Presentations from Fans, Academics, Independent Scholars, and Clergy for the U2 Conference 2018

Of the proposals received from fans, academics, independent scholars, and clergy, we are pleased to announce the following have been accepted for the U2 Conference 2018. In the coming weeks, we will group these presentations into panel sessions and post more details on our program page. All sessions will be open to all conference registrants.


1. A Table in the Presence of My Enemies: Pop as “Songs of Descent”
Dr. Richard S. Briggs
Lecturer in Old Testament and Director of Biblical Studies
Cranmer Hall, St. John’s College
Durham University, England

2. From “Discothèque” to Drop the Debt: How Pop and PopMart Set the Stage for Bono’s Embrace of Global Political Activism and Advocacy at the Turn of the 21st Century
Thierry Côté
Adjunct Professor
York University, Toronto, Canada

3. U2 in Sarajevo: Then and Now
Ana Djordjevic
Ph.D. Candidate and Independent Scholar
University College, Cork, Ireland

4. Pop and the Prequels: A Case for the Necessity of These Pariahs
Dr. Christopher Endrinal
Assistant Professor of Music
Bower School of Music and the Arts, Florida Gulf Coast University
Fort Myers, Florida, USA

5. Psalms of Experience: U2’s Pop and the Practice of Lament
Micheal Felker
Lead Pastor
Lakeside Church of Christ
Mansfield, Texas, USA

6. A Reinterpretation of U2’s Discography: Pop as a Transition Album
Helena Torres Montes García
Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey
Mexico City, Mexico

7. Pop Is U2’s Most Spiritually Significant Album
John Graeber
John Hawbaker
Independent Scholars
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA

8. Pop’s Music Videos
Dr. Jonathan Hodgers
Popular Music Lecturer
Trinity College
Dublin, Ireland

9. Counterpoint and Expression in the Music of U2
Dr. Timothy Koozin
Professor and Division Chair of Music Theory
Moores School of Music, University of Houston
Houston, Texas, USA

10. “And What You Leave Behind You Don’t Miss Anyway”: U2’s Pop and the Pop Art Aesthetic
Dr. Kimberly Mack
Assistant Professor of African American Literature
Department of English Language and Literature, The University of Toledo
Toledo, Ohio, USA

11. Staring at the Falling Sun: U2 and the Decline of American Hegemony
Dr. Michael MacLeod
Associate Professor of Political Science
St. Mary’s University
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

12. The Urban Landscape of U2
Rev. Mark Meynell
Independent writer and Cultural Critic
London, England

13. Written On Skin: The Popular and UnPOPular Iconography of U2 Fan Tattoos
Beth Nabi
Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Digital Media
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, Florida, USA

14. The Less You Know, The More You Believe: The Dilemma of Pop Activism in the Case of Aung San Suu Kyi
Dr. Tim Neufeld
Professor, Biblical and Religious Studies
Fresno Pacific University
Fresno, California, USA

15. Mother and Muse: The Voice of Iris
Dr. Stephen Newman
Lecturer, Department of Irish
Mary Immaculate College
Limerick, Ireland

16. Already Gone: How U2’s Use of the Harmonic Series in “Gone” Expresses in Musical Language the Searching, Restless Cross-Pressures of Postmodern Culture
Kevin Ott
Independent scholar
Shafter, California, USA

17. Like Faith Needs a Doubt: An Interactive Exploration of Theist/Non-Theist Dialogue
Angela Pancella
Independent Scholar
Norwood, Ohio, USA

18. “Lookin’ for a sound that’s gonna drown out the world”: Resolving Musical Emotional Ambiguity in U2’s POPVision
Dr. Diane M. Rasmussen Pennington
Lecturer in Information Science
Lead, Information Engagement Research Area, Strathclyde iSchool Research Group (SiSRG)
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, Scotland

19. “Electric Blues Death Rattle”: Wisdom Literature and Ecclesiastical Visions in U2’s Pop
Dr. Dan Pinkston
Professor of Music Theory and Composition
Simpson University
Redding, California, USA

20. U2’s Pop:  A Maturation and Crisis of Faith
Dr. Brian E. Porter
Professor of Management
Department of Economics and Business
Cedric B. Porter
Hope College
Holland, Michigan, USA

21. “She’s Not Waiting on a Savior to Come”: The Theology of Pop vs. Pop Theology
Rick Quinn
Independent Scholar
Nashville, Tennessee, USA

22. Escape from the “Playboy Mansion”: U2, Me Too, and Masculinity
Andrew William Smith
Instructor of English and Religious Studies
Tennessee Tech University
Cookeville, Tennessee, USA

23. The Endings of Pop: Benediction, Lullaby or Lament?
Rev. Dr. Steve Taylor
Senior Lecturer, Flinders University
Principal, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Knox College
Dunedin, New Zealand

24. Nostalgia: Running to Stand Still or the Start of a Beautiful Day?
Madison Vardeman
Independent Scholar
Keller, Texas, USA

25. Morning Devotions from the U2 Retreat
Jan Vierhout

26. Conversing with the Willfully Polarised: A Multimodal Analysis of “Please”
Dr. Christopher Wales
Associate Professor
Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication, NLA University College
Kristiansand, Norway

27. “Finding Baby Jesus Under the Trash”
Reverend Canon Derek Walmsley
Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Vocations
Anglican Diocese of Leeds, England
Leeds, England

28. U2 in the Classroom: The Teacher Perspective & The Student Perspective
Dr. Dave Whitt
Professor of Communication Studies
Georgia Straka
Psychology Major and Communication Studies Minor
Nebraska Wesleyan University.
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

29. U2’s Concerts as Contemporary Spectacle: Hyper-reality vs. Authenticity
Dr. Michael Williams
Senior Lecturer and Course Leader
University of Brighton
Brighton, England

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