Fellowships - Oklahoma Center for the Humanities


The date to apply for the 2020-2021 fellowships has passed. Applications for the next years’ fellowship (2021-2022) will be open in the spring of 2021.

The Oklahoma Center for the Humanities is currently accepting applications for TU faculty fellows for the 2020-2021 term. Learn more about the theme and the application process here.

The Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Seminar sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at The University of Tulsa is intended to promote engaged, intellectual discussion on topics of current public and intellectual interest.

Every year, a group of approximately eight Research Fellows will be chosen to collaborate on a series of weekly seminar discussions. It is hoped that these discussions will then lead into further projects, undertaken collectively or individually. These might include magazine articles, creative works, digital projects, educational initiatives, or efforts designed to spur civic action and participation. TU students, faculty members, and members of the wider Tulsa community are all eligible to apply. 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.

Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Seminar on Rage: 2020-2021

We live in angry times, confronted daily by images of rage pouring out in street protests, political rallies, and the oceans of social media that flow around us.  “Why are we so angry?” ask dozens of recent articles, books, and think pieces. Such emotions, however, are hardly unique to our moment and are the pivot around which some of our most powerful cultural narratives turn.  The book of Genesis is a catalog of human and divine rage stretching from the Garden of Eden to the near destruction of the world.  Achilles’ anger nearly laid waste to the ancient world and Irish bards record the story of Cuchulain, who exhausted his grief-fueled rage by battling the ocean waves until he collapsed.  More recently, we have seen the power of rage in protests, marches, and movements ranging from Hong Kong to Chile, from Black Lives Matter 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?  These questions take on particular urgency now as the Unites States enters a fraught presidential election year and the city of Tulsa prepares to commemorate the 1921 Race Massacre. We plan to address the challenges posed by such emotions directly since questions about their value and power will shape our civic, social, professional, and personal lives in the coming year.

How, we will ask, have writers, artists, and musicians given shape to the experience of rage and helped us understand it origins, dangers, and uses?  How might we create a history of an emotion, defined, in part, by its resistance to argument, intellect, and, empathy?  What can brain science tell us about the relationship between rage and identity? Does the experience and value of rage change across time, culture, and language?  And how is rage shaped by aspects of human identity, cultural diversity, technology, and media?  Finally, what can the interdisciplinary study of rage teach us about our social lives, our political institutions, and our democratic values?

Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Seminar on Play: 2019-2020


Play is a fundamentally inventive social activity in which we craft rules, experiment with boundaries, find new opportunities for expression, and engage in creative work.  Both a noun and a verb, the word itself is wildly expansive and can describe everything from musical and dramatic performance to sporting events and apps on our phones.  Play is among the first things we do as children in order to test the affordances of a complicated world and try to understand—and perhaps even change—its bewildering rules and constraints.  Yet we sometimes imagine that such activities have to be pushed aside as part of the growth into adulthood, treating them as somehow opposed to things like work, seriousness, and maturity.