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Mission Statement

The OU Humanities Forum, a member of both the Consortium for Humanities Centers & Institutes (CHCI) and the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), was founded in September 2015. The Forum supports and promotes innovative, interdisciplinary humanities research that seeks to understand and transform our world. Through grants, symposia, lecture series, workshops, and digital media platforms, the Forum facilitates an environment of advancement for arts and humanities scholarship by OU faculty and students and shares that knowledge with communities of learners within and beyond the university.

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About the OU Humanities Forum

The role of the OU Humanities Forum is dedicated to the public sphere—we aim to help raise the visibility, prominence, and relevance for faculty research and teaching in the humanities and arts. Humanistic projects essentially boil down to the following: what does it mean to be human? What are our human values? How do we record and critique the human experience, not just in our contemporary era but through the ages? These are the basic questions asked in the study of history, philosophy, art, literature, religion, architecture, language, music, and film, as well as in related fields. In so doing we acquire collaborative and interdisciplinary skills that connect us better to the diverse cultural heritage of the past, enable us to come up with innovative ideas as citizens of our present world, and help imagine a better future on local and global scales.

The OU Humanities Forum was founded in 2015 as a Provost Direct Unit under the directorship of Janet Ward, Professor of History. In its inaugural year 2015-2016 the Humanities Forum hosted public programming related to “The Humanities & the Environment,” the center’s first annual interdisciplinary theme (see 2015-2016 events). Several Forum Fellows with research projects on the environmental humanities were selected from among the OU faculty to help lead this initiative (see Past Fellows).

The innovative projects of the current cohort of Forum Fellows for the 2016-2017 annual theme of "Outcasts and Outlands" have guided our public events during this academic year. See here for ongoing events!

The 2017-2018 annual theme of the Forum will be on "Sovereignty in Performance, Poetics, and Politics." Please see the Call for Applications for more details (deadline March 6, 2017).

We've also held three regional symposia on the digital humanities so far (slide summaries of the presentations are included on our website).

Two brand new Manuscript Development Workshops for selected OU faculty are taking place in Spring 2017. The Call for Applications for the 2017-2018 Manuscript Development Workshops can be found here (deadline April 10, 2017). Based on acclaimed national models, these intensive workshops convene experts to assist junior faculty preparing their scholarly humanities projects for publication.   

The OU Humanities Forum receives support from the Office of the Senior Vice President & Provost, the Office of the Vice President for Research, and the Office of the President, with additional support from University Libraries.