PSU Hosts 50’s Conference

October 4th, 2006 by Adam

The 1950’s created some of the most enduring images, pop culture icons and social commentary in American history. Plymouth State University presents the ‘Film, Television and the 1950’s Conference’ Friday, October 6th and Saturday, October 7th to explore
those facets of this fascinating decade.

PSU’s Department of Communication and Media Studies hosts the Conference, which features presenters from three countries and 18 states. A select group of PSU students will also provide presentations. The conference begins at 3 p.m., October 6, and continues through October 7. All conference sessions will take place in the Hartman Union Building.

The range of intriguing presentation titles include “Corpses in Transition: The Curious Case of the Atomic Zombie,” “Cultural Functions of the 1950s Juvenile Delinquency Film,” “Lucy and Ricky, Ward and June: Marriage and Domestic Containment in 1950s Sitcoms,” Tomcat
Trouble: Anthropomorphic Anxiety in Hanna-Barbera’s “Tom & Jerry’ Series,” and “What Will the Soviets Think? American Identity and the Television Quiz Show Scandal.”

Cynthia J. Miller will provide the keynote address, titled “Hot Car Girls, Crab Monsters, and The Beast with a Million Eyes: Things that Went Bad in the’50s.” Miller is a visual anthropologist and scholar-in-residence with the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College. Her talk will examine the early exploitation films of Roger Corman, “King of the Bs,” as he presses wayward girls and blood-lusting aliens into the service of social commentary on life in the 1950s.

Kylo-Patrick Hart, Ph.D., is the event organizer and says, “The 1950’s is my favorite decade to teach, given the emergence of television and its impact on cinema. A major theme in the 50’s was containment, whether something or someone was “normal” or “deviant”; politics, gender, class, there are parallels in 1950’s society to what is happening now. When you study this period, it allows students to more readily understand the historical context of today’s society.”