U2 Conference back


The U2 Conference is an event where students and fans of popular music can discover, examine, learn, and share what U2 has created and what it means to its listeners and in all the contexts popular music is a part of. Our inaugural 2009 meeting brought together a multi-disciplinary group from seven countries and featured over 40 formal presentations, three films, and networking opportunities.

The theme for the 2013 U2 Conference is “U2:TRANS-,” indicating an interest in U2 going across, over, and beyond boundaries in rock and roll, and working toward making moments of passing through or crossing over possible for fans as well as for the band itself. “TRANS-” concepts such as transform, transgress, translate, and transcend, for starters, will be in focus for the program sessions. We will have parallel tracks open to all attendees with sessions designed for both academic and popular audiences

The U2 Conference will hold its second meeting for an international gathering of scholars, critics, teachers, and fans in collaboration with theRock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, April 26-27, 2013. Our keynote speaker is Ann Powers, popular music critic for National Public Radio. We continue to build our program and will announce more details in the months to come.


U2: the Hype and the Feedback, the first academic conference on the world’s biggest band, has posted a complete program schedule of over 40 presentations on a wide range of topics on the music, work and influence of U2. (www.u2conference.com/schedule.php) As U2 take to U.S. stadiums this fall on their 360° 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!”

 U2: the Hype and the Feedback touches down October 2 - 4, 2009 in Durham, North Carolina, on the campus of North Carolina Central University, — the same weekend as a U2 concert in Raleigh.

 “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 discussing U2, and the 360° tour makes a stop nearby too.” Speakers to date 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 of U2-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, 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 at www.U2conference.com