By SCOTT CALHOUN
As U2 take to the stadiums this fall in their 360Â° Tour, a celebration of their Big Ideas and epic cultural impact will bring together fans from around the world who relate to U2's plea: "Let me in the sound!" The first academic conference on the world's biggest band, U2: The Hype and The Feedback, touches down October 2-4, 2009 at North Carolina Central University in Durham -- the same weekend as a U2 concert in Raleigh. Registration opens August 1st, 2009
"This will be the place to meet and hear people long connected to U2 and to covering their career," says organizer Scott Calhoun, English professor and a U2 academician. The whole weekend is for exploring the music, work and influence of U2.
Speakers include Rolling Stone contributing editor (and Ph.D) Anthony DeCurtis, the UK's Telegraph columnist (and schoolmate of the band members) Neil McCormick, Ugandan AIDS activist Agnes Nyamawaro, who has worked with Bono's ONE Campaign, and Matt McGee, founder of @U2 (www.atu2.com) and author ofU2-A Diary. Attendees will also hear from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Curator Jim Henke via video.
An international line-up of paper presenters will talk about topics ranging from "U2 and the Politics of Irony" to "Bono Versus Nick Cave on Jesus" and "U2: An Elevated Brand," as well as other topics addressing U2's influence in rock history, the entertainment industry, and on humanitarian and social justice initiatives.
"We know U2's appeal is without borders and everyone is welcome. Whether you come in tweed or leather, do vinyl or download, you'll connect with people who want to talk about U2," Calhoun promises.
Host school North Carolina Central University (NCCU) will kick off its centennial celebration this fall. Rich in history, NCCU is the nation's first state supported liberal arts college founded for African Americans. The late historian John Hope Franklin once taught at NCCU and jazz great Branford Marsalis is currently an artist-in-residence.
Located in the Research Triangle and situated between Raleigh and Chapel Hill, Durham is a vibrant city for education, arts and culture, and was recently named by Forbes as the #3 "Best Place for Business" and by U. S. News & World Report as the #5 "Best Places to Live" in the United States.
"Durham has been well-served for a long time by NCCU's efforts to educate students and the community through the arts and music," Calhoun said. "In that respect, the institution closely parallels U2's history which has been to create music that inspires everyone and honors the overlooked, the oppressed and the champions of freedom for all peoples, from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Central America's Mothers of the Disappeared, and more recently Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. We're thrilled we can bring the conference to Durham and be on their campus for the weekend."
Register for U2: The Hype and the Feedback or find out more at www.U2conference.com.
CONTACT: SCOTT CALHOUN, CONFERENCE DIRECTOR | 937-766-3214 | [email protected]