Previous Classes

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“Rodeos and Raiders Caps: Exploring African American History through Popular Culture in the American West”

University of Oklahoma, Norman 

April 27 to May 1 (in-person)

 

Scholar:  Kalenda Eaton, University of Oklahoma

What does it mean to be western in the context of the United States? This course will be an exploration of how Black identity and western Americana converge throughout the US and abroad, using selected examples from film, literature, popular music, and television. Students will consider how western regional identity can be interpreted outside stock images of cowboy boots and hats and reimagined as a race critical interpretation of liberation; individual rights; and social progress in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will also explore the concept of the “Yeehaw Agenda” and its role in remixing western tropes.

  • Enrollment through your home campus
  • OSLEP provides all required reading materials at no additional cost-NO books to buy!

Dr. Kalenda Eaton is the author of publications on African American literature and African American cultural history. Her first book, Womanism, Literature, and the Transformation of the Black Community, 1965-1980, has been frequently cited in scholarly research for over a decade. She has co-edited and co-written projects such as New Directions in Black Western Studies and “Teaching the Black American West,” and has a chapter titled “Black Women Writers Reclaiming Western Literature” in Gender and the American West. Currently, Eaton is an Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma and the Director of Oklahoma Research for the Black Homesteader Project sponsored by the National Park Service/US Department of the Interior.

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How We Bear Witness:  Writing Oklahoma in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction

University of Oklahoma, Norman 

January 10-14 (in-person)                                       THIS SEMINAR IS FULL.  CHECK OUT OUR APRIL/MAY SEMINARS

 

Scholar:  Rilla Askew, University of Oklahoma

This course will be an Intensive writing workshop focused on creating fiction and creative nonfiction that reflects the students’ engagement with Oklahoma as subject and source. Students will read and discuss works by Oklahoma writers such as Joy Harjo, Brandon Hobson, and Constance Squires, and will develop new works of their own to be shared in a supportive writing workshop format.  Coursework will include instruction in the craft of fiction and creative nonfiction as well as exploration of Oklahoma-based fiction and nonfiction.

 

Rilla Askew is the author of four novels, a book of stories, and a collection of creative nonfiction, as well as plays, articles, and essays. Her first novel, The Mercy Seat was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dublin IMPAC Prize, and received the Oklahoma Book Award and the Western Heritage Award in 1998. Her novel about the Tulsa Race Massacre, Fire in Beulah, received the American Book Award, the Myers Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights, and was selected as the centennial book for Oklahoma’s One Book One State program. Her novel Harpsong, published by the University of Oklahoma Press, received seven literary awards including the Oklahoma Book Award, the WILLA Award from Women Writing the West, the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas, and the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Her novel Kind of Kin, the story of a fractured family and small-town community at the vortex of Oklahoma’s immigration laws, was a finalist for the Spur Award from Western Writers of America, longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Prize, and selected for Amarillo Reads in 2017. Askew’s collection of essays on race and place, Most American: Notes from a Wounded Place, was longlisted for the PEN/America Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay in 2018.  She teaches creative writing at the University of Oklahoma. 

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This Land is Herland: Gendered Activism in Oklahoma

 University of Oklahoma, Norman

October 22-24 (in-person)

November 6-7, 2021 (in-person)

 

Scholars:

Sarah Eppler Janda, PhD, Cameron University

Patti Loughlin, PhD, University of Central Oklahoma

 

 This seminar considers the ways in which gender and activism have converged in Oklahoma. This Land is Herland (University of Oklahoma Press, 2021) is a new contributed volume coedited by Sarah Eppler Janda and Patti Loughlin featuring thirteen activists in Oklahoma from the 1870s to the 2010s. From Kate Barnard to Rachel Caroline Eaton to Clara Luper to LaDonna Harris, we will discuss the ways in which their work and legacy connect to larger themes in western women’s history including intersectionality, suffrage, political campaigns, civil rights, and tribal sovereignty. This course will also explore the ‘story’ of women’s lives and activism by examining how women’s experiences are articulated—whether they are celebrated, silenced, reimagined, or critically evaluated. We will look at who tells the stories, what information and sources are used, and what the ‘making’ of women activists reveals about both the past and present.

  • Enrollment through your home campus
  • OSLEP provides all required reading materials at no additional cost - NO books to buy!

