RSU Prof Named Oklahoma Center for the Humanities Fellow

Dr. David BlakelyDavid Blakely, Associate Professor and Director of Rogers State University’s Theatre Program, has been named one of nine fellows for the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, which will spend the next year delving into the topic of humor.

Now in its second year, the Oklahoma Center for Humanities at the University of Tulsa selects a group of research fellows who collaborate on a series of weekly seminar discussions on a specific topic. The fellowship is intended to promote intellectual discussion on topics of current public and intellectual interest.

Blakely joins Tulsa World editorial cartoonist Bruce Plante as the two public fellows for this year’s fellowship, with the other seven members comprised of TU faculty members from across several academic disciplines.

This year, the scholarly seminars will be focused on humor, with each member of the fellowship bringing their own expertise to the discussions each week.

Blakely plans to study and present research on “Humor and Pain.” Throughout the next academic year, the fellows will research their topic through various seminars, lectures, discussions, and scholarly debates.

The fellows will evaluate why some people think something is funny and other people do not. They will try to better understand this idea by dissecting why humor is different over different cultures, ethnicities, age groups, etc.

Blakely joined the RSU faculty in 2005. He earned a master’s of fine arts in playwriting from the University of Iowa, a law degree from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in theatre from the University of Oklahoma. He is also an accomplished playwright, having written multiple dramas, comedies and musicals staged across the nation. He is the recipient of the Kennedy Center Medallion, one of the most prestigious awards for theatre educators for extraordinary contributions to teaching and producing theatre.

For more information on the fellowship in the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, visit

Written by RSU PR Intern Houston Gaither