Press Release

For immediate release:

August 1, 2020

The Grateful Dead Studies Association, a scholarly not-for-profit professional organization, announced its official launch today with the unveiling of its website,, and the online publication of its peer-reviewed scholarly journal, Grateful Dead Studies, at

An effort many years in the making, the Association offers a forum for academic professionals interested in the study of the Grateful Dead, the timeless American rock band whose music and example have inspired millions of listeners since its formation in 1965.

“For more than fifty years, scholars representing dozens of disciplines and fields have explored the power and vitality of the Grateful Dead from a wide variety of perspectives,” noted Kurt Torell, founding Vice President of the organization and a professor of philosophy at Penn State University. “The Association has been formed to give interested scholars a way to expand the scope and reach of this vibrant and diverse discourse.”

Fittingly, the announcement comes on the 78th birthday of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, who passed away in 1995. “It has become a tradition for fans of the band to celebrate the anniversary of Garcia’s birth with special events,” noted Nicholas Meriwether, the Association President. ” We’re pleased to announce the inauguration of the Association on this special day.”

Plans are underway for the Association to hold its first conference meeting in June 2021, in conjunction with the Popular Culture Association’s annual conference. Interested readers, supporters, and prospective members can find out about the Association’s work at