Professor of Mathematics Jim Walsh Publishes

May 13, 2016

Professor of Mathematics Jim Walsh served as lead author on the paper “Periodic Orbits for a Discontinuous Vector Field Arising from a Conceptual Model of Glacial Cycles,” which recently appeared in the mathematics journal Nonlinearity. The paper was coauthored by Esther Widiasih, Jon Hahn, and Richard McGehee.

Conceptual climate models provide an approach to understanding climate processes through a mathematical analysis of an approximation to reality. Recently, these models have also provided interesting examples of non-smooth dynamical systems. In this paper, Walsh and his coauthors develop a new conceptual model of glacial cycles.

The model, consisting of a system of three ordinary differential equations defining a discontinuous vector field, provides a dynamical systems framework for a mechanism previously shown to play a crucial role in glacial cycle patterns, namely, an increased ice sheet ablation rate during deglaciations. Ad-hoc singular perturbation techniques are used to prove the existence of a large periodic orbit crossing the discontinuity boundary, provided the ice sheet edge moves sufficiently slowly relative to changes in the snow line and temperature.

Wendy Hyman 2015-16 Academic Year Update

May 11, 2016

Associate Professor of English Wendy Hyman has spent the 2015-16 academic year on research status, working at the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin, and the Huntington Library, completing a book manuscript entitled Carpe Diem: Desire, Impossibility, and Renaissance Poetry.

A recent article, “‘Deductions from metaphors’: Figurative Truth, Poetical Language, and Early Modern Science,” appears in The Palgrave Handbook of Early Modern Literature, Science, and Culture (forthcoming, 2016). Hyman also contributed an essay, “Embodying Rome,” for the Luminary Digital Media edition of Julius Caesar. She has given two invited talks this year, at Rutgers University and Case Western University, and presented papers at the Modern Language Association and Shakespeare Association of America.

In the fall of 2015, she and the students of her senior seminar, Words and Things, curated an exhibit, “The Body: Looking in and Looking Out,” at the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Wendy Kozol, professor of comparative American studies, also provided curatorial assistance. This was the first time students in an English literature class at Oberlin curated a show at the museum, and Hyman would like to acknowledge the invaluable help of the museum staff, as well as a Mellon-funded Curriculum Development Grant, to expand the museum’s place in this seminar and her teaching more broadly.

Marco Wilkinson Publishes

May 9, 2016

The lyric essay "Shepherd's Purse" by Marco Wilkinson, managing editor of Oberlin College Press, has been published in the May/June issue of Kenyon Review in the journal's second annual special issue dedicated to nature writing.

Wendy Kozol Coauthors Article with Alum

May 9, 2016

Wendy Kozol, professor and director of the comparative American studies program, and Rebecca A. Adelman ’01 have published “Ornamenting the Unthinkable: Visualizing Survival under Occupation” in a spring/summer 2016 Women’s Studies Quarterly special issue on survival (pgs. 171-187).

Confronting survival in visual cultures of war often requires departing from ideological absolutes (for sometimes the work of survival is ugly) and fantasies about resistance (for sometimes the work of survival is primarily utilitarian). Instead, this visual departure opens up alternative critical, political, and spectatorial possibilities. This article considers the interweaving of survival, catastrophe, and ordinariness in the needlepoint artwork of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz to illustrate this potential. Krinitz, who lived through the Nazi occupation of Poland, juxtaposes the luscious materiality and pastoral settings of 36 fabric collage and embroidered panels with a visual narrative of surviving genocidal violence. Arresting both for its virtuosic level of detail and frank rendition of the occupation and attendant traumas, Krinitz’s needlework ornaments the conjunction of the horrific and the quotidian. This jarring combination confronts viewers even as the haptic richness and sensory elegance of her craft pulls us toward spectatorial pleasures.

Rebecca Adelmann is associate professor of media and communication studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, specializing in visual culture, political theory, trauma studies, ethics, and cultural studies of war, terrorism, and militarization.

Crystal Biruk Gives Invited Talk

May 4, 2016

Assistant Professor of Anthropology Crystal Biruk gave an invited talk on her book project Cooking Data: Culture and Politics in an African Research World on May 4 at Northwestern University's program on African studies.

Catherine Oertel Gives Invited Talk

April 28, 2016

Associate Professor of Chemistry Catherine Oertel delivered the invited talk, “Music and Materials: Art and Science of Organ Pipe Metal,” on March 29 at the spring meeting of the Materials Research Society in Phoenix. Jointly presented with professor Annette Richards, a musicologist from Cornell University, this was an interdisciplinary discussion of the aesthetics and complexity of the organ as an instrument as well as the chemistry and conservation of its pipes. The talk included results of research on organ pipe corrosion carried out with Oberlin undergraduates.

Holly Handman-Lopez Receives Individual Excellence Award

April 27, 2016

Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Holly Handman-Lopez has received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in Choreography for her evening-lenth dance and theater piece, "The Only Way," and "eleven years in," her duet with Bobby Wesner. "The Only Way" premiered in Oberlin in 2015, and "eleven years in" premiered in Oberlin in 2014 and has since been presented at numerous venues across the U.S.

Megan Kaes Long Receives NEH Summer Stipend

April 26, 2016

Assistant Professor of Music Theory Megan Kaes Long has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend fellowship to support work on her monograph, Hearing Homophony: Characteristic Tonalities at the Turn of the Seventeenth Century. This summer she will travel to the British Library in London, the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg, and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., to view sixteenth- and seventeenth-century music prints.