Previous Classes

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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
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October 2-6, 2019 

University of Oklahoma   3 credits

Guest Scholar: Kim Rice, Independent Scholar, Baltimore, MD.

We are living in a politically charged era. From the election of polarizing leaders, the widening of financial inequality, the death of unarmed citizens at the hands of police, to natural disasters fueled by climate change. There are many groups rising up to face the challenges of our century and artists are no exception. In this course we will explore how artists are using their platform to create social change. We will address the following questions: How is contemporary art defined? How have artists played a role in peoples’ movements historically? What is the role of the museum and social media in art making?  How are artists collaborating with urban planners, architects, environmentalists and non-profits to create social change?

 

Kim Rice creates large-scale works using common materials. Her installations are a meditation on institutional racism and the policies that continue to affect American society today.  Kim earned her BFA in Sculpture and MFA in Printmaking from the University of Oklahoma. Her work has been shown throughout the country including the 22ndNo Dead Artists at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, Prospect.4 Satellite, Alexandria Museum of Art, Fred Jones Museum of Art, Northern Illinois Art Museum, and the Delaware Museum of Art. She has received multiple awards, including the McNeese Grant for Socially Engaged Practice.  Born in Kentucky, raised in California, educated in Oklahoma, loved in New Orleans and now home in Baltimore, Kim’s work is influenced by her two children and the pile of books by her bed.

 

  • 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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May 13-19, 2019

Santa Fe, NM

Guest Scholar:  Sam Duwe, University of Oklahoma

Few people have captured the imagination of both anthropologists and the public more than the Pueblo Indians of the American Southwest. Pueblo history is very ancient, and traces of this dynamic past are recorded amongst ancestral villages that have long fascinated archaeologists. With the arrival of the Spanish, the Pueblos were the vanguard of European colonialism, both resisting and adapting to new realities. And the Pueblos have managed to continue to occupy the same land as their ancestors in the face of colonial policy to the present day, with many villages continually occupied for the past 700 years. In this course we will explore both continuities and change in Pueblo history, with the understanding that the same philosophical and cultural concepts that guided the actions of Pueblo people in the past continue into the present, and the future. We’ll focus on the Pueblos of northern New Mexico and will visit archaeological and historic sites, Pueblo communities, and places of great natural beauty and cultural significance. As with all OSLEP seminars, all costs for participating other than tuition (including travel, food, housing, and books) will be paid for by the OSLEP program.

 

Since 2000, Sam Duwe ( University of Oklahoma) has been studying the history of the Pueblo people of the American Southwest, especially to explore the roots of contemporary Tewa peoples’ worldview and identity. His work integrates archaeology, oral history, and ethnography to understand the deep history of the people in the northern Rio Grande region. On the travel portion of this seminar, Sam and local specialists will introduce students to the cultures, history, and places that make this region unique.

  • Enrollment through your home campus.
  • OSLEP provides all required reading materials at no additional cost- NO books to buy!
  • Housing and meals provided.  Travel from Norman, OK to Santa Fe, NM provided.
  • Go to oslep.org to apply

 

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March 9-13, 2019 at the University of Oklahoma  3 credits

Guest Scholar:  Monti Narayan Datta, University of Richmond

After the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11th 2001, policy makers, scholars, and the media scrambled to understand the nature and origins of anti-American sentiment. Why would others want to hurt the United States in such a violent and destructive manner? Why did the United States not fully appreciate that such an attack might result from anti-American sentiment? More fundamentally, what is anti-Americanism and how can we measure it? In this course we will: (1) define what it means to be “American” and “anti-American;” (2) examine survey data and reports from the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project on foreign public perceptions toward the United States from 2001 to the present; (3) assess some of the best scholarship to date on anti-Americanism; and (4) consider the case of domestic antiAmericanism, with an eye toward understanding the roots of the Oklahoma city bombing in 1995 in addition to other local anti-American movements over the past decade. 

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