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Claire Sisco King to deliver lecture on rhetorical and cultural implications of celebrity images

November 1, 2013

On Nov. 4, Claire Sisco King, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Vanderbilt University, will present “Hitching Wagons to Stars: Celebrity, Allegory, and the Politics of Juxtaposition.” The lecture will begin at 5 p.m. in the Medbury Honors Lounge.

King will share insight from her current book project, which examines the rhetoric and culture behind celebrity images. In her talk, she will explore Will Smith and examine the race and gender implications that structure his celebrity persona.

Along with teaching rhetoric and communication classes, King teaches in the film studies program at Vanderbilt University and enjoys leading discussions on the construction of gender and sexuality in horror and disaster films.

King is the author of the 2011 book “Washed in Blood: Male Sacrifice, Trauma, and the Cinema.” The book argues that sacrificial films in which a male protagonist gives up their life so that others may be saved, are frequently prominent in eras when the nation is thought to be in crisis.

Many of King’s works have been published in various communication and media studies journals, including the Western Journal of Communication, Critical Studies in Media Communication, and the Quarterly Journal of Speech.

King has been selected for various honors and awards including the 2012 New Investigator Award in the Rhetoric and Communication Theory Division by the National Communication Association, and the 2011 Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the Humanities from the College of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt University.

This event is sponsored by the Rhetoric and Communication Studies program and the Mary Shreck Memorial Oratorical Fund. For more information, contact Joan Faber McAlister at joan.mcalister@drake.edu or 515-271-3835.