“Boom Town” – Sam Anderson Learns OKC

You can catch the episode here

    Anderson’s book Boom Town is a great story. It’s also a really great piece of writing. It moves among several stories and several timelines to explain just how it is that OKC has become…what it is. This podcast discussion with Gaylord College Dean Ed Kelley offers some important observations from him on what these times…including that dreadful act of domestic terrorism…were like. He found much to praise in Anderson’s account.

    From the Oklahoman archive: “Demonstrators inside Bishop’s Restaurant in in Oklahoma City wrote notes like this to display on the eatery’s windows. The 1963 demonstration was one of many of its kind during Oklahoma’s civil rights movement.” 

    Between the failed hunt for a hockey franchise (too bad!), the establishment/theft of the Seattle Sonics/Thunder, the federal building bombing, and the tales of the great Clara Luper and her super kids, and the wild Wayne Coyne, at the Red Cup talking to the next generation of him, Anderson shows he is a great writer. The complex structure works effortlessly.

    One drawback: I think this history needs to be better grounded in the Native American/Indian contexts that are a substantial part of the story. That aspect needs more attention. Spending a bit more energy speaking to this community would help to remind us about occupied lands, where we need to remember we find ourselves.

    And OKC needs to recognize Indigenous People’s Day. It’s totally not hard.

    Published by


    Ralph Beliveau Media Arts Area Head Associate Professor, Creative Media Production Beliveau@ou.edu @ralphbeliveau Dr. Beliveau is on faculty for the Gaylord College and affiliate faculty in both Film and Media Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. He co-authored Digital Literacy: A Primer on Media, Identity, and the Evolution of Technology (2016) and co-edited the forthcoming collection International Horror Film Directors: Global Fear (December 2016). He writes and teaches about media education and literacy, race, horror media, documentary, rhetorical criticism, video production, film, popular culture, music & cultural studies, and documentary theory production & history. He has written about network society, documentary rhetoric, horror media, The Wire, African American biographical documentaries, Alex Cox, Supernatural, Richard Matheson, Night Gallery, Italian film, and Paolo Freire and media literacy. He previously taught Radio/TV/Film at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and broadcast journalism, popular culture, and rhetoric while doing graduate work at the University of Iowa. Beliveau ran an FM radio station and cable television studio in Chicago and worked in Los Angeles in independent film and television production. He served as editor of the Journal of Communication Inquiry, chair of the Cultural and Critical Studies division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and chair of the Student Documentary Competition for the Broadcast Education Association. Beliveau is part of the team of faculty who leads the British Media Tour annually and also taught Italian Popular Film and Literature in the Journey to Italy program in Arezzo. Beliveau earned his B.S. from Northwestern University and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. More can be found at http://www.ralphbeliveau.com/.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *