Museum and Women’s Studies Program Partner via Hepburn ClassPosted Mar. 29, 2011
The fashion museum’s original exhibition on Katharine Hepburn running through Sept 4, 2011, is being complemented by a special course on the star and her films
In cooperation with Kent State University Museum’s nationally recognized exhibition “Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen,” the Kent State University’s Women’s Studies Program (WMST) is offering a special course during this spring semester on the life and work of the great film star.
WMST offers undergraduates an interdisciplinary minor which engages in relevant scholarly inquiry and timely discussion on women-centered issues and subjects. WMST also conducts its own colloquium, creates a wide range of special topics courses and works collaboratively with other departments on their women-centered programming and classes.
The Women’s Studies course now being offered, “Katharine Hepburn: A Rarity,” examines Hepburn as a distinct American personality, a feminist and a cultural influence. Winner of four Best Actress Academy Awards, Katharine Hepburn is listed by the American Film Institute as the number one female screen legend in the world, and she is still recognized as a role model for generations of women.
“Our spring course ‘sold out the house’ – a record enrollment, in fact, for Women's Studies,” said WMST director Suzanne Holt, who is also teaching the course. “Because of its tremendous appeal and engaging subject matter, we will do an encore of ‘Katharine Hepburn: A Rarity’ this summer.”
For those who do not want to wait until summer, WMST and the Kent State University Museum are co-presenting two classic Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn romantic comedies: “Woman of the Year” (1942, directed by George Stevens) and “Pat and Mike” (1952, directed by George Cukor). Open to the public as well as students, both movies are free upon admittance to the museum and will take place in Murphy Auditorium, located on the second floor of the museum.
“Woman of the Year” is being shown at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 31. A discussion to be led by members of the Women’s Studies class is planned after the 6 p.m. screening.
“Woman of the Year” was Tracy and Hepburn’s first movie together and won an Oscar for Original Screenplay. It is listed among America’s 100 top love stories and 100 top comedies, and her portrayal of political columnist Tess Harding garnered Hepburn her fourth of 12 Best Actress Oscar nominations.
“We think ‘Woman of the Year’ is a great movie to wrap up Women’s History Month,” said Jean Druesedow, director of the Kent State University Museum and curator of the Hepburn exhibit. “Hepburn’s competence, style, beauty, intelligence and determination really appealed to upcoming professional American women. It still does.”
“Pat and Mike,” scheduled for Thursday, April 28, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., was Tracy and Hepburn’s seventh film and Hepburn’s favorite. In it, Hepburn plays a woman athlete, a first for a major Hollywood picture, though not for her. She actually was an excellent golfer, a terrific tennis player and a natural athlete who did her own stunts.
The popular comedy helped generate a wider acceptance of women’s informal dress and sportswear as suitable public attire, and Patricia Campbell Warner, author of “When the Girls Came Out to Play: The Birth of American Sportswear” (University of Massachusetts Press, 2006), will make a special visit to Kent State to talk about Hepburn’s fashion influence in conjunction with the 6 p.m. screening. Her talk is also being co-sponsored by the university’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the College of Arts and Sciences.
For more about the Kent State University Museum, call 330-672-3450, friend www.facebook.com/ksumuseum or visit www.kent.edu/museum. For summer session registration for the Women’s Studies Hepburn course, call 330-672-8042 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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High-res and low-res images relating to “Woman of the Year” and “Pat and Mike” are available upon request by contacting James Harris (contact info below).