Let’s Talk About It Oklahoma
Beginning summer 2018, the Lawton Arts and Humanities Council presented their “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” discussion.
Each discussion revolved around the theme “The Journey Inward: Women’s Autobiography.”
Oklahoma Humanities provided books, services and other materials. The Inasmuch Foundation and Kirkpatrick Family Fund funded the series through grants.
According to okhumanities.org, the mission of Oklahoma Humanities is to strengthen communities by helping Oklahomans learn about the human experience, understand new perspectives and participate knowledgeably in civic life.
“As the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, we strive to stimulate discussion, encourage new perspectives, and to actively engage people in the humanities disciplines, such as history, literature, philosophy and ethics,” the website said.
A flyer released by Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma said “Scholars hold the discussions at 6 p.m. every third Thursday of each month in the CU Library. Each scholar opens the program, brings the book to life and provokes the group’s curiosity with insights and questions to spark discussion.”
Upcoming events include “My Life” by Isadora Duncan with Dr. Judy Neale on Oct. 18 and “Blackberry Winter” by Margaret Mead with Dr. William Carney on Nov. 15.
Associate Professor and Director of English Composition Dr. William Carney said he has been involved with the “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” projects for four years and has three goals for his upcoming discussion.
“One, I want people to keep coming back,” he said. “I want them to get excited about the book that they just read, so much so, that they are willing to read the next book in the series, or the next time that we have a ‘Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma.’
“The other thing, I believe reading, though it’s an individual act, is something that we do communally; that we do to make sense out of text, and I like when people have the opportunity to meet and talk about what they read, to check out their understanding with the way other people see it.
“And I guess finally, I think it’s just a good social evening. It’s nice to see people talking with folks they might not have met before.”
Carney said he is most excited for his chance to talk about Margaret Meads autobiography.
“She’s someone who’s always fascinated me,” he said. “I know that a lot of her insights, I don’t want to say have been proven wrong, but her insights seem kind-of bound to a certain place and a certain time and anthropology has certainly developed since then.
“She’s a trailblazer. She’s a female anthropologist who went off and lived among people in the south pacific and I just thought that was marvelous. It’s a fascinating book, and I’m excited about doing it.”
Carney said that these discussions are important for both men and women at Cameron University.
“We tend to see texts as something men do,” he said. “We talk about authors as if they’re predominantly male, and they’re not. It’s good to not only see that there’s a whole corpus of women’s literature and women’s autobiography, but to hear how women write and to hear stories about women who have done great things—that can never hurt.”
Before each discussion from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 5 p.m., the Arts and Humanities Division Office had books available for pickup at 801 NW Ferris (west entrance of McMahon Memorial Auditorium).
For more information, call the Arts and Humanities Division office at 580-581-3470 or 581-3471.