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Bowie expert and Providence professor discusses artist’s death
Dr. Nicholas Greco cites David Bowie as a formative influence, both personally and professionally.
“[Monday] morning I found out that a very large part of my academic formation and work died,” he writes in a blog post, dated January 12. “As I write this I’m listening to Bowie’s voice, back from the grave: ‘Ain’t it just like me,’ he sings.”
Indeed, the timing of Bowie’s death—just two days after the release of his album “Blackstar”—is fascinating, as it could only be with the artist, and given his expertise in the phenomenon of celebrity, and in Bowie, particularly, Dr. Greco, Associate Professor of Communications and Media at Providence, found himself called upon to provide insight into both the recontextualization of “Blackstar” and Bowie, himself.
Each of the Winnipeg Free Press, CTV television, CBC radio, CJOB 680 Winnipeg, BIG 97.5 Winnipeg, NewsTalk 770 Calgary, and Greek newspaper TA NEA sought out Dr. Greco for comment and analysis, and after fulfilling his media commitments he taught his first class of the semester.
Dr. Greco, who used Bowie as the subject for his Master’s thesis while at McMaster University (he later completed a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from McGill University), also wrote the book David Bowie in Darkness: A Study of 1. Outside and the Late Career, published last summer by McFarland.
“If it wasn’t for [Bowie],” he writes, “I’m pretty confident to say that I wouldn’t be the scholar—or the person—I am today.
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