Hotels in the Imagination

SOLD OUT -- Two Thursdays, September 24 and October 1, 6:30–8:00 P.M. | Locations will be provided to course subscribers.



On September 24, Professor Caroline Levander of Rice University will lead us down the corridors of her new book, Hotel Life: The Story of a Place Where Anything Can Happen (University of North Carolina Press, 2015). She will discuss the cultural, social, and political implications of some of society’s most "ubiquitous establishments," focusing on the hotel as public space, private getaway, and location for fortune and failure, murders, suicides, and sexual escapades.

On October 1, film critic Regina Scruggs will focus on the roles of hotels in films from the silent era through the present. Movie plots have historically placed their characters in hotels for innumerable reasons. Whether a welcoming and luxurious refuge, a setting for a tryst or hilarious hijinks, or a trap the hero must escape, hotels have arguably functioned as characters.  Imagine the possibilities from movies as varied as Grand Hotel, 1932, The Shining, 1980, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014.

Caroline Levander is the vice provost for interdisciplinary initiatives, Carlson Professor in the Humanities, and professor of English at Rice University. She teaches a wide range of courses in American literature and culture, including U.S. literature in the Americas and civil war literature.

Regina Scruggs is a founding member of the Houston Film Critics Society. She is a radio broadcasting veteran with over 30 years of experience. In her radio career, she has been an announcer, programmer and producer, and has reviewed new movies and DVDs. She is skilled in public speaking, organization, and interviewing for broadcast, print, and the web. Regina was most recently an Instructor in the Mass Communication Department at Sam Houston State University. Prior to that, she was the Program Director for the radio stations at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She spent many years working in various capacities for KUHF-FM in Houston, including programming and hosting classical music shows. She hosted the popular longtime weekly radio shows, Music From The Movies and Live From Festival Hill.



Finishing up Spring 2018! 

Mexico City: Past, Present, Future
April 3-9
And our travelers are there in the present!


Gorbachev: His Life and Times
Monday, April 16, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | The Junior League, 1811 Briar Oaks Ln, 77027
Co-sponsored with World Affairs Council of Houston


Behind the Pages: A Conversation with William Middleton 
Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8:00 P.M.


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.