Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium will focus on academic research and thought based on the life and work of the legendary rock n’ roll singer. The event will be held September 14-16, 2012, at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. The symposium is being organized by Dr. Mark Bernhard, associate provost for Outreach and Engagement at the University of Southern Indiana (USI).
The symposium was first held in 2005 and again in 2009. It typically draws between 200 and 300 participants. “I would describe it as an educational conference appealing to both academics and non-academics,” said Bernhard, who came up with the idea more than 10 years ago, and has been the organizer and driving force behind two prior Springsteen symposiums. “It’s been a labor of love for me. I’ve been to 61 Springsteen concerts and counting.”
USI is partnering with both Monmouth University and Penn State Altoona on the symposium. Breakout sessions at the conference cover the relationship between academic topics and Springsteen’s works, such as pedagogy, international perspectives, work and class, diversity, religion and spirituality, and politics and activism.
Participants will explore topics like “Freedom son’s a dirty shirt: Bruce Springsteen and the Nobility of Work on Wrecking Ball,” “Bruce Springsteen and Transformative Grief,” and “Springsteen and American Roots Traditions.”
So far, more than 120 proposals have been received for this year’s conference, including submissions from across the United States, as well as from England, Germany, Sweden, and Canada. In addition to the academic presentations, keynote speakers will present on “pop culture” aspects of Springsteen’s legacy.
A wide variety of keynote speakers with close ties to Springsteen and his work will deliver compelling talks throughout the conference. Among others, speakers will include:
- Mike Appel, songwriter and producer, is Bruce Springsteen’s former manager who produced his first three records.
- Peter Ames Carlin is the author of Bruce, to be published by Simon & Schuster in November. The book is written with the cooperation and help of both Springsteen and Jon Landau, who granted access to the Springsteen family.
- Ed Gallucci is a photographer with 40 years of experience. His works, among them a portrait of Springsteen, are in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art permanent photography collection in Kansas City, Missouri.
- Jim Henke, vice president of exhibitions and curatorial affairs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, was an editor and writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years and wrote a cover story on Bruce Springsteen in 1992.
- Father Kevin Keelen, a priest and campus minister at Merrimack College and Villanova University, has served at parishes, among which was Holy Cross in Rumson, New Jersey, from 1997-2002, where he became friends with Springsteen’s mother, Adele Springsteen, and the Springsteen family.
- Peter Knobler, editor-in-chief of Crawdaddy magazine from 1972-79, discovered Springsteen in the rock press and was his earliest champion. He wrote Springsteen’s first interview and profile.
- David Masciotra is a writer, journalist, and author of Working On a Dream: The Progressive Political Vision of Bruce Springsteen (Continuum Books, 2010).
- Robert Santelli is a longtime member of the Recording Academy and served as vice president of the Pacific Northwest Chapter for five years. He spearheaded the development of the GRAMMY Museum as part of its L.A. LIVE entertainment district in downtown Los Angeles. Check out his short video about the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection acquired by Monmouth University http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAZoPXRuhNg&feature=youtu.be
Pre- and post-conference tours will explore Asbury Park, Freehold, Belmar, and other areas associated with Springsteen’s rise to fame. Music is also important to the event, with performances held throughout at the legendary Stone Pony venue in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
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Kathy Funke, University of Southern Indiana, firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-465-7050
Petra Ludwig, Monmouth University, email@example.com or 732-263-5507