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Bruce Springsteen Symposium Coming in September

Bruce Springsteen
Mike Coppola, Getty Images

If you can’t get enough of the Boss, then take note – a Bruce Springsteen Symposium will be held next month at Monmouth University in West Long Branch!

The organizer, Dr Mark Bernhard, associate provost for Outreach and Engagement at the University of Southern Indiana, says “I would describe it as an educational conference appealing to both academics and non-academics -it’s been a labor of love for me. I’ve been to 61 Springsteen concerts and counting.”

The symposium was first held in 2005 and again in 2009, and it typically draws between 200 and 300 participants.

The University of Southern Indiana is  partnering with both Monmouth and Penn State Altoona on the event, which is officially called Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium. Breakout sessions at the conference cover the relationship between academic topics and Springsteen’s works, such as pedagogy, international perspectives, work and class, diversity, religion and spirituality, and politics and activism.

Participants will explore topics like “Freedom son’s a dirty shirt: Bruce Springsteen and the Nobility of Work on Wrecking Ball,” “Bruce Springsteen and Transformative Grief,” and “Springsteen and American Roots Traditions.”

So far, more than 120 proposals have been received for this year’s conference, including submissions from across the United States, and from England, Germany, Sweden and Canada. In addition to the academic presentations, keynote speakers will present on “pop culture” aspects of Springsteen’s legacy.

Pre- and post-conference tours will explore Asbury Park, Freehold, Belmar and other areas associated with Springsteen’s rise to fame. Music is also important to the event, with performances held throughout at the legendary Stone Pony venue in Asbury Park.

The event will be held September 14-16, at Monmouth University. Registration is now open and more information can be found at


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