Author Archive | calhouns

U2 Concerts and Community Publications by Michael Williams

My name is Michael Williams, and I am a long-time U2 fan (since 1982). Currently, I am also a doctoral candidate, researching rock music events, focusing on U2’s 360° tour. The aim of my research is to develop a better understanding of the concept of spectacle in the context of a rock music event. 

The following two publications relate to my research project and may be of interest to fellow researchers and fans:

Williams, M. (2015) ‘One but not the same: U2 Concerts, Community and Cultural Identity’ in Merkel, U. (ed.) Identity Discourses and Communities in International Events, Festivals and Celebrations. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 242-259.

Williams, M. (2014) ‘Politics as spectacle: U2’s 360° tour (2009-11)’, in Merkel, U. (ed.) Power, Politics and International Events: Socio-cultural Analyses of Festivals and Spectacles. London: Routledge, 174-190.

 You can find out more about my research project at www.U2360spectacle.net

Contributor:
Michael Williams
Contact:
mw146@brighton.ac.uk

Music Events as Spectacle: U2’s Union of Rock and Resistance

My name is Michael Williams, and I am a long-time U2 fan (since 1982). Currently, I am also a doctoral candidate. My research project focuses on the concept and phenomenon of spectacle and the process of spectacularization in the specific context of U2’s ‘360°’ tour (2009-2011). In particular, it concerns the contribution of spectators to the creation of the spectacle and the meaning they attach to this. Spectacle is a frequently used term but it is not yet fully understood in the event context. The project focuses on the relationship between rock music events, politics and audiences. The research uses a multi-method case study, which includes analysis of online content and semi-structured interviews with fans and attendees of U2’s ‘360°’ concerts and analysis of concert documentary material.

I am keen to interview people with varying experiences of U2’s 360° shows in Dublin, Istanbul, Moscow and Pittsburgh.

If you are interested in participating, please contact me by emailing me at mw146@brighton.ac.uk. You can find out more about my research project by visiting my website at www.u2360spectacle.net

 

Contributor:
Michael Williams
Contact:
mw146@brighton.ac.uk

Research query on U2 and Krautrock, and new MA dissertation on U2 and James Joyce

Hello. My name is Helena Torres and I wrote an MA dissertation in Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool on U2 and Joyce, titled “Nicely-polished looking glasses: A comparative study of U2 and Joyce’s Dublin in ‘Eveline’ and ‘Running to Stand Still.’” You can read my work here.

I would like to develop a new research project focused on Achtung Baby and the influence of krautrock for this album. However, I think sources regading U2 and krautrock are scarce. I have Rock and Popular Music in Ireland: Before and After U2 by Noel McLaughlin and Martin McLoone to provide me a starting point, but I’d like to know if there are more options. Thanks a lot.

 

 

 

Contributor:
Helena Torres Montes García
Contact:
ladystardust18@gmail.com

New book: The World and U2: One Band’s Remaking of Global Activism

I am happy to announce the publication of my new book, The World and U2: One Band’s Remaking of Global Activism. It’s a history of the band’s evolution as activists–what made them engaged, how they changed, and the impact they’ve had both on their causes and on the world of activism. Rowman & Littlefield is the publisher. It’s a short book, great for students, and you can see more here at the publisher’s page. It’s available at Amazon too.

Alan McPherson

Contributor:
Alan McPherson
Contact:
mcpherson@ou.edu

College Course on U2, Spiritual Engagement & Activism

WE GET TO CARRY EACH OTHER: USING THE MUSICAL ACTIVISM OF U2 AS A FRAMEWORK FOR AN ENGAGED SPIRITUALITY & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COURSE

Marshall Welch
Saint Mary’s College of California
Engaging Pedagogies in Catholic Higher Education, Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 4, 2015

logoThis article describes a January-term community engagement service-learning college course that used the musical and spiritually-based activism of U2 as an example of engaged spirituality using activism and advocacy. In addition to learning about the history, music, and activism of the band, students were taught a specific set of skills for developing and implementing action plans, and coordinating logistics for advocacy-based events on campus.  Students were assigned to apply these skills as the service-learning component of the course.  These activities were conceptualized as indirect service that reflected activism and advocacy as a form of engaged spirituality.  The article concludes by describing its impact and how learning objectives were met.

Click here to download the article.

 

 

Contributor:
Marshall Welch, Ph.D.
Contact:
mjw6@stmarys-ca.edu

Social Justice and Pop Culture: U2 as a non-traditional Christian voice

On June 5, 2015, I delivered the closing address for a gathering of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work (California chapter) at Fresno Pacific University. In my talk, “Social Justice and Pop Culture: U2 as a non-traditional Christian voice,” I suggest the thesis that “U2 models a non-traditional Christian witness by engaging the world — especially in areas of social concern — not by remaining isolated from it.”

After giving a brief survey of Ireland, The Troubles and U2’s own adolescence, I address the changing social commentary that “Sunday Bloody Sunday” provides across four decades of live performances, including the dirge-like presentation on the current Innocence + Experience tour. I finish by reflecting on Bono’s own words about engagement with the culture, especially as faith prompts him to speak about social issues.

I captured a live Persicope stream of the presentation and edited in some of my visuals (including concert footage).

Video is on YouTube here.

My blog post about it is here.

 

Contributor:
Tim Neufeld
Contact:
tim.neufeld@fresno.edu

U2: Made in Dublin at The Little Museum of Dublin

U2MadeInDublinLogoI was honored to be asked to help curate the permanent exhibit U2: Made in Dublin for The Little Museum of Dublin. The exhibit opened in 2013 and continues to grow.

Charting the story of the band from 1976 all the way up to the present day, this fan-curated exhibition features musical rarities, signed albums and some great photography, alongside items such as a Trabant car, a Gibson Explorer, a life-size sculpture of MacPhisto and even a pack of U2 condoms.

The exhibition was curated by fans of the band alongside some of Ireland’s best photographers and artists, as a tribute to the achievements of U2 and a celebration of their roots in the local music scene of the 1970s. A soundtrack narrated by Tom Dunne tells the story of the band with rare live recordings from the Dandelion Market all the way through to Croke Park. It’s already proving hugely popular with fans of Ireland’s most famous musical export.

 

Contributor:
Scott Calhoun
Contact:
calhouns@cedarville.edu

Two Collections of Essays Published from the U2 Conference

* From the 2009 meeting of the U2 Conference came Exploring U2: Is This Rock ‘n’ Roll? from Rowman & Littlefield.

Edited by Scott Calhoun, with sixteen essays based on presentations from the conference from Neil McCormick, Danielle Rhéaume, Rachel E. Seiler, Jeffrey F. Keuss and Sara Koenig, Christopher Endrinal, Steve Taylor, Michele O’Brien, Kevin J. H. Dettmar, Daniel T. Kline, Beth Maynard, Greg Clarke, Deane Galbraith, Bruce L. Edwards, John Hurtgen, Stephen Catanzarite, and Scott Calhoun. More information and contents here.

* From the 2013 meeting of the U2 Conference came U2 Above, Across, and Beyond: Interdisciplinary Assessments from Lexington Press.

Edited by Scott Calhoun, with eight essays based on presentations from the conference from Christopher Wales, Brian F. Wright, Ed Montano, Arlan Elizabeth Hess, Fred Johnson, Theodore Louis Trost, Steve Taylor, and Matthew J. Hamilton. More information and contents here.

                       

Contributor:
Scott Calhoun
Contact:
calhouns@cedarville.edu

The U2 Conference logo and site design by Beth Nabi.