Department News

ABC's Bill Blakemore Joins Geoff Cocks for Campus Screening of 'Room 237'

ABC News correspondent Bill Blakemore joins Albion College history professor Geoff Cocks for the Michigan premiere of "Room 237," the new documentary exploring Stanley Kubrick's 1980 classic The Shining." Blakemore and Cocks will hold a panel discussion following the Michigan premiere of "Room 237" on Monday, November 19, at 7 p.m. in the Albion College Bobbitt Visual Arts Center.

"Room 237" is a fascinating exploration of the hidden meanings and symbols woven into "The Shining." Five commentators and scholars, with widely different points of views, draw viewers into a maze of meanings actually or allegedly inhabiting the Kubrick film. Their commentary provides narration for an ingenious presentation, including digital manipulation of scenes from "The Shining" and other films.

Blakemore and Cocks are each featured in "Room 237," explaining how aspects of "The Shining" address genocide of Native Americans and European Jews. Cocks, who has written books and taught courses on Kubrick' s films, notes that "a German typewriter, a shirt sporting the number 42, and certain selections of music, all refer to the Nazi Final Solution, the deadliest year of which was 1942. None of this is accidental," said Cocks. "Kubrick was a voracious reader, especially of modern European and German history, and this knowledge--as well as his own Jewish background--deeply influenced his usual meticulous work on this film. The scenes in all of Kubrick's films are filled with information and reference and you can watch them over and over and still find something new."

ABC News correspondent Blakemore has spent more than 35 years covering stories around the globe. His career included reporting on 12 wars, the entire tenure John Paul II's papacy and the fall of the World Trade towers on 9/11. Blakemore's current ABC work focuses on global warming-related issues.

"Rodney Ascher's 'Room 237' is a very clever and entertaining film," Cocks said. "It contains a great deal to delight and inform lovers of cinema in general and fans of Kubrick in particular."

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Cocks at 517/629-0390 or .

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Kubrick Documentary Brings Albion Professor to the Red Carpet

History Professor Shares Story of Mexicans in Chicago

The history of Mexicans on the country's largest Catholic diocese, in one of the country's biggest cities, is the fascinating story told by Deborah Kanter, history professor at Albion College. Kanter's talk is part of the College's Latino/a Heritage Month celebration and takes place Friday, October 12, at 1 p.m. in the College's Bobbitt Visual Arts Center, at the corner of Hannah and East Cass Streets.

Kanter traces the history of Mexican Catholicism in Chicago, from a barely discernible presence in 1940 to the present day, when 40% of the diocese is of Mexican descent and Spanish is studied by all seminarians. Focusing on the Slavic-founded neighborhood of Pilsen, Kanter traces the change and impact of Mexicans on the church and the community.

This presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Yvonne Spence, History Department secretary, at or 517/629-0396.

Faculty News May 2012

The Department bids farewell to Dr. Yajun Mo who joins the faculty at Long Island University.

Geoffrey Cocks has published a new book, The State of Health: Illness in Nazi Germany (Oxford University Press, 2012). He is featured in the documentary film Room 237 (screened at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival). Summer takes him to London to conduct research at Stanley Kubrick Archives, University of the Arts.

Deborah Kanter's article "Making Mexican Parishes: Ethnic Succession in Chicago Churches, 1947-77," will be published in U.S. Catholic Historian.

Chris Hagerman, on sabbatical in fall 2012, is embarking on a new project to explore how experience of the intense environmental destruction of the Western Front during the Great War influenced conceptions of nature in British artistic and scientific discourse. His research, supported by a GLCA New Directions Initiative grant, will take him to France, Belgium, London, Ottawa, Toronto, and Algonquin Park.

Marcy Sacks has two publications forthcoming: "Behind the Brown Mask: Joe Louis's Face and the Construction of Racial Mythologies," in ConFiguring America: Iconic Figures, Visuality, and the American Identity, Michael Fuchs, ed. (University of Chicago Press); and "Speaking Through Silence: Whites' Efforts to Make Meaning of Joe Louis," in The Cultures of Boxing, David Scott, ed. Indiana University Press).

Denault Receives Off-Campus Research Prize

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) recently recognized Chelsea Denault, '12, for writing the best student research project in the humanities on an ACM program during the 2010-11 academic year. Denault completed the project, "The Spirited Will Act: Josiah Quincy, Jr. and the Mob Culture of pre-Revolutionary Boston" while participating in the ACM's Newberry Library Seminar during the fall 2010 semester.

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