course offerings

Fall 2009


Community and Society


American Indian Movement                                                                                          0-1 Credit

Robert Roche                                                                                                                EXCO-106

This course, taught by the Director of the Cleveland American Indian Movement, will introduce students to the history and present activities of the American Indian Movement and facilitate opportunities to get involved. No previous knowledge of American Indian History is required.



Contemporary Problems in the Prison Industrial Complex                                         0-1 Credit

Francesca Krihely & Tazri Afrin                                                                                   EXCO-115

Through readings, movies and discussions we will learn about the system of incarceration in America, focusing mostly on contemporary problems with incarceration, like convict leasing, community policing and prison abolitionist movements.  We will see how we are all implicated in the system of incarceration.



Grassroots Organizing                                                                                                0-1 Credit

Emmett Brady                                                                                                               EXCO-125

The goal of this course is to train students to become active and effective grassroots organizers through campaign work with OhioPIRG and class trainings. The course structure is three-fold: theory, training, and practice. The theory will explore philosophies through readings and discussions, which will be complemented by trainings of grassroots activism skills. Finally, students will apply this to hands-on practice as they develop and implement a critical component of a campaign, such as coalition-building, media, grassroots, or research.



Antiracist Organizing & White Privilege ExCo                                                           0-2 Credits

Will Floyd                                                                                                                     EXCO-130

Many of us have seen and been part of predominantly white activist organizations on campus that are struggling to analyze the different ways power functions, figure out what it means to do anti-racist/multi-issue organizing, and/or change our work to reflect anti-racist priorities.  This course is intended to fill some of those needs.  This course is designed for white privileged folks, but is open to anyone.



The Art of Warcraft: A Closer Look at the Virtual World Phenomenon                               0-1 Credit

Jules Brouillet                                                                                                              EXCO-131

This course looks at virtual world through an academic lens.  We begin the academic section by defining and identifying the essential features of modern virtual worlds, how they originated and how they are expected to evolve in the future.  The focus will be on the subcategory of virtual worlds known as massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs).  We will discuss why the majority of successful online games are role playing games and how that has influenced their design.  The second section of the course will address the internet gaming community, the challenges of operating a mmog, virtual property and civil rights, emigration to virtual universes, and related topics.  The final section will examine the incentives used to keep the player base active in World of Warcraft and how they are used effectively.



Community Radio ExCo                                                                                                0-1 Credit

Max Rivlin-Nadler & Caroline Lewis                                                                             EXCO-138

Do you enjoy social and/or media activism?  Freedom of expression for all?  Audio protection?  Are you looking for a (relatively) easy way to stick it to the man?  The process of making a community radio station is empowering and fun, too.  And by the end of this course, you (and your partner or group) will have developed a proposal for a community radio project and will have learned both the practical organizing and audio production skills necessary to execute one.  But don't worry, first, we'll tackle key questions like what IS community radio and why is it important?  Then we'll move on to the nuts and bolts by examining legal obstacles for low-power FM radios stations in the U.S. and abroad, and the radio activism countering them.  We'll address challenges in horizontal organizing, sustainability, and censorship, among other things, and make us of WOBC and the TIMARA lab.



Problem Solving 102: Sustainable Oberlin                                                                   0-1 Credit

David Sokoll                                                                                                                 EXCO-149

What does being an active member of the Oberlin Community mean to you?  How do you envision Oberlin growing and changing in the future?  What are you ready to do tomorrow? In Problem Solving: Sustainable Oberlin, We will consider these questions and more as we find community and experiment with methods for change.  We will explore the various systems of Oberlin, (natural, academic, social...) and work to find creative solutions to communal problems.  The course will include a section on Permaculture and natural ecosystems but will cover a variety of topics relevant to Oberlin.  No prior knowledge required, just a commitment to the ideal, "Whatever the problem, Community is the Answer."



SexCo                                                                                                                          0-2 Credits

Laura Atack & Hannah Antolin                                                                                     EXCO-165

This course offers information about sexuality and sexual health issues, including sexual practices, contraception, safer sex, anatomy, common sexual health problems, STIs, pornography/erotica, birth, adoption, abortion, sex work/prostitution, gender issues, and sexual orientation. Class meets once a week for 2 hours, and an optional counseling skills session is offered for an additional 1 hour a week. Students successful in both sessions may apply to be SIC counselors, but you need not want to be a counselor to take the class.



US Labor History                                                                                                          0-1 Credit

Gil Kudrin                                                                                                                     EXCO-175

This course will cover the movement of organized labor in the US from the inception of the Industrial Revolution to the present. It will explain the contributions by various political and social tendencies, the strategies that led to organized labor's greatest victories, and the frequent clash of interests inside the movement itself that often led to defeats. The instructor has participated in part of this history.