 

 

Sarah Eppler Janda is Professor of History at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. She is the author of Beloved Women: The Political Lives of LaDonna Harris and Wilma Mankiller (Northern Illinois University Press, 2007), Pride of the Wichitas: A History of Cameron University (Oklahoma Heritage Association, 2010), and Prairie Power: Student Activism, Counterculture, and Backlash in Oklahoma, 1962–1972 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2018). She is an active member of the Coalition for Western Women’s History, the Western History Association, and the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.

 

Patti Loughlin is Professor of History at the University of Central Oklahoma. Her publications include Hidden Treasures of the American West: Muriel H. Wright, Angie Debo and Alice Marriott (University of New Mexico Press, 2005), Building Traditions, Educating Generations: A History of the University of Central Oklahoma (Oklahoma Heritage Association, 2007) with Bob Burke, and Main Street Oklahoma: An American Story (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2013) coedited by Linda Reese. Her book Angie Debo, Daughter of the Prairie (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Hall of Fame, 2017), received the 2018 Oklahoma Book Award for children/young adult. Patti serves on the Oklahoma Historical Society board of directors, and remains active in the Coalition for Western Women’s History and the Western History Association.

Janda and Loughlin coedited This Land is Herland: Gendered Activism in Oklahoma from the 1870s to the 2010s (University of Oklahoma Press, 2021). Currently they are writing an Oklahoma history textbook for statewide adoption in high schools for the University of Oklahoma Press.

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Hybrid course: zoom/in person

March-April 2021

University of Oklahoma, Norman

Guest Scholar: Rick Perlstein

Why do some social movements create change and some fizzle...

RICK PERLSTEIN is the author of The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. Before that, he published Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (2008), a New York Times bestseller picked as one of the best nonfiction books of the year by over a dozen publications, and Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, winner of the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award for history. A contributing writer at The Nation, former chief national correspondent for the Village Voice, and a former online columnist for the New Republic and Rolling Stone, his journalism and essays have appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, and many other publications. Politico called him the “chronicler extraordinaire of American conservatism,” who “offers a hint of how interesting the political and intellectual dialogue might be if he could attract some mimics.” The Nation called him the “hypercaffeinated Herodotus of the American century.” Born in 1969 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he lives in Chicago. In his spare time, he performs jazz piano and vocals and practices yoga.

  • Enrollment through your home campus
  • OSLEP provides all required reading materials at no additional cost - NO books to buy!

Important dates:

March 2020

March 2020

April 3, 2020 9am-4pm in person (OU Norman campus)

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March-April  2021

University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Guest Scholar:  Jean Hunleth, Washington University, St. Louis, School of Medicine

Children around the world face life and death situations every day. They are part of families and communities that are confronted by serious social and political problems, from the AIDS epidemic and other disease outbreaks to extreme poverty, forced migration, structural racism, and war. Numerous global health and humanitarian interventions aim to help children, such as those targeted at orphans or children outside of family care. However, very few incorporate children’s perspectives of their own needs into their programming, leading to potentially ineffective or harmful interventions. We will address the following questions: Why should we take children seriously in global health and humanitarian work? How do children participate in families and communities in ways that impact health and wellbeing? And what research methods are appropriate for working with children in adversity? We will also address head-on the longstanding devaluation of children’s knowledge, actions, and experiences in policymaking and program development. As a class, we will develop ways to get decision makers to take children seriously.

 

Jean Hunleth works with children and families to identify more appropriate ways to deliver public health. She uses methods from anthropology and the visual arts and is especially fascinated by the important social and political implication of children’s fantasies and play. Jean earned her PhD in Anthropology and Master of Public Health from Northwestern University. She is the author of the award-winning book, Children as Caregivers: The Global Fight against Tuberculosis and HIV in Zambia, and numerous articles published in anthropological, public health, child welfare, and medical journals. She got her start in global health as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia, which drove her to pursue a career focused on children’s creativity and the diversity of childhood experiences.

 

  • Enrollment through your home campus
  • OSLEP provides all required reading materials at no additional cost - NO books to buy!

 

Important Dates:

March 22, 2021 7-9pm zoom

March 29, 2021 7-9pm zoom

April 5, 2021 7-9pm zoom

April 10, 2021 9am-4pm in-person (Norman OU campus)

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Hybrid Course: zoom/in-person

January 2021

University of Oklahoma, Norman

Guest Scholar: Mark Griffin, Oklahoma City University

Since ancient times (beginning with the Confessions of St. Augustine) writers have used their individual life-experiences and narratives to explore and express beliefs: philosophical, political, religious and civic. This tradition re-emerged with special force in the Enlightenment period (with works like Rousseau’s Confessions) and has gathered force in the tumultuous 20th/21st Centuries.

