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NEH Chairman James Leach makes a case to end dirty politics in Feb. 2 address at Wayne State University

January 25, 2010

Detroit - As the tone of American political discourse continues to degrade from informative argument to personal attacks and innuendo, a lone voice is speaking out about the importance of civility in public debate. James Leach, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), will give his "Civility in a Fractured Society" lecture at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at the Spencer Partrich Auditorium in the Wayne State University Law School. The event is hosted by Wayne State University's Center for the Study of Citizenship as part of a 50-state American Civility Tour.

"As a responsible intellectual community, Wayne State is in an ideal position to be Detroit's epicenter for this sort of discourse and debate," said Marc Kruman, director of Wayne State's Center for the Study of Citizenship and chair of the History Department. "The Center for the Study of Citizenship is the logical sponsor of James Leach's visit to Detroit, because his talk aligns perfectly with the center's mission to generate more knowledgeable and engaged citizens."

Leach began his four-year term as NEH chairman in August 2009 after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years. As a congressman representing southeastern Iowa, he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. He also founded and co-chaired the Congressional Humanities Caucus.

The event is co-sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council, Wayne State University's Humanities Center, the Wayne State University Library System, The Eugene Applebaum Chair in Community Engagement, the Forum on Contemporary Issues in Society and the Wayne State University Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

The Center for the Study of Citizenship promotes research and intellectual exchange about citizenship issues among a global community of scholars, students and the general public.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution of higher education offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.