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Popular music has long been centrally concerned with death and the afterlife.

Songs, recordings, and musical traditions have expressed both mourning and celebration and have—in some cases—helped envision the possibilities of a continued existence where “death is not the end.” From gospel to metal and beyond, music pays tribute to the departed, offers opportunities for ceremony and commemoration, and helps to process tragedies both personal and public. It even blurs the boundaries between states of life and death, offering sonic and symbolic evidence for hauntings, purgatories, and the continued presence of ancestors in the lives of the earthbound. Genres, formats, and media exist in a continual process of transformation, decay, and re-emergence—and boost both active artists and defunct (or deceased) ones. Songs and performances are reborn through new versions, different contexts, and changing relationships with audiences.

Beyond this, pop music cycles through its own series of “deaths” and “afterlives.” The work of the deceased is remixed, reclaimed, and reconstituted by new generations of musicians, scholars, compilers, and fan communities, while record companies, museums, tourist sites, and others preserve, profit from, and sometimes fetishize their memory. (These commemorations have taken on a distinctively digital character in the era of social media, YouTube, holograms, and the continued use of sampling.) And pop music—in its many forms—offers a cultural afterlife for sounds and populations that have been dispersed and displaced, helping to form new communities and maintain connections to those that have been lost.

While a constant concern, recent years have only amplified these dynamics. A wave of prominent musician deaths, from David Bowie to Aretha Franklin, has amplified conversations over music’s relationship to mortality and the nature of fan mourning in the digital age. (Some of these attempts, like the proposed use of a Prince hologram at the 2017 Super Bowl, have been greeted with controversy.) Public tragedies from killings marked by #BlackLivesMatter memorials to ongoing refugee crises have been suffused with music as both sustenance and response, while the rise of mass shootings at music venues from Paris to the Pulse nightclub provoked specific responses from affected artists and audiences as well as a broader championing of music as a means of memorial and healing. And, across genre and language, music continues to contend with the questions of life, death, and potential resurrection as a central subject matter and metaphor for conversations ranging from the economics of streaming to the health of genres like country and hip-hop.

 

DETAILS

Event date  APRIL 11-14, 2019
Event time  10:00AM-5:00PM
Event location  MoPOP
Event location  All ages

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For the 2019 Pop Conference, we explore the many ways music reflects and expresses the realities of the end and the possibilities of rebirth.

Music about Death—musical responses to death and its consequences—the sounds of mourning, celebration, tribute, and closure; music’s role in funeral traditions

The Afterworld—visions of a world beyond—sounds of rebirth, reincarnation, resurrection, and deathless existence; spirituality in music and music as spiritual practice

Memorials —how we remember musicians, listeners, and scenes—recordings; concerts; compilations; books; films; museums; archives; fan communities; anniversaries

“Say Her Name”—music in the wake of public tragedies and atrocities—protest songs; memorial concerts; reclamation of the forgotten and marginalized

Hauntings—music’s spectral presences—recordings as “ghosts”; ancestral presences; musical influence as both a blessing and a curse; the lingering beliefs that some artists (Elvis Presley, Tupac Shakur) aren’t actually dead

Ghosts in The Machine—technology’s relationship to musical deaths and afterlives—sampling and other sonic manipulations; digital archives; “dead” media formats; social media and group mourning; holograms;

Crossing the Border—music as afterlife for the traditions of the displaced and dispersed—the sounds of migration and diaspora; cultural loss, retention and transformation; relationships to border policing and immigration policies

Inheritances—ownership and control of artistic legacies—influences and recreations; the break-ups and reunions of bands and scenes; tribute acts; posthumous reconsiderations of an artist’s impact; what and who is able to endure versus who and what is denied; legal battles over estates and intellectual property

Figurative Rebirths—how cultural cycles give active bands a new lease on life—songs and albums whose popularity has been resurrected by new generations; musical or media trends (e.g., the vinyl boom or cassette resurgence) that swing back into fashion

Pop Conference 2019 Schedule

Thursday, April 11th

2:00PM–3:30PM

Gendered Spaces

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP

  • Marissa Lorusso – “My Revenge is Death: Unpacking the Riot Grrrls’ Soundtrack to Killing Rapists”
  • Meg Orita – “Reconstituting Riot Grrrl: Marginalization and Memory in a Scene’s Afterlife”
  • Alyxandra Vesey – “Paying Tribute with Lipstick: M*A*C Cosmetics, Music Merchandising, and the Shelf Lives of Branded Cosmetics”

