(February 2007)

Media contact: Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

See also The (Shreveport) Times Advance Article

Dr. Nicholas R. Spitzer to Give Public Attaway Lecture on "Rebuilding the 'Land of Dreams' Expressive Culture and New Orleans' Authentic Future" Feb. 8 at Centenary College

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SHREVEPORT, LA — Dr. Nicholas R. Spitzer, creator and host of Public Radio International's American Routes, will discuss the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans musicians, craftspeople and other members of the "creative class" during a public lecture Feb. 8 at Centenary College. He will speak at 7 p.m. in the Whited Room of Bynum Commons under the auspices of the college's Attaway Scholars series. The event is free and open to the public.

He will argue that the creative class has a central role in rebuilding the city and will consider a repertory of New Orleans music filled with references to the city’s geography and past natural disasters, illustrating how contemporary musicians revisit and revise tradition.

Spitzer is an internationally recognized folklorist. He has served as host and producer of the award-winning "Folk Masters and American Roots" Fourth of July concert series and as documentary, record, film and festival producer for the Smithsonian Institution and PBS. He has also been an independent cultural producer for National Public Radio's All Things Considered. He is currently on faculty at the University of New Orleans as Zemurry Professor of Folklore and Cultural Conservation in the College of Urban and Public Affairs.

His appearance is sponsored by the Centenary Convocations Committee and the Attaway Professorships. Persons Centenary names as Attaway Scholars have made notable contributions to the public discussion of ideas, are in residence for a minimum of two days on campus, interact with students in and out of classes, give at least one public presentation and commit to maintaining relationships with Centenary and its students.

Funded by and named for the Douglas and Marion Attaway, with matching funds from the State of Louisiana, the Attaway Professorships in Civic Culture, Attaway Fellows and Attaway Scholars designations are awarded by Centenary to intellectuals who have made notable contributions to the public discussion of ideas. They present themselves not as academics who occasionally have public roles, but as public thinkers and gifted communicators whose foremost interest is civic culture.

The college expects that the Attaway designees will make distinctive, catalytic and enduring contributions to the intellectual life of the community. Professors provide a mentoring role that encourages students to engage in similar intellectual endeavors. Attaway Professors bring to campus perspectives that are often underrepresented in the academy.

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