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2002 Lecture: William Ferris
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At the invitation of the Society's Board of Directors, the 2002 Charles Seeger lecture, "Music, Memory, and Sense of Place in the American South," will be delivered by William R. Ferris. As a respected scholar, author, folklorist, musician, film-maker, teacher and administrator, Dr. Ferris brings a wealth of insight and experience to share with SEM 2002 participants. Currently a professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Dr. Ferris most recently served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and as visiting Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Dr. Ferris chaired the NEH during a turbulent period when many members of Congress were ready to eliminate funding for the humanities. Dr. Ferris reversed these troubling developments and worked to develop a series of centers that supported regional American arts and humanities.

In 1979 he established the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and later produced the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Both have become admired and emulated as examples of groundbreaking interdisciplinary efforts. His research and writing on blues have earned him a William Ferris place in the Blues Hall of Fame. He has also been awarded the Charles Frankel Prize in the Humanities, France's Chevalier and Officer in the SEM 2002 Seeger Lecturer Order of Arts and Letters, the American Library Association's Dartmouth Medal, and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award.
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