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The Puterbaugh Festivals of International Literature & Culture are made possible by a generous grant from the J. G. Puterbaugh Foundation of McAlester, Oklahoma, and sponsored by World Literature Today, the University of Oklahoma’s award-winning magazine of international literature and culture, founded in 1927. A rich tradition in support of literary and international studies at OU, the Puterbaugh Festivals bring the world’s greatest authors—often a winner or a soon-to-be winner of the Nobel Prize—to the OU campus for a course built around the author’s work, an international symposium, public talks and performances, and engagement with students, many of whom receive scholarships to study the Puterbaugh fellow’s work. Since 1968, the Puterbaugh series has furthered the educations of thousands of OU students.
The Puterbaugh Festivals continue to be a living tribute to J. G. Puterbaugh (1876–1965), an Oklahoma philanthropist, entrepreneur, and civic leader who loved poetry and believed it to be a source of cultural enlightenment and a means for understanding other cultures from around the world. He also believed in learning foreign languages as a primary channel of gaining insight into other cultures. Honoring the example of Mr. Puterbaugh, the Puterbaugh series demonstrates that at OU the spirit of learning about international literature and world culture is a lasting frontier. The Puterbaugh Foundation continues to make grants to benefit Oklahoma education, health care, medical research, youth and children’s programs, and other projects that enhance the quality of life in Oklahoma.
German novelist, playwright, and opera director Jenny Erpenbeck will visit the University of Oklahoma the week of March 5, 2018, to be honored as the 2018 Puterbaugh Fellow. Recently described by The Guardian as “Europe’s outstanding literary seer,” Erpenbeck was featured on the cover of World Literature Today’s post-Wende issue in November 2014. Save the date and check back in January, when the schedule and more details about the festival participants will be posted to the Puterbaugh website.
|1968||Jorge Guillén (Spain)|
|1969||Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina)|
|1971||Octavio Paz (Mexico)|
|1973||Dámaso Alonso (Spain)|
|1975||Julio Cortázar (Argentina)|
|1977||Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)|
|1979||Yves Bonnefoy (France)|
|1981||Michel Butor (France)|
|1983||Carlos Fuentes (Mexico)|
|1987||Guillermo Cabrera Infante (Cuba)|
|1989||Edouard Glissant (Martinique)|
|1991||Manuel Puig (Argentina)|
|1993||Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe)|
|1995||Luisa Valenzuela (Argentina)|
|1997||J.M.G. Le Clézio (France)|
|1999||Czesław Miłosz (Poland)|
|2001||Kenzaburo Oe (Japan)|
|2002||Roberto Fernández Retamar (Cuba)|
|2003||J. M. Coetzee (South Africa)|
|2004||Nélida Piñon (Brazil)|
|2006||Orhan Pamuk (Turkey)|
|2008||Bei Dao (China)|
|2010||Sherman Alexie (United States)|
|2011||Dacia Maraini (Italy)|
|2012||Marina Carr (Ireland)|
|2013||Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia)|
|2014||Andrés Neuman (Argentina/Spain)|
|2016||Alain Mabanckou (Republic of the Congo/U.S.)|
|2018||Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany)|