OVERVIEW: Oklahoma Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Activities

Presented by:
Oklahoma Humanities Council
Current Initiative: Centennial Campfires National Partner: The Pulitzer Prizes Local Partner: Libraries Subject: African American/Black, Cross-Cultural Understanding, History, War/Veterans Audience: All

To celebrate the Pulitzer centennial, Oklahoma Humanities hired three humanities scholars to develop content for three different “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” reading and discussion series. The program is open to libraries and other non-profits and the books within each series relate to a particular humanities theme to encourage different perspectives. For each host organization, the council provides books for every participant, an essay to tie the books in the series together, a list of pre-approved humanities scholars to facilitate the series, and a $1,000 grant to cover scholar travel and honoraria. To commemorate the centennial, Pulitzer Prize-winning works were featured. A total of 900 books were purchased for the following Pulitzer-themed programs:


Developed by Tracy Floreani, Ph.D. and hosted by the Oklahoma City University in Oklahoma City, this series examined America’s cultural ideals and history and the extent to which we have – and have not – ensured the enactment and protection of civil rights within society. The books in this series consisted of:

  • The Known World by Edward P. Jones
  • Native Guard by Natasha Tretheway
  • The Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle
  • A Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo


Developed by Bill Corbett, Ph.D. and hosted at the Waurika Public Library, this series reflected on the influence of individuals on the historical process, including cultural, diplomatic, economic, military, political and social factors that frequently drive history, during the development of the American West. Books in the series included:

  • The Middle Ground by Richard White
  • Across the Wide Missouri by Bernard Devoto
  • The Way West by A.B. Guthrie
  • Son of the Wilderness by Linnie Marsh Wolfe
  • The Son by Philipp Meyer


Developed by Britton Gildersleeve, Ph.D. and hosted at the Johnston County Library in Tishomingo, this series explored both the active elements of war as well as the long-lived legacies of war, in those periods optimistically called “peace.” Books in the series, included:

  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  • Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman
  • Neon Vernacular by Yusef Komunyakka
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


  • Oklahoma City University
  • Johnston County Library
  • Waurika Public Library


  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Tishomingo, OK
  • Waurika, OK

Click the button below to view an overview of the entire Pulitzer Prizes Campfires initiative and councils involved.