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11-01-2012

TV Exec to Speak on PBS War of 1812 Documentary at Clarkson University Nov. 9

David Rotterman, vice president for television production at WNED TV, Buffalo/Toronto, will speak about the making of the PBS documentary The War of 1812 on Friday, November 9, at 4 p.m. at Clarkson University in Bertrand H. Snell Hall Room 213.

David Rotterman, vice president for television production at WNED TV, Buffalo/TorontoRotterman will discuss how such a small but complex war gets translated into a feature-length documentary. The event is free and open to the public.

In this bicentennial year of the war, Americans who view the PBS documentary (http://video.pbs.org/video/2089393539) will be reminded of a war that they have largely forgotten. However, Canadians and native peoples on both sides of the border will have occasion to re-remember one that they have never entirely forgotten.

Even at the time, the War of 1812 was a small war -- the North American annex to the larger global struggle between England and Napoleon’s France. But it was a war with consequences -- one fought over and around the periphery of the eastern half of the North American continent.

It was a war fought on land and water by a surprisingly complex mosaic of peoples -- French and English-speaking Canadians, native peoples of many tribes, enslaved blacks and Americans from the central and western states. It was also a war fought in a wide variety of styles by professional armies and navies, novice fleets and militias and by native forces.

The outcome of the War of 1812 was disproportionate to its size and the bland terms of the peace treaty that concluded it. At its end, English pretensions in North America were over. The British and French settlers of Canada had acquired the seeds of a new “national” identity. Native peoples in and around the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basin found themselves dispossessed and at the mercy of the expansionary impulses of a newly energized generation of Americans.

Since joining WNED in 2000, David Rotterman has served as executive producer of Elbert Hubbard: An American Original, Fort Niagara: Struggle for a Continent and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo -- all broadcast nationwide on PBS.

He also served as the executive in charge of production for Your Life, Your Money, The Adirondacks and Buffalo Philharmonic: Seasons of Life, each broadcast on PBS.

His credentials as a producer/director/writer of documentaries include Westward the Empire and The Lost City of Bethsaida, both broadcast nationwide on The History Channel.

Previously, Rotterman was the senior producer at the Omaha Production Center for the Nebraska ETV Network. He received his bachelor of arts degree in radio/television from Ashland University.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/drotterman.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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