This class will focus on a series of recent memoirs (some of them bestsellers) which play this double role: recounting interesting lives and setting forth manifestos (beliefs that are philosophical, political, religious, and citizenship-related). I have chosen them for their special relevance to the political/cultural debates that seem to engulf us all these days, and for their breadth of human experience. Among this diverse group, you will find political views that span the spectrum (left, right, center), and that span a range philosophical/religious views.

The major works we will read together are the following:

Ibrahim X. Kendi’s How to Be and Anti-Racist

David Brooks’ The Second Mountain

Rilla Askew’s Most American: Notes from a Broken Place

Dr. Mark Griffin is Professor of Spanish at Oklahoma City University, where he has taught since 1996. He co-authored the book Living on the Borders (Brazos Press, 2004), has published several articles in the areas of border studies and Latin American literature, and has co-produced the documentary Here For Good: The Latino Experience in Oklahoma (2016). In addition to his writing, he has led community-engagement projects with/in the Latino community in Oklahoma City. His research focuses on national identities, and with a major dilemma faced by immigrant minorities: how to navigate between the twin perils of cultural loss and cultural isolation. Born and raised in Mexico, his creative work has focused on the personally-experienced phenomenon of crossing borders.

  • Enrollment through your home campus
  • OSLEP provides all required reading materials at no additional cost - NO books to buy!
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Important dates:

January 2, 2021 -9pm CST zoom meeting

January 3, 2021 7-9pm CST zoom meeting

January 4, 2021 7-9pm CST zoom meeting

January 5, 2021 7-9pm CST zoom meeting

January 16, 9am-4pm CST in-person (Norman OU campus)

 

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Hybrid Course: zoom/in-person

October/November 2020

University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Guest Scholar:  Randolph Lewis, University of Texas at Austin

Surveillance technology is now interwoven with every aspect of modern life---TSA scanners, Predator drones, ubiquitous social media, Big Data marketing, and “always listening” smart speakers are just the tip of the iceberg. Working from an interdisciplinary perspective that will bring the sociologically-based research of surveillance studies into conversation with humanities scholarship related to art, film, history, architecture, and affect, we will explore the psychology and politics underlying the institutionalization of insecurity in the US. What are the hidden costs of living in a “control society” in which surveillance is deemed essential to government and business? This is the central question in a seminar that will weigh the impact of surveillance on privacy, dignity, autonomy, creativity, and emotion in the contemporary US.

 

Randolph Lewis is Professor of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Most recently, he is the author of Under Surveillance: Being Watched in Modern America (2017), which has been featured in the New York Times, National Geographic, The Atlantic, and NPR. He is co-editor of a book series on indigenous media for the University of Nebraska Press; co-producer of the documentary film, Texas Tavola: A Taste of Sicily in the Lone Star State. He is also the founder and editor of The End of Austin, a digital humanities project that explores the shifting cultural geography of the fastest growing city in the US. In addition to tracking new trends in surveillance technology, he is currently making a documentary film about post-apocalyptic faux tribalism in the Mojave desert. 

 

  • Enrollment through your home campus
  • OSLEP provides all required reading materials at no additional cost - NO books to buy!

Important dates:

October 22, 7-9pm CST zoom meeting

October 29, 7-9pm CST zoom meeting

November 14, 10am-4pm CST in person workshop/lecture in Norman

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February 29-March 4, 2020

University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Guest Scholar:  Steven Alvarez, St. John’s University (NY)

In recent years, there has been a steady increase of interest in the transnational migrations of Mexican food popularized by bloggers, television food shows, and travel journalists. In addition to the immense number of reviews, trade publications, and cookbooks, important social issues in regard to multilingualism, cultural appropriation, migrant labor, and the translation of indigenous cuisine for corporate consumption have also become topical. This seminar will examine how transnational community foodways situate different literacies, rhetorics, and forms of cultural knowledge across borders. Readings will include Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food by Jeffrey M. and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America by Gustavo Arellano.

