Crystal Biruk Presents

May 17, 2016

Assistant Professor of Anthropology Crystal Biruk presented the paper "Raw Data and its para-publics in survey worlds in Malawi" at the Biennial meetings of the Society for Cultural Anthropology (SCA) in Ithaca, New York, May 13-14.

Polina Dimova 2015-16 Academic Year Update

May 16, 2016

Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian Polina Dimova published an article on Russian Modernist literature and music entitled “The Frozen Desert and the Crystal City: Figurations of Aleksandr Scriabin’s Music in Evgenii Zamiatin’s We and ‘The Cave’” in the current 2015 Ulbandus issue, Hearing Texts: The Auditory in Slavic Literatures. She earlier presented this work at the 2015 conference of the American Association for Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) in Vancouver. Dimova also contributed an encyclopedic entry on "Synaesthesia" to the digital Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism (REM), edited by Stephen Ross, which came live at on May 9, 2016.

Over the past academic year, Dimova also gave two talks on the perils of the visual in Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, a topic related to her Spring course Adultery and Art in the Russian Novel. She presented “The Artist’s Unmediated Vision: Art and Morality in Mikhailov’s Portrait of Anna Karenina” at the 2015 convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) in Philadelphia and "Semiotics of Laughter and the Smile in Dostoevsky’s The Idiot” at the Midwest Slavic Conference at Ohio State University in April 2016.

Dance Department Awards and Recognition

May 16, 2016

Professor of Dance and Department Chair Ann Cooper Albright and Assistant Professor of Dance Holly Handman-Lopez each received Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council. The Dance Department and Dance Diaspora, directed by Artist in Residence Adenike Sharpley, were recognized by the Dance Department Awards and Recognition for their ongoing service to the Oberlin community. In addition, the community-based programs Girls and Boys in Motion and Dance Diaspora were the focus of an article in the May edition of Dance Magazine entitled “Dance to Give Back.”

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.