Penn State Laureate

2013-2014: Kenneth Womack

  • Penn State Laureate to discuss The Beatles, their music
    “Textualizing The Beatles,” a discussion on the nature of scholarly research related to the band, will be presented by Kenneth Womack at 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 10, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library and on MediaSite Live.
  • 50 Years of Beatles: Its Getting Better All the Time
    Five decades ago, as the Beatles prepared to embark upon their first world tour, the unthinkable happened when Ringo Starr suddenly fell ill, thrusting one man from virtually anonymity into international stardom in the blink of an eye, according to Beatles expert Kenneth Womack.
  • 50 Years of Beatles: Winning over the nonbelievers
    In the wake of the Beatles’ triumphant appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on Feb. 9, 1964, the band spent the next several months consolidating their fame, breaking sales records and gearing up for their first world tour. One of the key elements in their coming global onslaught was the production of their first feature film, "A Hard Day’s Night," which completed principal photography some 50 years ago on April 24, 1964.
  • 50 Years of Beatles: The greatest showbiz town ever
    On Feb. 7, 1964, the Beatles arrived to unprecedented fanfare at New York City’s newly renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport. With “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and "Meet the Beatles!" ruling the top slots in the Billboard hit singles and albums charts, Beatlemania had come to America. And as cultural life in the 50 intervening years has demonstrated, it had come to stay.
  • Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: Beatles expert to speak at Brandywine
    Penn State Laureate Kenneth Womack, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of English and integrative arts at Penn State Altoona, will visit Penn State Brandywine at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, to present “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles.” Students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to join Womack in Room 113 of the Main Building for this interactive, multimedia presentation.
  • 50 Years of Beatles: The Beatles Take Paris!
    In January 1964, only a few scant weeks before the Beatles took America by storm, the band mates settled in for an extended stay in Paris. For the group, the Parisian visit proved to be a magical experience, with the Beatles playing 18 shows at the Olympia Theatre between Jan. 16 and Feb. 4.
  • Penn State Brandywine announces spring 2014 speaker lineup
    Penn State Brandywine will host its annual Spring Speaker Series beginning in January 2014 with a lineup that includes a Beatles enthusiast, a local Revolutionary War aficionado, a film buff and a local jazz band.
  • 50 Years of Beatles: Christmas time is here again
    Between 1962 and 1970, the Beatles recorded one musical masterwork after another, amassing some 27 No. 1 hits in the United States and the United Kingdom, while producing such timeless albums as "Revolver," "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band," "The Beatles (The White Album)" and "Abbey Road," among a host of others. Yet for today’s listeners, the Fab Four’s annual Christmas offerings are all but forgotten, hidden within the shadows of their unprecedented pop music achievements.
  • 50 Years of Beatles: I Want to Hold Your Hand propelled band in U.S.
    As pop-music masterworks go, the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” is one of the most ambitious, self-conscious compositions in the fabled Lennon-McCartney songbook. It would also be the classic tune that would alter the group’s fortunes across the globe, as Penn State Laureate Kenneth Womack explains.
  • 50 years of Beatles: Its going to be a really big show
    Penn State Laureate Kenneth Womack's essay series, "50 Years of Beatles," continues with a look at the first time Ed Sullivan heard of the Fab Four -- on Oct. 31, 1963 -- and the lead-up to their historic appearance on his popular variety show.
  • 50 years of Beatles: Ladies and Gentlemen, Beatlemania!
    Penn State Laureate Kenneth Womack's essay series, "50 Years of Beatles," continues with a brief history of the phrase "Beatlemania"on the anniversary of the Fab Four's first performance at the London Palladium.
  • 50 years of Beatles: Meet the Gleeks!
    Penn State Laureate Kenneth Womack kicks off his new essay series, "50 Years of Beatles," with a nod to the most recent acknowledgement of the Fab Four in today's popular culture: the Fox Broadcasting Company's hit TV show "Glee."
  • From the Penn State laureate: Remembering the Restaurant at the End of the World
    Kenneth Womack, the sixth Penn State laureate and a professor of English and integrative arts at Penn State Altoona, shares his reflections on lives lost during the Sept. 11 attacks. His critically acclaimed 2012 novel, "The Restaurant at the End of the World," is a heavily researched collection of fictional accounts based on the actual staff of the World Trade Center's North Tower restaurant Windows on the World, told on the morning of Sept. 11, 2011.
  • Book by Penn State laureate, associate dean chosen as gold medal winner
    "The Restaurant at the End of the World," the second novel by Kenneth Womack, Penn State Altoona's associate dean for Academic Affairs and the 2013-14 Penn State laureate, was selected as the gold medal winner in the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards. The novel was honored for Best Regional Fiction (Mid-Atlantic), and Womack will receive the medal on May 29 at a ceremony in New York City.
  • Womack named 2013-14 Penn State laureate
    Kenneth Womack, associate dean for Academic Affairs and professor of English and integrative arts at Penn State Altoona, has been named Penn State laureate for the 2013-14 academic year. A prolific writer of a variety of both scholarly and general-audience topics, Womack is highly regarded as an expert of popular culture, most notably of the Beatles, and also is a critically acclaimed novelist.
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