WHAT: A presentation about "Humanities and the Blues" by William R. Ferris, chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Ferris has worked with blues artists such as B.B. King, authors Eudora Welty and Alice Walker, quilt makers and storytellers, the poor and dispossessed. He seeks a voice for them in academic and public worlds through the books, records, films and public festivals that celebrate their lives and culture.
WHEN: 4 p.m., Tuesday, March 13, 2001
WHERE: University of California, Berkeley, Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall
BACKGROUND: In addition to heading the NEH, Ferris is a filmmaker, folklorist, professor of anthropology, author and driving force behind the "Encyclopedia of Southern Culture," a major reference work linking popular, folk and academic cultures. His visit is sponsored by UC Berkeley's departments of African American Studies and English, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities.
The NEH is an independent federal agency created to enrich American cultural life by promoting knowledge of human history, thought and culture. It is the largest funder of humanities programs in the United States. Since 1967, NEH grants have continuously supported the editorial work of the Mark Twain Project at UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library and other projects on campus.