Oklahoma’s gateway to humanities education, community conversation, and cultural experiences.

Curiosity Fest

Call for Programs

Call for Session Proposals - $300 Honorarium for Selected Presenters

Event: Oklahoma Humanities presents the inaugural Curiosity Fest 2018, an annual event designed to bring humanities scholarship to the adult general public in fun, vibrant, interactive ways. The one-day festival takes place on Saturday, October 20 at the Civic Center Music Hall in downtown Oklahoma City. Participants will attend concurrent program sessions throughout the day. An evening presentation will feature Jad Abumrad, founder of NPR’s Radiolab.

It’s all about curiosity. What humanities trivia, trends, or topics can you share in a fun, imaginative format? We’re sticklers for scholarship, but believe strongly in our mission to bring the humanities to the general public in inviting ways.

Eligible Presenters: Scholars with an imagination (and a master’s degree or higher in a humanities field) and Native American elders are eligible. Individuals without advanced degrees who are recognized experts in their fields may also qualify. Humanities disciplines include: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; and those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods.

 Compensation: Selected presenters will receive a $300 honorarium.

Submit Your Proposal Here

Proposal Submissions: Multiple proposals are welcome and will be reviewed by a committee comprised of scholars and Oklahoma Humanities board members. Deadline for submissions is April 30. Notification of acceptance will be issued by June 30. (A video or Skype presentation may be requested by the committee to better understand your proposal.)

Submit Your Proposal Here

Session Formats: The following suggest the sense of the fun and atmosphere of discovery that we hope to create. Remember, you’ll be presenting to an adult public audience of all backgrounds and education levels. Each session block is a maximum of 75 minutes; short sessions are also welcome.

Your Idea Here: A game, talk, demonstration, group reading, hands-on activity . . . We want your ideas, your spin, your tricks of the humanities trade.

Thanksgiving Table Topics: No Politics! Enlighten participants and help defuse the inevitable arguments at Thanksgiving dinner! Present a crystalized version of a humanities topic in a 10-minute “speed dating” format. Handouts may be appropriate.

  • HEAD Talks: Humanities Enlighten and Delight. Scholars vie for the coveted “Curiosity Cat” award for best TED-Talk-style presentation. Audience members judge which presenter takes the catnip for: 1) most enlightening, 2) most useful to my life, 3) most entertaining talk. Time limit: 18 minutes.
  • Civics 101: I Think, Therefore I Vote. What are the enigmatic aspects of our government—history, political parties, voting laws, funding? Present your Civics 101 class and help participants become knowledgeable, informed citizens.
  • Current Events: No Fake News Here. Use the humanities to inform a current event (foreign affairs, campaign finance, Hollywood celebrities, gun laws, etc.). Cite and defend your sources! This session could allow two scholars to present opposing sides of an issue, followed by Q&A.
  • Author Talks: I Published It, So It Must Be Good. Pitch your book in 10 minutes or less. Book sales will be arranged on site through Full Circle Bookstore, with space and time for book signing.
  • I See Dead People. This Chautauqua-style event is a sure crowd-pleaser. Give a first-person, in-character presentation of an interesting person from history. Excellent research is a must. Audience questions will be addressed first to your character, then to you as scholar.
  •  Action! The Humanities on Film. Screen a short film and provide commentary to help viewers understand the content, context, genre, and importance of the film. Includes time for Q&A.
  •  Stirring the Pot: A Cultural Smorgasbord. Present a cultural tradition using history, music, dance, art, stories, foodways, folklore, etc. Format may include: AV, performance, lecture, hands-on interactive—whatever your subject requires.
  •  WTPhD: Can you translate that for me? Admit it, your scholar-speak can be hard for the rest of us to understand. Bring your esoteric, high-minded, scholarly presentation, and a straight-talking sidekick to translate your shtick. Google “Obama anger translator” to view the fun we’re looking for.
  • World Café: Conversations that Matter. “We are wiser together than we are alone.”—This is the premise of World Café Conversations. Using their model, you’ll propose one overriding current-event issue or question and bring three of your humanities scholar friends to help facilitate conversations. Participants rotate tables, gaining insight from each scholar, then gather as a group to report on what they heard and discuss conclusions. Everyone gains a deeper, richer understanding of a humanities theme.

About Oklahoma Humanities:

Our nonprofit organization is in its 47th year of bridging the academic humanities to the general public in a variety of formats: reading and discussion programs, film festivals, museum exhibits, publications, panel discussions, cultural fairs, lecture series, and more. Curiosity Fest is a departure from our traditional format, but it, too, is grounded in humanities scholarship. Your participation as a presenter will help us fulfill our mission of promoting the public humanities.

Submit Your Proposal Here