WEST LONG BRANCH – Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium at Monmouth University on Sept. 14-16 will focus on academic research and thought based on the life and work of the legendary rock ’n’ roll singer.
The symposium is being organized by Dr. Mark Bernhard, associate provost for outreach and engagement at the University of Southern Indiana.
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 the two prior symposiums. “It’s been a labor of love for me. I’ve been to 61 Springsteen concerts and counting,” he said.
USI is partnering on the symposium with both Monmouth University and Penn State Altoona. 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.”
More than 120 proposals have been received thus far 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 discuss pop culture aspects of Springsteen’s legacy.
A variety of keynote speakers with close ties to Springsteen and his work will deliver compelling talks throughout the conference. Speakers will include:
Mike Appel, songwriter and producer. He is Springsteen’s former manager and produced his first three records.
Peter Ames Carlin, the author of Bruce, to be published by Simon & Schuster in November. The book is written with the cooperation and help of Springsteen and Jon Landau, who granted access to the Springsteen family.
Ed Gallucci, a photographer with 40 years of experience. His works include a portrait of Springsteen in the permanent photography collection at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo.
Jim Henke, vice president of exhibitions and curatorial affairs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. He was an editor and writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years and wrote a cover story on Springsteen in 1992.
The Rev. Kevin Keelen, a priest and campus minister at Merrimack College and Villanova University. He served at Holy Cross Parish in Rumson 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. He discovered Springsteen in the rock press and was his earliest champion, writing the first interview and profile on Springsteen.
David Masciotra, a writer, journalist and author of Working On a Dream: The Progressive Political Vision of Bruce Springsteen (Continuum Books, 2010).
Robert Santelli, a longtime member of the Recording Academy, who 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 to be held throughout at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park.
Registration for the symposium is now open. More information can be found at www.usi.edu/glorydays.
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