Bonner Life 101                                                                                                             0-1 Credit

Donna M. Russell                                                                                                          EXCO-190

Bonner Life 101 will serve as an orientation to the College, the Lorain County community, and the Bonner Scholars program. Divided into two parts, it is designed to give Scholars an opportunity to explore issues relevant to new students in a college environment while learning more about issues of community service and community building. Admission is limited to first-year members of the Bonner Scholars program.



Community Service Practicum                                                                                     0-1 Credit

Heather Sedlacek & Michelle Jahnke                                                                            EXCO-195

This course aims to increase community involvement and service among Oberlin College students.  Students will choose an organization or project to volunteer with at least once a week for the entire semester.  This class will meet to share community service experiences and relate them to the certain readings and discussion questions (why do so few students in Oberlin serve? what motivates students to serve? what is the difference between service and activism? and, can small-scale community involvement lead to long term and overarching social change?)



Morocco & the Middle East: Cultural Interaction & Contemporary Issues                   0-1 Credit

Theodore Waddelow & Hasnaa Renlafkih                                                                     EXCO-198

This ExCo explores Morocco's tangled history as a site of cultural interaction, drawing connections between the past and contemporary issues. Topics include language, music, art and architecture, religion, politics, and literature. Ultimately we will question the relationship of Morocco to the Middle East.  This course is intended for anyone with an interest in Morocco, the Middle East, or cultural contact and exchange.



History of Piracy                                                                                                           0-1 Credit

Anthony Bonifonte                                                                                                       EXCO-262

This course will examine piracy from a historical perspective, primarily during the time scale of the Golden Age of Piracy from 1650's to the 1720's.  Discussion topics include the nature of piracy, famous pirates, life on the sea, sea shanties, weapons and tactics, literature's treatment of pirates, and modern piracy.  Requirements include short readings each week, a 1-page midterm, and a 2-page final paper or creative project.  Jack Sparrow references will be punished with 20 lashes.



Language, Culture and Religion


From Bean to Bar: The History, Politics, & Taste of Chocolate                                   0-1 Credit

Nathaniel Mich & Andrew Liang                                                                                   EXCO-208

This discussion and reading-based course will examine the evolution of chocolate from its Mesoamerican origins through the rise of modern corporate chocolate empires, as well as modern agriculture, production, consumption and the ethics of chocolate.  These subjects will also be supplemented by an introduction of palate training and chocolate work (yes, you will get to eat chocolate).  There is a course fee of approximately $30 per student.



History of the German Language (Geschichte der Deutschen Sprache)                       0-1 Credit

Stephen Burrows                                                                                                          EXCO-226

This course is an introduction to the history of the German language - primarily its development from Indoeuropean roots (prehistory) to Middle High German (~1350 CE).  Students will learn to read and translate from Middle High German to modern German using excerpts from the Arthurian epic poem Erec.  A solid knowledge of German is assumed (such as is sufficient for enrollment in a 300+ level course in the Oberlin German Department).



Swedish Language & Culture                                                                                        0-1 Credit

Joseph Pop & Benjamin Fram                                                                                      EXCO-247

If you are interested in the coolest place in the entire world (Sweden), this class is for you!  Join us for an exploration into the language, music, art, film, etc. of this Scandinavian wonderland.  This course will be a refreshing approach to learning a unique language and rich culture!



Storytelling Workshop                                                                                                  0-1 Credit

Amanda Lozada & Andrew Gombas                                                                             EXCO-255

This is an opportunity for students to refine and improve their storytelling abilities.  Through weekly assignments and comments from the group, we will identify areas for improvement and effective techniques.  We will explore wide variety of styles and genres, from personal experience, to creation myths, to jokes.



Elementary Korean I                                                                                                    0-2 Credits

Hae-Young Chung & Mo-Ran Park                                                                                EXCO-257

Designed for students with no prior knowledge of Korean, this course is an introduction to basic grammar, sentence formation, and vocabulary of the modern Korean language. Reading and writing Hangul, the Korean alphabets, will be emphasized. Culture is an important thread that is tightly woven throughout the course. Conducted in English.



Elementary Korean II                                                                                                   0-2 Credits

Hwan Choi & Eugene Kang                                                                                           EXCO-258

Designed for students who already took Elementary Korean I, this course is a second introduction to basic grammar, sentence formation, and vocabulary of the modern Korean language. Reading and writing Hangul, having conversation in Korean, will be emphasized. Culture is an important thread that is tightly woven throughout the course. Conducted in English.



