Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Seminar on Courage and Rage: Call for Public Fellows Applications - Oklahoma Center for the Humanities

Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Seminar on Courage and Rage: Call for Public Fellows Applications

Let us go forth with fear and courage and rage to save the world.” – Grace Paley 

 Courage is a universally admired trait, what Maya Angelou once called “the most important of the virtues, because without it you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”  It is the wellspring of invention, integrity, faith, and justice. Conversely, rage is often condemned as hostile and provocative, a negative emotional response to a real or perceived threat. But rage can also be a productive force for change. We have seen its power in protests, marches, and movements ranging from Hong Kong to Chile, from Black Lives Matter protests in Tulsa to the #metoo hashtag. And so too have we seen its terrors in Charlottesville’s Unite the Right march and in violent attacks on displaced people around the world. If rage is fundamentally human, then what should we do with it? Is it, as James Baldwin argues, an emotion that “can only, with difficulty, and never entirely, be brought under the domination of the intelligence” or is it instead a potential source of energy and change? Throughout the year we will explore the intersections and conflicts between courage and rage in order to better understand how they express and shape our sense of identity, humanity, and community. 

 Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities will explore the interlinked concepts of rage and courage.  At this complicated moment in our history, these fundamentally human forces are reshaping our community, our country and our world, whether in noisy street protests or the sterile halls of a hospital filled with the desperately ill.  The rage we feel at injustice and at the radical disruption of everyday life must be matched with the courage to connect and act into to produce meaningful change.  Now more than ever, the arts and humanities offer the deep understanding of context, creativity, and community that we need to understand and shape these forces.  Our work in the coming year will thus range across a number of topics, including immigration, protest movements, Black Lives Matter, indigenous histories, white rage, prison narratives, the centenary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, and much more. 

 To support this work, the OCH invites public applications to a pair of Interdisciplinary Humanities seminars: one focused on rage and the other on courage. These seminars will convene once a month and will serve as community-base think tanks that will build on the expertise of each participant.  Anyone not directly employed by the University of Tulsa is welcome to apply.  The Center welcomes a broad interpretation of the theme that will carry our investigations across intellectual, political, experimental, and artistic domains. Anyone interested in the topic is welcome to apply.  For more information, visit 

Application Instructions 

 Eligibility: 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.  Fellows will be eligible to receive a small stipend to defray any direct costs associated with their participation.  

 ThemeThis year, we will be working on two themes: Rage and Courage.  You may apply to only one seminar and the theme can be interpreted broadly in ways that are appropriate to your own field of expertise. 

 Application: Applications for participation in the seminar should include the following:  

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

Applications should be sent by electronic attachment to: 



Application Questions (no more than 1,000 words total): 

What is it about the concept of rage or courage that most interests you? What are the questions that you would like to see addressed in the seminar? 

How will participation in the seminar contribute to your own work, both individually and within the larger community? What kinds of projects do you envisage arising out of your participation in the seminar? 

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 ( // x2857 // @seanplatham).