Not Even Past: Writing History with Flair

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The most memorable history writing uses many of the same techniques as fiction: character development, narrative pacing, thick description. How can a nonfiction writer stay true to factual documentation while making histories as memorable and as exciting as fiction? In this class, we'll explore local subjects (Oklahoma, broadly and Tulsa, more particularly) that can serve as inspirations for lively history writing. Students will learn basic historical methodologies through fun activities, while also focusing on the craft of writing and editing. At the end of the workshop, students will have produced either: A). A 10-15 page popular history article ready for submission to a literary magazine or B). A half-hour script for a history-themed podcast.

Students do not need any background in history or journalism. We welcome genealogists, memoir writers, community activists, and truth-seekers of all persuasions. The only requirement is curiosity about Oklahoma themes and issues.

This 3-week workshop will be via Zoom on April 26th and in person on the OSU-Tulsa campus with a Zoom option on May 3rd and May 10th from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Instructor: Russell Cobb

Instructor Bio: Russell Cobb is a writer and academic in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. His book, The Great Oklahoma Swindle: Race, Religion, and Lies in America’s Weirdest State, won the Director's Award at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and has been a local bestseller. His nonfiction has appeared in Slate, NPR, The New York Times, and The Nation, among other places. Dr. Cobb is also a consultant and writer for Edmonton City as a Museum Project and lead producer on the podcast History X. He is currently at work on a new book called "The Ghosts of Crook County: On the Trail of Bloodlines and Pipelines in Oklahoma" to be published with Beacon Press in 2023.

Registraiton will close at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 24 th.

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