 

Steven Alvarez is an associate professor of English at St. John’s University in New York, specializing in literacy studies and bilingual education with a focus on Mexican immigrant communities. He teaches courses ranging from autobiographical writing, ethnographic methods, visual rhetoric, and “taco literacy,” a course exploring the foodways of Mexican immigrants in the United States. He is the author of Brokering Tareas: Mexican Immigrant Families Translanguaging Homework Literacies (State University of New York Press, 2017) and Community Literacies en Confianza: Learning From Bilingual After-School Programs (National Council of Teachers of English, 2017).

 

  • Enrollment through your home campus
  • OSLEP provides all required reading materials at no additional cost - NO books to buy!
  • Housing and meals provided
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January 7-11, 2020

University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Guest Scholar: Karen Ho, University of Minnesota

Socio-economic inequality in the United States has now surpassed the heights of the Gilded Age and the Great Depression. The 2008 U.S. financial meltdown laid bare not only the extent to which financiers and financial institutions engendered the crisis and instigated widespread socioeconomic precarity and suffering, but also the ways in which financialization – the growth of financial activities as a key source of profits for financial and non-financial corporations alike – has dominated our social economy. What is the relationship between increasing inequality and increasing financialization? How has finance’s rise to power and influence over the past thirty-five years shaped our economy and the particular values, practices, and ethics that construct business common-sense, not to mention the very nature of work, ownership, and security in the US? And yet, instead of addressing the key causes of inequality directly, the powerful in society have seized on these conditions to mobilize an avalanche of discontent among sectors of the downwardly mobile in a way that often obscures the key reasons for their predicament and scapegoats those at the social margins.  

 

Karen Ho is faculty in the Department Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and Director of The RIGS (Race, Indigeneity, Gender, and Sexuality) Studies Initiative. Her research centers on the problematic of understanding and representing financial markets, sites that are resistant to cultural analysis and often disavow various attempts to locate or particularize them.  Her domain of interest is the anthropology of economy, broadly conceived, with specific foci on finance capital, capitalism, globalization, corporations, inequality, and comparative race/ethnicity/indigeneity. Her ethnography, Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street (Duke University Press, 2009) was based on three years of fieldwork among investment bankers and major financial institutions. Recent publications include “Finance and Morality” (A Companion to Moral Anthropology. Fassin, Didier, ed., 2012), “Corporate Nostalgia: Managerial Capitalism from a Contemporary Perspective” (Corporations and Citizenship. Urban, Greg, ed., 2014), “Gens: A Feminist Manifesto for the Study of Capitalism” (Theorizing the Contemporary Series, Cultural Anthropology Online, co-authored, 2015), and “Markets, Myths, and Misrecognitions: Economic Populism in the Age of Financialization and Hyperinequality. (Economic Anthropology, 2018). Her latest projects analyze dominant finance’s production of contemporary inequality, tracing the afterlives of corporate liquidation, the worldviews of investment funds, and the relationship between whiteness, masculinity, and dominant financial markets. 

 

  • Enrollment through your home campus
  • OSLEP provides all required reading materials at no additional cost - NO books to buy!
  • Housing and meals provided

 

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 January 2--6, 2020

University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Guest Scholar: Duncan Lorimer, West Virginia University

We live in exciting times! Recent developments in astrophysics include the first-ever detection of gravitational waves as well as elusive classes of objects including pulsars and fast radio bursts. These topics exemplify some of the most exotic phenomena that we are part of. In this course, we will learn about some of these exciting developments and consider some of the amazing consequences for our understanding of the very nature of space and time. No prior astronomical background is needed and we will cover every essential physical concept as we go. No matter where your career will take you in life, it is my goal in this class to inspire you to be life-long learners of the Universe we live in, and even other ones!

 

Duncan Lorimer got his PhD. in 1994 from the University of Manchester (UK). Since then he has held positions at the University of Manchester; the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy; Cornell University; University of Manchester and currently is at West Virginia University. While at WVU, Prof. Lorimer has served as Associate and Interim Chair in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Along with his wife and fellow astrophysicist Maura McLaughlin, Lorimer has helped establish the Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology. Among his notable research achievements are many contributions to our understanding of the population of pulsars and the discovery of Fast Radio Bursts. Since 1994 Prof. Lorimer has been a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and in 2018 he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

 

  • Enrollment through your home campus
  • OSLEP provides all required reading materials at no additional cost - NO books to buy!
  • Housing and meals provided