HISTORIAN OF 20th CENTURY
LECTURES ON THE BEATLES,
AND RELIGION AT ENC
On Thurs, April 6, University of Florida
professor of history Brian
Ward delivered a lecture entitled "Bigger Than Elvis, More Popular
Than Jesus: The Beatles, Race, Religion and the American South" in Shrader
Lecture Hall at 7:00 p.m. A large group of students and faculty came
out to hear Ward's fascinating talk on the intersection of race, popular
music, and regional identity.
A leading scholar of American history, Ward is co-editor of The Making of
Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement (Macmillan/New York
University Press, 1996) and editor of Media, Culture, and the Modern
African American Freedom Struggle (University Press of Florida, 2001).
He is also the author of the award-winning Just My Soul Responding:
Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness and Race Relations (UCL Press/University
of California Press, 1998) and most recently, Radio and the Struggle
for Civil Rights in the South (University Press of Florida, 2004).
Reviewing this latest book in the American Historical Review, Michael
T. Bertrand notes that Ward brings "to the forefront a subject that many
historians have rarely granted serious attention. By successfully incorporating
the unconventional into a familiar story, he has once again helped to legitimize
popular culture within his chosen profession. More importantly, Ward has
proven that he is one of the leading civil rights historians of his generation."*
In January 2005 WBUR's Tom Ashbrook featured professor Ward on a show devoted
Power of Black Radio." See also Talking
History's program on Ward's book, Just My Soul Responding.
Ward's current book project, on which his ENC lecture was based, examines
links between the South and the history of British popular music, paying
particular attention to issues of race, gender, religion and regional identity.
His talk was sponsored by the ENC History Department lectures series.
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