The Oberlin Review

MacArthur Genius Alison Bechdel, OC ’81, author of the award-winning graphic novel Fun Home and co-creator of the famed Bechdel Test, returned
to Oberlin to present to an audience of students and professors Tuesday.

Bechdel Returns to Oberlin to Talk “Fun Home”

October 7, 2016

Editor's note: This article contains mentions of suicide as well as spoilers for the graphic novel and musical Fun Home. Of all the brilliant lines from Fun Home, the stage musical based on the autobiographical graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, OC ’81, one in particular might resonate with Oberlin students. “It’s not the world, anyways,” proclaims a character modeled after a college-aged Bechdel. “It’s Oberlin College.” Bechdel, one of Oberlin’s most famous alumni, is lauded as a cartoonist,...

Monika Herzig Workshop Addresses Gender Disparities in Jazz

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

September 30, 2016

Despite the fact that the Conservatory itself has enrolled around 45 percent women in its classes over the past five years, the Jazz department reached a peak of 14.2 percent women in 2015. The number of female Jazz majors in the department is often in the single digits—a discrepancy that has not gone unnoticed. German-born Jazz Pianist Monika Herzig and members of her ensemble visited Oberlin Monday for the Women in Jazz workshop, which addressed the pervasive gender disparity in the jazz community. Herzig seeks to highlight the achievements of past and present female musicians while encouraging female visibility in jazz. Herzig commenced her presentation by recounting stories of some notable women and trans musicia...

The community of Lorain gathered for the FireFish festival Saturday, a day-long celebration meant to expand the
city’s art scene and jumpstart the local economy. The main event involved marching a giant papier-mâché fish to
the river and setting it ablaze.

Lorain’s FireFish Spectacle Signals Restoration

September 23, 2016

A giant fish paraded through the center of town, floated down the river and set on fire barely scratches the surface of the display at the second annual FireFish festival, which took place last Saturday. The city of Lorain’s downtown and boardwalk areas were transformed into thoroughfares of public art, with almost every storefront, alley and doorway becoming a display or performance space. The festival lasted from early afternoon until well after dark, ending despite the rain with the much-anti...

Abortion Access Event Celebrates Triumph in Face of Adversity

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

September 16, 2016

Editor’s Note: This article contains language pertaining to abortion rights, and personal stories from women who have received abortions. It's hard to be optimistic about abortion access. Clinics are at constant risk of being defunded and have to jump through arbitrary hoops to remain open. Patients have to navigate barriers of distance, cost, stigma and legally mandated misinformation. Watching new access-denying laws appear as fast as they are struck down can feel like watching a heartbreaking game of legislative whack-a-mole with profound consequences for all those who seek access to their legal right. Few people hold neutral positions on abortion, and abortion rights organizations like All Access are fighting...

Still Life with Skull, Pocket Watch, and Roses by Matthieu Platte-Montagne is one of various works on display in the Allen Memorial Art Museum’s Ripin Print Gallery. The piece is part of the Time Well Spent exhibit, organized by Curator of European and American Art Andaleeb Banta and Juliet Vincente,
OC ’16, curatorial assistant.

New AMAM Exhibit Promises Time Well Spent

September 2, 2016

While Oberlin students spent this week finding time in their schedules for classes, the Allen Memorial Art Museum was also tackling the idea of time. The museum has organized an exhibit called Time Well Spent, which opened in the Ripin Print Gallery in late July. The exhibit showcases pieces, mostly drawn from the Allen’s own collection, that represent aspects of time ranging from the cycles of the seasons and times of day to memory, mortality and the role of time in creating art. Andaleeb Banta, w...

Daria Martz, 13, and Alison Chan, 14, duel as part of Oberlin Children’s Shakespeare Project. The group will perform Hamlet on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in Wilder Main.

Children’s Shakespeare Project Brings ‘Hamlet’ to Wilder Main

May 6, 2016

This year may mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, but the Oberlin Children’s Shakespeare Project has set out to make his plays young again. On Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in Wilder Main, the OCSP’s cast of elementary and middle school students will be performing Hamlet, directed by Annie Rasiel, OC ’15, who founded the project during her senior year at Oberlin. “I did children’s theater growing up,” Rasiel said. “I was a weird kid and theater was my refug...