Moderator: Tyina Steptoe


The Sounds of the City in “Death” and “Rebirth”

Event location  Learning Labs @ MoPOP

  • Alex Blue V – “Detroit, I Don’t Mind Dying: Musical Narratives of Death in a Supposedly ‘Dead’ City”
  • Allie Martin – “"Go-Go is (Not) Dead, Long Live Go-Go: Narratives of Death in Washington, DC's Local Music Scene”
  • Jeffrey Melnick – "Halls of Justice: Reckoning with Terry Melcher"

Moderator: RJ Smith


Listening for the Dead

Event location  Demo Lab @ MoPOP

  • Jack Curtis Dubowsky – “Death Ditty and Disco: AIDS and Death in Bronski Beat’s ‘I Feel Love’”
  • Meagan Sylvester – “Performing in the name of The Shadow: Personal, Collective and Cultural Memory in Calypso”
  • Daniel Fisher – “Animating a Yolngu Celebrity: Music, Mourning and the Mediatization of Grief in Northern Australia”

Moderator:S. Alexander Reed


“There will be no death”: Prince’s Afterlife in Place, Deed, and Image

Event location  Sky Church @ MoPOP

  • Kristen Zschomler – “From the Northside to Paisley Park: Prince’s Minnesota”
  • Emma Balázs – “The People’s Museum for Prince: Inverting the Curatorial Lens from Artist to Audience”
  • Suzanne Wint – “Would Anybody Remember to Remember You?”: Philanthropy as Participatory Culture in Prince Fandom

Moderator: Michaelangelo Matos


3:45PM–5:45PM

Musical Mournings in an Age of Loss

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP

  • Erik Broess – “A Dying Art Form? A Century of Necro-Tech: From Séances to the Superbowl”
  • Emily Mackay – “The record shows: ‘My Way’s strange dominance of the funeral charts”
  • Elijah Wald – “It’s Easy to Love Us When We’re Dead”

Moderator: Daphne Brooks


The Death and Afterlife of Music Collections

Event location  Learning Lab @ MoPOP

  • Oliver Wang – “You Can’t Take It With You (Can You?): The Afterlife of Music Collections”
  • Ali Colleen Neff – “A Digital Afterlife: Social Networking Sites and the Music Archives of West Africa”
  • Joe Schloss – “See Here How Everything Lead Up To This Day’: On Throwing Away My Dead Tapes”
  • Allen Thayer – “The Resurrection of a Failed Salvation: Tim Maia's Rational Reevaluation”

Moderator: Dwandalyn Reece


Korean Spectres: Manifestations and Apparitions of Korean Pop Music

Event location  Demo Lab @ MoPOP

  • Heather Willoughby – “The Death of Han: Towards a New National Ethos in Contemporary Korean Pansori”
  • Anthony Yooshin Kim – “Diasporic Tears For Fears: Transpacific Circuits of Kpop’s Emotional Transnationalisms”
  • Myoung-Sun Song – “The ‘Death’ of the K in KPop: BTS as Global Pop Phenomenon”
  • Valerie Soe – “Because I Miss You: Jung Yonghwa and Kpop Lyfe, Death and Rebirth”

Moderator:


Wake Up to Reality: Forty Years of Musical Responses to HIV/AIDS

Event location  Sky Church @ MoPOP

Roundtable featuring Matthew Jones, Jason King, Alfred Soto, Chrissy Shively, Ann Powers, Francesca Royster, and Barry Walters

 

Opening Reception

Keynote


Friday, April 12th

9:00AM–11:00AM

The Life and Death (and Maybe Even Rebirth) of Country Music

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP

  • David Cantwell – “Would You Lay with Me in a Field of Stone: Country Music’s Death Obsession”
  • RJ Smith – “Now I Lay Me Down to Weep: Skeeter Davis Walking with the Zombies”
  • Jada Watson – “The Endangerment of Female Representation in Country Music Culture: Changing Billboard Methodologies and Ecological Diversity on the Hot Country Songs Chart”
  • Jewly Hight – “Country Wide: The Death of a Simplistic Narrative of Country Music Identity”

Moderator: Charles Hughes


Minoritarian Aesthetics and Sound Politics

Event location  Learning Lab @ MoPOP

  • Joshua Javier Guzmán – “Stripped life: The Bags, The Brat and lo-fi performance”
  • Fiona I. B. Ngô – ““’She’s Brown/ She’s Smart’: Latinx Punk Feminisms”
  • Joshua Chambers-Letson – “Death Resonance: Race, Music, and Worldmaking in N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth”

