On Thursday, October 6th, Dr. Jason Murray, the most recent addition to the department of English and Languages full-time faculty rolls, participated as a panelist in a Native Humanities Forum titled "Carry the Fire," an inaugural event at the new Chickasaw Nation Arts and Humanities building.
According to the Chickasaw Nation website, the forum provided "an opportunity for public dialogue between Native and non-Native sectors on Native humanities for the development and welfare of local communities, regions and the State of Oklahoma." Dr. Thomas Cowger, the Chickasaw Nation endowed chair of the Department of History and Native Studies at ECU, led a question-and-answer panel discussion of the basic tenets of the humanities, historic contributions of Native and non-Native humanities, important current initiatives, and cross-cultural understanding and cooperation. In addition to Dr. Murray, other panelists included: Dr. Alvin O. Turner, emeritus dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at ECU; Linda Hogan, a Chickasaw poet, novelist, essayist, playwright and environmentalist as well as Chickasaw Nation writer-in-residence; and Rachel C. Jackson, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma instructor for Kiowa Clemente Course in the Humanities and a doctoral student at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. The program was funded in part by the Oklahoma Humanities Council (OHC) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
"Jason did an awesome job," reported departmental colleague Dr. Robin Murphy. "Our department should be very proud; he was articulate, relevant and extended the conversation in ways the other panelists did not."