Roundtable Features ‘Stretching the Truth,’ Nov. 11

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Professor Richard Siciliano Discusses Hollywood vs. History in Depicting the Civil War

The Southern Maryland Civil War Roundtable (SMCWR) will host “Stretching the Truth, or is it Just Entertainment?” by Dr. Richard Siciliano, Languages and Literature professor at the College of Southern Maryland for more than 45 years. The presentation will be at 7 p.m., Nov. 11 at CSM’s Center for Business and Industry (BI), Chaney Enterprises Conference Room BI-113, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata.

Siciliano will show and discuss film clips and trailers of Civil War movies from the early 20th century to the present, some which stretch historical truth and others that are unabashedly creative with historical accuracy, according to Siciliano. Included are “Birth of a Nation” (1915), “The General” (1926), “Gone with the Wind” (1939) and “Red Badge of Courage” (1951) to more recent movies such as “Glory” (1989), Ken Burns’ PBS documentary series “The Civil War” (1990), “Lincoln” (2012) and even some lesser-known movies like “Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter” (2012).

“The question audiences often ask is just how much ‘creative license’ should a filmmaker take in depicting the Civil War?” said Siciliano. “Even today, the war that caused an estimated 750,000 combat-related deaths still sparks controversy, especially when directors seem to stretch the truth or even ignore it for the demands of the movie box office.”

A member of the SMCWR, Siciliano developed and started teaching the online course “U.S. Civil War in Film and Literature” this year.

Among his many achievements, Siciliano holds a master’s degree in English literature from The Catholic University of America, and a Specialist in Education and Doctor of Education from The George Washington University. Siciliano is a recipient of the college's Faculty Excellence Award and was named the 2000 Distance Educator of the Year by the College of the Air Distance Education Consortium.

The SMCWR hosts monthly meetings, the second Tuesday of every month, from September through May. For information, contact SMCWR President Dr. Brad Gottfried at bgottfried@csmd.edu or 301-934-7625.

For information on the SMCWR, visit http://www.somdcwrt.org/.

Calendar

SMCWR Lecture on Hollywood vs. History:  ‘Stretching the Truth.’ 7 p.m., Nov. 11. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Center for Business and Industry (BI), Chaney Enterprises Conference Room BI-113, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. The Southern Maryland Civil War Roundtable (SMCWR) will host a presentation by Dr. Richard Siciliano on the depiction of the Civil War in movies. Membership to the roundtable is open to all, with annual dues of $30. For information, contact Southern Maryland Civil War Roundtable President Dr. Brad Gottfried at bgottfried@csmd.edu or 301-934-7625.

 

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