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All shook up in Mississippi

elvis.poster

Scholars gather for international Elvis conference

August 4, 1996
Web posted at: 6:30 p.m. EDT

OXFORD, Mississippi (CNN) -- Anyone who doubts Elvis Presley still lives might consider visiting the University of Mississippi this week, during the second International Conference on Elvis Presley, which opened Sunday.

The six-day conference, titled "Then Sings my Soul: Elvis and the Sacred South," promises to explore "the enduring posthumous presence of Elvis in media culture worldwide." and "the spiritual roots and secular conflicts of the emergence of rock 'n' roll in Southern culture."

In addition to more academic lectures and panel discussions, the conference will feature Elvis impersonators such as Elvis Herselvis and the Straight White Males, a performance by Elvis Presley Jr., and offbeat lectures such as "Sharing the Light: Impersonating Elvis."

In keeping with the international theme, a professor from Finland will be on hand to perform Presley songs in Latin, and a professor from Japan will discuss "Elvis Presley á la Japonaise."

Ole Miss professor Dr. Vernon Chadwick, who organized the event, insists this is "not your ordinary academic conference. Rather, it is a six-day festival of learning, a work of art international in scope and millennial in significance."

Excerpts from the International Conference on Elvis Presley schedule:

Monday

9:15 a.m. - The Emerging South of Civil Rights: Martin Luther King Jr. and Elvis

10:30 a.m. - Elvis, Faulkner, and Feminine Spirituality

Wednesday

Understanding Elvis: Two Psychological Perspectives

9 a.m. - Elvis: The Twinless Twins' Search for Spiritual Meaning

10:30 a.m. - Don't Be Cruel to a Heart That's True: Understanding the King and What Went Wrong

Thursday

1:30 p.m. - Off the Wall, From the Heart: Votive Graffiti at Graceland

Friday

2:30 p.m. - Policing the Soul of Elvis

3:30 p.m. - Confessions of an Elvis Denier

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