Faculty and Staff Notes

Sandra Zagarell Presents Paper

November 17, 2015

Donald R. Longman Professor of English Sandra Zagarell presented a paper on the connections between Alice Dunbar-Nelson and W. E. B. DuBois in a panel on “Recovering Alice Dunbar-Nelson for the 21st Century” at the 2015 conference of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers. Zagarell, Professor Kate Adams of Tulane University, and Professor Caroline Gebhard of Tuskegee University are co-editors of a special issue of Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers on Alice Dunbar-Nelson, to be published fall 2016.

Gina Perez Releases Book

November 17, 2015

Professor of Comparative American Studies Gina Perez’s new book “Citizen, Student, Soldier - Latina/o Youth, JROTC, and the American Dream” has been released by the New York University Press. Read more about the book on the NYU Press website.

Patrick Simen Publishes

November 17, 2015

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Patrick Simen’s article “Scale (In)Variance in a Unified Diffusion Model of Decision Making and Timing” was published in Psychological Review. The article was written with student coauthors Ksenia Vlasov '13 and Samantha Papadakis '15.

The article derives behavioral predictions from a simplified mathematical model of neural activity, and it describes the results of human behavioral experiments carried out by students at Oberlin to test these predictions. Most of the predictions held up, suggesting that timing and perceptual decision making depend on a common process in which neural activity builds up over time at a constant rate.

Nancy Darling Presents

November 13, 2015

Professor of Psychology Nancy Darling presented an invited workshop on dynamic systems modeling at the prestigious Theory Construction and Research Methodology pre-session of the National Council of Family Relations in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The three-hour session introduced dynamic systems modeling as a complement to more traditional statistical techniques in the study of human development and the family. The hands-on component of the workshop focused on using Nova, a software product developed by Richard Salter, professor of computer science, for dynamic systems, agent-based, and spacial modeling (novamodler.com).

Models of teacher-adolescent interactions and romantic attachment grew out of work done with students in Darling's upper-level course on advanced methods for the study of adolescent development. Additional models of longitudinal change in romantic pairings were developed with Ian Burns ’10. Other models presented include Excel models developed with Elizabeth Lockman ’12.

Sheila Miyoshi Jager Speaks at Veterans Day Ceremony

November 13, 2015

East Asian Studies professor Sheila Miyoshi Jager was the guest speaker at the Amherst, Ohio, Veterans Day ceremony on November 11. A mural honoring veterans of the Korean War was dedicated joining previous murals for World War II and the Vietnam War.

Jager remarked that the mural honors not only veterans who served in the war between 1950 and 1953, but also the millions who have served and are still serving today to defend South Korea in the "unending" war. She pointed out that the legacy of their service and sacrifice is the prosperous and vibrant democracy that is today's South Korea who plays a leading role in preserving peace and promoting prosperity in the world.

Jager's latest book, Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea, is a history of the fraternal conflict that has lasted for more than half a century. The book was recognized at the 2013 National Book Festival and was selected as one of the best books on Asia in 2013 by Foreign Affairs magazine.

See more information on the mural and the dedication ceremony from the Oberlin News Tribune, Amherst News-Times, and Cleveland.com.

Eric Estes Serves on Panel, Facilitates Discussion

November 10, 2015

Vice President and Dean of Students Eric Estes participated on a panel and helped facilitate a discussion on institutional responses to and support for student activists calling for greater access and inclusion for undocumented applicants and enrolled undocumented students at the 2015 COFHE Academic and Student Services Conference in November at Rice University.

Sheila Miyoshi Jager Serves on Panel, Gives Presentation

November 10, 2015

Professor of East Asian Studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager attended and presented at the Beijing Forum 2015, held November 6-8.

The Beijing Forum is an annual event that began in 2004 under the auspices of the Beijing Municipal Government and organized by Peking University. It is endorsed by the State Council and the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China and co-sponsored by Peking University, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, and the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies. The forum is an international academic event that advocates civilizational harmony by bringing together the world’s most eminent thinkers in order to stimulate academic and cultural exchanges crucial for world peace and social progress.

This year's 3-day gathering brought together 300 scholars from more than 70 countries. Jager spoke on the panel Constructing a Road for Peace: Historical Responsibility and Multiple Memory and gave a presentation based on her current book project on the great power competition over Northeast Asia at the end of the 19th Century and its implications for peace in the region today.

Matthew Senior Co-edits, Contributes Essay

November 9, 2015

Ruberta T. McCandless Professor of French Matthew Senior co-edited and contributed an essay to the spring 2015 issue of Yale French Studies. The special volume, Animots: Postanimality in French Thought, co-edited with Carla Freccero (University of California Santa Cruz) and David L. Clark (McMaster University), examines the role of real and figural animals in French philosophy, literature, and art, ranging from Georges Bataille’s writings on prehistoric art to medieval bestiaries, animals in Holocaust literature, and animals in contemporary cinema. Senior’s essay is "'L'animal que donc je suis': Self-Humaning in Descartes and Derrida.”