How you too can become an expert on U2 and their music

 

HAVE YOU ever considered the convergence of spiritual longing and sexual desires in the music of U2? Have you pondered on the imaginative experience that links Yeats’s The Towerand U2’s Lemon?

Or perhaps you are more interested in the representations of laissez faireinherent in U2’s music? If these issues are keeping you awake at night, then help is at hand.

U2: The Hype and The Feedback is being billed as “the first academic conference on the world’s biggest band”.

It will begin in Durham, North Carolina, on October 2nd, on the campus of North Carolina Central University.

But this is no small-scale event where a few obsessed fans swap U2 paraphernalia. It will involve 40 presentations over a three-day period, with the obligatory plenary sessions, keynote addresses and break-out sessions so familiar to seasoned conference-goers.

It has been organised by Dr Scott Calhoun, assistant professor of English at Cedarville University, Ohio, and timed to coincide with U2’s concert in nearby Raleigh.

An international line-up of speakers will talk about topics ranging from The Meme of Surrender: Bono’s Lyrics of Recovery and Realisationto U2, Paul Ricoeur and the Hermeneutics of Personhood.

Confirmed speakers will include Rolling Stonecontributing editor Anthony DeCurtis, Daily Telegraphcolumnist Neil McCormick and Ugandan Aids activist Agnes Nyamawaro.

The conservative voice in the songs of U2 will be examined by Stephen Catanzarite, managing director of the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, while Jim Henke of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will discuss how U2 saved rock and roll.

Dr Greg Clarke from the Centre for Public Christianity in Sydney will give the paper Bono Versus Nick Cave on Jesus, which sounds like easy listening when compared with the presentation from political science professor Paul Viotti.

His paper is called Botanising on Asphalt: Representations of Laissez Faire Inherent in U2’s Music.

But despite the high-brow topics, Dr Calhoun said the conference would be open to all.

“This will be the place to meet and hear people long connected to U2 and to covering their career.

“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.”

Just brush up on your knowledge of U2 as a pedagogical resource first.