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Book Discussion Shares Native American Shaman’s Experience

The Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma book discussion series at Oklahoma City University will continue its winter 2013 season at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 with “Black Elk Speaks” by John G. Neihardt. The discussion is free to the public and will be held in Walker Center room 151 at N.W. 26th Street and Florida Avenue.

The series is made possible through a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council.

“Black Elk Speaks” is the religious story relayed from the Oglala Sioux medicine man and visionary to the writer about his power-vision journey. Black Elk was part of the Battle of the Little Big Horn and survived the Wounded Knee Massacre. Through his life experience, he comes to believe that God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.

Blue Clark, a law professor and expert on Native American culture, will lead the discussion.

This season’s series is titled “Myth and Literature” and is inspired by the numerous interviews of Joseph Campbell, a writer who specialized in comparative mythology and comparative religion, by journalist Bill Moyers for PBS television.

“Myths have been called stories in which people find their most important meanings,” said Harbour Winn, director of OCU’s Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film & Literature. “In this series, we’ll explore humanity’s profound need to search for meaning and significance in the patterns of great stories from world mythology.”

At each session in the series, a humanities scholar makes a presentation on the book in the context of the theme. Small group discussions follow with experienced discussion leaders. At the end, all participants come together for a brief wrap-up.

Those who are interested in participating are encouraged to preregister and borrow the reading selections and theme brochure by calling Winn at (405) 208-5472, e-mailing him at or dropping by the Dulaney-Browne Library room 211 or 207.

Other dates and books in the series are:

* Feb. 5 with “A Passage to India” by E.M. Forster

* Feb. 19 with “The Summer Before the Dark” by Doris Lessing

* March 5 with “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald