UL to hold Symposium on David Bowie

University of Limerick (UL) is holding a three-day event dedicated to David Bowie, marking the 40th anniversary of Bowie’s 1972 hit single, “Changes”. This is an academic event, which will discuss the career and cultural impact of the iconic Bowie.

Organisers have said the symposium on David Bowie has attracted attention not only in Ireland but also on an international level. It will commence on Friday, October 26th and there will be a number of different speakers taking part.

One of the event’s organisers, Dr Eoin Devereux said: “Our three day symposium is the first of its kind on David Bowie. It has attracted interest and participants from all over the world. Bowie is truly an iconic and complex figure who has reinvented himself so many times.

“Lyrically and musically Bowie’s songs have captured the zeitgeist, the alienation felt by many people. We have previously held symposia on Morrissey, which attracted lots of attention but we are staggered by the level of interest in our Bowie event.”

There will be a major discussion chaired by Dr Eoin Devereux on “Strange Fascination, Fascinating Me” on Bowie’s legacy. Members of the panel include Today FM presenter and lead singer in the Undertones, Paul McLoone, deputy editor of Hot Press, Stuart Clark and Chris Charlesworth of Omnibus Press.

UL’s Sociology department, the organisers said: “The David Bowie Symposium will cover many themes. There are papers on his lyrics, on his career as an actor and on the artwork and imagery that he has used on his album covers. His Berlin period will be discussed as will his more recent recordings such as Heathen and Outside.”

Just over 7,000 people have ‘liked’ the event on David Bowie’s official fan page on Facebook, but organisers have said they are expecting between 250-300 people to attend. Tickets are priced at €20 and €15 for the unwaged. There will also be a performance from Bowie tribute act, Rebel Rebel (tickets priced separately).

Some of the topics up for discussion include a comparative appraisal of the lyrical value of the works of David Bowie and Adam Ant, “Smiling through this darkness”: rethinking Bowie in the 80s and the extraordinary rock star as a pop star as film star: David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth. A full list is available from the UL website.

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