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Research Distinguished Lecture Series

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Research Distinguished Lecture Series

Research Distinguished Lecture Series

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships is pleased to announce the OU Research Distinguished Lecture Series. The University of Oklahoma will welcome two to three highly distinguished speakers each semester who are preeminent in their field of expertise who will speak to OU faculty and students about prominent global issues. Speakers will be selected who embody the spirit of innovation, boldness, and interdisciplinarity that characterize the OU research enterprise. Their lectures will focus on contemporary research and innovation topics within the fields of Natural Sciences, Engineering, Technology, the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Fine Arts. These lectures will be accessible to an advanced yet non-specialist audience.

In order to launch the Research Distinguished Lecture Series (RDLS), I am soliciting input from Deans and their faculty across the campus for names of potential speakers whom the OVPRP could invite for the fall and spring semesters of the current academic year. Please provide your input to Melany Dickens-Ray (


The Humanities, Climate Change and the Public Good

Featuring Robert Newman

Thursday March 5, 2020 3:30-5:00 P.M.

J.J. Rhyne Community Room, Zarrow Hall
Co-hosted with the OU Arts & Humanities Forum
Open to the public

Drawing on E. O. Wilson’s renaming of the Anthropocene as the Eremocene, or The Age of Loneliness, this talk considers the crisis of climate change also as a Constitutional crisis. It looks to the revolutionary idealism and citizenry which forged the American Constitution, with principles grounded in the humanities and the promotion of the public good, as potential antidotes to this situation and argues that humanities educators must play a central role in the implementation of these antidotes. To do so, we need to avoid a capitulation to narrow definitions of value that evade the nuance and complexity so ingrained in the humanities and to broaden our conceptions of our profession and our pedagogy.


Since assuming leadership of the National Humanities Center in 2015, Robert D. Newman has been dedicated to broadening the Center’s scholarly mission, diversity, programming and educational outreach as well as to encouraging vibrant public engagement with, and national advocacy for, the humanities.

Dr. Newman was previously Dean of the College of Humanities, Professor of English, and Associate Vice President for Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Utah where he was widely recognized for dramatically increasing support for the college, expanding its programs, and broadening campus diversity. In addition to establishing a new Humanities building on campus, he established the first country’s graduate program in Environmental Humanities and led the creation of the Taft/Nicholson Center for Environmental Humanities in Centennial Valley, Montana. He also has held faculty appointments at the University of South Carolina where he was English department Chair, Texas A&M University, and the College of William and Mary.

Dr. Newman was trained as a literary scholar, receiving his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his scholarship has focused on twentieth-century English literature and culture and narrative theory. He has published six books, numerous articles, reviews and poems, and has received awards not only for his scholarship but also for his institutional leadership and teaching. He is the General Editor of the “Cultural Frames, Framing Culture” series published by University of Virginia Press. Recently, he was celebrated as a Distinguished Alumnus at both Penn State University and the University of North Carolina.

Dr. Robert Newman

Robert Newman