Excited students and professors applauded with joy when actor and director Dr. Peter Weller stormed into a Sierra Hall classroom today to guest lecture at a Italian Renaissance Literature class.
Weller arrived at CSUN fresh off directing a few episodes of “Sons of Anarchy.” He enthusiastically showed off the “Sons” jacket he was wearing.
Although Weller is a well-known actor and director, he is also a history lecturer and holds a doctorate from UCLA.
“I hope it’s interesting,” said Cinthia Jimenez, 21, a junior English major. “I like Italian Renaissance and Medieval history and literature. I’m looking forward to what he has to say.”
Weller spent a lot of time in Italy before he studied for his master’s degree there.
“I’ve taught in Florence; I’ve eaten in Florence,” said Weller. “I’ve gone nuts in Florence.”
Weller used numerous films as examples for his lecture, and he integrated his knowledge of films and literature to present a humorous, multifaceted lecture filled with interesting facts.
Weller started his lecture off with a definition of Renaissance: rebirth. He talked about his dissertation which he called, “a rag on Florence,” which was also what the lecture and presentation was based on.
“The renaissance did not begin in Florence,” said Weller. “The beginning of the study of human values — just for its face value of how people thought of ethics, morality, social conversation in their own time — this is what begins the Renaissance.”
He went on to integrate an art history lesson within his lecture, showed the class different works of art from the Renaissance, and talked about artists and depth of perception.
The students and professors giggled and smiled when he stated facts about the Renaissance with his own humorous twist and added jokes about modern day life and pop culture throughout his lecture.
“He’s a big film person. He’s very into Italian Renaissance and he studied it,” said Sabrina Bird, 23, a senior language and culture major. “He’s been a film director, so it’s cool to meet someone who is sort of famous and to hear what their personal interests are.”