oberlin alumni magazine  

out of the girls' room and into the nightOut of the Girls' Room and Into the Night
By Thisbe Nissen '94
University of Iowa Press, 1999

Nissen's first collection of short stories explores how people fall in love, from Deadheads to Peace Corps volunteers, teenage lesbians to anorexic dancers. Quirky, idealistic, bohemian, and true, tales access an alternate world in which people fall in love with a moment or a gesture as easily as they do with each other. After receiving a 1998 James Michener-Paul Engle Fellowship, Nissen moved to West Liberty, Iowa, where she has written stories for Seventeen, Story, and other publications. She read from her book during a campus visit last fall sponsored by the Alumni Association and Creative Writing Program.

Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart
By Peter M. Todd '85, Gerd Gigerenzer, and the ABC Research Group
Oxford University Press, 1999

To understand decision-making, one needs a new notion of rationality, Todd argues. His book offers just that--simple rules for making decisions when time is pressing. These heuristics can enable living organisms and artificial systems to make smart choices, classifications, and predictions by employing bounded rationality. Todd is co-founder of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition (ABC) at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, where he works as a research scientist. He has published papers and books on modeling behavior, music, and evolution.

Guillermo Cabrera Infante: Assays, Essays, and Other Arts
By Ardis L. Nelson '64
Twayne Publishers, 1999

Guillermo Cabrera Infante, author, journalist, and revolutionary, is the recipient of the Cervantes Prize, awarded annually to the best living Spanish language writer. Here, ten of Cabrera Infante's most prominent critics delve into his life and work, crafting essays on the writer as journalist, cineaste, literary critic, and commentator. The book also offers an extensive bibliography of Cabrera Infante's essays, many of which have been unavailable in North America. Nelson is professor of Spanish and chair of the department of foreign languages at East Tennessee State University. She has published Cabrera Infante in the Menippean Tradition and numerous articles on him and other Central American authors.

nonviolent social movementsNonviolent Social Movements: A Geographical Perspective
By Stephen Zunes '79, Lester R. Kurtz, and Sarah Beth Asher
Blackwell Publishers, 1999

From the civil rights movement in the United States to the "People Power" movement in the Philippines, nonviolent action has developed as a key element of political change. Despite its widespread usage throughout the world, little is understood about nonviolence as a tool for social change. This book presents case studies from around the world to demonstrate how nonviolent action works, and how it can be used to replace violent struggle. Zunes in an assistant professor of politics and chair of the peace and justice studies program at the University of San Francisco. He is an editor of Peace Review and writes and researches extensively in the area of social movements and peace studies.

making people's musicMaking People's Music: Moe Asch and Folkway Records
By Peter D. Goldsmith
Smithsonian Institute Press, 1998  

An unexpected interest of Oberlin's new dean of students, Peter Goldsmith, is his fascination with folk music. He grew up listening to Folkway recordings, and, while an adjunct professor of anthropology at Dartmouth, produced the definitive study of Moe Asch, founder of Folkways Records. The son of prominent Yiddish novelist Sholem Asch, Moe was committed to preserving the range of the world's musical and oral traditions. By the time of his death in 1986, he had amassed a catalog of almost 2,200 recordings, including the work of blues and folk singers Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Ella Jenkins, Pete Seeger, and other renowned artists. Goldsmith's book, now also in paperback, documents Asch's sympathetic but politically wary attitude toward the Communist-inspired "people's music" movements of the 1930s and 1940s, and the Folkways artists who were responsible for developing the song repertoire of the Civil Rights movement. Asch will be especially remembered for pioneering the full range of African American culture, from jazz and poetry to children's son.

Wednesday's Child is Full of Woe
By William M. Brashear '68
OVG Publishing, 1999

This is an iconographical and philological study that traces the birth and development of the Seven Deadly Sins from their ancient Babylonian forebearers to present-day forms in modern art. The author's research is based upon a new interpretation of an enigmatic Greek papyrus text. Brashear has been the director of the papyrus collection in Berlin's Egyptian Museum, home of Nefertiti, since 1982.

What Might It Mean? An Uncommon Glossary of Musical Terms and Concepts For the Stuck, Bored, and Curious
By Nancy Garniez '58
Tonal Reflection, 1999

These are a musician's lively, provocative definitions of 104 musical terms and concepts, drawing on a broad range of contemporary culture, with allusions to composers from Purcell to Prokofieff. Garniez refers to 55 musical works ranging from Gregorian chant to Leonard Bernstein. She is on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music and a special consultant at the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function.

Special Edition: Using Corel WordPerfect 8 for Linux
By Roderick W. Smith '88
MacMillan Computer Publishing, 1999  

Smith's book was written from the ground up for Linux system users, with the goal of exploring how WordPerfect interacts with Linux. Information about WordPerfect configuration, explanations of the program's font and printer model, and other tips make this an ideal book for those who are new to WordPerfect and/or Linux. Smith has written articles for ST-Log and The Linux Journal. He holds a PhD in cognitive psychology from Tufts University.

Briefly Noted:

Contemporary Urban Planning
By John Levy '56
Prentice Hall, 1999

Bridge to 20th-Century Music: A Programmed Course
By Greg A. Steinke '64
Allyn & Bacon, 1999

Cultural Competency in Managed Behavioral Healthcare
Edited by Vivian H. Jackson '68 and Luisa Lopez
Manisses Communications Group, 1999

Gainsharing: Creating and Sharing Success
By Carl G. Thor '62
Crisp Publication, 1999

Gerard ter Borch and the Treaty of Munster
By Alison McNeil Kettering '64
Waanders Publishing, 1999

Growth and Distribution
By Thomas R. Michl '73 and Duncan Foley
Harvard University Press, 1999

Independent Filmmaker's Manual
By Nicole Shay LaLoggia and Eden H. Wurmfeld '91
Focal Press, 1999

Schizophrenia from a Neurocognitive Perspective: Probing the Impenetrable Darkness
By Michael Foster Green '79
Allyn & Bacon, 1997

State Profiles: The Population and Economy of Each U.S. State
By Courtenay Slater '55 and Martha Davis '75
Bernan Publishing, 1999