On Friday, October 4th, the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Offices of Academic and Student Affairs welcomed the 2013-2014 Penn State University Humanities Laureate, Dr. Kenneth Womack.
Dr. Womack is the Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Penn State Altoona as well as a Professor of English & Integrative Arts. In addition to studying Russian language and literature at the Moscow Institute of Communications, Dr. Womack earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in English from Northern Illinois University. Dr. Womack is the author of three novels, John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel (2010), which earned ForeWord Reviews' Bronze Award for Literary Fiction, The Restaurant at the End of the World (2012), which won the Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for Regional Fiction, and Playing the Angel (2013). He is also the author or editor of numerous works of nonfiction, including Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles (2007) and The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles (2009), which was named as The Independent's "Music Book of the Year." His next Beatles-related work, The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four, will be released in 2014 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' legendary appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Having been chosen as the 2013-2014 Penn State University Humanities Laureate, Dr. Womack has been traveling between the Penn State campuses giving presentations to academic groups. At Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Dr. Womack spoke on "The End: Authorship, Nostalgia, and The Beatles." In this advanced, multimedia study of the Beatles' artistic achievements, Dr. Womack explored the group's musical and lyrical development from their early years through their eventual split.
"It was a great honor to have a scholar like Dr. Womack on campus," explained Director of Academic Affairs, Dr. Albert Lozano-Nieto. "What really stood out to me was seeing what a fulfilling experience it was for our students; Dr. Womack was able to provide a scholarly point of view on a topic that was very relatable to our students."