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EXCO-112: Peace First

Instructors: Claudia and Isabelle Olaes

Why take the ExCo, ‘Peace First’? Oberlin’s slogan is “Think One Person Can Change the World? So Do We.” Peace First is giving you the opportunity to change an injustice you see in your community. Through the nonprofit Peace First, you can apply and receive a $250 mini-grant to try and better your community, whether it’s big or small you are being that one person who is doing something to ‘change the world’. Anyone can apply for this grant and we encourage you to tell your family and friends about this grant so they can create their own project. There will be class discussions over injustice, your project and we teach on how change starts with one person. Within five stages, the class takes young people on a journey to change their community through courage, compassion, and collaborative leadership.

Course Application: N/A

Email: colaes@oberlin.edu and iolaes@oberlin.edu

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EXCO-401: Queer Women on Screen

Instructors: Aly Fogel and Natalie Passaro

The purpose of this ExCo is to engage in healthy discussion surrounding representation of queer women in audio-visual mediums through personal, political,  and artistic analysis. We will discuss a wide range of media, including TV shows, movies, and independent web series all focusing on the lives and experiences of wlw (women loving women). Each week is broken down into stereotypes that exist outside and within communities of queer women. We will review the ways that these pieces are successful and unsuccessful in their representations through critical analysis, focusing on these themes and tropes. This analysis is informed by personal evaluation, cultural context, authorship, and cinematic choices.

Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScRCeEf1jmeRVPj5Zxw4sX73GaqGFhfLNuA0ItEQijWxwyu3A/viewform?usp=sf_link

Email: afogel@oberlin.edu, npassaro@oberlin.edu

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EXCO-860: ChessCo

Instructors: Greg Gillen, Akshat Phumbhra

The goal of this ExCo is to teach students how to play (or better play) the game of chess, and to introduce students to Oberlin Chess and potentially provide competitive opportunities. After briefly introducing the basic rules of the game, the course will focus on some more intermediate concepts of the opening, middle, and endgame. More specifically, students will become familiar with various opening principles, middlegame attacking and defensive concepts, tactical motifs, typical mating patterns, and various endgame ideas. Chess notation, timing, and tournament etiquette will also be taught with a focus on competitive play. By the end of the course, students will be comfortable playing chess at casual and club levels, and active students should be approaching the ability to play chess at a tournament level. This course has no physical requirements or fees, and all course materials will be provided. Email ggillen@oberlin.edu or Akshat.Phumbhra@oberlin.edu for the syllabus or other information.

Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1FA-PGN0qwtoUg8LXhRrEqWkUrfV1lal_4McTjzqpJO0/

Email: ggillen@oberlin.edu, Akshat.Phumbhra@oberlin.edu

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EXCO-111: El Centro Volunteer Initiative

Instructors: Zoe Kaplan (any pronouns) & Nina Harris (she/her/hers)

El Centro de Servicios Sociales, INC is a non-profit organization that primarily serves the Latinx immigrant community in Lorain County. The El Centro Volunteer Initiative (ECVI) is comprised of students who develop curriculum, teach English Communication Classes and Citizenship Classes at and fundraise for El Centro. This ExCo will serve as a way for participants to become active members of the ECVI and learn about issues in immigration while building teaching skills, forming personal connections beyond just “volunteer work,” and more. A key component to the ExCo is putting our skills into practice through teaching at El Centro at least 4 times in the semester. Other requirements include: weekly readings, attendance at weekly ExCo meeting, attending an Obies for Undocumented Inclusion Undocu-Ally training, mid-term reflection and final project to benefit the ECVI community. No Spanish-skills are required but an interest in community engagement, teaching and/or immigration is highly encouraged!

Course Application: https://forms.gle/pfhcLYLapoWFiPCJ6

Email: zkaplan@oberlin.edu & nharris@oberlin.edu

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EXCO-625: Oberlin College Wind Ensemble

Instructors: Giulian Favrin, Clara Wolfe

Materials Needed: Your wind instrument (or percussion mallets. Percussion instruments provided). If you need a wind instrument we may be able to help you rent one from the Conservatory. We will need to work out if we can help you rent/ borrow an instrument before the end of add/drop to make sure you can take the course! Talk to us, we will help you.

Course Objectives

  • To provide the opportunity for Oberlin College, Conservatory, and community wind and percussion players to participate in an ensemble devoted to classic and modern wind ensemble music.
  • To prepare and play pieces for an audience and to share the love of wind ensemble music with the greater Oberlin community.
  • For members to grow as musicians and performers.
  • For members to learn from each other, share knowledge and experience, and work as a unit – We all play together.  
  • To learn and play 5 pieces as an ensemble in a final performance to finish the semester!

General Requirements:

  • OCWE is open to wind and percussion musicians at or above high school proficiency level.