Moderator: Summer Kim Lee


Cultural Memorials

Event location  Demo Lab @ MoPOP

  • John Dankwa – “Music and the Afterworld: The Case of Akan Highlife Songs in Ghana”
  • Amy Frishkey – “The Artist as Ancestor Spirit in Garifuna Popular Music”
  • Kembrew McLeod – “The Death and Life and Death of a Great American City: New York, Underground Culture, Gentrification, and the Ghost of Jane Jacobs”
  • Pablo Rojas Sahurie – “Immolating in Favor of Life: Death and Messianism in the musicians of the Chilean New Song”

Moderator: Meagan Sylvester


“Ain’t Got No, I Got Life”: Vitality, Exuberance, and Life Force/Àse in Black Popular Music

Event location  Sky Church @ MoPOP

  • Daphne A. Brooks – “Of Ultralight Beams & Other Radiant Weapons: Black Sonic Vitality on the Freedom Struggle Front Lines”
  • Jason King – “A Voice That Could Wake the Dead: Loleatta Holloway’s Fire-Relighting Vibrational Vocal Superpower”
  • Sonnet Retman – “Animating Cab Calloway’s ‘Minnie the Moocher’: Talkartoons and Trickeration in the Archive of Modern Black Performance”
  • Zandria F. Robinson – “Sonic Asé: Black Folks Making It So in Life, Death, and Beyond”

Moderator: Jennifer DeVere Brody


11:15AM–1:15PM

What Becomes Legend Most: “Music Matters” Writers on Musical Afterlives

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP

  • Fred Goodman – “Lhasa, Record of a Death Foretold”
  • Karen Tongson – “Karen Carpenter’s Queer Horizon”
  • Tom Smucker – “Dying and Not Dying as Career Moves in the Biographies of the Beach Boys”
  • Donna Gaines – “All Good Cretins Go To Heaven: Life After Death with the Ramones”

Moderator: Evelyn McDonnell


Death in the Dance

Event location  Learning Lab @ MoPOP

  • Erin MacLeod – “Death and the Sound Bwoy—Voices from Beyond the Grave in Sound Clash”
  • Chrissy Shively – “New Beat Fashion: Grave desecration in the Belgian dance music scene”
  • Rachel Shimp – “Your Sound: The Eternal Return of Kemistry & Storm”
  • Michaelangelo Matos – “Interstellar Outback (Lexington, KY)—August 26-28, 1994”

Moderator: Jess Dilday


Digital Deaths

Event location  Demo Lab @ MoPOP

  • Amy Coddington – “Forecasting Rap’s Demise”
  • Robin James – “‘WOXY’s Gone To Heaven’: neoliberalism and the death of the ‘future of rock and roll’”
  • Liz Pelly – “Thoughts and Prayers in the Background”
  • Nina Posner – “ ‘I Thought That I Could See a Whole New World’: Interrogating the Digitized Reincarnation of the Pop Song”

Moderator:


Raise Your Voice: Music and Mass Violence

  • Roundtable featuring Katherine Meizel, Kimberly Mack, Carl Wilson, Alfred Soto, Eric Hung

2:00PM–3:30PM

Facing Death

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP

  • Vivien Goldman – “David Bowie – Life After Life, Death after Death”
  • Grace Elizabeth Hale – “‘Flirted with You All My Life’: Death and the Art of Vic Chesnutt”
  • Robert Christgau – “All the Time in the World: The Living End in Peter Stampfel and Willie Nelson”

Moderator: Jack Hamilton


The Rebirth of the B-Side

  • Roundtable featuring Will Stockton, D. Gilson, Rebecca Wallwork, Jordan Ferguson, Evie Nagy, Jovana Babović, Shawn Taylor

Gospels

Event location  Demo Lab @ MoPOP

  • Mike McGonigal – “‘I’ve Got the Holy Ghost and Fire’: Pentecostal pandemonium and the liberating force of sanctified gospel music in six recordings from 1964”
  • Rian Murphy & Gene Booth – “Hipsters In My Eyes: Why You Didn't Buy Death's Gospel Record”
  • Anthony Easton – “Streets Paved with Gold: Joey, Rory, Country Hymnody, and Selling Protestant Death”

