A Penn State (search) conference planner is organizing an academic symposium about Bruce Springsteen (search).

Mark Bernhard, who describes himself as a "Springsteen nut," says he expects more than 270 educators, music historians and Springsteen enthusiasts to attend. The three-day event at Monmouth University (search) in New Jersey starts September Ninth.

It includes weighty topics, such as the influence of Springsteen's music on Catholicism and the Vietnam Veterans movement. There's also a panel discussion on Springsteen's storytelling techniques.

Bernhard says Springsteen hasn't authorized this conference, but he's hoping to meet him anyway. The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey, is a stop on the symposium schedule, and Springsteen is known to occasionally drop in there.