(Posted September 15, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- In this digital age, where the epic film "Lawrence of Arabia" can be watched on a cell phone, it's hard to imagine that movies once played without any dialogue. Donna Weimer, professor of communication at Juniata College, will teach a workshop on the films of the silent era called "Before the Talkies," at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18, in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The workshop is free and open to the public. The workshop is presented by Weimer in conjunction with the Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m. Juniata Presents performance by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra of the score for the silent classic "The Mark of Zorro."

Weimer teaches several courses that touch on or address the history and meaning of films, including "The Rhetoric of Film," "Media Violence," "Mass Media and Society" and "Media Analysis."

Weimer will discuss the history of silent films from the beginnings of cinema to the first "talkie," "The Jazz Singer."
Weimer came to Juniata in 1990. She earned a bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctorate from Penn State University. In 2001, she was named the Col. Sedgley and Elizabeth Bailey Thornbury Professor of Communication.

She is chair of the Department of Communication and serves as a member of the Information Technology faculty. Weimer is celebrated as the guiding light of the Bailey Oratorical Contest, overseeing that Juniata institution for more than a decade.

Weimer also is active in professional and community organizations, serving on the executive council for the Speech Communication Association of Pennsylvania and formerly served on the board of representatives of WPSU, the area's public television and radio stations.

She teaches a wide variety of communications courses, including "The Art of Public Speaking" and "indiv@metaverse.com," which examines the impact of technology on our culture. Her teaching and hard work have been recognized previously with the Harvey Kelly Excellence in Teaching Award from the Pennsylvania Communication Association in 2007, the Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service in 2003, the Lindback Teaching Award in 1993 and an award as Juniata's Woman of the Year in 1994.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.