The Oberlin Review

“Citizen Illegal” Rejects Generalizations of Immigrant Experience

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

September 7, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

  The current immigration system in the United States is a hopelessly broken contradiction. We demonize immigrants and yet rely on and exploit their labor to sustain our economy. Our highest court upholds policy that uses the arbitrary justification of borders to dictate who is banned from entering our country. It is within this context that Citizen Illegal — a stunning debut by poet José Olivarez — exists. As its title suggests, the collection of poems focuses significantly on immigration, borders, home, and movement, particularly in a Mexican and Mexican-American context. Olivarez’ work is so powerful, however, because of its personal anecdotes and its commentary on how our national contradictions complica...

Off the Cuff: Melissa Harris and Christian Bolles, Editors-in-Chief

Sydney Allen and Nathan Carpenter

May 11, 2018

Filed under NEWS, Off the Cuff

College seniors Melissa Harris and Christian Bolles are the outgoing Editors-in-Chief of The Oberlin Review. Harris has been involved with the Review since her first semester at Oberlin, when she started out her journalism career as a staff writer. Since then she has worked as a Review Production Editor and News Editor and has interned for publications such as The Chronicle Telegram and Homeland Security Today. Bolles got involved his sophomore year at Oberlin and served as an Arts & Culture Editor before his tenure as EIC. Bolles is most known for his movie reviews. They were interviewed by the incoming Editors-in-Chief, College junior Sydney Allen and College sophomore Nathan Carpenter. This interview has be...

Students Should Engage in Secretary of State Race

Nathan Carpenter, Columnist

April 20, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Almost immediately following President Donald Trump’s election in November 2016, political commentators and activists — particularly those on the left — turned their attention toward the 2018 elections. We now find ourselves just six months out from those elections, in which every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, several key seats in the Senate, and many vital state-level offices will be fiercely contested. As usual, Ohioans find themselves in the thick of the political fray. Many key elections will take place in the state this November, including those for the governor’s mansion, where term-limited Governor John Kasich cannot seek reelection, and for progressive Senator Sherrod Brown’s seat, w...

American College System Destroys Real Liberalism

Howard Sachs

April 6, 2018

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: This letter contains mentions of violence. To the Editors: Nathan, thank you for your thoughtful piece on gun control. I respond with respect. I used to be Jewish and a Democrat. Unfortunately, the Democratic party has now almost completely abandoned liberalism and instead embraced the illiberal value system called leftism. I am still a passionate liberal. Now, they call us constitutional conservatives. I certainly understand your values regarding gun control. However, I consider them, in general, highly illiberal and very harmful to us all. Here is why. First, like or not, believe it or not, leftism is a child-like value system. It appeals to people because all of us have a deep and strong drive to be ...

Lack of Gun Control Puts U.S. Education System at Risk

Nathan Carpenter, Columnist

March 2, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

In the more than five years since the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, it has become clear that gun control in the United States will not be achieved through the avenues that we have already explored. Congress has proven that it has no interest in challenging the National Rifle Association, even at the expense of students’ lives. Students are now taking matters into their own hands — and not just the survivors of the horrific Parkland shooting, but countless others around the country as well. Mass school walkouts in support of gun control are being organized in one of the most compelling and powerful instances of student-led action in my lifetime. Now, schools must ch...

Paying Columnists Will Increase Accessibility

Nathan Carpenter, Columnist

February 23, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

In recent weeks, my fellow Review columnist Kameron Dunbar has published two pieces that succinctly and cogently identified instances in which Oberlin campus publications — namely, the Review and The Grape — have failed to assemble editorial staffs that reflect our community’s diversity and, as a result, have published pieces that fall short of the standards of rigorous inquiry and commitment to social justice that our community holds itself to. As a former Review opinions editor who is studying abroad this semester, I certainly understand the intensity of working for a campus publication. It can be a relatively thankless, if personally fulfilling job — the hours are long and come in addition to normal acade...

City Should Continue Fight Against NEXUS Pipeline

Nathan Carpenter, Columnist

February 16, 2018

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

When I first arrived at Oberlin in fall 2016, I learned that the impending construction of the NEXUS pipeline was a key community issue that much of the city firmly opposed. I also learned that Oberlin had a silver bullet that would stop the pipeline from being constructed within city limits: its Community Bill of Rights and Obligations. The CBRO unequivocally states that, following its codification, new gas and oil pipelines cannot be built within the city of Oberlin — without exception. It is a powerful document expressing our community’s commitment to self-determination and affirming Oberlin’s ongoing leadership in combating climate change. For some time, the outlook for the anti-NEXUS camp was hopeful — p...

Smith’s Gesture Symbolizes Oberlin Values, 50 Years Later

Nathan Carpenter, Staff Writer

February 9, 2018

Filed under Uncategorized

The 1968 Summer Olympics produced one of the most defining images of the 20th century. After Tommie Smith and John Carlos, both representing the USA, placed first and third respectively in the 200-meter race, both men raised their fists to the sky in a symbol of Black resistance and an endorsement of civil and human rights on the global stage. It was — and continues to be — an important moment in the history of the Olympics as a platform for politics and activism as well as exceptional athleticism. For members of the Oberlin community, it should represent even more than that. One of the most visible conversations at Oberlin last fall centered around athletics — specifically, the connections (or lack thereof)...

Students, Senate Vital to Productive Relationship

Nathan Carpenter, Opinions Editor

November 17, 2017

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

In discussions about the importance of engaging with elected representatives, our most local and available representatives are often left out of the conversation. Student Senate is a representative body, elected at-large by Oberlin students, tasked with working with both students and administration to represent the voices of the student body. Unfortunately, Senate’s potential to advocate on behalf of its constituents is often overlooked by students, which results in perceptions that Senate’s work is not particularly important or relevant. This perspective misses the mark. Student Senate works on a broad range of issues on campus, and though many of those issues largely play out behind the scenes, senators them...

OTC: Linda Slocum, Vice President Of Oberlin City Council

OTC: Linda Slocum, Vice President Of Oberlin City Council

November 10, 2017

Linda Slocum has lived in Oberlin for 27 years and served one term as vice-president on Oberlin City Council. She graduated with a B.A. from Ursinus College and a M.A. from the University of Massachusetts before working as the Gifts Librarian & Managing Editor of Oberlin College Press for 17 years. She has been a part of the League of Women Voters, Oberlin Community Services, and Family Promise, an Interfaith Hospitality Network. She is married to Dr. Harold E. Slocum, and together they have th...

Vershawn Ashanti Young, Rhetoric Professor

Vershawn Ashanti Young, Rhetoric Professor

November 3, 2017

Vershawn Ashanti Young is an associate professor in the Department of Drama and Speech Communication at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. Young is a pioneer in the field of sociolinguistic code-meshing and has written books about African-American English, intercultural communication, about performances of masculinity, and representations of race in art, film, and literature. He held a talk at Oberlin called “Making Black Lives Matter in Digital Spaces: Race, Justice, and Literacy In...

ESPN Should Join Jemele Hill in Anti-Trump Stance

Nathan Carpenter, Opinions Editor

September 22, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

There is a pervasive narrative in the United States that sports and politics should not mix — that we should leave our entertainment unsullied by the hard work of navigating the often-taxing challenges of living together in society. That inherently contradictory argument does not stand up to any kind of scrutiny. The birth of sports itself was political in nature — to pretend otherwise is to ignore reality. Nations came to the first Olympic games under flags of truce, and used the competitions to assert political strength over their rivals. Since then, while many have tried to obscure these elements of sports, its cultural history, impact, and relevance cannot be denied. Debate over the separation of sports and politics reigni...

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