Dr. Mark Bernhard, associate provost for Outreach and Engagement at University of Southern Indiana (USI) has put together the third “Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium” focused 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 to 16, 2012, at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey.
The symposium was first held in 2005 and again in 2009. It typically draws between 200 and 300 participants. “The way I would describe it, is an educational conference appealing to both academics and non-academics,” says Bernhard who came up with the idea more than ten years ago, and has been the organizer and driving force behind all three of the symposiums. “It’s been a labor of love for me. I’ve been to 61 Springsteen concerts and counting.”
“As USI looks to expand its role and influence beyond Evansville and the Tri-State, we need to be looking at different kinds of initiatives,” said Bernhard. “This conference will attract international media attention. It will be good to have the University’s name out there associated with an event like this. We’re also looking at ways to enhance partnerships with other institutions of higher learning. This is just one example of what we can do.”
USI is partnering with both Monmouth 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,” “Springsteen and Community/Philanthropy,” 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, and 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 and 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.
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.
Registration for the symposium opened in early June. More information can be found at www.usi.edu/glorydays
Bernhard co-authors book on “The Boss”
Bernhard has co-edited a new book of essays, Bruce Springsteen, Cultural Studies, and the Runaway American Dream (Ashgate 2012). He collaborated on the work with Kenneth Womack, associate dean for Academic Affairs and Jerry Zolten, associate professor of communications arts and sciences, both at Penn State University.
The book of academic essays focuses on the many ways in which Springsteen continues to leave an impact by challenging thought through his lyrics and music.
Springsteen to perform near conference
While not part of the event, Bruce Springsteen will perform nearby at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey two days after the symposium, on September 19, 2012, as part of his Wrecking Ball tour. Tickets to the performance are not included in registration or ticket costs for the Glory Days Symposium. Tickets can be purchased at the MetLife’s official website: http://www.metlifestadium.com/.
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Media contact: Petra Ludwig at 732-263-5507