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The McKelvy House Scholars will host a dinner discussion Sunday on the question of value, specifically examining the case of celebrity memorabilia, such as movie props, sports jerseys, furniture used by “stars,” etc.

Dinner will begin at 6 p.m.; RSVP with McKelvy Scholar Creighton Conner ’04 (Lewisburg, Pa.) at connerr@lafayette. Hosted by McKelvy Scholar Paul Germain ’04 (Coral Springs, Fla), a double major in English and art, the talk will start at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the campus without reservations.

“Why are these items so valuable to those who collect them? A jar of Elvis’ hair clippings, for example, recently went for over $120,000 on the Internet auction site, and other objects of seemingly little intrinsic value have been sold for comparable sums,” says Conner, a double major in English and American Studies. “The discussion will revolve around what properties constitute an item’s worth, be they intrinsic, associational, utilitarian, pleasure-driven, or some combination thereof.”

An avid collector of movie memorabilia, Germain became interested in the topic through his honors thesis research on the artistic merit of graffiti. In an independent study conducted last semester in preparation for the thesis, he collected, studied, and analyzed examples of graffiti from Skillman Library.

Since 1962, the McKelvy House Scholars program has brought together Lafayette students with a wide range of majors and interests to reside in a historic off-campus house and share in intellectual and social activities. Weekly Sunday dinner discussions that engage the students in debate and exchange of ideas are the hallmark of the program. Most members also contribute to the annual McKelvy Papers, written on a topic of each person’s choice. McKelvy Scholars participate in activities together such as field trips to plays, concerts, and exhibits, and sponsor events for the campus as well.

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