On November 13 at 7:00 p.m., at the American University of Rome, Dr. Lisa Colletta will give her inaugural lecture as a full professor at AUR. Based upon her 2013 book exploring the same subject, her lecture “Travelers, Exile, and Expats: British Novelists in Hollywood” is teased as follows on the AUR website:
Was early Hollywood, with its celluloid dreams and theme-park cemeteries, the beginning of the end of the Western humanist tradition? Drawn to Los Angeles for a variety of reasons that included everything from easy money, political disaffection, spiritual longing, and the Mediterranean climate, writers such as Aldous Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, Anthony Powell, J.B Priestly, Dodie Smith and Evelyn Waugh, and P.G. Wodehouse represent an incursion of expert settlers representing British culture and civilization. But instead of establishing themselves once again with a mission of colonial superiority, they soon found that their cultural power clashed with the commercially inviolable mass production of American popular culture. Lisa Colletta explores how the British experience in Southern California challenged traditional ideas of national identity and power and implicated them in a complex of choices and influences filtered through the Hollywood dream machine.