You know you've made it as a cultural phenomenon when entire weekend conferences are scheduled...not to hear your music necessarily but to discuss your work in a wider academic sense. This is the honor that has befallen Kraftwerk as Aston University in Birmingham (notably in the UK and not in the band's homeland of Germany) has organized the first Industrial Volksmusik for the Twenty-First Century, a two-day event going down in late January.
"To do justice to the many-facetted aspects of their œuvre and their artistic 'corporate identity' as a group of 'sound researchers,' a pronounced interdisciplinary approach will provide the methodological framework to the conference," reads the event's page on Aston University's site. "Kraftwerk specialists from Britain, as well as Finland, Austria, The Netherlands and the US, will present papers dealing with the band's music and the impact it has had on other artists."
Among some of the titles of lectures and discussions being held at the event, according to Dancing Astronaut: "Cabaret Voltaire and Dada Modernity," "Europe Endless: Geopolitical Retro-futurism?" and "Kraftwerk and the Issue of Post-Human Authenticity."
Ticket prices aren't bad in terms of academic conferences, at around $31.40 for the two days. Students of the university get in free but students from other schools can get in for the half the price of regular admission. The bummer is that the conference is taking place on a Wednesday/Thursday period versus the typical weekend, so you might have to get work covered. While convincing your boss that traveling to England for a Kraftwerk conference is totally worth getting comped.