This event is part of the 2015 Centre County Reads/CALS Community Read of Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins.
In Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter explores the global impact of Hollywood on twentieth-century thought, culture, and aesthetics. In this CALS-sponsored roundtable discussion, panelists will use Walter’s novel as a touchstone to discuss the influence of Golden Age Hollywood on American history, including its effects on literary fiction, celebrity culture, the modern studio system, and contemporary entertainment. Following their opening statements, the three invited panelists will invite questions from the audience.
Featured panelists include:
Marsha Gordon, Associate Professor of Film Studies at North Carolina State University. She is the author of Hollywood Ambitions: Celebrity in the Movie Age and Learning With the Lights Off: Educational Film in the U.S. Her research interests include stardom and movie fan culture through the studio era, the birth and decline of the Hollywood studio system, and the intersections between film and other art forms.
James L. W. West III, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English at Penn State University. A biographer, book historian, and scholarly editor, his research interests include book history and American Modernism. He is the author of William Styron: A Life and The Perfect Hour: The Romance of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ginevra King, as well as the general editor of the Cambridge Fitzgerald Edition.
Kevin Hagopian, Senior Lecturer, Media Studies at Penn State University. A teacher of cinema studies and media studies for 15 years, his research interests include film history, film theory, and the movie industry. His writing on film has appeared in academic journals and daily newspapers, and he has been cited as a movie industry expert by Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, Christian Science Monitor, CNBC, and The Washington Post.