Hall to give Sigma Tau Delta Lecture on new book on Westerns

February 26 – March 31, 2020 @ East Tennessee State University

JOHNSON CITY – “Professional Characters in Westerns” is the topic of a free public lecture to be given by Dr. Ken Hall at East Tennessee State University Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 3:30 p.m. in the Reece Museum.

Hall’s talk is part of the Sigma Tau Delta Lecture Series sponsored by ETSU’s chapter of the international English honor society that promotes universal literacy, excellence in writing and appreciation of the literary arts.

Hall, a professor of Spanish in the ETSU Department of Literature and Language, bases his talk on material from his new book, “Professionals in Western Film and Fiction” (McFarland, 2019).

Genre film and fiction works feature recurring character types, such as the gunfighter, the lawman and the rancher. Many examples of these types have entered the public consciousness as part of the Western genre.

In his new book, Hall focuses particularly on the role of civil professionals like the journalist, physician and clergyman in Westerns, whether in printed fiction or in film. These professional characters, as indicative of a growing urban middle class, also appear in Mexican Revolution fiction, as well as in regional fiction from other Latin American countries, in which they represent both civilizing and corrupting forces. These dual functions also appear commonly in Westerns, where, on occasion, members of law enforcement and civil professionals work together, or against each other, depending upon their relative places along the spectrum between reform and corruption.

Hall is also the author of the books “John Woo: The Films” and “John Woo’s ‘The Killer,’” and he has published other works on Latin-American literature, Asian cinema and Westerns. He collaborated with the late Cuban writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante on two published translations of his works, “Mea Cuba” and “A Twentieth-Century Job.” In recent years, Hall has published regularly in the German journal Studies in the Western.

For more information, contact the Department of Literature and Language at 423-439-4339 orlitlang@etsu.edu. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.

Category: Exhibits