Email: giulian@artsoberlin.org; cwolfe@oberlin.edu

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EXCO-185: Politics of Palestine

Instructors: Mira Newman and Alex Black Bessen

In the Politics of Palestine ExCo, we will examine the contemporary politics of Palestine, as well as study Palestine as a case study of Settler Colonialism. We will spend time studying domestic Palestine (conflicts within the Palestinian State, and Movements against Israeli settler control within Palestine) and internationalist movements and connections with Palestine. The course is focused on the political movements and organizing around settler colonialism and Palestine, including the history of organizing at Oberlin, BDS and colonial connections with Black Lives Matter and Indigenous peoples in North America. A goal of the class is for the students to study and learn about movements against Settler Colonialism and create their own Decolonial Actions at Oberlin and abroad.

Course Application: https://forms.gle/AGUtjYqtRsBfhBDZA

Email: ablackbe@oberlin.edu and mnewman2@oberlin.edu

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EXCO-545: Beginning TapCo

Instructors: Rosemary Shin (she/her/hers) & Ella Baseman (she/her/hers)   

The Beginning TapCo is a 1-credit practicum in tap dance at the introductory level. Tap dance is a unique art form in that it provides the opportunity to move in an expressive or theatrical manner, as any other form of dance might allow, while simultaneously producing music through this movement. This course will expose students to basic tap steps in both the rhythm tap and Broadway tap styles. Students will build up a vocabulary of steps that will enable them to work on developing their own choreography in addition to performing a combination with the rest of the class. Students who have completed this course are encouraged to take the Continuing Tap ExCo in the following semester. This course requires that students be able to be active and on their feet for 30 minutes at a time over 2 hours. Students are also required to perform in the Student Dance Showcase.

Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeagveXzfyrgGNYtVTvgeGM41lR8uxMsCQ-coikpQm-n2oPWw/viewform

Email: rshin@oberlin.edu, ebaseman@oberlin.edu

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EXCO-415: My Favorite MurderCo

Instructors: Ally Knopf, Maya Gavant   

My Favorite MurderCo is a discussion-based course about the podcast My Favorite Murder and the ways in which humor can be used to approach subject matters that are usually upsetting/unsettling. This course will offer students a space to respectfully discuss the cases featured in the podcast, as well as other cases that they will research and bring to class to share. In addition to covering true crime stories, this course will also touch on the method of storytelling that MFM employs, as well as the intersections of race, class, and gender that affect investigations and media coverage. Due to the nature of the subject matter of the podcast, we will be using/discussing content warnings. No materials are required and you do not have to have listened to MFM to enroll in this course!

Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1LR2oHPzFOKrSMnLMTP6mQTK23AGqQQv0zd58dt8nMhI/edit?usp=sharing

Email: aknopf@oberlin.edu, mgavant@oberlin.edu

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EXCO-840: Garden Exco

Instructors: Wren Fiocco, Julie Gerrits, Rachael Hood

This class will be an introduction to gardening! We will be using the Johnson House garden as our teaching lab. The J-House Garden is run by the Resource Conservation Team (RCT). We are an entirely student-run team that aims to reduce waste and promote environmental sustainability and awareness through the dorm compost program, food rescue, the Free Store, and other initiatives. We will teach this course in both fall and spring, and will cover everything from garden planning to seed starting to harvesting. Students will learn about a variety of topics, including but not limited to: planning a garden spatially and temporally, learning a history of land and agrarian practices, and teamwork in an outdoor, physical setting. There are no fees for this course, and no experience is required! In fact, this course is perfect for those who have little or no experience in a garden. You should be prepared to get dirty, and the class will involve physical labor for 1-2 hours a week! The midterm form of evaluation will be a brief paper (2-4 pages) on three different seasonal crops for a region of the student’s choosing and the best practices to ensure a fruitful harvest. The final form of evaluation will be a garden plan and timeline for the garden, again based on a region of their choosing. Additionally, at the beginning of the course, each student will pick a plant to research on a weekly basis in concurrence with the theme of the week, and share back their knowledge with the group.

Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdiZrIiSDxugeR09H-r91lyEGAtx2x_qkbkF4ZSx8wXphEBvQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

Email: recycle@oberlin.edu

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EXCO-880: Beginning Dungeons and Dragons

Instructors: Sydney Garnett, Maeve Greising

In this course we teach the basics of D&D, through lectures and a 10-week premade campaign. By the end of the course, you will have a full understanding of how to play fifth edition dungeons and dragons, as well as a framework for understanding other systems. This course requires regular attendance and occasional out of class reading.

Course Application: https://forms.gle/djmQLz8oyMFfYULf7

Emails: mgreisin@oberlin.edu, sgarnett@oberlin.edu