As an undergraduate student back in the 1980s, I made the controversial decision to do my dissertation on the pop star Princeby Sarah Niblock / May 28, 2017 / Leave a comment
“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 60 researchers presented their findings on everything from Prince’s hit records to his high heels over two densely-packed days and nights of deliberations. Even Dez Dickerson, Prince’s one-time lead guitarist from The Revolution, rocked up and sprinkled purple stardust over the event, jointly hosted by University of Salford and Middle Tennessee State University.
Eyebrows are often raised when pop culture phenomena, be they musicians or TV series, attract critical scrutiny. People may scoff at the idea of a group of indulged academics squandering bloated expense budgets on pet pursuits. But in the coffee breaks as we exchanged email addresses, it was clear how many had crossed the globe at their own expense.