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Pittsburgh, May 16 -- Moviegoers and science-fiction enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating the latest installment of the Star Wars saga, “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” which will be in theaters on May 19. In his latest book, Joshua Bellin, associate professor of English at La Roche College, critically analyzes the cultural significance of fantasy films, their characters and how both tend to offer commentary on important social trends. Framing Monsters: Fantasy Film and Social Alienation (Southern Illinois University Press, 2005) explores the genre of fantasy film from the 1930s cult classic “King Kong” to recent blockbusters such as “X-Men.”

“These movies used to be classified as nothing more than escapism, a chance to enter another world and to be entertained,” said Bellin. “I believe many of these films carry a deeper message about societal trends and cultural beliefs.”

A member of the La Roche faculty since 1999, Bellin is also the author of The Demon of the Continent: Indians and the Shaping of American Literature (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001). He holds a BA from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Bellin is a native of Pittsburgh.

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