Blackstar Rising & The Purple Reign: Celebrating the Legacies of David Bowie and Prince

January 25-28, 2017

Celebrating the work of David Bowie and Prince, Blackstar Rising & The Purple Reign will explore the careers of two singular musicians who changed the face of popular music culture in the second half of the twentieth century. Bringing together scholars, musicians, filmmakers, artists, journalists, and students for discussion, critical listening, and musical performance, this event will examine the pathbreaking innovations of these two remarkable musicians, and explore the legacies of two artists who recognized the ways that popular music can create liberating spaces where audacious cultural and social changes and transformations might flourish. Lectures and roundtable discussions will examine how Bowie and Prince each championed aesthetic, social, and cultural freedom and rule-breaking in their respective repertoires and ultimately revolutionized racial, gender, and sexual identity politics in popular music culture. The event will culminate in a concert featuring the band TV On The Radio.

All events are free and open to the community. Tickets are not required unless otherwise noted.

Events

January 25, 2017
8:30pm

Sound & Vision: Listening Together to David Bowie & Prince (concert & critical deejay session with Questlove and Kimbra)

January 26, 2017
4:30pm

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973) followed by Q&A with D.A. Pennebaker (film & conversation)

9:00pm

“Everybody Still Wants to Fly”: Activism in Pop from Prince to Solange (roundtable conversation and keynote conversation with Solange)

January 27, 2017
8:45am

Welcome by Daphne A. Brooks–To the "Dearly Beloved," "Gimme Your Hands 'Cause You're Wonderful": On the Importance of (a Rock 'n' Roll) Commons

9:00am

“Take Me With U”: David Bowie, Prince & the Utopian Pop Universe (conference session)

10:30am

“Life On Mars?”: Spirituality & (Im)mortal Imaginaries in Bowie & Prince (conference session)

12:00pm

Highlights from the David Bowie Is Exhibition (roundtable conversation)

1:00pm

“Hang On to Yourself”: The Making of David Bowie Is (roundtable conversation)

2:15pm

“Around the World in a Day”: Traversing Cities & Borders in Bowie & Prince (conference session)

3:45pm

“Young Americans”: Prince, Bowie, Funk & the 1970s (conference session)

5:30pm

“Housequake”: A Critical Karaoke Tribute (conference session)

8:30pm

“Modern Love”: Bowie & Prince & the Art of Collaboration—In Conversation with Donny McCaslin and Sheila E. (roundtable conversation)

January 28, 2017
9:00am

“Watch That Man”: Visual Bowie, Visual Prince—On Art & Film (conference session)

10:30am

“The Black Album”: Bowie, Prince & Sonic Experimentalism (conference session)

1:30pm

“Oh! You Pretty Things”: Theater, Performance & Spectacular Bowie & Prince (conference session)

3:00pm

“Rebirth of the Flesh”: David Bowie & Prince’s (Dis)identifications—On Race, Gender, & Sexuality (conference session)

8:00pm

TV On The Radio concert

This event is co-sponsored by the African American Studies Department; the American Studies Program; the Department of English; the Film and Media Studies Program; the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library; the Department of the History of Art; the Institute for Sacred Music; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies; the Music Department; Public Humanities; the Center for Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration; the Yale Center for British Art; the Yale College Dean’s Office; the Yale School of Drama; and the Yale University Art Gallery.