Ashland University English Department Sponsors Lecture

Ashland University English Department Sponsors Lecture

Aug. 4, 2014 ASHLAND, Ohio – The English Department at Ashland University is sponsoring a lecture titled “Redemption through the Feminine in ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’ or Why Rita Hayworth Belongs in the Title” by Tony Magistrale, a professor of English at the University of Vermont.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held Aug. 29 at 9 a.m. in the Ronk Lecture Hall in the Schar College of Education on the AU campus. The 45-minute talk by Magistrale will include time for questions after the lecture. The event is co-sponsored by the Journalism and Digital Media Department and Hospitality Management Department at Ashland University as well as the Ashland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and The Shawshank Trail.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Magistrale visit Ashland University to lecture during the events of the 20th anniversary of the Shawshank Redemption," said Dr. Maura Grady, assistant professor of English, who with Dr. Robby Roberson, associate professor of hospitality management, studies film tourism sites.

In addition to the lecture, a number of events are scheduled in Ashland on Labor Day weekend as part of the 20th anniversary of the film, including a free screening of the film on Sunday night at the corner of Orange and Second streets and self-guided tours of the former Huntington National Bank building as well as an autograph signing session by the bank manager in “The Shawshank Redemption.”

“The Shawshank Redemption” (1994) is a film that revolves around men in prison, but, according to Magistrale, the three or four “living females” who appear in this film, each occupying a cameo role, are inextricably connected to Andy Dufresne's quest for redemption.

Magistrale has taught courses in writing and American literature since 1983 when he returned to the United States after a Fulbright post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Milan, Italy. He has lectured at many universities in North and South America and Western Europe, most recently at Pontificia Catholic University in Santiago, Chile, and Augsburg University in Augsburg, Germany.

Over the past three decades, Magistrale’s 26 books and many articles have covered a broad area of interests. He has published on the writing process, international study abroad, and his own poetry. But the majority of his books have centered on defining and tracing Anglo-American Gothicism, from its origins in 18th-century romanticism to its contemporary manifestations in popular culture, particularly in the work of Stephen King.

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###