Computers, Math and Science


Competitive Math Problem-Solving                                                                              0-1 Credit

Kateryna Kuksenok & Joe Kramer-Miller                                                                      EXCO-314

This course is a preparation course for the William Lowell Potnam examination.  We will go over topics that are common to the Putnam competition, and cover various problem solving techniques that can be employed on Putnam problems.  Topics covered will include integration, the pigeonhole principle, combinatorics, modular arithmetic, sequence series, and convergence.  An understanding of discrete math and linear algebra is central.  Experience in advanced mathematics courses is recommended, but not necessary.



Competitive Computer Programming                                                                           0-1 Credit

Kateryna Kuksenok & Michael Brooks                                                                          EXCO-360

In this course, we will meet once a week to learn techniques and discuss strategies for programming competition.  We will conduct mock programming contests using the same software environment used at ACM International Collegiate Programming Competition and discuss methodologies for solving problems quickly.  Prior programming experience required; C, C++, or Java recommended.



Herpetology                                                                                                                  0-1 Credit

Marisa Ishimatsu & Alexander Krohn                                                                           EXCO-377

This is an introductory course on reptiles and amphibians, designed for both biology and non-biology majors.  We will focus on evolution, morphology, mythology, and general cool facts about these misunderstood animals.  You will learn that snakes are not slimy, handling toads will not give you warts, and that birds evolved from reptiles.



Reading the Brain: A Journal Club in Neuroscience                                                   0-2 Credits

Wendi Yang & Nathan Harris                                                                                        EXCO-378

The brain is quite a popular subject, perhaps for obvious reasons. Yet as neuroscience becomes more popular it becomes increasingly important for those in the field to be able to read both popular and primary literature with a keen eye. This course is a journal club aimed at students with a demonstrated interest in science. We will use the field of neuroscience specifically to teach students how to efficiently find, read, and understand primary research literature and compare it to popular publication on similar topics. Topics include autism, obesity, addiction, intelligence, etc. We will also explore the market created around the brain and the implications developments in the field on popular culture.



Media and Literature


Taiko Drumming                                                                                                           0-1 Credit

Andrea McQuate & Maryll Phillips                                                                                EXCO-402

"Taiko" generally refers to modern Japanese drum ensembles, but the word literally means, "fat drum." Japanese taiko drums come in many different sizes and shapes, and modern taiko involves dancing/body movement. This course will provide a history of taiko and basic drumming techniques. The students will learn to play two practice songs/drills and two traditional Japanese taiko songs. As a final product, the class will compose and perform their own taiko ensemble song. The taiko drums and sticks are provided by Icho Daiko, the only taiko group in the Cleveland area. Time permitting, students will get the opportunity to experience hands on drum building. A $15 fee is required to cover the cost of drum maintenance.



Calvin & Hobbes ExCo                                                                                                  0-1 Credit

Timothy Morgan                                                                                                           EXCO-404

Modern cartoonists consider Calvin and Hobbes to be incredibly influential and any fan will attest to its quality and relatobility.  But what makes it such a great strip?  This class will explore the question, looking to the singular personality of its author, Bill Watterson, and to its wealth of themes and ideas.  Fan and non-fans equally welcome.



Planet Earth                                                                                                                  0-1 Credit

Sarah Fries & Krisandra Adams                                                                                   EXCO-405

In this ExCo, we will be screening episodes of the show Planet Earth - a TV series where directors use cutting edge technology to capture rare action, impossible locations, and stunning moments with our planet's most loved, wildest, elusive, and endangered creatures.  People taking this ExCo for credit are expected to fill out analysis tables, do background readings, and write a couple of short papers on screened episodes.



Steel Drum ExCo                                                                                                           0-1 Credit

Anne Thompson                                                                                                           EXCO-413

Learn how to play steel drums! A portion of class time will also be spent learning auxiliary percussion instruments. The class culminates in a required performance in the Cat in the Cream. For those interested, this performance is the only way to audition for Oberlin Steel.



Game Show!                                                                                                                  0-1 Credit

Brian Hodgkin                                                                                                               EXCO-429

Students will assist in the production of a televised comedic game show.  Class assignments will include set construction, research, camera operation, segment writing, voice work, on-camera acting, recruiting contestants and marketing.  Types of used within game segments include: blue, parody, hyperbole, repartee, satire, etc.  Game Show! will be shown on Oberlin's own cable access station and may be shown on other stations throughout the U.S.



Superheroes                                                                                                                  0-1 Credit

Samuel Knight & Blair Stewart                                                                                     EXCO-442

What makes a hero?  In this course, we will discuss the question from a variety of angles including history, ethics, psychology, and literature.  In addition, we will study a variety of different superheroes from both comics and other media, culminating in the creation of a new team of original superheroes.



