Communications Media faculty member Zack Stiegler is no stranger to exploring abstract ideas, and, this summer, he will be presenting his interpretation of Prince’s 26-minute conceptual composition, “The War.” Stiegler will be attending Purple Reign, an interdisciplinary
conference that will concentrate on the life and legacy of the innovative musician Prince.
In Stiegler’s presentation, he will detail the lengthy track’s philosophical notions from two larger frameworks. In the first framework, Stiegler views the song from the perspective of the position Prince was at in his career at the time of the song’s releasing. The political and
religious undertones of the song, as well as the overt length, can be seen as a representation of the newly found freedom Prince had after being freed from his contract with Warner Bros. Records.
The second framework sees Stiegler observing the racial dynamic of the song through an Afro-futuristic lens. In the presentation’s abstract, Stiegler
writes, “‘The War’ cautions against the distractions of mass media and instant gratification, serving as a call to action for social-political resistance via religious faith. That is, in ‘The War,’ Prince incorporates both the utopic and dystopic strains of Afro-futurism to stage his broader social
The conference is being held at the University of Salford in Manchester, U.K. from May 23 to 26, 2017.