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Media Advisory — October 5, 2010

National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman
Speaks in Austin for the American Civility Tour

Jim Leach

National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach.

EVENT: The Harry Ransom Center and University Co-op presents a Harry Ransom Lecture with National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Chairman Jim Leach, who will discuss "Civility in a Fractured Society" as part of the American Civility Tour.

WHEN: 7 p.m., Oct. 28. Doors open 30 minutes in advance.

WHERE: Harry Ransom Center, 21st and Guadalupe streets, The University of Texas at Austin.

BACKGROUND: Leach started a tour in November 2009 to visit each of the 50 states, speaking about the need for civility in public discourse.

The city of Austin is Leach's destination for the state of Texas, the 37th state on the tour. Leach's destinations after Texas include New Mexico, Delaware and Illinois, and the tour concludes in May 2011.

According to Leach, the political atmosphere is "bordering on a civility crisis at home and a civilization crisis abroad."

"If we don't try to understand and respect others, how can we expect them to respect us, our values and our way of life?" asks Leach. "The exchange of ideas and the consideration of other viewpoints are central to the humanities. We need to bring this spirit of reason back into politics."

Leach, who was a U.S. congressman for more than 30 years, believes civil behavior is no longer about manners but about personal security and global survival.

Created in 1965, the NEH is an independent federal agency that supports learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities. Leach has been its chairman since 2009.

This program will be webcast live at www.hrc.utexas.edu/webcast.

The Harry Ransom Lectures honor former University of Texas Chancellor Harry Huntt Ransom and highlight the Ransom Center's vital role in the university's intellectual and cultural life. The program brings internationally renowned writers, artists and scholars to Austin for public events and conversations with students. The lectures are made possible by the support of the University Co-op.

A high-resolution press image of Leach is available.



Media Contacts for members of the press

Jennifer Tisdale
Director of Public Affairs
Phone: 512-471-8949
Cell: 512-921-0845
Fax: 512-471-9646

Suzanne Krause
Public Affairs Representative
Phone: 512-471-6406
Cell: 512-348-4055
Fax: 512-471-9646

Harry Ransom Center
The University of Texas at Austin
P.O. Box 7219
Austin TX 78713-7219

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