Shooting Back: Cinema & Palestine                                                                             0-1 Credit

Fred Bernard & Dalia Fakhouri                                                                                     EXCO-444

"Shooting Back: Cinema and Palestine" investigates the power of a series of films covering the Palestine-Israel conflict both as teachers of a "contested" historical subject but also as an aesthetic mode of resistance deserving of analysis in its own right.  Throughout the course we watch films made by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals about the conflict and reflect on the context in which they were made as well as their production and impact.  Students will be responsible for participating in class discussions.  A final project will require groups of students to each select a film along with a group of pertinent readings to lead a class discussion based around them.



Through the Darkness of Future-Past:

An Exploration of David Lynch's Twin Peaks                                                                0-1 Credit

Daniel Grosser                                                                                                              EXCO-456

This Course will introduce and carefully explore Twin Peaks, a television series aired in the early 90's and co-conceived by David Lynch and Mark Frost. The course will cover the series plot, the first and second seasons, the prequel film directed by David Lynch, and several written works, including the fictional autobiography of Special Agent Dale Cooper and the diary of Laura Palmer. The pilot, episodes, and prequel will be screened. To ensure that students keep up with the material, there will be short weekly take-home quizzes. The class itself will be separated from screenings and will consist of brief lectures followed by discussion. At the end of the course, students will be required to submit a final paper on whatever aspect of the covered material they choose.



English-Language Haiku                                                                                               0-1 Credit

Elliot Nicely                                                                                                                  EXCO-459

Designed for aspiring poets and naturalists, this course is an exploration of contemporary English-language haiku.  In addition to examining the structural elements of haiku and a range of techniques, students will prepare a portfolio of writing for publication.  Class work also includes weekly writing exercises, discussion, and peer workshop.



Murder in the UK: The History of Mystery                                                                    0-1 Credit

Victoria Neuman                                                                                                           EXCO-462

Do you like to snuggle up with a good mystery on a rainy day?  Find yourself saying, "Elementary, my dear Watson" to your friends?  Want to watch and discuss murder and mayhem with fellow whodunnit fans in a comfortable setting?  This is the ExCo for you.  Murder in the UK will introduce you to various brilliant sleuths and fiendish villains through watching episodes of BBC adaptations of famous crime novels and discussing these in context of short stories by the adapted authors.  Come learn about Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Barnaby, and many more!  You will also get to design your own detective and set the stage of a dastardly crime.



Breaking the Rules: An Intellectual Discussion of Fight Club                                      0-1 Credit

Elizabeth Campbell                                                                                                       EXCO-467

In this course, we will read the novel Fight Club and dissect it as a satire, as well as explore the many themes of destruction and consumerism.  We will also watch the movie and see how it compares with the novel, in upholding the same ideas.



The Office: Awesome, Awkward, & Addicting                                                              0-1 Credit

Caitlin Roseum                                                                                                             EXCO-476

This ExCo will focus on the underlying themes, character developments and relationships, running plots, interesting film techniques, and the obsessive fandom world surrounding the hit American comedy, The Office. A love of awkward comedy and Rainn Wilson is a must. Experience in watching the show is not necessary, but will be helpful to the student, as we will only have time to cover the significant episodes in Season 1-4. The class will meet twice a week to participate in screenings and discussions. Students will be expected to prepare responses for and contribute to discussions each week, and present a final presentation.



Video Game History: Rise of a New Medium                                                                0-1 Credit

Jacob Mallott                                                                                                                EXCO-494

Video games: we all know about them, but we don't all love them.  They are derided by critics for being infantile, obscene, dangerous, misogynistic, violent, etc.  How did we get from PONG to the present?  Are games actually important?  In this course, we will study the last thirty years of video games and discuss the issues that have plagued the industry to this day.



CHOSEN: The Buffy the Vampire Slayer ExCo                                                             0-1 Credit

Elena Gambino & Connor Goldsmith                                                                           EXCO-604

An intellectual reading of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the often underestimated cult hit and landmark program in serialized television. This course will assume basic familiarity with the program, though new viewers are certainly welcome.


