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Movies, romance, and the work of actor John Cusack will be in the spotlight at the Pregame Showcase prior to the Vols’ game against Arkansas on Saturday, October 3.

Chris_HolmlundChris Holmlund, a professor of modern foreign languages and literatures, will discuss performance in romance films using illustrations from Cusack in her presentation “Navigating Genre, Tweaking Type: Romance, John Cusack–Style.” The event begins at 5 p.m. in the auditorium of UT’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Now in its twenty-sixth year, the Pregame Showcase gives fans an opportunity to hear from some of UT’s exceptional faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences prior to each gridiron matchup. It is sponsored by the college with support from UT Athletics, the McClung Museum, UT Office of Alumni Affairs, and WUOT 91.9 FM.

Free and open to the public, each showcase takes place two hours before kickoff and feature a thirty-minute presentation followed by a fifteen-minute question-and-answer session. A brief reception will follow each program. Door prizes will be awarded.

During her presentation, Holmlund will focus on the traits and conventions that characterize performance in romance films. She concentrates specifically on Cusack and the methods he uses in six independent films that span two decades.

In addition to having the role of Arts and Science Excellence Professor of Cinema Studies, Women’s Studies, and French at UT, Holmlund is the author of many notable works and essays that focus on celebrity studies, authorship, independent film, and performance. She recently ended her six-year term at the head of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies, the largest international organization devoted to the study of film and media.

The lineup for this season includes:

October 10—”Venezuela in Crisis: The Deterioration and Polarization of Party Politics.” Jana Morgan, associate professor of political science, will explore the shift in Venezuela from a stable democracy to an unstable, conflict-ridden regime and look ahead to what might become of Venezuelan politics in the future.

November 7—”Recent Developments in Southeastern Archaeology.” David Anderson, professor of anthropology, will discuss recent discoveries in southeastern archaeology and tools such as remote sensing equipment that have revolutionized data collecting.

November 14—”Searching for Extraterrestrial Rocks in Antarctica.” Devon Burr, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences, will discuss her recent participation in the research expedition searching for meteorites on the East Antarctica Plateau.

November 28—”The Brain Basis of Sleep Health.” Ralph Lydic, professor of psychology, will focus on sleep disorders and ongoing research related to sleep health.


Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,

Jeremy Hughes (865-974-0963,