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The Center

The Jeanne Hoffman Smith Center for Film & Literature, now in its 25th year, works to develop interpersonal and intercultural understanding and communication through public humanities programming related to film and literary arts. Previously known as the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film & Literature, the Center was recently renamed for its founding donor, Jeanne Hoffman Smith (1929-2022).

Each year in celebration of National Poetry Month, the Center brings a distinguished poet to the campus as one of our major initiatives, The Thatcher Hoffman Smith Poetry Series. Several of the poets have been national Poets Laureate, Pulitzer Prize and/or National Book Award winners, or members of the Academy of American Poets. Poets Robert Pinsky, Jane Hirshfield, Michael Ondaatje, Mark Doty, Lucille Clifton, Naomi Shihab Nye, Li-Young Lee, Billy Collins, Ted Kooser, Joy Harjo, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Charles Simic, Natasha Trethewey, Carolyn Forche, Claudia Emerson, Terrance Hayes, Tracy K. Smith, Richard Blanco, Marie Howe, Simon Armitage, Chris Abani, Alberto Rios, Nikky Finney, and Jericho Brown have been featured so far.

The Center also houses the OCU Film Institute; develops for the university and community an archive collection of quality films; facilitates events for area teachers and students and supports programs for young writers; hosts a regular Oklahoma Humanities Let’s Talk About It book discussion series for the university and Oklahoma City community; and collaborates with other campus and metropolitan organizations to on creative projects or speaker events. The director, Dr. Tracy Floreani, is a member of the English Department and Honors Program. The Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund and an advisory committee support the development of the Center and its programs.

The Film Institute

Since 1983, the OCU Film Institute has offered the university and the greater Oklahoma City community the opportunity to view — free of charge — classic and contemporary international films.

Each year the series focuses on a theme, curated and hosted by the faculty of OCU's Film program. For each screening thoughtful viewing guides are provided and a discussion session follows for those who wish to talk about the film. Many of the films are housed in the university’s collection at the Dulaney-Browne library and are also available for university courses.

In 1996, the Oklahoma Humanities Council awarded the Institute one of four awards for excellence in humanities programming over the past twenty-five years in the state of Oklahoma. The film series is supported by OCU’s Petree College of Arts & Sciences, the OCU Film Institute Endowment (OKCCF), the Designated Endowment in the Community Foundation of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, and the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment for the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature.

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