White House Appoints John W. Roberts Deputy Chairman of National Endowment for the Humanities

WASHINGTON, (January 31, 2000)

The White House has named John W. Roberts deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Roberts, who is currently chairman of Ohio State University's Department of African American and African Studies, will begin his new position on February 22.

"John Roberts has clearly demonstrated his leadership as a scholar, teacher and administrator while working both at the University of Pennsylvania and at Ohio State University. He brings a deep commitment to the humanities that will serve the agency well as it shares its important programs with all Americans," said NEH Chairman William R. Ferris. "I am delighted to welcome John Roberts to the National Endowment for the Humanities as the agency's deputy chairman."

Dr. Roberts has been a professor in Ohio State's African American and African studies department since 1996 and department chairman since 1998. Previously he served as director of the Afro-American studies program and associate professor in the folklore and folklife department at the University of Pennsylvania.

Roberts has published widely in the fields of literature, folklore and African American studies. In addition to numerous articles and book reviews, he is author of "From Huckleberry to Hip: Social Dance in the African American Community in Philadelphia" (1995) and "From Trickster to Badman: The Black Folk Hero in Slavery and Freedom" (1989).

He is currently a member of the advisory board of the Smithsonian Institution's Folklife and Cultural Studies Programs. He is past president of both the American Folklore Society (1996-1998) and the Association for African and African American Folklore (1988-1994). He has a B.A. in English from Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn., an M.A. in English from Columbia University in New York and a Ph.D. in English with a specialization in folklore from Ohio State University.

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