The U2 Conference held its third meeting for an international gathering of scholars, critics, teachers, and fans in partnership with The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queen’s University, and Fitzroy Presbyterian Church, 13-15 June 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Keynote speakers were Catherine Owens and Stuart Bailie, with presentations from special speakers Shaughn McGrath, Steve Averill, Andy Rowen, Steve Stockman, Beth Nabi, John Brewer, Fiona MacGowan, and the band December.
Scholars, academics and critics coming from seven nations will deliver over 24 individual presentations, arranged into eight panels, happening over two and a half days.
Learn more about the U2 Conference 2018 gathering at these pages:
- The full program is here
- Keynote speakers and special plenary session info is here
- Paper summaries here
- Location and accommodation information is here
- U2 Conference Feedback
- See pics from the gathering in the Flickr U2Con2018 album
Sessions were designed to appeal to academic and general audiences on the theme U2: POPVision. As the conference theme, U2: POPVision invited investigating, articulating and critiquing the guiding visions specific to U2’s Pop era of 1997-98 for their efficacy then and now, as well as welcoming an examination of popular music’s power to cast visions that shape its own narrative and construct and complicate larger cultural conversations, in which U2’s visions have long been engaged.
As Belfast marked in 2018 the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement – a major step as a peaceful agreement to seek non-violent resolutions to many conflicts in Northern Ireland, and an agreement which U2 publicly supported – the conference theme U2: POPVision further communicated the interest in studying how U2’s artistic visions help or hinder peace building, resolving personal and societal conflicts, and envisioning a more just, equitable and joyful world. An important theme of the conference is thus the wider relationship between music, art and peace building.