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The team behind “Words From a Bear” — back row, from left: Michael Kantor, executive producer; Jill Momaday; Shirley Sneve, executive producer; Gus Palmer Jr.; Jeffrey Palmer, director. Front row: N. Scott Momaday. The film is part of PBS' “American Masters” series, which has been nominated for an Emmy.

Professor earns Emmy nod for ‘Words From a Bear’

Jeffrey Palmer, assistant professor of performing and media arts in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been nominated for an Emmy award for his film, “N. Scott Momaday: Words From a Bear,” as a part of PBS’ “American Masters” series.

The PBS show was nominated July 28 for outstanding documentary or nonfiction series. The awards are presented by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; winners will be announced Sept. 20 in a broadcast on ABC.

Palmer’s first feature film, “N. Scott Momaday: Words From a Bear” explores the life and creative works of Momaday, a member of the Kiowa tribe and Native America’s most celebrated author of poetry and prose, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1969. The film also was selected for the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

“I am so thrilled to be a part of ‘American Masters’’ Emmy-nominated season,” Palmer said.

The film’s release was celebrated on campus with an Arts Unplugged event in October 2019, which featured a film screening as well as talks by Palmer and his father, Gus Palmer, professor emeritus at the University of Oklahoma and one of the film’s narrators.

Palmer, a Kiowa, centers his films on land, the creation of place, the diversity of people, the language, the music and the spiritual world.

The “American Masters” series, including Palmer’s film, can be streamed from the PBS website.

– Kathy Hovis

Media Contact

Gillian Smith