Dance and Theater


Argentine Tango I                                                                                                         0-1 Credit

Tim Pogros & Joanne Pogros                                                                                       EXCO-503

This class will present Dancing the Argentine Tango in the Close Embrace style of the Milonguero. Each student will learn the art of Lead and Follow, dancing chest to chest, the technique of sharing the same axis and moving along the dance floor in a straight line or in a very tight turn. Students will learn how to communicate with each other without speaking a word, and to give the gift of one's self for 3 minutes to each other. The key concept is how to move with liquid motion from spot to spot with the utmost elegance without bumping into the people around us. Musicality will play a very important role in learning how to move within the cadence of the music, hearing all the special sounds created especially for tango and what makes the tango what it is. The tango is a dance of passion, grace, speed and intricate steps. It is intensely individualistic and improvisational. The theme of tango is emotional and longing.



Argentine Tango II                                                                                                        0-1 Credit

Tim Pogros & Joanne Pogros                                                                                       EXCO-504

This course is a continuation of close-embrace style Argentine Tango, as presented in Argentine Tango I. This intermediate level class will have emphasis on refining tango skills and creating elegance and style, with the addition of some new choreography and adornments. More time will be spent on the dance floor, as opposed to in instruction. Prerequisites: completion of Argentine Tango I or adequate demonstration of skill to instructor.



Beginning Swing                                                                                                           0-1 Credit

Corey Arnold                                                                                                                EXCO-505

This course will teach students the basic steps of East Coast swing (6-count) and Lindy Hop (8-count), including some Charleston and Blues dance.  Students will introduced to the following concepts: Social Dancing, Choreography, Connection, Listening to Music.



Beginning Tap Dance                                                                                                    0-1 Credit

Rachel Messing                                                                                                            EXCO-518

This course will explore basic tap dance for beginners.  No experience is required or expected.  There will not be a fee for this course, but you will have to acquire tap shoes if you enroll (this will be facilitated by the instructor).  We will meet twice a week for more than an hour, and put on a brief performance at the end of the term.



Irish Step Dancing                                                                                                        0-1 Credit

Catherine Durkin                                                                                                          EXCO-528

This course will teach the fundamentals of Irish step dancing including ceili and group dancing.  We will look at the history of the dance and different Irish music.  By the end of the class you will have a good understanding of the dance and will choreograph a short step with a partner.



OBehave: Improv Theater ExCo                                                                                    0-1 Credit

Gregory Schram                                                                                                           EXCO-536

OBehave is an improv theater exco designed to explore the boundries of human spontaneity, and have a ridiculously fun time doing so. This class focuses on short scene work with an emphasis on comedy. ExCo activities include improv games and workshops, group discussions, and analysis of professional works such as Whose Line is it Anyway?



Bellydance ExCo                                                                                                           0-1 Credit

Gabrielle Bromberg                                                                                                      EXCO-540

This will be an introductory Bellydance class.  People with previous bellydancing experience are also welcome.  Having a coin skirt is recommended but not required.



Hip Hop & You Don't Stop: The Basics of Hip Hop Dance                                            0-1 Credit

Jessica Monnerat                                                                                                          EXCO-543

This class will serve as an introduction and exploration of hip hop dance.  We will examine hip hop culture, its roots and evolution from the late 1970's to today.  Students will be taught a series of elementary hip hop moves while learning about their creators and origins.  Students will be introduced to freestyling and be given the tools and freedom to develop their own choreography to be performed for their peers at the end of the semester.                                                                                                                 0-1 Credit

Niels Bantilan & Kevin Moy                                                                                          EXCO-555

This class will focus on teaching the fundamentals of the various Hip-Hop styles of dance. The different styles we will cover are bboying/bgirling (breaking), popping, and locking. We will go in depth about the importance of these styles in the culture and history of Hip-Hop. By teaching the fundamentals, we will provide students with the vocabulary, skills, and inspiration to develop their own style.



Continuing Modern American Swing                                                                            0-1 Credit

John Andreoni                                                                                                              EXCO-571

This course is for the continuing swing dancer. In order to take the course, you MUST know the lindy hop basic. Prerequisites are either the Beginning Swing ExCo or instructor consent (granted through a brief placement audition).



Introduction to Cuban Salsa                                                                                         0-1 Credit

Nora Frederickson                                                                                                        EXCO-583

This course will introduce students to basic salsa dancing in the Cuban tradition. In addition to getting students comfortable with the basic rhythms and moves, we hope to develop dancers’ musicality, style, and creativity through improvisation of their own moves in the salsa tradition. The course covers Cuban salsa exclusively.



Introduction to Latin Dance                                                                                          0-1 Credit

Angelica Canizares & Maria A. Wundram P.                                                                 EXCO-591

The purpose of this ExCo is to teach the basics of different Latin dances.  Because we can't teach all of them fully, we will focus on Salsa.  We will show the basics of other typical Latin dance styles, such as Merengue, Lambada, Bachata and Reggeaton.  By teaching these typical dances we hope to increase the students' appreciation for the Latin culture, widen their dancing abilities, and expose them to new musical styles as well as increase their confidence.  This course has a fee of $5 for activity purposes.





Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang                                                                                               0-1 Credit

Theodore Reuter                                                                                                           EXCO-231

Nas, TuPac, Run DMC, Biggie, Dre, Snoop, Scarface, DJ Screw, Wu-Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, and Grandmaster Flash, are just some of the hip-hop masters that will be explored in this ExCo.  This ExCo will cover artists from all periods and the major genres within hip hop beginning with its roots with the Sugar Hill Gang and Grandmaster Flash all the way to Lil Wayne, and everything in between.  This ExCo is about learning the history and variety in hip hop and its effect on culture and the music industry, and it's hearing some good music.  Students will present artists of their choice to the class during the last two weeks.  No experience required other than a love of music.



Musicianship in the 21st Century                                                                                  0-1 Credit

Andrew Lawrence                                                                                                         EXCO-611

This course explores what it means to be a creative musician in the 21st century, and whether or not the conservatory as it stands now is adequately preparing musicians for the current scene.  We will critically examine the context and the content of making music, and in doing so hopefully challenge old habits and modes of thinking.  There will be short lectures nearly every class, but it will be very much discussion based, with students finding answers together.  There will be some mandatory readings and exercises.  All students will need to keep a journal reflecting on their experiences.  You don't need to be in the conservatory, but you do need to be a serious musician interested in bettering your craft through community-led exploration of new and old territory.



Classical Music of North India                                                                                    0-2 Credits

Hasu Patel & Daniel Stein                                                                                             EXCO-615

This course is offered by a Professional musician and is aimed to give students an introduction into the theory and practice of classical instruments of Hindusthani Music: Sitar, Tabla, and Vocal. Students will be given knowledge of Raga Sangeet and context surrounding this Sacred music. The course will be taught in traditional style and certain rules regarding the instruments, practice, fellow students, and Guru. Instruments are available for learning through the teacher and the Conservatory.  A must for the students pursuing music major at Conservatory to differentiate the music in its entirety.  Course fee: $160.



Introduction to Turntablism                                                                                        0-1 Credits

Jamie Shorey                                                                                                                EXCO-642

Here is your chance to learn the basics behind the instrument of the future!  In this class we will survey everything a beginning DJ needs to know; turntablism, sampling, beatmatching, laptop DJing and of course how to scratch.  This course comes with a $35 entry fee.  The catch?  All the entry fees will be pooled together to buy two turntables and a mixer (a.k.a the DJ's set up) which will be the classes' set-up to practice on for the next 12 weeks.  At the end of the semester we will have a party and DJ battle between everyone in the class, where the winner will walk away with the set-up to call their own.  OH SNAP.  Beginners only.



Oberlin College Marching Band                                                                                    0-1 Credit

Emily Robinson & Jules Brouillet                                                                                 EXCO-645

During the fall semester, the Oberlin College Marching Band teaches field marching and music to perform at our OC Football half time breaks, at other sports games, and football away games.  We also play as a pep band for fall sports.  We offer opportunities for music composition and arrangement, as well as planning for the spring Big Parade.  We perform with brass, woodwinds, percussion and color-guard.  All levels of experience are welcome.



Music Mentors                                                                                                              0-1 Credit

Annie Gordon                                                                                                               EXCO-660

We will be working in the Langston Middle School Music Department teaching private and group instrumental lessons. You don't need to be in the Conservatory but we do require that you be able to read music. In past semesters we have only worked with the middle school band, but we are working to expand the program to include chorus and orchestra. This is a very rewarding experience for all involved!



Bach, Beethoven, & the Boys                                                                                        0-1 Credit

Miles Fellenberg                                                                                                           EXCO-663

This course will explore major musical compositions from Bach to the Beatles.  What makes Beethoven's Ninth Symphony so famous?  How exactly does Moonlight Sonata go?  What's the name of that annoying high school graduation piece?  This class will enrich your listening experience for all genres of music.



Intro to Javanese Gamelan                                                                                           0-1 Credit

Sean Hanson                                                                                                                 EXCO-666

This course serves as an introduction to Javanese Gamelan, a percussion orchestra and musical tradition over seven hundred years old.  This course will serve as a pre-requisite for Jennifer Fraser's APST course, and will introduce students to the gamelan, basic concepts, and beginning elaboration patterns while fostering an appreciation of Javanese musical traditions.  Students are recommended to have prior musical expertise, particular with regards to playing in ensembles or dealing with rhythm.



Arts, Crafts and Do It Yourself


Knitting for Noobs                                                                                                        0-1 Credit

Emily Robinson & Lucy Gelb                                                                                        EXCO-728

This is a knitting course designed for people who have never touched a pair of knitting needles before. We cover basic knitting principles that will give you a solid foundation and prepare you for upper level knitting courses.



Zines: Make Yr Mark                                                                                                    0-2 Credits

Meagan Day                                                                                                                  EXCO-766

In the first half of this course, students will be reading and thinking about the role of 'Zines, artisan publications and other independently published materials. The second half of the course will be devoted to the creation of students' own individual and group projects, culminating in a celebration of their completed works.



Picture Books: Theory & Practice                                                                                 0-1 Credit

Hannah Lindner-Finlay & Ardea Thurston-Shaine                                                        EXCO-777

Did you love reading when you were little?  Do you still remember your favorite stories?  This course will be a reading and study of picture books and the theories behind them; for artists, writers, and anyone still young at heart.  We will read and discuss excerpts about how a good picture book is made, and what subjects have best inspired kids (and others) to read and learn and grow.  There will be multiple chapters of reading each week at the beginning, followed by shorter readings when we start on the final project: creating our own picture books!  There will also be a mandatory in-class midterm activity, with a short reading attached.  No pre-requisites except enthusiasm.  The will be a couple of required texts.



The Crochet ExCo: By Hook or By Crook!                                                                    0-1 Credit

Monica Volk                                                                                                                  EXCO-789

This ExCo is designed to introduce raw beginners into the exciting world of crochet!  Over the semester, we will make a bunch of neat projects, including moccasins, scarves, hates and bags.  Students will be expected to provide their own hooks, yarn and other material.



Stained Glass & Fused Glass                                                                                        0-1 Credit

Samuel Gray Horwitz                                                                                                   EXCO-795

Stained glass for beginners, but all experience levels are welcome.  This course will teach you the basics of glassworking during the first half of the semester, and during the second half will let you pursue a personal project.



Physical Activities and Games


Circus Arts Skillshare                                                                                                   0-1 Credit

Sierra T. Zuber & Joshua Greenfield                                                                            EXCO-805

Circus Arts Skillshare will work to improve how you perform, teach, and learn through a workshop structure, theme lessons, and group learning.  Circus and performance skills are recommended, but not required.



Aikido ExCo                                                                                                                  0-1 Credit

Joseph Zummo & Matthew Miller                                                                                 EXCO-806

The Aikido ExCo is an introduction to the basic principles of Aikido, a modern Japanese martial art. Aikido teaches peaceful conflict resolution by blending with and leading an attack, rather than fighting against an opponent. As the martial effectiveness of this art is not dependent on strength or size, it can be practiced by everyone.



Beginning Fencing                                                                                                        0-1 Credit

Alex Edwards, Violet Pena, & Ricardo Barrios                                                             EXCO-810

Come learn the beautiful and sexy art of fencing! We will be teaching beginning foil, so no experience is required. Next time you need to defend your honor, you'll be ready. $5 course fee for equipment maintenance.



Massage Therapy                                                                                                          0-1 Credit

Samuel Berger                                                                                                              EXCO-817

In Massage Therapy ExCo we will learn the basic principles of Swedish massage therapy.  Students will both give and receive bodywork during each class.  Students will learn musculoskeletal anatomy as well as palpation skills.  Students must come into this class with a willingness to touch and be touched, and must have the ability to listen to what their clients tell them.



The Game of Go                                                                                                            0-1 Credit

Michael Stevenson                                                                                                        EXCO-826

Go is an ancient board game originating in China and still very popular in Japan, China, and Korea today, with growing communities in the West. Roughly, Go is about surrounding area and enemy stones. Simple rules give birth to a wide array of strategic ideas and tactical situations; even at the professional level, go is still being explored. This class is intended for beginners and everyone else.



Oberlin Skilled Hands in Training                                                                                 0-1 Credit

Alexander Tartter                                                                                                         EXCO-835

Learn beginning to intermediate juggling.  All skill levels are welcome.  Course will focus on ball and club juggling and will include passing as well as individual juggling.  Come learn to juggle so you can impress yourself and your friends.



Oberlin Capoeira Angola                                                                                               0-1 Credit

Morgan Yang & Nina Goepfert                                                                                      EXCO-842

This class will train students in Capoeira Angola, an Afro-Brazilian art form that combines martial arts, dance, ritual, and play.  Training will include physical movements and music, and we will also learn the history of Capoeira Angola.  Capoeira will challenge you physically and mentally, and can function as an outlet for spiritual growth.  Come ready to train and play.  No prior experience required.



