Humanities Seminars Course: American Vaudeville: Forgotten Stars of the Footlights

Monday, July 9, 2012 - 2:00am to Monday, July 30, 2012 - 4:00pm
Humanities Seminars courses take place in the Dorothy Rubel room at the Helen S. Schaefer Building located at 1508 E. Helen St. (at Vine Ave.)

Two years ago the Main Library of the University of Arizona was given a massive donation of original collections from the American Vaudeville Museum by its curators Frank Cullen and Donald McNeilly. This collection is one of the largest in the world. To commemorate this move, Dr. David Soren who coordinated the transfer will offer a course in the history and evolution of American vaudeville from its roots to superstars such as Al Jolson, Sophie Tucker, The Nicholas Brothers, Annette Kellerman, Eddie Cantor and many more.

Dr. Soren was himself a vaudeville performer who is listed among the 1500 most significant vaudevillians in the recent two volume Encyclopedia of Vaudeville. He will discuss the hard life of a vaudevillian, and how the hope of playing the Palace drove performers to endure extraordinary hardships for the chance at success. 

David Soren is Regents Professor in the School of  Anthropology and Department of Classics at the University of Arizona. His B.A. is from Dartmouth and his Ph.D. from Harvard. He is a Fellow of Great Britain's Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Johns Hopkins Schools of Advanced International Research. Named an Honorary Italian Citizen, has been the subject of documentaries by the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, the BBC and the Learning Channel.


Trav S.D. No Applause—Just Throw Money. Faber & Faber, 2006. ISBN: 0865470585.  

Soren, David. Vera-Ellen. Midnight Marquee Press, 2009. ISBN: 978-1887664813.