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Light My Way: Achtung Baby! 30 Years Later

Posted: July 16th, 2021 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

Light My Way: Achtung Baby! 30 Years Later
A Virtual Exploration of U2 Dreaming It All Up Again
November 18-20, 2021

The U2 Conference invites conversations and critical inquiry into how Achtung Baby continues to light our way, despite—or because of—its shadowy dark corners, contradictory complexities, and experimental nature, thematically and sonically, for U2. When released thirty years ago, reactions from critics and fans ranged from beloved to bewildered to betrayed, which was certainly all part of the plan when U2 felled its Joshua Tree era with its shock-and-awe reinvention, born from dreams and responsibilities to itself, its art, and its sense of rock ‘n’ roll.

“Sometimes I feel like I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like checking out. I wanna get it wrong . . .”

Did U2 get it wrong? On purpose? Did U2 find a new light by heading into a new darkness? Guided by an ageless muse, voiced by poet Brendan Kennelly in The Book of Judas (1991)—“The best way to serve the age is to betray it”—U2 played with betrayal from so many angles that fans, critics, and academics are still examining how an album full of shadows shines brightly thirty years later.

We invite presentations of a personal, creative, collaborative, or academic nature, realizing that any presentation will have a mixture of some of the above. All presentations will be made virtually, as the program this year will be online only. Proposals and presentations can be in languages other than English. The deadline for proposals is September 1, 2021. Complete proposal details and contacts for questions are here, as well as information on upcoming conferences for the 30th anniversary of U2’s ZooTV tour and the release of the Zooropa album.

Scott Calhoun
U2 Conference Committee
Director, The U2 Conference

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