the prize, which honors Creative Writing and Comparative Literature major Emma Howell, an Oberlin student who died during her sophomore year in 2001. Howell’s father, poet Christopher Howell, judges the submissions along with Creative Writing professors, and the winner is awarded...

Gary Shteyngart, OC ’95, who recently published his first memoir, Little Failure.

Off the Cuff: Gary Shteyngart, OC ‘95, Author and Professor

April 1, 2016

Gary Shteyngart, OC ’95, has written several novels and recently published his first memoir, Little Failure. His novels include works such as The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, Absurdistan and Super Sad True Love Story. Shteyngart previously taught writing at Hunter College and now teaches at Columbia University. He is a Jewish Russian-American immigrant, an experience that often comes through in his novels, and was born in what is now St. Petersburg, Russia. Shteyngart has been awarded the Stephen...

Established 1874.