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ODU's Edgerton Delivers Keynote Address at Paris Conference

Gary Edgerton, eminent professor and chair of Old Dominion University's communication and theatre arts department, delivered the keynote lecture this month at the "Popular Culture Elite Series: The HBO Case" conference in Paris.

The June 7-8 conference was organized by the Graduate School of Social Science and Humanities at Université de Picardie Jules Verne.

Edgerton presented his keynote address on "HBO, 'The Sopranos,' and the Transformation of Television Drama during the Digital Era" at the opening session. Following the 45-minute lecture, the remainder of the three-hour session was a question-and-answer period during which French scholars, journalists and graduate students asked him questions about American television.

"The [question] subjects included the global nature of American television, its international influence, especially in Europe, the impact of HBO on networks such as Canal Plus in France, the aftereffect of 'The Sopranos' on other television series here and abroad, and how contemporary programs such as 'Mad Men' rival the best that is now being produced in film, novels and plays," Edgerton said.

Edgerton has published eight books and more than 75 essays on a wide assortment of media and culture topics. One of his recent books, "The Columbia History of American Television" (Columbia University Press, 2007), received the 2008 John G. Cawelti Award for Outstanding Scholarly Inquiry into American Cultural Studies from the American Culture Association.

In May of this year, Edgerton was quoted in two Philadelphia Inquirer articles on popular culture television: one regarding the social impact of reality television programming and the other on the history of reality television.

He was also quoted in March in Spain's leading newspaper, El País, for a story about the ABC series "Lost."

This article was posted on: June 22, 2010

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