2022-23 Freedom Fellows - Oklahoma Center for the Humanities

2022-23 Freedom Fellows

The Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at the University of Tulsa is pleased to announce its 2022-2023 class of fellows.  Throughout the academic year, they will collaborate on research and programming focused on this year’s theme: Freedom.  This class includes a diverse collection of students, faculty, and members of the community representing different areas of expertise, exploration, and practice.

Kaveh Bassiri is an Iranian-American writer and translator. He is the author of 99 Names of Exile, winner of the 2019 Anzaldúa Poetry Prize, and Elementary English, winner of the 2020 Rick Campbell Chapbook Prize. His poems have been published in several anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2020, Best New Poets 2020The Heart of a StrangerEssential Voices: Poetry of Iran and Its Diaspora, and Somewhere We Are Human. His writing can also be found in Poetry DailyVerse DailyVirginia Quarterly ReviewBeloit Poetry JournalPoetry NorthwestNimrod International JournalThe Cincinnati Review, and Shenandoah. His translations have appeared in the Chicago ReviewThe CommonDenver QuarterlyThe Massachusetts ReviewTwo LinesGuernicaWorld Literature Today, and Colorado Review. Bassiri is the recipient of 2022-2023 Tulsa Artist Fellowship, a 2021 Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council, and a 2019 translation fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Arkansas.

Sara Beam (she/they) is an Applied (teaching) Associate Professor and Director of the University Writing Program in the Department of English and Creative Writing at TU. They love teaching first-year writing, technical writing, composition pedagogy, and English as a global language, and working with writers at all levels of experience in all subjects, in all genres. Storytelling, however, remains their favorite way of sharing information, making arguments, and connecting with people. All the better if the storytelling happens on a porch or around a table of food! Descended from German and Italian immigrant settlers, Sara seeks to amplify histories and voices of Muscogee Nation peoples via teaching, writing, and scholarship. Their current projects and teaching approaches are actively anti-racist, trauma-informed, and access-centered. Disability justice and abolition are key motivators for their work, as are Sara’s lived experiences as a queer person diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. You can read their writing in books such as Voices from the Heartland, Vol. 2, and Children’s and YA Literature in the College Classroom, as well as in periodicals such as Disability Studies QuarterlyLegacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, and Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature. 

Josh Corngold is an associate professor of education at The University of Tulsa and a former high school English teacher. His research brings tools of philosophical inquiry (e.g. close reading of texts, careful analysis of concepts and arguments, detection of unstated assumptions, etc.) to bear on normative questions surrounding educational policy and practice.  Examples of such questions include: What should the primary aims of education be in a diverse democratic society?  How should authority over education be allocated, and how should competing interests be prioritized?  What principles should guide the regulation of public, private, parochial, and home schools?  And how should various stakeholders—policymakers, teachers, students and their guardians—respond to social, cultural, and philosophical differences?

Jennifer Lynn Jones is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Film Studies at the University of Tulsa. She holds a Ph.D. in Film and Media Studies from Indiana University’s Communication and Culture program. She is a feminist media scholar with a background in documentary production focused on issues of identity and embodiment across media. Her dissertation is on celebrity, corpulence, and convergence, and her writing has been published in Camera Obscura and The SAGE Handbook of Television Studies. For the 2022-2023 OCH fellowship, she plans to examine the meanings of “women’s liberation” in the work of woman-identified moving image artists from the post-war period to now. Understanding the meanings of this term to these artists over time is essential to understanding its meanings in our current moment, and to comprehend what freedom has meant to these artists and their identities– how it has mattered, how it has evolved, and how fights for it continue, especially as we enter this emergent post-Roe period.

Travis Lowe is an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Tulsa who specializes in the areas of inequality, urban sociology, and work and occupations. His recent work centers on the connection between broader labor market trends, job characteristics, and workers’ perceptions of job and labor market insecurity. He is currently exploring the relationship between inequality and freedom, focusing on how the social structure of society facilitates individual agency for some and constrains it for others.

Emma Palmer is a second year English MA student at The University of Tulsa, her academic interests include semiotics, design and literature, and film adaptation. She received her undergraduate degree at The University of Tulsa in 2021, with a BA in English, creative writing, and art.

Robert Spoo is a Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of English at The University of Tulsa, where he teaches copyright law, property, contracts, law and literature, and other subjects, and is co-editor of the James Joyce Quarterly. He received his Ph.D. in English from Princeton University and his J.D. from the Yale Law School. After serving as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor when she was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Spoo was an attorney with law firms in New York, San Francisco, and Tulsa. In recent years, Spoo’s interdisciplinary articles have appeared in the Stanford Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Law & Literature, Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, Journal of Modern Literature, James Joyce Quarterly, Journal of Modern History, and other venues. His book Without Copyrights: Piracy, Publishing, and the Public Domain was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. In 2016, he was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in the Humanities, which supported his writing of Modernism and the Law, published in 2018 by Bloomsbury Academic. In 2020-2021, he was on leave with a Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) Fellowship from Princeton University, where his project was “Lawful Piracy and Trade Courtesy in the American Copyright Vacuum.”

Alex Thomason is in his third year of undergraduate at the University of Tulsa where he is studying political science and history. He has a keen interest in American political development and the American judiciary. In particular, his studies center on the history and politics of the Supreme Court and the evolution of constitutional law. After I graduate, I plan to attend law school and eventually work in public interest litigation.

Carly Treece, a citizen of the Muscogee Nation and of Cherokee descent is an advocate for Indigenous and womxn’s rights. She is also an artist, activist, gardener, community volunteer and mother. Her artwork focuses on Indigenous womxn’s lives and abstracts of Native landscapes. She works in multimedia with a focus on oils and cold wax. She is driven to pursue diversity, equity and inclusion in all facets of her life. Her current interests include land and body sovereignty, and their complicated relationship.

Crystal J. Zanders is a poet, educator, and doctoral candidate in the Joint Program in English and Education at the University of Michigan. Her research explores dialect, literacy, language, (dis)ability, digital pedagogy, and historical educational inequity in writing classrooms. Her creative work has been featured in Mud Season ReviewRigorous, |tap|lit, and elsewhere. In her writing, she engages with themes of personal, historical, and generational trauma. Currently, she is working on her dissertation in Tulsa alongside her faithful furry family, Rex the Wonder-Pug and Tyrion Zannister, chug extraordinaire.