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Darkness on the Edge of Town: An International Symposium – Sunday, April 15

Sunday, April 15, 2018

9:00am – 12:00pm, Pozycki Hall Lobby

Conference Registration

10:00am – 11:30am

Breakout Sessions

Springsteen’s Quest: Original Sin, Existentialism, and Racing in the Street, Paul Bretzger

Withdrawal and Return: Darkness and The Spiritual Journey, Michael Ewing, Fairchild Wheeler

Badlands as a Turn to the Pastoral: Love, Hope and Faith as the Central Themes of Springsteen’s Work, Lee Beach, McMaster Divinity College

Runaway American Dream: Nostalgia, Figurative Memory and Intersections between Stories of Born to Run, Veronika Hermann, Eotvos Lorand University

Springsteen’s Lyrics as Literature: Summary of an Unpublished Book Manuscript Based on Teaching a Bruce Course for Six Years, Lincoln Konkle, The College of New Jersey

Gusty Emotions on Thunder Road: Springsteen and the American Lyric Canon, Nicholas Birns, New York University

We Wrote Ourselves a Tragedy: Poverty, Racial Segregation, and the Music of Springsteen in Show Me A Hero, Gary Leising, Utica College, and Jeffrey Miller, Utica College

Income Inequality as the Greatest “Wrecking Ball” of All, Grace Bagwell Adams, University of Georgia, Marsha Davis, University of Georgia

From North to South: Subjective Borders in Springsteen’s Work, Victor Garcia Zapata, Foundation for Democracy

Whose Land Is It Anyway?: When Political Protest Becomes Collectible Commodity in Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band Live, 1975-85, Olivia Ingram, Simon Fraser University

The Bruce Springsteen Experience: Bringing Together Different Generations on the Regular, Bradford Yates, University of West Georgia, Mark Bernhard, University of Southern Indiana, and Lindsey Eidson, Simon’s Hardware & Bath

Ritual, Storytelling, and Audience: The Promise of a Bruce Springsteen Concert, Joseph Albert, Gonzaga University

“Angels That Have No Place”: The Power of Placelessness in Darkness on the Edge of Town, Paul Fitzpatrick, La Salle University

Non-Lyrical Vocal Strategies in Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town, Mark Burns, Brigham Young University

The Promise of The Promise: The Songs Not Dark Enough for Darkness, David Bernstein, DJB Evaluation Consulting

Choosing the “Fiery Furnaces of Hell”: Youngstown’s Insights into Moral Motivation and Blame, Paul Litton, University of Missouri

Bruce Springsteen as Soundtrack: Peter Bogdanovich’s Mask, Caroline Madden, McFarland & Company, Inc.

A Fear So Real: Gothic Darkness in Bruce Springsteen and David Lynch, Jon Marc Smith, Texas State University, and Katie Kapurch, Texas State University

Hearts in Darkness: Dancing and Crying with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, John Corbisiero

Darkness on the Edge of Town and Personal Narratives of Psychotherapy, Daniel Mahoney, Felician University

10:30am – 1:30pm, Asbury Park

Walking Tour of Asbury Park

Led by Stan Goldstein and Jean Mikle. This walking tour will feature many historical stops in Springsteen lore from his boyhood home to many of the musical clubs in Asbury Park where Bruce and others helped to generate the Asbury Park sound. The tour commences at the Wonder Bar on Ocean Ave and Fifth Ave in Asbury Park.

11:30am – 11:45am


11:45am – 1:15 pm, Pozycki Hall Auditorium

Lunch with Thom Zimny (interview with Jerry Zolten)

1:15 pm – 2:00pm, Pozycki Hall Auditorium

Closing Remarks, Ken Womack



Rock & Roll Tour of the Jersey Shore

Veteran Jersey Shore tour guides and authors of the book Rock & Roll Tour of the Jersey Shore, Jean Mikle and Stan Goldstein will be providing tours of the historical Bruce Springsteen and rock ‘n’ roll sites. Jean and Stan will lead a pre-conference bus tour on Thursday, April 12th, at 11:00am, and a walking tour on Sunday, April 15th, at 10:30am.

In Asbury Park, you’ll see the well-known spots like The Stone Pony, Convention Hall, the Paramount Theatre, the Casino, and Madam Marie’s fortune-telling booth, as well as many other historic locations. A quick trip will be made to Belmar to see the corner of 10th Avenue and E Street (bring your camera for this outstanding photo-op).

Bruce Springsteen grew up in Freehold— and we’ll be visiting that town, which inspired the song “My Hometown.” You’ll see two of the three homes Bruce grew up in as well as the site of his first home (torn down in the 1960s). Other sites include his high school, his favorite pizza place, the store which was the inspiration for the song “Local Hero,” and the spot where he posed for a famous photo by a tree that is on the liner notes of his Born in the U.S.A. album.

The tour will also encompass other Jersey Shore towns with distinct points of interests for Springsteen fans: Colts Neck, Red Bank, Rumson, and Sea Bright.

In Asbury Park, you’ll see it all: The Stone Pony, Convention Hall, Paramount Theatre, the boardwalk, Madam Marie, the Casino Carousel House, and the Upstage Club, where Bruce Springsteen got his start 1969. Other points of interest include the Wonder Bar, Ocean Avenue, Kingsley Street, a few places where Bruce Springsteen filmed videos, the site of the bar where Clarence Clemons met and played with Bruce Springsteen for the first time in 1971, and much, much more.


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.