Call for Public Fellows: Renewal and Recovery - Oklahoma Center for the Humanities

Call for Public Fellows: Renewal and Recovery

The Oklahoma Center for the Humanities is seeking an interdisciplinary group of faculty fellows to support a year-long, broadly interdisciplinary exploration of  our 2021-22 theme, Renewal and Recovery.


About Our Theme

We have endured a battering year of plague and protest, distance and death, change and anxiety. Even our most enduring social patterns have become different, strange, and disorienting: celebrating a birthday, seeing someone in public without a mask, or settling in for a day’s work or school alone in front of a tiny camera. In our politics, we now look at each other with growing suspicion as we grapple with the aftermath of a violent insurrection that laid siege to the seat of our democracy. We find ourselves flooded with information from all sides and awash in a seemingly endless cascade of crises: racial injustice, accelerating climate change, and the yawning disparities in wealth, education, and health laid bare by the ravages of the pandemic.

Our era is not the first to face such extremities since change itself is an integral part of all existence. “Human beings,” Goethe wrote amid the chaos of his own era, “renew and rejuvenate ourselves through change; otherwise we harden.” Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities will explore the process of change and renewal and recovery. This will mean looking to the past, crossing cultural boundaries, forcing new connections, and imagining alternative futures for ourselves, our communities and our planet.

The Center’s work will be broadly interdisciplinary and will thus seek to draw on the distinctive tools of the arts and humanities, then connect them to fields like law, engineering, business, and medicine. Our aim will be both to draw on the resources of the past in order to better understand our present challenges and to imagine alternative futures that seek not a return to the familiar but an embrace of meaningful and sustainable change. How, we will ask, will the innovations of the pandemic era change the way we work, learn, and engage with others? What can we do to create a new relationship to the planet built around sustainability and mutual care? And how can our social, communal, and political lives better serve the values of democracy, equity, and dignity?

About the Fellowship

The Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Seminar sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at the University of Tulsa seeks to generate new research, inspire community engage, encourage dialogue across different kinds expertise, and pursue arts and humanities-based work on topics of timely public interest. Each year, a group of approximately eight participants is chosen to collaborate on a series of seminar discussions that take place throughout the 2021-22 academic year.

Fellows work collaboratively to explore the theme in a deep, diverse ways that draw on a wide range of expertise and experiences.  Fellows work collaboratively to explore the topic from a variety of different perspectives and assist the Center in designing public programming that will transform their seminar work into substantive research and community projects. These might include magazine articles, creative works, exhibitions, performances, digital projects, educational initiatives, or efforts designed to spur civic action and participation.


Anyone whose public, private, or professional interests would benefit from involvement in the seminar is eligible to apply. Finalists will be asked to participate in a short interview with a member of the Center’s staff. The admissions committee will judge applications based on assessment of the proposal’s connection to the topic and potential for sparking dialogue among the seminar’s members.

Application Instructions

Applications for participation in the seminar should include the following.

  • A current CV, including contact information.
  • Full responses to the three application questions listed below.

Applications should be sent by electronic attachment to

Application Deadline: August 6, 2021

Application Questions (no more than 1,500 words total)

  1. What is it about the concept of renewal and recovery that most interests you? What are the questions that you would like to see addressed during the course of the seminar?
  2. How will participation in the seminar contribute to your own work or interests? What kinds of projects do you envisage arising out of your participation in the seminar?
  3. Provide a short list of works (books, images, performances, films, articles, etc.) that you have found important or provocative in relation to the seminar’s theme.

If you have questions about the application process, the seminar, or the Center, please contact

Sean Latham // (918).631.2857 // @seanplatham