Dr Thomas Endres from the University of Northern Colorado to deliver Keynote Presentation at ECAH2018

Dr Thomas Endres

ECAH2018 Keynote Speaker

University of Northern Colorado, USA

Next Monday (July 9, 2018), Dr Thomas G. Endres, Chair of the School of Communication at the University of Northern Colorado, USA, will deliver a Keynote Presentation titled “Classic Rock in the Year of Revolt: Using the Illusion of Life to Examine the Hits of 1968” at The European Conference on Arts & Humanities 2018 (ECAH2018) in Brighton, UK.

Dr Endres’s teaching and research interests include rhetoric and popular culture, storytelling within cultural communities, leadership and group dynamics, and pedagogical tools such as study abroad and online learning. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in communication theory, and his favorite course to teach is a short-term summer course in Barcelona, Spain. He is author/photographer of the book Sturgis Stories: Celebrating the People of the World’s Largest Motorcycle Rally, and has published dozens of book chapters and conference proceedings on topics such as father-daughter relationships, tattoos as family identifiers, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. In 2015 he published the definitive article on Ernest Bormann’s Symbolic Convergence Theory in Wiley-Blackwell’s International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy. He has delivered over 225 conference presentations worldwide, including an appearance for TEDtalk ArenaCircle and keynote speeches at conferences in Japan, China, and Thailand (in the latter he also served as conference chair for MEDCOM 2016). Awards received include Outstanding Professor from the National Speakers Association, Administrator of the Year from the National Communication Association’s National States Advisory Council, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rocky Mountain Communication Association. He currently serves as Executive Director and editor-in-chief of the Society for the Academic Study of Social Imagery.


Keynote Presentation | Classic Rock in the Year of Revolt: Using the Illusion of Life to Examine the Hits of 1968

This is not the first generation facing a fearful future. Exactly fifty years ago, 1968 – nestled between the Summer of Love (’67) and Woodstock (’69) - was known as the year of revolt. “It was a year of seismic social and political change across the globe” (www.theguardian.com). From Vietnam protests and Civil Rights marches, to the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, American culture was awash in struggle yet alive in activist ideology. In particular, Classic Rock of the era served as a reflection of the times, a call to action, and eventually an eternal lesson on love, angst, and protest. Using Sellnow’s Illusion of Life methodology, which examines music as rhetoric, this essay analyses the top ten hits of that year (per http://ultimateclassicrock.com/1968-songs/). The website posits, “The best songs of 1968 mostly steered clear of the hippie trappings that dominated the two surrounding years,” and includes such timeless masterpieces as Joplin’s “Piece of my Heart”, Cream’s “White Room”, Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower”, and the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil”. The humanistic methodology begins by identifying first the patterns found in the songs’ virtual time (music) and virtual experience (lyrics). Analysis then delves into the use of strategies such as congruity, incongruity, ambiguity, and ascription to get across meaning. From there, we critique the interpretations and impact such works had on their original generation, trace their ongoing impact over the course of five decades, and conclude with moral and pragmatic applications for today.

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