Fundamentals of Rock Climbing                                                                                   0-1 Credit

Alex Totoiu & Laura Tully-Gustafson                                                                           EXCO-850

The main purpose of this class is to train student to be staff and instructors at the Oberlin College Climbing Wall, located in Phillips gym. The wall is entirely student-run. No experience is necessary for the course, just enthusiasm and a commitment to advance the climbing community at Oberlin College.



Volleyball                                                                                                                      0-1 Credit

Allison Mayer & Caitlin Franc                                                                                       EXCO-860

All skill levels are welcome in this ExCo where we will learn the basic skills of volleyball and apply them in friendly scrimmages each practice.  Class will be held for an hour-and-a-half once a week.



Play Bridge Like Your Grandma                                                                                    0-1 Credit

Kate Zipin                                                                                                                     EXCO-861

Bridge is a card game that combines a fun social setting with intellectual involvement.  Grandmas play to keep their brains sharp and to chat about grandma-like things - why not start early?  Learn how to play bridge throughout the semester, complete with the nuances of bidding, playing the hand, and tricky conventions!  We will practice by playing online and reviewing the newspaper hands and we will culminate the semester with a duplicate tournament.



Brazilian Jiu Jitsu                                                                                                         0-1 Credit

Matthew Chaves                                                                                                           EXCO-889

Students will learn basic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques as well as the historical origins and development of BJJ.  The history of BJJ will be traced from its origins in the early 20th century to its present day roles in self-defense, sport competition, and mixed martial arts fighting.  Practical instruction will focus on illustrating the fundamental principles of Jiu Jitsu and preparing students for further instruction.  Jiu Jitsu is designed to work for people of all shapes and sizes, and absolutely NO martial arts experience is required or assumed for this class.


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General Information

The Experimental College—affectionately known as ExCo—is a credit-offering, student-run department of Oberlin College.  It was established in 1968 through legislation passed by the Educational Plans and Policies Committee and the College Faculty.  ExCo's main goal is to serve as a free community educational program open to everyone, with a non-traditional definition of education.  The number of classes offered through ExCo varies each semester, but there are usually between 60 and 90.  Because the ExCo committee designs no specific curriculum for the department, each semester's courses reflect the current interests of the Oberlin community.  ExCo instructors may be townspeople, College or Conservatory students, or faculty and staff members.  Instructors are fully responsible for the content of their courses: materials, class size, meeting places and times – everything. 


About Registration

The ExCo Fair for Fall 2009 courses will take place on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Root Room in the Carnegie Building on the Oberlin College campus.


The ExCo Fair is a place for students to learn about and to sign up for ExCo courses (proxies may be sent to sign up for absent students).  Admission (receiving consent to register) to all classes is done by lottery, except when an application or audition is used.  Registration is done either through PRESTO or at the Registrar's office.


To register for College credit for an ExCo course, students must be consented by the ExCo instructor and can then register using PRESTO. The deadline for ExCo add/drop is Thursday, September 10, the same as the Registrar's deadline for other College courses.  No exceptions can or will be made, and ExCo has no control over this deadline.  Please consult the Fall 2009 Schedule of Classes on the Registrar's webpage,, for ExCo Course Registration Numbers (CRNs).


For courses with enrollment limits, admission will be determined after the Fair has closed.  Instructors are also responsible for contacting all students who signed up about whether or not they were admitted.


About Credit

Students currently enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences and/or the Conservatory of Music may receive academic credit for work in ExCo courses.  Course work requirements vary from course to course, as supervised by the Committee.  At present, students may apply no more than 5 ExCo credits towards graduation.


ExCo courses are offered for a specific amount of credit (1 or 2 hours).  However, PRESTO assigns 0 credit hours as a default, so students must use the Variable Hours Option to receive higher amounts of credit.  Students wishing to receive less than the standard amount of credit are still expected to complete all the work required for the course.  Instructors may receive credit for up to one credit more than the number for which the course is being offered. 


The ExCo Committee

The ExCo Committee is made up of Oberlin College students who volunteer their time and energy.  Committee members are responsible for reviewing class applications, coordinating registration and paperwork, and dealing with public relations and the day-to-day concerns of ExCo instructors and students.  We also put together the catalog that you are now holding. 


Currently the committee members are:

            Sage Aronson

Joshua Brancazio

Elissa Israel

Kateryna Kuksenok

            Jacob Myers

            Teddy Pallis


If you have questions or comments about ExCo, or if you want to join the committee, please stop by our office, Wilder Hall room 302.  If the office is closed when you visit, please note the office hours posted on the door, e-mail us at, or visit our webpage at