Bell named school’s artist in residence
Berkeley political satirist is appointed to Sinatra Chair
Berkeley comedian and political satirist W. Kamau Bell has been named an artist in residence at Santa Clara University.
Bell was appointed to the Frank Sinatra Chair in the Performing Arts for the 2017-18 school year. He will kick off his residency with a program hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences Center for the Arts and Humanities on Nov. 7.
The program will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Louis B. Mayer Theatre on campus. Tickets are free and will be available starting Oct. 9.
Bell is a critically acclaimed sociopolitical comedian and host of the CNN documentary series “United Shades of America,” which recently was honored with an Emmy Award.
In addition to his work on television, Bell hosts the public radio show “Kamau Right Now!” on KALW in San Francisco and co-hosts two podcasts: “Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period” and “Politically Re-Active.”
As Sinatra Artist-in-Residence, Bell will mentor and engage with students, faculty, and the Santa Clara University community. In addition to his program in the fall, Bell will be in residence the weeks of Feb. 12, 2018, and April 30, 2018.
Dennis Gordon, professor of political science and director of the Center for the Arts and Humanities at Santa Clara University, said Bell will challenge students’ thinking but also help them tackle difficult topics with boldness and sensitivity.
“W. Kamau Bell is a force to be reckoned with,” Gordon says. “As students struggle with their own identities and to understand why our nation is divided along so many lines, he offers a greater understanding of the dangers that racism, sexism, homophobia, income inequality, and the dumbing-down of our political discourse present.”
Bell recently released his third comedy album, “Semi-Prominent Negro,” which is the audio fromhis Morgan Spurlock-produced comedy special of the same name. His first book, “The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6’4”, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and StandUp Comedian,” came out in May.
Berkeley comedian, political satirist and television host W. Kamau Bell will kick off his year as artist in residence at Santa Clara University with a program on Nov. 7.