Two Events to Launch a New Book Series: Studies in the Grateful Dead

Join us for two author talks this semester and the launch of a new book series from Duke University Press, Studies in the Grateful Dead, exploring the iconic rock band’s lasting impact on American culture and the “long strange trip” their music is still taking today. 

Edited by Nicholas G. Merriweather, Executive Director of the Grateful Dead Studies Association and former Grateful Dead Archivist at the University of California–Santa Cruz, the new book series explores the musical and cultural significance, impact, and achievement of the Grateful Dead while reinventing the academic and popular discourse devoted to the band.  

According to the Duke University Press website, Studies in the Grateful Dead “establishes the Dead as an anchor for the 1960s counterculture, which proved to be the source of key historical moments that have shaped music, art, film, literature, politics, and philosophy in America ever since. In this way, books in the series will deepen understandings of postwar American culture while providing a full examination of the ‘afterlife’ of the Grateful Dead, with all the seriousness and joy their work deserves.” 

Each event will feature a Q&A with the author, light refreshments, and enough obscure band trivia (and deep analysis) to satisfy Deadheads of all ages. Copies of the books will be available for purchase.

Date: Friday, February 2 
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room (Rubenstein Library 153) 

Get Shown the Light: Improvisation and Transcendence in the Music of the Grateful Dead, by Michael Kaler, Associate Professor at the Institute for the Study of University Pedagogy, University of Toronto Mississauga.


Date: Friday, April 5 
Time: 6:00 p.m. 
Location: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room (Rubenstein Library 153) 

Live Dead: The Grateful Dead, Live Recordings, and the Ideology of Liveness, by John Brackett, an independent scholar and author of John Zorn: Tradition and Transgression, and coeditor of The Routledge Companion to Popular Music Analysis: Expanding Approaches. 


Duke has several notable connections with the Grateful Dead. Last April marked the 45th anniversary of the jam band’s 1978 concert at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, widely regarded as one of their best shows of the decade and one of five times they performed at this university. The Duke community celebrated the event with an engaging panel discussion and performance at the Rubenstein Arts Center. You can also watch a recording of the historic concert online. 

Co-sponsored by Duke University Press, Duke University Libraries, and Duke Arts 

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