Moderator: Christina Zanfagna


Is This a Matter of Life or Death? Questions of the Afterlife in Popular Music

Event location  Sky Church @ MoPOP

  • Roundtable featuring Dwandalyn Reece, Lauren Onkey and others

3:45PM–5:45PM

Still Here: A Roundtable for Rashod Ollison

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP

  • Roundtable featuring Regina Bradley, Jack Hamilton, Emily Lordi, Mark Anthony Neal, Ann Powers, Karen Tongson, Carl Wilson

The Ghosts of Centuries Past

Event location  Learning Lab @ MoPOP

  • Bethany McLemore – “‘They heard her singing her last song’: Nineteenth-Century American Song and the Consumptive Body”
  • Emily Margot Gale – “Sentimental Death Songs and the Death of Sentimentality”
  • Sara Marcus – “‘A haunting echo of these weird old songs’: Du Bois and Sonic Disappointment”
  • John Shaw – “When Malindy (or Aretha) Sings: The Complex, Haunting Presence of Paul Laurence Dunbar in American Music”

Moderator: Matthew Jones


You Do It To Me Every Time: Detritus, Resurrection, and the Haunting Sounds of Race

Event location  Demo Lab @ MoPOP

  • Jewel Pereyra – ““Aint that Peculiar”: Fanny and the Resurrection of Filipinx Femme Rock”
  • Summer Kim Lee – ““Asian Girlfriends and their White Musicians”
  • Iván A. Ramos – “‘Looking for All to Be Rendered’: Ghosts and Detritus in Lonnie Holley’s Sound”
  • Douglas S. Ishii – “It’s Blitz!: Karen O, the Ghosts of Race, and the Afterlives of Multiculturalism”

Moderator:


Death Narratives and Undead Mythologies

Event location  Sky Church @ MoPOP

  • Ginger Dellenbaugh – “25 Minutes to Go: Voices of the Disciplined and Punished”
  • Greil Marcus – “Love and Death in the American Rock ‘n’ Roll Novel”
  • DeWayne Moore – “The Death of the Myth of the Blues Savant”
  • Joseph Thompson – “Undead and Unreconstructed: The ‘Good Old Rebel’ and the Ghosts of the Confederacy in Popular Song”

Moderator: Oliver Wang

 


6:00PM–7:30PM

Resurrecting Rock Bands – Booth, Burnham/King, Henry

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP

  • Dan Booth – “Band Names, Brand Names, Forever Lineup Changes, and Trademark Law”
  • Hugo Burnham and Jon King – “SIC TRANSIT GLORIA (Nothing New Compares to Old You)”
  • Dusty Henry – “In Your Afterglow: Rock Star: INXS, Rock Star Excess, and Reality TV Resurrection”

Moderator: Annie Zaleski


Say Their Names

Event location  Learning Lab @ MoPOP

  • James McNally – “Sometimes it Snows in April: 24 hours in London and Long Island, a rap trauma”
  • Isaac Silber – Sampling Her Name: Echoes of Sandra Bland in Bearcat’s “CHARGED UP - SANDY SPEAKS”
  • Jade Conlee – “‘Slow motion for the ambulance, the project filled with cameras’: The Voice of Kendrick Lamar as Already Dead”

Moderator: Amalia Mallard


Sonic Hauntings

Event location  Demo Lab @ MoPOP

  • Devin McKinney – “Between Light and Nowhere: Space and Spectrality in Certain Pop Records”
  • Devon Léger – “‘The World We Saw In These Songs’: Traditional Artists Invite Long-Dead Archival Voices to the Stage”
  • Anastasia Howe Bukowski and Adam Gill – “Haunting Itself: Lana Del Rey’s Americana”

Moderator: Jewly Hight


Saturday, April 13th

9:00AM–11:00AM

On Air, Online, and in the Club: Hauntings, Specters, and the Dynamics of Keeping Musical Connections Alive

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP

  • Eddy Francsico Alvarez Jr. – “Sequined fantasmas in the rubble of demolition and gentrification: sonic and spatial memories of queer latinx los angeles”
  • José Anguiano – “Listening to the Audience of the Art Laboe Connection”
  • María Elena Cepeda – “A Masculinist Narrative that ‘Fails to Satisfy’: Maluma, Feminist Memes, and the Specter of Pablo Escobar”
  • Yessica Garcia Hernandez – “Jenni Vive: The Erotics of Keeping Jenni Rivera’s Legacy Alive”

Moderator: Ken Wissoker


Gone But Not Forgotten

Event location  Learning Lab @ MoPOP

  • Josh Langhoff – “Selena, Ariel Camacho, and Two Tragedies That Reshaped Regional Mexican Music”
  • Micah Salkind – “#FKAlways: Between Narrative Closure and Living Culture in Chicago’s Frankie Knuckles Memorials”
  • Christina Zanfagna – “Jazz Mecca: The Church of John Coltrane and the Death of Black San Francisco”
  • Eric Weisbard – “Deader Elvis: If the King Is Gone, Then So Are . . . You?”

