Folklore expert to discuss media’s role in health, ethnicity

A renowned professor of folklore from the University of California, Berkeley, will be at Northern Arizona University this week to discuss the media’s role in health and ethnicity.

Charles Briggs will discuss “Diseased Bodies in the Media: Racializing Ethnicity, Blaming Victims,” beginning at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, in the Gardner Auditorium of The W.A. Franke College of Business.

Briggs is a medical and linguistic anthropologist and the Alan Dundes Professor of Folklore in Berkeley’s Department of Anthropology. He will speak about the role that media, public health experts and other voices played during a cholera epidemic in Venezuela in the early 1990s, made worse by the media’s victim-blaming of the mostly indigenous people who were its victims. He also will discuss the similar role of U.S. media in representing matters of health and ethnicity today.

Briggs’ talk is part of the Language Across the Univers(ity) series, raising issues about social justice, health and ethnicity on the international and local scene.

For information, contact professor Jim Wilce at or (928) 523-2729.