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Darkness on the Edge of Town: An International Symposium – Saturday, April 14

Saturday, April 14, 2018

9:00am – 4:00pm, Pozycki Hall Lobby
4:00pm – 8:00pm, Pollak Theatre Lobby

Conference Registration

10:00am – 11:30am

Breakout Sessions

E Street Radio Equals Community: Building A Deeper Bond Among Bruce Springsteen Fans, Bradford Yates, University of West Georgia

Next Best Thing to Living Proof: A Survey of Bruce Springsteen Fan Videos, David Wilson, Dean’s Advisory Council

“Get Your Facts Learned”: Fans’ Co-Creation and Co-Curation of the Springsteen Archive, Zack Stiegler, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Springsteen and American Roots Traditions, Jay Sweet, Monmouth University

Darkness Meets 1978 Pop Music, Aaron Furgason, Monmouth University

Life Itself: Bruce Springsteen’s Working on a Dream, David Porter, Stereo Embers Magazine

“You Can Drive All Night and Never Make It Around”: Notions of Social Capital, Structure, and Agency in Bruce Springsteen’s Oeuvre, Daniel Loughran, Rutgers University

I’m Bruce Springsteen, and I Approved This Message, Richard Lee, St. Bonaventure University

The Darkness… and The Light: Themes of the Returned Vietnam Veteran in “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” Shawn Driscoll, Becker College

“Dark Cloud Rising”: Springsteen’s Dark Night of the Soul in Darkness on the Edge of Town, Graley Herren, Xavier University

Ekaterina Iatsenko
Kayleigh Izzo
Ruchiben Patel
Nicholas Peart

Darkness on the Edge of Town and Conservative Gender Roles, Greg Giddings, Midwestern State University, and Melissa Nivens, Midwestern State University

Journey through Adulthood: Working Class Masculinity and Roots Music in Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town, Donna Dolphin, Monmouth University

It Ain’t No Sin To Be Glad I’ll Survive: “Badlands,” “I Will Survive,” and the Rhetoric of Empowerment Anthems, Scott Wagar, Miami University

11:30am – 12:00pm

Break/Transition to Lunch

12:00pm – 1:30pm, Pozycki Hall

Lunch with Frank Stefanko (interview with Jerry Zolten)

1:30pm – 1:45pm

Break/Transition to Breakout Sessions

1:45pm – 3:15pm

Breakout Sessions

Women Fans’ Journeys through Darkness: In Their Own Words, Donna Luff, Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital, and Lorraine Mangione, Antioch University New England

How Bruce’s Impact in Our Lives Can Help Us Write and Present Our Ideas with Creativity, Conciseness, and Inspiration, Caleb Shullman and Jan Marchetti

The Theology of Darkness: Springsteen’s Apocalypse, Azzan Yadin-Israel, Rutgers University

Springsteen’s Dark Night of Soul, Paul Contino, Pepperdine University

Darkness: Springsteen, Religion and Spirituality, Bern Ryan, Carefree Catering

Springsteen: The Psychology and Spirituality of Empathy, Gerry Hudson-Martin, Business Architects

Steve Feffer, Western Michigan University
Tucker Rafferty
Peter Ullian

Springsteen and Gord Downie: Two Views of Wilderness in Compared National Identities, John Duffy

The 40th Anniversary of Bruce Springsteen’s Greatest Show, Arlen Schumer, Marywood University

Bruce: Darkness on the Italian Epic, Marilisa Merolla, Sapienza University of Rome

Romanticism, Pragmatism, Politics: Greetings to Wrecking Ball, Gavin Cologne-Brookes, Bath Spa University

“Marrying the Band”: Relationship Lessons from the Musical, Business, and Life Partnership of Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa, Jennifer Walter, Heads-Up Communication Corp.

The Portents of Possibility Between Greetings and Darkness: How Springsteen Arrived At His Most Poetic Pinnacle, Paul Carter, SUNY College at Oneonta

Chasing Something in the Night: A Musicological Analysis of Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town Album, Robert McParland, Felician University

Mark Bernhard, University of Southern Indiana
Jin Thindal, Simon Fraser University
Ken Womack, Monmouth University
Jerry Zolten, Penn State Altoona
A look into the integral ways the music of Bruce Springsteen has influenced feature films. Film clips, music passages and a look at the rarely seen film “Dead End Street” will be spotlighted.

Alex Biese – entertainment writer for the Asbury Park Press, co-host of USA Today Networks “Fan Theory” podcast.

Irv Slifkin – author of “Filmadelphia,” writer for USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter

Shawn Poole – Contributor for, Advisory Board Member for The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music

3:30pm – 4:45pm, the Great Hall Auditorium

The Lighter Side of Darkness

Moderated by Tom Cunningham, host of the Bruce Brunch on 105.7 The Hawk at the Jersey Shore.
Featuring: singer/songwriter Lisa Lowell, photographer Frank Stefanko, Lakehouse Music Academy owner Jon Leidersdorff, and E-Street drummer Vini Lopez

5:00pm – 7:00pm, the Great Hall Pompeii Room

Dinner and Bluegrass Performance of Darkness on the Edge of Town

7:00pm – 8:00pm, Pollak Theatre

Peter Ames Carlin Keynote Address

Break/Transition to Pollak Theatre

8:00pm – 10:00pm, Pollak Theatre

The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town

This film takes us into the studio with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for the recording of their fourth album. After the success of 1975’s “Born to Run,” Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are poised to become rock ‘n’ roll’s newest stars. Instead of churning out another album, they take almost three years to record their darker, more mature fourth album, “Darkness on the Edge of Town.” Intent on expanding his worldview beyond New York and New Jersey, Springsteen explores broader themes of love and loss while battling to regain control of his tightly managed career.

Initial release: September 14, 2010
Director: Thom Zimny, who will be speaking in Pozycki Hall 115 on Sunday, April 15, at 11:45am.

Saturday’s Performance

Bluegrass Performance of Darkness on the Edge of Town

Monmouth University music students and faculty perform blue grass renditions of songs from Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Join us in the Pompeii Room of the Great Hall at 6:00pm on Saturday, April 14.


Standard conference registration is $350 for presenters, as well as attendees interested in an all-inclusive rate. This price includes all conference meals, pre-conference activities, and admission to the Wonder Bar on Friday, April 13th.

Discount rates are available for members of the Monmouth University community. Undergraduate students can purchase tickets for $50. Tickets are available for $250 for graduate students, retirees, and emeritus professors. These special rates will be available at the registration table—valid ID must be presented for purchase.

Non-presenters are welcome to attend the sessions for a $20 daily fee. Meals can be purchased separately during the conference.

Non-presenters can also purchase entrance to the Wonder Bar for $10. The Wonder Bar show is a 21-and-over event—valid ID will be requested at the door.

Separate tickets are also available for the Rock & Roll Tour of the Jersey Shore. The four-hour Jersey Shore bus tour on Thursday, April 12th, will be $70. The two-hour walking tour of Asbury Park on Sunday, April 15th, will cost $40.