Pet Shop Boys Symposium

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  • Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 09:30 to Friday, March 25, 2016 - 22:00

A two day symposium devoted to the Pet Shop Boys will take place in the School of Design at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, on 24th and 25th March 2016. The event will include keynote talks and panels of shorter papers from an array of international speakers. These presentations will explore the full breadth of the band's output, including their music, theatre, soundtracks, pop promos, films, and books. Specific talks will explore (amongst other topics) the Hi-NRG and disco roots of the band's music, their sleeve art designs, the Latin American influences on the band's songs, and appearances by the Pet Shop Boys in magazines for teenage girls. The talks will be supplemented with screenings at the Filmhouse and, rounding out the conference, a DJ set at the Wee Red Bar.

The conference has been scheduled to mark the 30th anniversary of the release of the band's first album, Please. The keynote talks will be delivered by Professor Stan Hawkins (University of Oslo), Professor Scott King (University of the Arts London), and Lucy O'Brien (University for the Creative Arts). Stan Hawkins' talk is entitled 'A Very Queer Construct: The Pet Shop Boys in Retrospect'. Scott King will take part in a Q&A focused on his pop music-influenced art and design works, including his collaborations with the Pet Shop Boys. Lucy O'Brien's keynote is titled 'Finding Dusty: Pet Shop Boys and the Disco Divas'.