Moderator: Zandria F. Robinson


Ghosts of Electricity: On Bob Dylan

Event location  Demo Lab @ MoPOP

Roundtable featuring Taylor Black, Evan Donahue, E. Glasberg and Genevieve Yue


Death and the Maiden: How Gender Follows, and Sometimes Leads, Musicians to the Grave

Event location  Sky Church @ MoPOP

Roundtable featuring Holly George-Warren, Lucretia Tye Jasmine, Evelyn McDonnell, Solvej Schou, Michelle Threadgould


11:15AM–12:45PM

Haunted Hearing

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP

  • Amalia Mallard – “HA! Laughing In Rhythm”
  • Nia I’man Smith – “I Talk With The Spirits: Ancestral Acknowledgment, Reverence and Communing in Contemporary Black Music”
  • Steven G. Fullwood – “The Haunting Queerness of Whitney, Michael and Prince”

Moderator:


A Country Song Will Survive: Death and Rebirth in Country Music

Event location  Learning Lab @ MoPOP

  • Nick Murray – “Death by the Steam: Fossil Fuels in the Country Imaginary”
  • Amanda Martinez – “The Long Urban Cowboy Movement: Rethinking Country’s Mid-Eighties Death Sentence”
  • Jonathan Bernstein – “Most People Are Good: Country Music And The "Death of Civility" in The Age of Trump”

Moderator: Carl Wilson


Ghosts in the Archive

Event location  Demo Lab @ MoPOP

  • Samantha Silver – “Ordinary Ghosts in the Radio Archive: Major Bowes’s Original Amateur Hour
  • Matt Payne - “I Hear Dead People: Sound Reproduction and the Politics and Culture of Dead Musicians”
  • Theodore Gonzales – “Walking Through the Graveyard of Guitars”

Moderator: Gayle Wald


Ghostpop

Event location  Sky Church @ MoPOP

Roundtable featuring Emily Lordi, Joshua Clover and others


1:45PM–3:15PM

Panel featuring Holly Gleason, Caryn Rose and Annie Zaleski

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP


Afterlives of the Sample

Event location  Learning Lab @ MoPOP

  • Jack Hamilton – “‘Let’s Take It Back’: Sampling as Memorial in the Music of J Dilla and Kanye West”
  • Nate Patrin – “A Break in the Loop: Life, Death, Time and Afterlife in J Dilla's Donuts
  • Zach Schonfeld – “Poverty’s Paradise: The Remarkable Afterlife of 24-Carat Black”

Moderator: Alfred Soto​


Reissues and Record Companies

Event location  Demo Lab @ MoPOP

  • Melissa A. Weber – “Planned Obsolescence: Uncle Jam Records and How the P-Funk Empire Rose Again”
  • Andrew Flory – “Reissuing Creativity or Creative Reissues?”
  • Morgan Luker – “The Immortal Voice: Repetition, Reissues, and the Posthumous Values of the Recorded Musical Past”

Moderator: Damon Krukowski


3:30PM–5:00PM

To Live and Die in Seattle

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP

  • David Gilbert – “Jimi Hendrix and the Electric Sound of Transcendence”
  • Charles R. Cross – “My Hometowns: The Fractured and Broken Relationships Between Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain and Their Hometowns of Seattle and Aberdeen”
  • Mairead Case – “‘Just to wake up tells me I must be brave’: The Life & Legacy of Mia Zapata”

Moderator: Robert Rutherford


80s Afterlives

Event location  Learning Lab @ MoPOP

  • Thomas Inskeep – “Death Disco: Pet Shop Boys and AIDS”
  • Maura Johnston – “ ‘Yeah, We Saw That’: Madonna's Pop Eulogies and Her Fraught Relationship With Race”
  • Andrew Hamlin – “Broken News?, or, Behind The (Death) Mask:  Advances of the Quantum-Actual Bogus Man Under The Flag of Michael Jackson”

