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Salford Uni to host conference on life of Prince

The University of Salford in the UK will later this month host the first academic conference dedicated to the late Prince Rogers Nelson.

Purple Reign: An interdisciplinary conference on the life and legacy of Prince will run from 24 to 26 May, welcoming more than 60 academics from around the world to Salford’s School of Arts and Media to speak on the life, work and legacy of Prince, who passed away last April.

Speakers at the conference, organised in partnership with Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in the US, include Prince’s former guitarist Dez Dickerson, who will give a keynote speech on 24 May, and Aziz Ibrahim of The Stone Roses, who will chair a panel discussion the next day.

Guests, meanwhile, will include academics from New York University, Harvard University, Stanford University and the Smithsonian Museum in the US and the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, as well as from institutions in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The University of Salford’s Peel Hall and MediaCityUK buildings and Salford City Council’s Swinton Civic Centre will be lit up in purple throughout the conference.

“This event will give us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Prince’s life and to examine the remarkable impact he had as a musician, songwriter and style icon”

Prof. Mike Alleyne from MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry comments: “After Prince’s sudden demise last year, Kirsty [Fairclough, senior lecturer at the University of Salford’s School of Arts and Media] and I began discussing ways to recognise his creative and cultural legacies. Ultimately, we decided an academic conference would be an ideal vehicle.

“In an era of instant and transient celebrity, it’s well worth celebrating someone whose artistic longevity will clearly outlast any fleeting fame, and whose credibility remains intact despite stardom and massive commercial success.”

“Prince’s death was one of 2016’s saddest losses, but this event will give us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate his life and to examine the remarkable impact he had as a musician, a songwriter and a style icon who changed our ideas of celebrity forever,” adds Fairclough.

“Prince touched the lives of thousands of people and so we want this to be much more than simply an academic conference. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, this will be a truly landmark event which will be for everyone, welcoming Dez Dickerson to Salford to offer fans a unique insight into this most enigmatic star, lighting buildings across the city purple and arranging a series of public events to involve the local community.”


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