Pellissippi State lecture addresses role of commercialism, women in the 1920s

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David Key, an assistant professor of history at Pellissippi State, will discuss how consumerism and the rise of the "new woman" in the 1920s impacted American culture. His Feb. 1 lecture is sponsored by Gnosis student organization and is free and open to the public.

David Key, an assistant history professor for Pellissippi State Community College, discusses at a Feb. 1 lecture how consumerism and the rise of the “new woman” in the 1920s rocked American culture.

The community is invited to the free presentation, set for 4:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“America became really, really modern really, really fast—in about a 40-year period,” Key said. “The change in moral and consumer culture created cultural conflict.”

Key says that the 1920s saw the beginnings of “modern” America.

“Even our concepts of modern dating, which include cars and theaters, are byproducts of the 1920s,” he said. “America had felt the effects of industrialism and urbanization. Jobs had been created and advertising had exploded.

“People started to become acclimated to buying things with credit. We moved from a society of delayed gratification to immediate gratification.”

The event is sponsored by Gnosis, Pellissippi State’s student service-learning club, and supported by the Faculty Lecture Series. Gnosis members do charitable work for the community, and the club hosts many educational events throughout the year. The college has recognized Gnosis as its top student club for the past two years.

For more information, contact Annie Gray ( or Trent Eades (, Gnosis faculty sponsors, or call the English Department at (865) 694-6708.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or