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Edgerton Assesses the Current State of Television for Kansas Symposium Audience

Gary Edgerton

Gary Edgerton, a media scholar and Old Dominion University faculty member, discussed the current state of television as a convergent technology, a global industry, a viable art form, a social catalyst, and a complex and dynamic reflection of the American mind and character in his keynote address at the 13th Annual University of Kansas Graduate Film and Media Symposium.

His talk, "Reinventing Television in the Digital Era: The Resurgence of HBO and 'The Sopranos' Aftereffect," was the centerpiece of a two-day gathering that featured work by doctoral and master's students as well as Kansas University faculty members. Edgerton also critiqued presentations by fifteen graduate students at the symposium held Feb. 12-13 in Lawrence, Kan.

This scholarly forum is distinguished by its multidisciplinary scope. KU's Department of Film and Media Studies hosts the annual event with participation by the university's departments of American studies, communication studies, English, history, journalism, and sociology.

Session topics included "The Convergent Viewing Experience: How Digital 3-D Will Transform the Cinema, Television, and Home Entertainment"; "Gentlemen Prefer Indirection, or, How to Code a Feminist Critique: Anita Loos, H.L. Menken, and 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes'"; and "Socialism and Film in Tanzania: a Tool for Propagation."

Edgerton, professor and chair of the communication and theatre arts department at ODU, has published eight books and more than 75 essays on a wide assortment of media and culture topics in books, scholarly journals and encyclopedias. He is a frequent guest commentator and news source about media/culture topics for national print and broadcast media.

One of his recent books, "The Columbia History of American Television" (Columbia University Press, 2007), was named the 2008 John G. Cawelti Award winner for Outstanding Scholarly Inquiry into American Cultural Studies by the American Culture Association. In addition, Edgerton is co-executive editor of the Journal of Popular Film and Television and general editor for the Essential Reader Series in Contemporary Media and Culture from the University Press of Kentucky.

He has delivered more than 90 scholarly presentations at international, national and regional conferences, including invited talks at King Alfred's College in Winchester, England; Oxford University in England; Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland; University of Aalborg in Denmark; and Universidad de Las Americas in Puebla, Mexico. In 2004 he received the American Culture Association Governing Board Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Cultural Studies.

This article was posted on: February 17, 2010

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