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Tim Blake Nelson talks to McFarlin Fellows and TU students

To cap off its 2016-2017 McFarlin Fellows season, McFarlin Library was pleased to welcome Tulsa native and award-winning actor, screenwriter and director Tim Blake Nelson in April.

For 25 years, the McFarlin Fellows have provided important financial support to the library’s world-class Special Collections. In return, the Fellows enjoy three dinner/lecture events each season in the beautiful Pat and Arnold Brown Reading Room in McFarlin Library.

Notable figures from the fields of literature, history, law, politics and journalism, to name a few, have spoken on topics related to the collecting strengths of Special Collections. The lectures highlight the importance of these unique collections to scholars and others involved in research.

McFarlin Library also invites speakers from Fellows events to meet with TU students and discuss their work. Among those speakers who have generously devoted time to our students while visiting TU in recent years are Man Booker Prize-winning novelist AS Byatt, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (and Tulsa native) Tracy Letts, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon and Peabody Award-winning book critic Maureen Corrigan.

“It was a real thrill to have Tulsa native Tim Blake Nelson join us this season,” Adrian Alexander, the R.M. & Ida McFarlin Dean of the library said. “Both the Fellows and our students in TU’s Film Studies program really enjoyed hearing from him and visiting with him. Most people don’t know that we have been collecting some interesting and hard-to-find resources related to film lately, to support this outstanding undergraduate program, so we wanted to highlight that. I’m particularly proud of our purchase last year of a detailed story outline of the film that Orson Welles first pitched to RKO Pictures in 1939. It was Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The studio wouldn’t greenlight it, though, because it was too expensive; Welles insisted that much of it had to be filmed on location in Africa. So instead, they gave him the money to make something called Citizen Kane.”