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From:
        Richard A Koenigsberg <[log in to unmask]>

Mon 9:06 PM

"America at the Third Century and Millennium: Where We Have Been, Where We
Are Going, and What Does It Mean?" A Community Forum of the Louisiana State
University American Studies Program, October 5-7, 2000.

Phi Kappa Phi Lecture, Thursday, October 5, 2000, 11:10 a. m. to 12 noon,
University Center Ballroom, LSU at Shreveport:
"I MOVE, THEREFORE, I AM: ELVIS PRESLEY, ROCK 'N' ROLL, AND THE LIBERATION
OF THE AMERICAN BODY,"
Richard Koenigsberg

        Popular culture is replete with images of  sensuous bodies in
motion. In the academic world, sexuality is studied intensively and
"embodiment" is a popular topic. It was not always this way. America, a
Christian Civilization, put spirit above flesh and associated the body with
sin. What happened to change all of this?
        Though it is rarely articulated by scholars, Americans know that
something revolutionary occurred in the mid-Fifties. Why are Elvis
Presley's 1956 television performances still discussed and why did he
become an icon? Elvis symbolizes, I suggest, the emergence of the excited
American body, struggling to throw off civilized constraint and release its
repressed energies. Contemporary America evolves out of the "great ball of
fire" that exploded in the mid-Fifties. Everything is still hot and we're
still trying to come to terms with the radioactive fallout.
        This presentation traces the history of rock 'n' roll as both cause
and effect of societal change, focusing on the relationship between rock
'n' roll and the breakdown of traditional morality. Elvis, hips gyrating,
body shaking, represented America as it began to throw off its shackles,
discovering unknown energies and pleasurable excitations that had been
locked within.

For further information call: 718-393-1081.