Moderator: Nick Murray


Global Currents

Event location  Demo Lab @ MoPOP

  • Michael Drewett – “Giving substance to shadows: The resurrection of Rodriguez as anti-apartheid icon”
  • Meenasarani Linde Murugan – “ ‘M.I.A. coming back with power power’: Documentary Resurrections and Feminist Disarticulations”
  • Mina Tavakoli – “Metaphoric, Diasporic: The Mythical Legacy of Persian Pop Diva Googoosh”

Moderator: T. DeWayne Moore


#Vivasnoqueremos/Wewantusalive: Collective Versada and Dance Workshop

Event location  Sky Church @ MoPOP

Workshop featuring Iris C. Viveros Avendaño, Milvia Pacheco, Emilia Lopez Guzman and Ana Gabriela Cano aka “Black Mama”

Moderator: Michelle Habell-Pallán


5:15PM–6:45PM

Reckonings and Revivals in Southern Hip-Hop

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP

  • Regina N. Bradley – “Heavy is the Head: T.I.’s Grief and Reckoning in the Trap”
  • Erich Nunn – “‘Here in Cabbagetown they put they white ass out’: Hip-hop, Gentrification, and the Afterlives of an Atlanta neighborhood”
  • Tyina Steptoe – “I Seen A Man Die: Mourning in the City of Lean”

Moderator: Amy Coddington


Immigrant soundscapes of remembrance, presence, and solidarity

Event location  Learning Lab @ MoPOP

Roundtable featuring Jorge N. Leal, Alina R. Méndez, Alexis N. Meza and Crystal R. Pérez

Moderator: José G. Anguiano


Spectral Songs, Siren Songs

Event location  Demo Lab @ MoPOP

  • Chelsea Adewunmi – “A Dance to the Death: Kate Bush’s Siren Songs”
  • Paula Mejia – “Once Upon a Time in Birmingham: The Spectral Resonance of Trish Keenan’s Nursery Rhyme Melodies”
  • Ned Raggett – “Vibrating Together Within The Infinite: Reflections on the Azusa Plane’s ‘Armonia Aphanes Phaneros Kreisson’”

Moderator: Mairead Case


Sunday, April 14th

9:00AM–11:00AM

Funeral Rites

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP

  • Banning Eyre – “Dancing with Death: The Festive Funerals of Madagascar”
  • Russell Rodriguez – “Funeral Ritual or Just a Mariachi Gig?”
  • Joseph Schafer – “Ritual Necromancy: Heavy Metal’s Funereal History”
  • Paul Fess – “Lead Belly in the Archive: ‘Goodnight Irene’ and the Death Drive”

Moderator: Carlo Rotella


1960s/1970s

Event location  Learning Lab @ MoPOP

  • Hilarie Ashton – “ ‘All Things Must Pass Away’: George Harrison's Stolen Futurity and the Chiffons' Reclamation”
  • Kevin Dettmar – “‘More Tracks, Less Blood’: Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks and Plagiarized Emotion”
  • Tom Kipp – “Understanding David Cassidy: Appreciating the Artistry and Tragedy in a Fifty-Year Career in Music and Show Business!”
  • Tim Quirk – “The Hidden Depths (And Odd Backstory) of the Literally Mortifying ‘Seasons in the Sun’”

Moderator: Josh Langhoff


11:15AM–12:45PM

Parents and Children

Event location  JBL Theater @ MoPOP

  • Evie Nagy – “The Living Years: The Problem With Pop and Dead Dads”
  • Ann Powers – “Just Another Lady Without a Baby: Women Confront Child Loss, Mother-Child Separation and Childlessness by Choice or Circumstance”

Moderator: Tim Quirk


Reimaginings and Resuscitations

Event location  Learning Lab @ MoPOP

  • Augustus Durham – “Donny Hathaway’s Liebestraum
  • Katherine Reed – “The Haunting of Hunger City: Afterlives of Bowie’s 1984 Project”
  • Maya C. Gibson – “Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday: Resuscitative Acts in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

Moderator: David Cantwell


Old Gods and Old Ghosts

Event location  Demo Lab @ MoPOP

  • Richard Cobeen – “Life’ll Kill Ya: Loudon Wainwright III and Warren Zevon’s Mordant Confrontations with Death in the #MeToo Era”
  • Sean Latham – “‘All Things Had Run Their Course’: The End of Bob Dylan”
  • Carlo Rotella – “Musical Ghosts at the Avalon”​

Moderator: Greil Marcus


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