Friday, March 27 and Saturday March 28, 2015
Bowen-Thompson Student Union
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio

Twitter: @bgsuguitar || Facebook || Free Registration

The Electric Guitar in Popular Culture aims to examine the roles of the electric guitar in cultures throughout the world. It is intended to serve as a space for scholars, musicians, and fans to engage in dialogue about topics related to the electric guitar and its cultural influence.

The panels, performances, and featured speakers of the conference examine the electric guitar as a material object, a cultural icon, an instrument of change, and an influential text of global popular culture.

The conference and all related events are free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged but is not required to attend any part of the conference. Attendees are free to come and go to the various panels, speakers, and performances.

To register multiple attendees, please contact Becky Denes at

Conference Schedule

Throughout the events of the conference, we will be featuring a special multimedia installation, Ascension (More than a feeling), by Una Hamilton Halle.
(Unless otherwise specified, all events will take place in the 2nd Floor of the BTSU. Schedule subject to change.)

Friday, March 27, 2015

9:00am – Registration

9:30am – Opening Remarks and Welcome

9:50am – Break

10:00am – Keynote Address – Vulgar Display of Power: Six-String Milestones in the Creation of Heavy Metal Guitar
Martin Popoff (Journalist, Author, Co-Founder of Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles Magazine)

10:50am – Break

11:00am – Panel #1 – The Electric Guitar in Popular Culture

Elizabeth Sallinger (University of Kansas) – The Whole Town’s On Its Feet: The Electric Guitar and Jesus Christ Superstar
Rama Alapati (Andhra University, Bowling Green State University) – Adaptation of Electric Guitar in Indian Cinema
Nancy Down(Bowling Green State University) and Alex Koch(Bowling Green State University) – Guitar Heroes: Depictions of the Electric Guitar and Rock Music in the Comics

12:20pm – Lunch Break

2:00pm – Performance – Chris Buzzelli (Bowling Green State University School of Music)

2:50pm – Break

3:00pm – Stories from the Scaffolding of Rock and Roll

Special Guest: Ken Haas (Reverend Guitars)

3:50pm – Break

4:00pm – Panel #2 – The Electric Guitar in Rock Subcultures

Roger Landes (Texas Tech University School of Music) – “How Come You Have to Be so Loud?” Wildness, Danger, and Sonifications of the Other in Surf Guitar Performance Practice
Craig Dickman (Independent Scholar, Musician) – We’re Not Actually Musicians: The History and Evolution of Guitar Technique and Aesthetic in Punk Rock Music

5:20pm – Break

5:30pm – Panel #3 – The Instrumentality of the Electric Guitar

Kevin Ebert (Xavier University) – But that Doesn’t Help Me on Guitar! (Unraveling the Myth of the Self-Taught Metal Guitarist)
Giacomo Fiore (University of San Francisco, San Francisco Conservatory of Music) – Sixty Years and Counting: The Electric Guitar as a Classical Concert Instrument
Kimi Kärki (University of Turku) – Solid Guitar Autoethnography: Gibson SG as a Touring Companion

8:00pm – Performances – Matt Donahue (MAD 45) & Chuck Stohl and Friends
Grounds for Thought
174 S. Main St
Bowling Green, Ohio

10:00pm – End of Conference Day One

Saturday, March 28

9:00am – Registration

9:30am – Panel #4 – Interpretations of the Electric Guitar in African Nations

Ian Eagleson (Independent Scholar) – The Electric Guitar in Kenyan Benga: Texture, Arrangement, and Rhythm

10:50pm – Break

11:00am – Panel #5 – Icons of the Electric Guitar

Mike Daley (York University) – Lou Reed’s “Ostrich” Tuning as an Aesthetic Point of Articulation

12:20pm – Lunch Break

1:30pm – Panel #6 – Gender, Sexuality, and the Electric Guitar

Joshua Hochman (University of California, San Diego) – Queering Guitar Noise, Reevaluating Punk Rock
Joanna Murphy (Bowling Green State University) – Women Who Rock: Women, Self-Presentation and the Electric Guitar

2:50pm – Break

3:00pm – Performance - Kelly Richey

3:50pm – Break

4:00pm – Panel #7 – The Culture and Aesthetics of the Electric Guitar in Rock Music

Philippe Gonin (University of Burgundy) – The Electric Guitar as a Sound Generator in Rock Music (1954-2014)
Ben Jameson (University of Southampton) – Rock Meets Spectralism: Cultural Associations of the Electric Guitar in Tristan Murail’s Vampyr!

5:20pm – Break

5:30pm – Keynote Address – Guitar Studies: Some Thoughts About a Field That Doesn't Really Exist (Yet)

Steve Waksman (Smith College)

6:20pm – Closing Remarks

8:00pm – Closing Performances – Kimi Kärki & Skip McDonald (Little Axe)

Grounds for Thought
174 S. Main St
Bowling Green, Ohio

This program is made possible, in part, by the Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Browse the contents of Electric Guitar in Popular Culture Conference:

Individual Abstracts for Conference Presentations