Quadrophenia

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HERE BY THE SEA AND SAND:

A SYMPOSIUM ON QUADROPHENIA

10th – 11th July 2014
SPONSORED BY THE CENTRE FOR MODERNIST STUDIES, THE CENTRE FOR VISUAL FIELDS, THE CENTRE FOR RESEARCH INTO CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH, UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX, AND THE INTERDISCIPLINARY NETWORK FOR THE STUDY OF SUBCULTURES, POPULAR MUSIC AND SOCIAL CHANGE

Keynote Speaker: James Wood (Harvard University, The New Yorker)

 “I don’t want to be the same as everyone else. That’s why I’m a mod, see?”

Released 40 years ago in 1973, The Who’s ambitious concept album Quadrophenia portrays the 1964 August bank holiday battle between mods and rockers on Brighton beach from the perspective of the young disillusioned pill-popping mod protagonist, Jimmy. Franc Roddam’s iconic film of the album was made in 1979, and in the year before the symposium the Who toured the entire album. Quadrophenia, the album, was a comparative failure when released, but has since been recognised by many critics as their masterpiece. Quadrophenia is a complex and multilayered work, combining some of the Who’s most arresting music with a variety of other art forms (Townshend’s story in the liner notes, Ethan Russell’s compelling book of photographs). It is embedded in two sites, London and Brighton, as well as in many more personal and political histories.

In 2014 The Centre for Modernist Studies at Sussex decided to live up to its name by holding a one-day symposium on the album and film. Papers that mixed personal with critical, historical, musicological, or cultural-studies analyses were welcome.

The program for the event is given below or you can download a copy here

Mods and Rockers Rebooted:

On the beach

This television program aired on August 22nd on BBC 1 Southeast, was narrated by Phil Daniels and featured Here by the Sea and Sand speakers, Christine Feldman-Barrett, Keith Gildart, Simon Wells and Pam Thurschwell. You can view the program on youtube.

Here by the Sand and Sea on Youtube:

You can listen to four of the sessions from the Sussex Quadrophenia symposium here:

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Session Four

Reviews:

Rolling Stone Magazine covered the symposium. Follow this link to read the article.

The Time Higher Education Supplement covered the conference. Read the article here.

Professor Rachel Thomson of CIRCY wrote a great blog post about the conference

The Guardian interviewed our Keynote Speaker James Wood. You can read the interview here.

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Program:

Thursday 10 July 
  • Quadrophenia walking tour (http://brightonwalks.com/Quadrophenia-Walk.html) of Brighton
  • Showing of Quadrophenia at Duke of York’s Cinema, Brighton
  • Franc Roddam (director of Quadrophenia) led a discussion/Q and A session after the showing.
    With the participation of Alan Fletcher (story consultant on Quadrophenia and author of Quadrophenia the novel)
Friday 11 July
  •  Conference welcome by Pam Thurschwell
  • Paolo Hewitt reading from The Sharper Word: A Mod Anthology
  •  Mods and Quads: International perspectives
  • Christine Feldman-Barrett (Griffith University, Australia): Beyond Brighton, Beyond Britain: Quadrophenia and the Post-1960s Mod Diaspora
  • Suzanne Coker: Quad to Run: on Quadrophenia and Born to Run
  • Simon Wells: Quadrophenia Fans: A Way of Life
  • “You’re watching movies trying to find the feelers”: Quadrophenia as Cult Film
  • Dolores Tierney (University of Sussex) :Quadrophenia as a ‘new’ cult musical
  • Stephen Glynn (De Montfort University): “Dressed Up Better Than Anyone”:Quadrophenia and the Cult Film Experience
  • Andy Medhurst (University of Sussex): From Soho down to Brighton: Capital, Coast and Quadrophenia
  •  The Who in History
  • Keith Gildart (University of Wolverhampton): Class, Youth and Dirty Jobs: Exploring continuity and change in post-war England through Pete Townshend’sQuadrophenia
  • Sam Cooper (University of Sussex): Heat Wave: The Who, the Mods and the Cultural Turn
  • Ben Winsworth (University of Orleans): “Who (the Fuck) are You?”: Out with the In Crowd in Quadrophenia (1973)
  • Reading Quadrophenia
  • Tom Wright (University of Sussex): 5:15: Mods, Mobility and the Brighton Train
  • Pam Thurschwell (University of Sussex)“You were under the impression that when you were walking forward, you’d end up further onward, but things ain’t quite that simple”: Quadrophenia’s segues and historical impasse
  • Brian Baker (Lancaster University): The Drowning Machine: the sea and the scooter in Quadrophenia
  • Keynote: James Wood (Harvard University)

Quadrophenia Mods on the Pier