Top Conservatory Pianists Compete in Dann Competition

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

April 29, 2016

Judges Boris Slutski from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and Steven Spooner from the University of Kansas Conservatory declared Conservatory senior Zi Xiao Li the winner of Oberlin’s Arthur Dann Piano Competition, which was held in Finney Chapel Sunday. Named in memory of a former Oberlin professor of piano, the competition has showcased the talent and hard work of pianists in the Oberlin Conservatory for over 30 years. This year’s finals were a continuation of that tradition. The winner of the competition receives a significant financial award and a charge from the judges to take their talent on the road. “The endowment generates about $2,000 a year,” said Robert Shannon, professor of piano and...

Student Translators Face Ethical, Lexical Challenges

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

April 1, 2016

The Annual Student Translation Symposium, a celebration of language, culture and the art of communicating, allows students to present their original translations and give short talks on their personal translation processes. It has taken place at Oberlin every year for more than a decade. This year, the Translation Symposium will be hosted Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in Craig Lecture Hall. University of Michigan Professor Benjamin Paloff will deliver the keynote lecture, “The Universal Translator,” on Thursday, April 7, at the same time and place. “It’s a gathering for translators of all kinds, people interested in foreign languages,” said double-degree senior Aaron Wolff, who will be presenting two poems translated...

Screenshot Show Challenges Curatorial Norms

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

March 11, 2016

Exhibition Initiative’s Screenshot Show, opening this Sunday at Storage gallery, looks to question preconceptions about digital art and blur curatorial boundaries. The show’s concept is simple: display screenshots that people have taken on their digital devices in a gallery setting. This leaves room for participants, curators and visitors to interact with the showcase in a unique manner. College junior Leah Newman, the organization’s co-chair, said the screenshot medium creates room for participation by people traditionally denied access to gallery spaces. “We put out a call to artists that invited anyone to submit their own screenshots for the show,” Newman said. “I interpret this idea as ... not ...

Raphael Jiménez conducts the Oberlin Orchestra in Finney Chapel Saturday. The Orchestra’s program featured Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor and Professor of Composition Stephen Hartke’s Symphony No. 4.

Duphil, Oberlin Orchestra Pack Finney Chapel

March 4, 2016

t is unquestionable that Oberlin’s conservatory of music is exceptional. However, it is still thrilling to be able to experience it in person. On Saturday night, the Finney Chapel stage was packed with the Conservatory students of the Oberlin Orchestra ready to play in their first spring concert of the semester. This performance was conducted by Director of Conducting and Ensembles Raphael Jiménez and featured Rachmaninoff ’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor as well as Oberlin Professor of Composition...

Division of Contemporary Music Presents First-Year Composers

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

February 26, 2016

The Division of Contemporary Music, which encompasses the Composition and TIMARA departments, has succeeded in enrolling a cohort of exceptional first-year students. This was made clear Saturday afternoon, when students performed a recital in Fairchild Chapel. Audience members arrived in twos and threes, carefully sidestepping the many cellos leaning against the wall. By 3 p.m., when the concert began, the room was packed. Framed with stained-glass windows, the chapel made every quiet sound reverberate through the small space. Not one of the composers stayed within the realm of the safe and familiar. Rather, they pushed the envelope, whether in terms of style, instrumentation or quality of sound. Some compositions...

Oberlin’s Artist in Residence for February, Duy Phuong Le Nguyen (left) and Art Department Co-chair Pipo Nguyen-Duy pose in front of Nguyen’s photos in the Richard D. Baron ‘64 Art Gallery. The exhibit, Holding Water, depicts Tri An Lake in Vietnam.

Nguyen Blurs Line Between Candid and Staged

February 19, 2016

Holding Water, the current exhibit at the Richard D. Baron ‘64 Art Gallery, is deceptively simple at first glance. Unlike many art shows. in which each piece is accompanied by a title and a short paragraph with contextual details, the photographs by Duy Phuong Le Nguyen — Oberlin’s artist in residence for the month of February — stand alone. For his first solo show, the artist has chosen to let his work speak for itself. Without any information provided on the photographs’ subjects or locat...

Established 1874.