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Darkness on the Edge of Town: An International Symposium – Friday, April 13

Friday, April 13

8:00am – 5:00 pm, Pollak Theatre Lobby

Conference Registration

9:00am – 9:45am, Room TBD

Conference Opening Remarks, Ken Womack and Monmouth University President Grey Dimenna

9:45am – 10:00am

Break/Transition to Breakout Sessions

10:00am – 11:30am

Breakout Sessions, Monmouth University

Darkness on the Edge of Town and Depression Room TBDModerator: Dan Roberts

Bruce Springsteen: Desolation, Depression and Bruce’s Road to the Darkness on the Edge of Town, Dan Roberts

How Depression Drives Darkness on the Edge of Town, Sam Sciarrotta

The Darkness Within: The Landscape of Depression in the Works of Bruce Springsteen, Anthony Henley

Darkness from the Fan’s Perspective Room TBDModerator: Arlen Schumer, Marywood University

The Light in Darkness, Lawrence Kirsch, Lawrence Kirsch Communications

Darkness on the Edge of Town Will Always Be Springsteen’s Greatest Album. Here’s Why, Jin Thindal, Simon Fraser University

Springsteen and Gender Room TBDModerator: Karen Schmelzkopf, Monmouth University

Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town and Gender Roles and Archetypes, Andre Prevost, University of Alberta

Bruce Springsteen and the Feminine Universe, Patrizia De Rossi

The Blood Rushes In: Sex and Masculinity in “Candy’s Room” and “Prove It All Night”, Katie Kapurch, Texas State University, and Walter Everett, University of Michigan

Springsteen and Film Room TBDModerator: Adam Aresty

Where Dreams Are Found and Lost: Themes of Rebellion, Power, and the Working Class in Springsteen’s ‘Darkness of the Edge of Town’ and the Images of Five Contemporaneous Films, Adam Aresty

Bruce Springsteen and Don DeLillo: Darkness on the Edge of the Silver Screen, Luca Ferrando Battista, Université Paris 7 Diderot

Noir, Westerns, and The Crusader in ‘Streets of Fire’: Springsteen’s Song and Walter Hill’s Film, Brian Brems, College of DuPage

Springsteen as Narrative Poet Room TBDModerator: Gary Leising, Utica College

First-Person Narratives on Darkness on the Edge of Town: Creating Identity, Ernie Sandonato, Drew University

A Blood Red Circle: Poetic Craft and Technique in the Lyrics of Springsteen, Laura McCullough, Brookdale Community College, B.J. Ward, Warren Community College, and David Daniel, Fairleigh Dickinson University

“The Poets Down Here Don’t Write Nothin’ At All”: Springsteen and Metaphor, Frank Fury, Monmouth University

Reading “Racing” as Literature: One Song Seen Through an Official Archive as Key to An Album, Gary Leising, Utica College

Springsteen and Teaching/Academe Room TBDModerator: Denise Green, CARLI

Awakening Student Activism: Springsteen and the Pedagogy of Protest Songs, James Kelly, Carlow University

Land of Hope and Dreams: Teaching American Literature and Culture in Japan via Springsteen’s America, Kotaro Nakagaki, Senshu University

Trends in Springsteen Scholarly Research: Born to Research Revisited, Denise Green, CARLI

AMST 105—Springsteen: Studies in Social Justice, Patricia Hillen, Penn State Brandywine

Springsteen’s Legacy Room TBDModerator: June Skinner Sawyers

Summer’s Fall: Springsteen at Seventy, James Cullen, Ethical Culture Fieldston School

Why Bruce Springsteen Matters, June Skinner Sawyers

11:30am – 11:45am

Transition to Lunch

11:45am – 1:15 pm, Pozycki Hall

Lunch with Dick Wingate (interview with Joe Rapolla)

1:15pm – 1:30 pm

Transition to Breakout Sessions

1:30 – 3 PM

Breakout Sessions

The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music as Learning Laboratory Room TBDModerator: Melissa Ziobro, Monmouth University

Juliana Illiano, Monmouth University
Stephanie DeLaat, Monmouth University
Michael Achimov, Monmouth University
Samantha Papa, Monmouth University

Springsteen and Personal Impact Room TBDModerator: Steve Rogers, Independent Historian, Washington, DC

Springsteen, Wall Street & Working on a Dream, Mark Zarrilli

Springsteen and Parenthood, Graeme Delf, Leabold Financial Management, Ltd.

