From Left to Right: Stan Hawkins, Eoin Devereux, Peter Finan and Len Brown
The Department of Sociology and the Irish World Academy hosted a two day Morrissey Symposium 'The Songs That Saved Your Life (Again)' on April 24th and 25th to celebrate his 20 year career as a solo-recording artist. This unique event which attracted over 300 fans from all over the world was overwhelmed with bright Morrissey quirks and featured 20 Irish and international speakers presenting in-depth papers on Morrissey, reinforcing Morrissey not only as a musical artist but a cultural phenomenon.
The Symposium featured the first ever European screening of Kerri Koch's (2008) fascinating new film 'Passions Just Like Mine' which examined the intense connections that Latino fans have made with the second-generation Irish global icon Morrissey. Philadelphia based film-maker Kerri Koch opened the premier of her film and also took part in a roundtable discussion with the acclaimed television producer and journalist Len Brown. Len who has worked on over 40 documentaries for the BBC, ITV and Channel Four has interviewed Morrissey more than any other journalist and as a result wrote the best-selling book Meetings with Morrissey.
The Symposium wasn't all study however. UL's two-day celebration of Morrissey included an evening gig in Dolan's Warehouse, Limerick, by leading tribute band These Charming Men. The band has re-created the music of Morrissey and The Smiths all over the world and proved to be a great addition to the event.
This is not the first time that the University has studied the life and work of the cultural icon Morrisey; last April, Head of the Department of Sociology at UL, Dr. Eoin Devereux organised a half-day symposium in 2008 which proved to be a great success encouraging the organisation of a larger Morrissey celebration this year over two days.
Dr. Eoin Devereux who is delighted with the Symposium's resounding success said "the Symposium was a wonderful example of collaboration between faculty in the Department of Sociology and in the Irish World Academy for Music and Dance who share an interest in the analysis of popular culture."