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Merced College Honors Society Hosts 2005 Satellite Seminar Series

Merced College Honors Society, Phi Theta Kappa, will be hosting the 2005 Honors Satellite Seminar Series beginning October 4. Co-hosted by the Humanities Division, the theme for the series is “Popular Culture: Shaping and Reflecting Who We Are.”

The five lectures will explore the roles of sex, religion, advertising, stereotypes, and fashion in popular culture. Each broadcast lecture will be presented by a renowned speaker in the field of popular culture. Held at the Merced College campus in Library 1, the lectures are free and open to the public. Each lecture will begin at 3:30 p.m. and last one hour followed by a half hour discussion.

The following is a list of the lectures:

October 4: Sexing the Sale: Pornographication of the Popular.
Dr. Barb Brents and Dr. Kate Hausbeck, both from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, will discuss The Sexualization of Culture and the Nevada Brothel Industry.

October 18: Fashion Culture: The Changing Role of Dress in Society.
Dr. Steele, Director and Chief Curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, will discuss the changing role of fashion in culture from 1945 to the present and what social values and norms are reflected in fashion.

November 1: Shattering Stereotypes: How Popular Culture Vilifies the Cultural Other.
Dr. Jack Shaheen, Professor emeritus of Mass Communication at Southern Illinois University, presents a historical overview of stereotypical images, how Hollywood reinforces these stereotypes, with an emphasis on Middle Eastern people, and some constructive solutions to the problem of stereotyping.

November 15: Born to Buy: Advertising and the New Consumer.
Dr. Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology at Boston College will discuss children’s commercial culture and whether society has a responsibility to protect children from commercials that are harmful.

November 29: Jesus in America: Personal Savior or Cultural Hero?
Dr. Richard Fox, Professor of History at the University of Southern California, will discuss why Jesus has been so important to both religious and secular Americans for over four centuries.

Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honors society in the world. To be a member, students must have a 3.45 gpa and have completed 12 credits at Merced College. Last year, Phi Theta Kappa was nominated as Volunteer of the Year for Merced County. They raise money for the American Cancer Society, The March of Dimes, The Muscular Dystrophy Association, and now relief for Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

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