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Popular Culture Lecture, Film Screening at VBHEC Scheduled as Lead-in Events to John Waters Lecture

Two events are being held at the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center (VBHEC) in the run-up to the lecture on Old Dominion's main campus by acclaimed director John Waters on Nov. 10.

Waters has directed 16 movies in his long and storied career, many of them cult classics including "Pink Flamingoes," "Cry-Baby," "Serial Mom" and "Hairspray."

Dana Heller, professor and chair of English in ODU's College of Arts and Letters, has written a book about "Hairspray." She will deliver the Distinguished Lecture in Popular Culture, "Big Girls: Fat, Feminism and American Popular Culture," at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in Lecture Hall 244 at the VBHEC.

The lecture explores whether images of fat bodies, in particular those of fat women, are becoming more common and acceptable in mainstream U.S. popular culture despite concerns about obesity in the United States.

The 7-8 p.m. lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Heller, who will also sign copies of her book, "Hairspray." Heller is a four-time Senior Fulbright Fellow and recipient of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award.

The movie "Hairspray," which, according to Heller's book, Waters calls the most subversive of his 16 films, will be screened on Monday, Nov. 7, in Lecture Hall 244.

The screening will occur from 5-7 p.m., following an introduction of the film by Kyle Nicholas, ODU lecturer of communication and theatre arts.

The VBHEC is located at 1881 University Drive in Virginia Beach. For information about either of these events, call 368-4100.

Waters will give his lecture on the main campus Thursday, Nov. 10, for ODU Presents, a new lecture series that focuses on ODU's research initiatives and outreach efforts in civic and cultural arenas. His talk, titled "This Filthy World," begins at 7:30 p.m. in Webb Center.

Born in Baltimore in 1946, Waters was drawn to movies at an early age. As a teenager, he began making underground movies, influenced by the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Walt Disney, Andy Warhol, Russ Meyer, Ingmar Bergman and Herschell Gordon Lewis. Using Baltimore, which he fondly dubbed the "Hairdo Capitol of the World," as the setting for all his films, Waters assembled a cast of ensemble players, mostly native Baltimoreans and friends of long standing.

This article was posted on: November 9, 2011

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