Fab4Con Jam, or: Shameless Self-Promotion, Take Two.

Everyone,

I’ve been looking forward to posting about this and participating in this for months, ever since I discussed the possibility with Robert. (For more on why I didn’t get this news out sooner, see the note at the bottom). Not only do I get the chance to delve into an in-depth discussion of Christine Feldman Barrett’s new book, A Women’s History of the Beatles, with Robert and Christine herself on the 20th, I will also be available to do a live Q&A on Sunday the 21st. And that’s just some of the awesome stuff planned for this conference. But I teach history, not advertising, so lets have the pros tell you about it:

Here’s the link to the official page: Home » Fab4Con Jam Feb. 20th & 21st >> Tickets On Sale Now

And here’s a promo blurb, to give you an idea:

Two years of development later and we’re ready NOW! I’m about to burst with excitement over here…We created an event to celebrate the inspiration that The Beatles have on us, and we’re doing it in a way that’s never been done before.

We’ve teamed up with artists, speakers, and other legends to Come Together and celebrate The Beatles. It’s a virtual event on another level for it’s interactive element. We teamed up with our livestream partner, In.Live, to take you on a ride of entertainment, fun, and discovery. All on a cutting edge video platform technology with HD streaming and interactive capabilities to even interview the guest speakers! 

Come Together and join us for this special event February 20th and 21st

This is going to be an amazing experience, and everything is going to be top-of-the-line. I had a tutorial on the technology and staging for the video part of the conference (for those who are interested, I’m gong to have to flee my own house and spend the weekend participating in exile at my sister-in-law’s, because there is no way on earth I would be able to get through this otherwise without constant interruption) and I can’t wait for this weekend to get started. For any readers who are interested, please let me know, and leave comments or questions!

Thanks,

Erin


I fully intended to post this days ago. Then my 11 month old came down with a fever, conveniently timed for the middle of the night. (Cue parental sleep deprivation). After a few days, when he started getting healthy again, my two and a half year old came down with it. I won’t gross you out with the details of caring 24/7 for two sick toddlers, but I admit the juxtaposition of the announcement of this conference (which I am very excited about participating in) and the reality of my situation wiping noses and distributing children’s Tylenol amused me, even in my exhaustion.

At one point I had to chuckle at myself, imagining one of those narrator voices: “Here we see Erin Weber, historian and well-respected Beatles author, operating on three hours sleep, scrubbing regurgitated cheerios off of her be-slimed couch. Erin, what can you tell us about the lack of authorial diversity in Beatles historiography, and why you find that to be a detriment?”

Cheers! (Both little ones are doing better, btw, but neither is back to 100%). And, apropos of nothing, because I have been a Kansas City fan since I was 12: Super Bowl Prediction (Do you know Lamar Hunt coined the term Super Bowl?) Chiefs 34, Bucs 27.

Employing Historical Distance

In both The Beatles and the Historians, as well as various podcast interviews, I’ve mentioned the concept of historical distance: the passage of time which allows for more objective analysis of an event of individual. One of the elements of historical distance which, incidentally, can but does not automatically ensure revising or reevaluating history, is the willingness of authors to re-evaluate their own work. As I’ve mentioned in previous interviews, this was an understood element among the first historians of the First World War: intelligent enough and politically savvy enough to understand that there were documents and sources unavailable to them, the first wave of French historians of the Great War made a conscious effort to accept new evidence as it became available, and adjust their interpretations accordingly.

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New Podcast Interview: SATB and the Two Great Debates

Everyone,

Thanks to everyone who has continued to read, comment and follow this blog, even during its baby-influenced hiatus. For those who have only recently discovered the blog and wish to comment on old threads, please feel free to do so: Karen or I will see your comments and do our best to respond to them. While I am still taking a break, for the time being, from writing book reviews, I have managed to do several podcast interviews over the last few months.

For those of you who are interested, here is my most recent interview, with SATB’s Robert Rodriguez, discussing the two major debates in Beatles historiography:

If you’d like to offer thoughts and discussion on the podcast and/or the subjects discussed, feel free. We look forward to hearing from you.

(And, to give credit where credit is due, thanks to my parents, who babysat for approximately 3 hours so I could manage to do this interview with Robert).

 

The Beatles and the Phenomenology of Fame

To declare that the Beatles were, from 1963 on, famous, is a mind-numbingly obvious statement. For all of Beatles historiography’s numerous debates, the Fab Four’s stratospheric amount of fame — both as a quartet and as individuals — is unquestioned. Countless anecdotes, stories and direct comments from Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr, as well as others close to them, reinforce that fame impacted them as individuals and as a group; influencing their friendships, their family relations, their attempts to live semi-normal lives, and their futures. Fame was also an element contributing to the tragedies of the stabbing attack on George Harrison and the murder of John Lennon.

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