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Wednesday, March 28, 2001

Faculty Attend Popular Culture Conference

SALISBURY, MD---Several Salisbury State University professors from the English and History departments recently made presentations at the annual Conference of the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture in Albuquerque, NM.

Drs. Jim Welsh and John D. Kalb of the English Department and Donald Whaley of the History Department were in attendance.

Kalb spoke on “Sherman Alexie’s Unsolved Mystery in Indian Killers: Whodunit? Who didn’t?” at a well-attended meeting on Native American studies. His presentation discussed the ways in which Alexie (perhaps best known for his screen play of the movie Smoke Signals) purposely mislead and confused the readers of his novel, providing a false trail of clues for a mystery which is never solved. The novel isn’t about an Indian who is killing people, rather, it is about the way Indians have been and continue to be killed physically, emotionally, psychologically and culturally--even by the readers of Alexie’s novel, Kalb concludes.

Whaley discussed “Biological Business—as Usual: ‘The Beast’ in Oliver Stone’s Nixon,” in a film and history section devoted to Stone. His paper was invited by Dr. Peter Rollins, the editor of Film and History and one of the conference organizers. Whaley argues that contrary to the prevailing criticism leveled at Stone by historians, his movies demonstrate a consistent vision.

Welsh, editor of SSU’s Literature/Film Quarterly, spoke at the conference awards luncheon and also responded as a panelist to three papers devoted to Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, adapted from Washington Irving’s story. 

“I was pleased and impressed by my collogues at this conference,” Welsh said, “for both of their papers were among the best I heard, in a four-day conference that featured an amazing 700 presenters from all over the country and the world. I should imagine that at least one and probably both of these papers would be published. I was proud to be affiliated with SSU at this conference.”


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