We are an interdisciplinary team of scholars, artists, and thinkers with a passion for Prince's legacy to world of music, as well as to the Twin Cities.
Arun Saldanha - Conference Organizer (Geography, Environment, and Society, University of Minnesota)
Arun had been thinking for over a decade about organizing a Prince symposium, puzzled that so few seemed to know about the uniquely tight connection between this city and the global pop icon. When in 2016 he finally started on the project as Imagine Chair of Arts, Design, and Humanities, Prince died unexpectedly a couple of weeks later. Arun’s research is on race, colonialism, gender, and cultural theory. He recently authored Space After Deleuze and edited Geographies of Race and Food: Fields Bodies Markets and Sexual Difference Between Psychoanalysis and Vitalism. He lives in Powderhorn.
Thom Swiss (Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota)
Sumanth Gopinath (School of Music, University of Minnesota)
Emma Balazs (Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, Australia)
Emma Balázs is the curator of the People's Museum for Prince, which will hold its first exhibition in April 2018 in conjunction with the Symposium. Originally from Australia,Emma has worked in the arts all her life, as filmmaker, arts educator, arts manager and curator in Melbourne, Chicago, Singapore and New York. She has worked at Columbia University School of the Arts as Director of Visual Arts and Curator of the Neiman Gallery, and has held teaching positions in Arts Management at Columbia University, La Salle College of the Arts and SUNY Purchase. She has an MA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she focused on Collaborative Curatorial Practices. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Interdisciplinary Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.
Elliot Powell (American Studies, University of Minnesota)
Zenzele Isoke (Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota)
Bryan Schmidt - Administrative Assistant (Theatre Arts and Dance, University of Minnesota)
Mike Alleyne (Department of Recording Industry, Middle Tennessee State University)
Professor Mike Alleyne teaches in the Department of Recording Industry at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). He is the author of The Encyclopedia of Reggae: The Golden Age of Roots Reggae (2012) contributing editor of Rhythm Revolution: A Chronological Anthology of American Popular Music - 1960s to 1980s (2015), and author of the forthcoming book The Essential Hendrix. He has lectured and presented conference papers internationally and his work has been published in Popular Music & Society, the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Rock Music Studies, the Journal on the Art of Record Production, the award-winning Grove Dictionary of American Music, Popular Music History, Social and Economic Studies, Small Axe and Billboard magazine. He was co-organizer of the Purple Reign conference in Manchester, England, which was the first academic event dedicated to the life and career of Prince. His involvement with popular music also includes roles as a writer and publisher member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers) and PRS (Performing Right Society).
Kirsty Fairclough (School of Arts and Media, University of Salford, UK)
Dr Kirsty Fairclough is Associate Dean: Research and Innovation in the School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford, UK. She has published widely on popular culture and is the co-editor of The Music Documentary: Acid Rock to Electropop (Routledge), The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment (Bloomsbury) and Music/Video: Forms, Aesthetics, Media. New York, (Bloomsbury) and author of the forthcoming Beyoncé: Celebrity Feminism and Popular Culture (I.B Tauris). She has lectured internationally on popular culture, feminism and representations of women most notably at The Royal College of Music, Stockholm, The University of Copenhagen, Second City, Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, Middle Tennessee State University, Unisinos Brazil and Bucknell University, Pennsylvania. Kirsty has significant experience in international academic partnership development, particularly in North America and developed the Popular Culture Conference series, including to date, I’ll See You Again in 25 Years, Twin Peaks and Generations of Cult Television (University of Salford, May 2015), Mad Men: The Conference (Middle Tennessee State University, May 2016) and Purple Reign: An interdisciplinary conference on the life and legacy of Prince, hosted by the School of Arts and Media, University of Salford, UK and the Department of Recording Industry, Middle Tennessee State University, USA.
Colleen Sheehy (Public Art Saint Paul)
Charles "Chazz" Smith (founding member of Grand Central and Prince's cousin)
Victoria Levy Smith
Suzanne Wint (independent ethnomusicologist)
Ayo Pamela Yetunde (United Theological Seminary, Minneapolis)