First Spring 2019 Faculty Forum to study Springsteen

First Spring 2019 Faculty Forum to study Springsteen

Fans, critics, and scholars of Bruce Springsteen often note the shift from the hopeful romanticism of 1975's Born to Run to the despondent pessimism of his next album, 1978's Darkness on the Edge of Town. These commentators frequently point to Springsteen's maturing perspective or even his bitter break and lawsuit with manager Mike Appel as causes for this thematic change.

Assistant Professor of English Greg Giddings said that something else most listeners might not have noted is the effect that gender roles play in these albums, particularly how the songs' speakers interact with and comment on female characters.

Giddings and Writing Program Administrator Melissa Nivens will discuss this shift in "Gender and Politics in Bruce Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town" for the first Faculty Forum of the 2019 spring semester at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, in Legacy Hall's Multipurpose Room.

Their multimedia presentation will examine the cultural complexity of gender using both feminist rhetoric perspective and masculinities studies. "Our presentation will be fast moving, jargon-free, and accessible to general audience, and not incidentally, the music will be good," Giddings said.

Giddings said that scholarly attention on Springsteen continues to grow. He and Nivens attended an international conference about Darkness on the Edge of Town at Monmouth University in New Jersey last spring. "That English professors examine and explain texts other than novels, short stories, and poems should be of interest," Giddings said. "We don't just read Shakespeare and Faulkner in the English department."

Faculty Forum is a monthly showcase for the research and creative endeavors of the Midwestern State University faculty. It is an opportunity for the campus and Wichita Falls communities to learn, engage, and sometimes discuss the novel ideas and explorations of the talented individuals who teach, discover, and create at MSU Texas. Admission is free and open to all. Contact Dr. Jon Price at or 940-397-4288 for more information.