Exciting news for all my fellow fans of the Dead and historical musicology! San José State University has announced an upcoming conference and symposium on the Grateful Dead, taking place November 5-8. So Many Roads: The World in the Grateful Dead, A Conference & Symposium "represents the culmination of five decades of academic work on the Grateful Dead phenomenon, and demonstrates how scholarly understanding of the Grateful Dead leads to broader understanding of a host of associated literary, historical, artistic, and social contexts and issues."
According to Dead.net, there will be 50+ speakers participating in the conference– a mix of academics, band family members and associates, journalists, artists, musicians, and authors. The Grateful Dead's influence has been far-reaching across a variety of disciplines and panels will explore the band's impact on politics, business, journalism, religious studies, gourmet cooking, and more. To boot, there will also be an exhibit and celebration of San Francisco poster art on November 7, featuring artists like Stanley Mouse, David Singer, and Chris Shaw.
Registration is required for attendance and interested parties will have the choice of purchasing either a one-day or full conference pass. I would love to attend myself but likely won't be able to make the trip. Sigh.
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to catch a cool exhibit on the Grateful Dead at the New York Historical Society. It presented a small cross-section of the material from the Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California Santa Cruz. The band donated the archive to McHenry Library's Special Collections in 2008. It "documents the music, career, and history of the Grateful Dead, and it includes material representing the diversity and extent of their fans, the Deadheads." The archive is chock-full of an array of materials in a variety of mediums and access is available through the Special Collections Department. Two years ago the McHenry Library opened Dead Central, a permanent exhibition site for materials from the collection.
And for your listening pleasure, here's the Grateful Dead live at San Jose State University's Spartan Stadium on April 22, 1979.