Synchronizing with Springsteen: Sharing Our Stories, John Massaro

Darkness on the Edge of Cape Town: Bruce, New Jersey, South Africa and Back Again, Chris Scanlon, Plaid Jacket Records

Springsteen and Psychology Room TBDModerator: Kaitlin Graves, University of Memphis

Reason to Believe: Bruce Springsteen, Resilience and the Darkness at the Edge of Town, Richard Grosse, Dominion Behavioral Healthcare of Chesterfield

Riding Shotgun with Springsteen up the ANS Highway, Charlene Portnoy, LICSW, LMFT

Springsteen on Broadway: Various Perspectives Room TBDModerator: Scott McMillan, Volunteer State Community College

Proof of Life: Springsteen’s Garage Workshop on Broadway, Stevan Weine, University of Illinois at Chicago

“My Magic Trick”: Bruce Springsteen and Mythical Discourse in His Born To Run Memoir and Springsteen on Broadway Performances, Scott McMillan, Volunteer State Community College

The Poetics of Bruce, or Bachelard on Broadway, Mark Bourdeau, Suffolk County Community College

Springsteen and Contemporary Artists Room TBDModerator: Kenneth Campbell, Monmouth University

Greetings from … Bruce Springsteen and Sufjan Stevens, Irwin Streight, Royal Military College of Canada

“Life and Stuff”: The Blue-Collar Narratives of Bruce Springsteen and Roseanne Barr, Michele DeVinney and Michael Kaufmann, Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne

A Deuce of Bruces: Or, Bruce Springsteen and Bruce Cockburn, Kicking at the Darkness on the Edge of Town, Peter Smith

Bruce Springsteen and the Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco), Marianne Murawski, Stockton University

Springsteen and The Promised Land Room TBDModerator: Matthew Harmon, Monmouth University

Raised on Promises: An American Girl’s Look into The Promised Land, Erin Kalbarczyk, University of North Carolina

Straight into the Storm: Growing Old in the Promised Land, Michael Kobre, Queens University of Charlotte

I Believe in the Promised Utopia, Kirstin Bews, The Humanities Research Institute at Brock University

Elvis Is Everywhere: Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town and The Promise, Ryan Hilligoss

Springsteen and the Human Condition Room TBDModerator: Walter Greason, Monmouth University

Global Warming, Darkness, and Angels: What Bruce Springsteen Can Teach Us About Hyperobjects, David Seter, Dominican University of California

From Badlands to the Promised Land: Bruce Springsteen as a Servant-Leader, Joseph Albert, Gonzaga University, and Larry Spears, The Spears Center for Servant-Leadership, Inc.

“I Had a Gun… You Know the Rest”: Bruce Springsteen’s Use of Noir in Ghost of Tom Joad and Its Tour, Kristopher Mecholsky, Louisiana State University

3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Time to Explore Asbury Park (Dinner on Own)

8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00pm)

Musical Event at Wonder Bar

Friday’s Performances

As part of the conference experience, attendees are invited to convene at the legendary Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, New Jersey, at 8:00pm (doors open at 7:00pm). Shuttle bus service will be provided.

Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez and Gary Cavico
(w/ Sentimental Gentlemen and Blue Hawk Records’ artists)
Between 1968 and 1974, Vini Lopez backed Bruce Springsteen in several bands, including Steel Mill and the E Street Band. He also played on Springsteen’s first two albums, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle. After leaving the E Street Band, Lopez went on to play drums with numerous Jersey Shore bands, including The Lord Gunner Group. Since 2004 he has led his own band, Steel Mill Retro, which has performed and recorded original Springsteen songs from the Steel Mill era, as well as serving as mentor to emerging artists such as The Ries Brothers.

In April 2014, Lopez was inducted by Bruce Springsteen into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the E Street Band and is now an ambassador for the Rock Hall.

Gary Cavico has been playing guitar and singing blues and roots music at the Jersey Shore since the mid ’60s. He has been in several bands, including Stone Blue, and has written and recorded many songs since then.

Blue Hawk Records is the independent, student-run record label and music organization of Monmouth University. The group offers students a range of real-world music industry experiences, including record production, strategic marketing, and coordinating live events.

The Pat Roddy Band with the Belmar Horns
The Pat Roddy Band has been playing clubs along the Jersey Shore for over 20 years. On any given night you can hear Roddy and his band perform Celtic Rock, Americana, Folk, and the best of the Jersey Shore music scene. They have released three original CDs and recently won Best Song at the Garden State Film Festival for “Stuck in The Belmar Bars,” from the movie Marathon Mouth. Known for their live sound, the band enjoys a large following along the shore. Pat and his band will be rocking the Wonder Bar with songs from the Springsteen catalog including our featured album Darkness on the Edge of Town, as well as tunes by Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes among others.


Standard conference registration for presenters is $350, which 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.


Register Now