Oklahoma City University | Humanities Center Appoints New Director Skip to content

Humanities Center Appoints New Director

Oklahoma City University has announced a new director for its Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film & Literature. Tracy Floreani, English Department chairwoman and professor, will replace Harbour Winn, who is retiring from the University this summer after nearly 24 years of service.

Among its many programs, the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film & Literature hosts a presentation by a distinguished poet each year, develops an annual documentary film series each spring, maintains an archive collection of videos and DVDs, submits grants each semester to hold Let’s Talk About It book discussion series, and collaborates with other campus and metropolitan organizations to support and encourage different groups to work together on creative projects. It was established in 1997.

“Taking on the directorship of the Center for Interpersonal Studies allows me to expand my work in public humanities — something I'm very much invested in,” Floreani said. “The center has been a great cultural resource for this campus and community, and I look forward to continuing that work and finding new audiences for our film series and literary events.”

Floreani started at OCU in 2010 after 10 years of teaching at Baker University in Kansas. She specializes in post-World War II American literature and cultural studies and in race and ethnicity. She is author of “Fifties Ethnicities: The Ethnic Novel and Mass Culture at Midcentury” (SUNY Press) and is currently working on a biography of Fanny McConnell Ellison — a project that grew out of her leadership in Oklahoma City's celebration of novelist Ralph Ellison’s centenary.

Floreani earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Kansas. She is the recipient of 12 awards for teaching and scholarship and six competitive grants. She has 14 years of experience in development of diversity initiatives in higher education, through university committees, curriculum and program development, and advising of multicultural and social justice student organizations.

Winn plans to direct OCU’s Film Institute for one more year and will continue working with the Oklahoma Humanities Committee and the National Endowment for the Humanities on special programs.

Winn taught at OCU from 1976 to 1980 before becoming a full-time Montessori teacher. He returned to the University in 1997.

Besides directing the center, Film Institute and the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Poetry Series, he is also a certified Montessori teacher. He has contributed articles for dozens of journals and papers, mostly on topics of literature, poetry and film. He has been a faculty sponsor on student trips around the world including Central America, Mexico and Australia, and has helped organize several humanities conferences in Oklahoma.

Winn was awarded the State Public Humanities Award from the Oklahoma Humanities Council in 2013 and was named a DaVinci Fellow by the DaVinci Institute in 2012.

He earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Oregon, a master’s degree in English from the University of Houston and a bachelor’s degree in English with minors in theology and Spanish from Spring Hill College in Alabama.

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