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Spirit of Rod Serling Alive and Well at Ithaca College Conference

ITHACA, NY — The lasting legacy of the groundbreaking television and film writer Rod Serling will be examined once again at Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications, which is hosting its fourth conference dedicated to the celebration and study of his work on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9–10.

In addition to a series of academic presentations, the conference will include three events that are free and open to the public: A keynote address by award-winning producer and director Bill D’Elia ’69, a discussion of the winning scripts and themes from the Rod Serling Scriptwriting Competition, and the popular “Twilight Zone” marathon screening.

Serling taught at Ithaca College from 1967 until his untimely death in 1975, and the college is home to the Rod Serling Archives. The archives include an extensive collection of television scripts, film screenplays, stage play scripts, films, unpublished works and other materials vital to scholarship associated with the “Twilight Zone” creator, who was considered one of the pioneers of television’s “Golden Age.”

Topics that will be presented by Serling scholars at the conference will include:
• “Turning the White House Black: Thirty-Six Years Before Barak Obama, Rod Serling’s ‘The Man’ Brought the First African-American President to Power”
• “Earth Creature in his Native Habitat: Suburban Alienation in ‘The Twilight Zone’”
• “Is Anthony of ‘It’s a Good Life’ Autistic?”
• “That Does Not Compute: Reflecting Technophobia in ‘The Twilight Zone’”
• “Social Justice from The Twilight Zone: Rod Serling as Human Rights Activist”

Listed below are the events that are free and open to the public.

Friday, Sept. 9
8 p.m., Park Hall Auditorium
Keynote Address by Bill D’Elia ’69
A student of Serling’s while at Ithaca College, Bill D’Elia has been involved with some of the most acclaimed television shows of the past two decades. His directing credits include episodes of the Emmy award-winning series “Picket Fences,” “The West Wing” and “Law and Order” along with multiple episodes of the current hit series “GLEE” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

D’Elia co-created the drama series “Judging Amy” and has served as executive producer of “Chicago Hope,” “Ally McBeal,” “Boston Legal” and “Harry’s Law,” about to enter its second season. He has been nominated for multiple Emmy, Golden Globe and Directors Guild of America Awards, and was one of the recipients of the first Television Academy Honors given by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to recognize “television with a conscience and achievements in programming that present issues of concern to society in a compelling, emotional and insightful way.”

Saturday, Sept. 10
5 p.m., Emerson Suites, Phillips Hall
Serling Scriptwriting Competition Discussion
A discussion of the winning scripts, themes and comments from winners of the competition, in which each entry had to be written in the same genre and style that would have been suitable to conform with episodes of either the “Twilight Zone” or “Night Gallery.” The discussion will be coordinated by Nick Sagan, author of the science fiction novels “Idlewild,” “Edenborn” and “Everfree” and whose screen credits include episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation and “Star Trek: Voyager.”

8 p.m.–Midnight, Park Hall Auditorium
“Twilight Zone” Marathon
Screening of “Twilight Zone” episodes along with other Serling outtakes and short clips.

For more information, visit or contact Melissa Gattine, marketing communications manager in the Park School, at (607) 274-1023 or