Is Rock 'n' Roll Dead? Only if You Aren't Listening

A few years ago my friend Ben Saunders, then a graduate student in the English department at Duke University, helped organize "Representing Rock," a wonderful interdisciplinary conference on rock 'n' roll. In fact, it was through the conference that we became friends: We discovered a common astonishment at the work of the British band Radiohead.

At that Duke conference, a prominent scholar -- well known in the field of popular-music studies and in the larger realm of cultural studies