Faculty and Staff Notes

Chie Sakakibara publishes book on Iñupiaq community and climate change

September 18, 2020

Chie Sakakibara, assistant professor of environmental studies and East Asian studies, has published the book Whale Snow: Iñupiat, Climate Change, and Multispecies Resilience in Arctic Alaska (First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies) from the University of Arizona Press.

Whale Snow explores how Arctic climate change influences Indigenous society, and reflects upon Sakakibara’s ongoing collaborative endeavor with the Iñupiaq community of northern Alaska for nearly two decades. Sakakibara’s research and writing have been inspired and enabled by her collaboration and conversations with many Indigenous community partners, colleagues and students at Oberlin College & Conservatory as well as the support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Arctic Social Sciences Program, the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium, the Earth Institute and the Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University, in addition to Oberlin College Dean’s Office, Grants Office, Bonner Center, and Environmental Studies.    

As a mythical creature, the whale has been responsible for many transformations in the world. It is an enchanting being that humans have long felt a connection to. In the contemporary environmental imagination, whales are charismatic megafauna feeding our environmentalism and aspirations for a better and more sustainable future.

Using multispecies ethnography, Whale Snow explores how everyday the relatedness of the Iñupiat of Arctic Alaska and the bowhead whale forms and transforms “the human” through their encounters with modernity. Whale Snow shows how the people live in the world that intersects with other beings, how these connections came into being, and, most importantly, how such intimate and intense relations help humans survive the social challenges incurred by climate change. In this time of ecological transition, exploring multispecies relatedness is crucial as it keeps social capacities to adapt relational, elastic, and resilient.

In the Arctic, climate, culture, and human resilience are connected through bowhead whaling. In Whale Snow we see how climate change disrupts this ancient practice and, in the process, affects a vital expression of Indigenous sovereignty. Ultimately, though, this book offers a story of hope grounded in multispecies resilience.

All royalties from the sale of this book will go directly to the North Slope Borough Iñupiat History, Language and Culture Commission.

Clayton Koppes quoted in article

September 18, 2020

Clayton Koppes, professor emeritus of history, was quoted in the summer 2020 issue of HUMANITIES, the journal of the National Endowment for the Humanities, about the importance of the University of California at San Francisco Archives for the history of AIDS and queer history generally.

John V. Duca publishes journal article

September 18, 2020

John V. Duca, Danforth-Lewis Professor of Economics, and Aaron Kreiner '19 had their joint paper published, "Can Machine Learning on Economic Data Better Forecast the Unemployment Rate?" in Applied Economics Letters, Vol. 27, Issue 17, 1434-37.

Joshua Freedman publishes article

September 18, 2020

Joshua Freedman, visiting assistant professor of politics, published an article on Brexit, status loss, and the politics of backlash, in the British Journal of Politics and International Relations

Meredith Gadsby among authors, poets, and scholars celebrating Toni Morrison in ‘Bluest Eye’ reading

September 18, 2020

Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Comparative American Studies Meredith Gadsby joins scholars from around the country as well as authors Ta-Nehisi Coates, Tayari Jones, Edwidge Danticat, and U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo to celebrate Toni Morrison as Cornell University’s College of Arts & Sciences hosts a livestreamed reading of her first novel, “The Bluest Eye.”

The Oct. 8 livestream will include more than 80 other readers in a full reading of the novel on the 50th anniversary of its publication. Participants will also hear portions of the book read in French, Spanish, Portuguese and German. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will be livestreamed on eCornell, as well as on Facebook. The public can register to attend “The Bluest Eye” event, and people are encouraged to listen to the entire reading or join in at any point during the day.

For more information on all of the Cornell Celebrates Toni Morrison events, visit the Arts Unplugged website


Gina Perez participates in podcast

September 7, 2020

Gina Perez, professor of comparative American studies, appeared on the roundtable podcast In the Thick to discuss the case of Vanessa Guillen and the issues of sexual assault, structural racism, and a culture of impunity in the United States military.

Stiliana Milkova edits special journal issue and publishes a translation

September 7, 2020

Stiliana Milkova, associate professor of comparative literature and Italian, edited a special issue of the online journal Reading in Translation dedicated to Elena Ferrante's new novel The Lying Life of Adults. The special issue consists of seven original articles and two first English translations of essays by the Spanish writers Eloy Tizón and Greta Alonso. Professor Milkova also published in The Literary Review a translation from Italian of Tiziano Scarpa's poem "The Philosophy Student."

Award features work by Paul Eachus and Andrew Tripp

August 25, 2020

A prestigious award in the recording arts world features the work of Oberlin Conservatory's Recording Arts and Production program faculty Paul Eachus and Andrew Tripp. The recording "Masterpieces Among Peers—Trios by Frank Bridge and Johannes Brahms," performed the Namirovsky-Lark-Pae Trio, has just been named to the "Bestenliste" as a Quarterly Critics' Choice in the German Record Critics' Award, chamber music category. The recording was made in Oberlin's Clonick Recording Studio. It was engineered and edited by Tripp and produced, mixed, and mastered by Eachus.