This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield Hall 218
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
Cornel West to Speak
Feb. 11 at UW-Eau Claire
phone (715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900

MAILED: Jan. 20, 1999

EAU CLAIRE — Cultural critic Cornel West will speak at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Thursday, Feb. 11.
The Forum will present his lecture, titled "The War Against Parents in the Workplace and in Politics," at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium. The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception in the Dulany Inn, Davies Center.
One of the most eloquent advocates for racial harmony and family rights, West is a professor of religion and Afro-American studies at Harvard University. Marion Wright Edelman, founder and director of the Children's Defense Fund, has described him as "one of the most authentic, brilliant, prophetic and healing voices in America today."
In his Forum presentation, West will explore how market forces and public policy are undermining the American family. The lecture is drawn from his book "The War Against Parents" (1998), co-written with economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett. West and Hewlett co-chair the National Parenting Association's Task Force on Parent Empowerment and they have written a Parents' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities that outlines political action parents can take.
West was born in Tulsa, Okla., in 1953. When he was 4 years old the West family settled in a black, blue-collar neighborhood on the outskirts of Sacramento, Calif. His father was a civilian Air Force administrator and his mother was an elementary school teacher who would later become school principal. West views the unconditional, unstinting love given to him by his parents as the most fundamental element of his life.
After attending public school in Sacramento, West went to Harvard University and received a bachelor's degree in Near Eastern languages and literature in 1973 — graduating magna cum laude in three years. After post-graduate work at Princeton University (masters in 1975, Ph.D. in 1980), he lectured and taught philosophy and religion at such schools as Harvard, Yale University, Barnard College and the University of Paris. He returned to Princeton in 1987 as a professor of religion and director of the highly regarded Afro-American Studies program.
After helping build that department, West moved to Harvard where he was recently promoted to university professor — a title held by only 14 of Harvard's 2,200 faculty members. Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of Harvard's department of Afro-American studies, describes West as "one of America's most important public intellectuals and a formidable scholar by any measure."
West's books include "The American Evasion of Philosophy," "Jews and Blacks," "The Future of Race" and "Restoring Hope." His revolutionary collection of essays, "Race Matters" (1993), quickly achieved best-seller status and gained the attention of Time and Newsweek, causing both magazines to run extensive profile articles on him.
In his most recent book, "The Future of American Progressivism" (written with Robert Unger), West explores how the growing division in our society fosters the despair and distrust that undermine our democratic process.
Admission is $7 for the public; $5 for those age 62 and over, and UW-Eau Claire faculty/staff; or $3 for those age 17 and under, and UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center in Davies Center and will be sold at the door.
Patrons also may charge their tickets to MasterCard or Visa when they order by phone. Call the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727 — or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free (800) 949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.
The Forum is made possible by student funds allocated by the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.

UWEC [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 218
(715) 836-4741

Updated: Jan. 20, 1999