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.



Registration for fall 2018 is ongoing. You may register online, by mail, or by phone with a credit card. 


If you are interested in traveling to Virginia in the spring of 2019, please call the registrar at 713.666.9000 to place your name on a list. Please see Terms and Conditions for "travel list" policy. 


Please note a date in the Mid-term Elections course has changed from that published in the brochure. The course will meet the first two Mondays, October 29 and November 5 as planned, but will meet Tuesday, November 13 instead of Monday, November 12. 


Also note Art Underground: Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern on Wednesday, November 14 is FULLY SUBSCRIBED. A second session has been added and will meet Monday, November 12 from 2:00-3:30 P.M. Registrations are being accepted for November 12. You may register online, or by phone.


Who Gets to Vote: Challenges for the 2020 Elections?
Speaker: Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Voter Rights Project
Monday, November 19, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Location to be announced


Register today!


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.