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Don’t mock “frivolous” academic studies – pop culture is always political

As an undergraduate student back in the 1980s, I made the controversial decision to do my dissertation on the pop star Prince

By Sarah Niblock  

“I’ve never been a Prince fan but after hearing this panel discussion I am so inspired!” Tom the audio-visual technician, 24, wasn’t even a glint in his parents’ eye when the star donned his shiny trench coat and sat astride a pumping motorcycle.

But after the first day’s deliberations at Purple Reign, the world’s first interdisciplinary academic conference on the legendary musician’s life and legacy, Tom’s completely sold.

He’s not alone. More than…

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