The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University will hold its inaugural academic conference, Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town : An International Symposium, from April 12 to 15.

The event, which coincides with the 40 th  anniversary of Springsteen’s 1978 album, will include keynote lectures by Peter Ames Carlin, author of the 2012 biography Bruce ; photographer Frank Stefanko, whose work graces the album covers of Darkness and The River ; Dick Wingate, a music industry and digital entertainment executive, who product-managed Darkness for Columbia Records; and Thom Zimny, a Grammy- and Emmy-Award-winning director who has served as Springsteen’s film and video archivist and collaborator since 2001.

Smaller breakout sessions will explore the roles gender, depression, dreams, religion, spirituality, psychology, politics, economics, and many other themes play in Springsteen’s work. The conference will also include several musical performances, including a Thursday night performance of the Jersey Shore Songwriters featuring guest artists Matt Koma and Williams Honor  and a Friday night performance at the Wonder Bar with Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez and Gary Cavico and The Pat Roddy Band. Additional special events include a bus and walking tour of Bruce-related sites in Asbury Park and Freehold led by Jean Mikle and Stan Goldstein, authors of Rock & Roll Tour of the Jersey Shore .

“The Darkness Symposium is the first academic conference scheduled since we established The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University last year,” said Eileen Chapman, Monmouth University.  “Serious academic study paired with musical performances and tours offers a rich experience for researchers and fans interested in a more in-depth exploration of Bruce Springsteen’s music.”

Standard conference registration for is $350, which includes all conference meals, pre-conference activities, and admission to the Wonder Bar on Friday, April 13. Discount rates are available for members of the Monmouth University community. Non-presenters are welcome to attend the sessions for a $20 daily fee. 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 12 is $70. The two-hour walking tour of Asbury Park on Sunday, April 15 is $40.

Full conference details are available at .