Arts and Humanities Seminar on Freedom:
Call for Public Applications
“There is no easy walk to freedom.” —Nelson Mandela
The Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at the University of Tulsa seeks applications for three public fellows who will work collectively with a group of faculty and students throughout the 2022-23 academic year to explore the theme of freedom. There are no special qualifications and we encourage participation from anyone willing to bring their distinctive background, voice, and expertise to bear on the challenges this theme offers. Fellows will receive a $2,000 stipend.
About Our Theme
Few words stir more agonizing debate just now than freedom. It serves to rally Black Lives Matter activists, those who oppose mask mandates, community health advocates, Ukrainians fighting in their cities, and even the violent mob that attacked the United States Capitol. We feel its intense ambiguities, though agree it constitutes a moral bedrock on which nearly all other human rights rest.
As we debate the strength of democracy, the rights of citizenship, the limits of the state, and the obligations of community, questions over the nature of freedom have taken on a renewed urgency. And with it comes a clear need for the modes of knowing, thinking, and argumentation rooted in the arts and humanities. Throughout the 2022-23 academic year, the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities will explore the idea of freedom by looking to the past, crossing cultural boundaries, forging unexpected connections, and imagining thriving futures for ourselves, our communities, and our planet.
Working collaboratively, fellows will explore the pathways to and from freedom that intersect in Oklahoma, from the Trail of Tears and the Tulsa Race Massacre to the McGirt decision and the Dust Bowl. And we will look to the larger world as well to understand how this idea changes across time and between cultures. How, we will ask, has freedom shaped our identity, ethics, governments, beliefs, and artistic expression? What are the limits of freedom when articulated alongside other pressing issues like community health, global warming, and structural racism? And how can a deeper, more complex understanding of freedom help us protect 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 promote engaged discussion, creative expression, and informed public programming about topics of pressing public interest. Each year we select a group of faculty, students, and community members beyond TU to collaborate in a series of seminar-style discussions that will lead to larger projects, undertaken collectively or individually. These might include performances, creative works, lectures, conferences, exhibitions, or activities designed to spur civic action and service. The admissions committee judges applications based on an assessment of the proposal’s originality and potential for sparking dialogue that encompasses diverse backgrounds and beliefs. Fellows will receive research stipends of $2,000 to support their work while in the fellowship.
Applications for participation in the seminar should include the following:
- A short resume or CV, including contact information
- A brief letter of reference
- Full responses to the three application questions listed below
Applications should be sent by electronic attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Deadline: May 15, 2022
Application Questions (no more than 1,500 words total):
- Why does the topic of freedom interest you and how does it connect your civic, professional, intellectual, personal, or artistic interests?
- How would participation in this seminar contribute to your own work, interests, practice, or profession? What kind of project do see coming out of your participation in the seminar?
- What are some of the key works (books, images, performances, films, articles, etc.) that you believe raise important issues in regard to freedom. Please simply list 10-12 items.
If you have questions about the application process, the seminar, or the Center, please contact Sean Latham (email@example.com // (918) 631-2857 // @seanplatham).