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‘Punk’: Impacting Culture? Influencing change?

Posted: April 25th, 2017 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

The Fourth Punk Scholars Network Conference and Symposium
The University of Bolton School of the Arts and the Punk Scholars Network

12th and 13th of December 2017

Papers and presentations are invited for the fourth Punk Scholars Network conference and postgraduate symposium to be held at The University of Bolton School of the Arts.

According to some, Punk crashed into popular culture in the United Kingdom in year zero, 1976 and crashed out at Wonderland in San Francisco in January 1978.

Is the notion of year zero a myth? Were the seeds of revolution planted not in London in 1976, but in the garages of Detroit or the streets of the Sorbonne in 1968? Was post-punk the authentic manifestation of the DIY ethic?

In 2017 the philosophy and ideology of ‘Punk’ identities remain in rude health and its influence extends to politics, the arts, fashion and culture broadly. It has evolved beyond the limits of its initial incarnation. Where, though do punk’s anti-authoritarian tendencies sit within the academy’s critical investigation of the genre?

The Punk Scholars Network aims to bring together established academics, the next generation of punk scholars, students and practitioners in a supportive colloquial environment which we hope will encourage networking opportunities ideas exchange and foster potential future research collaborations. The programme will consist of keynote speakers, ‘in conversation with’ sessions and thematically-grouped presentation and panel sessions.

Alongside the conference there will be a student exhibition exploring the impact of punk across the arts, including fine art, design, animation, photography, audio, graphics, textiles and fashion.

Indicative Topics include:

The Punk aesthetic

  • Fan Practice in contemporary and historic punk
  • Digital media production, distribution and consumption
  • Literature, philosophy, art, design and punk
  • Musicology
  • New genres, aesthetics and confrontations

Punk production

  • Fanzines, new media and the DIY ethic
  • Punk painting and photography
  • Fashion, aesthetics and pattern, print and politics
  • Global cross-pollination of punk art and design
  • (Dis-)Archiving punk

Punk and Society

  • Punk and politics
  • Histories of punk, nostalgia and collective memory
  • Sub-cultures, scenes and tribes
  • Punk and the city, suburban punk and regional differences
  • Transnational punk
  • Punk identity, authenticity and the lived experience
  • Punk for sale, representation and commercialisation
  • Concepts of independence and DIY cultures

Punk Politics

  • Punk as protest or resistance
  • Anarcho-punk
  • Sex, gender, race and punk
  • Proto- and post-punk movements
  • Punk and the academy

Post-graduate and graduate researchers are welcome to present work in progress papers on their PhD thesis, Masters or graduate dissertation. We welcome contributions from all disciplines and perspectives and strongly encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Proposals for paper presentations lasting twenty minutes should be submitted in the form of an abstract of no more than 300 words. All submissions should also include:

  • Title of paper/presentation
  • Full name, contact details, and where relevant, institutional affiliation
  • A 150 word biography for each author
  • Presentation requirements

We actively welcome proposals of alternative forms of presentation or performance including but not restricted to video, music, art or poetry. Similarly, innovative, experimental and politically-informed forms of data collection, co-production and analysis are encouraged. All forms of presentation will be considered for inclusion in The Fourth Punk Scholars Network Conference and Symposium based upon fit to the conference themes as well as academic and ethical standards of the contribution.


Close to the cities of Manchester and Liverpool, the Conference will be hosted by the School of the Arts at the University of Bolton, arguably the birthplace of Punk in the North and where Buzzcocks played their first gig, 41 years ago, on the 1st of April 1976 at, what was then, Bolton Institute of Technology.

The conference language is English.

Key Dates

31st July 2017: Abstract submission deadline
17th August 2017: Abstract decision sent out
20th September 2017: Draft programme published
9th October 2017: Deadline for full papers/projects for proceedings
6th November 2017: Presenter booking deadline
12-13th December 2017: The fourth Punk Scholars Network conference and symposium

Proposals should be sent as email attachments (in Word or Open office format) to
[email protected] by the 31st July 2017.

The conference programme will be announced in September 2017.

It is our intention that the conference proceedings will be further developed into a book or special edition of a journal.

Conference Committee

Paul Hollins
University of Bolton, School of the Arts | [email protected]

Leanne Lewis
University of Bolton, School of the Arts | [email protected]

Jason Rutter
University of Dundee, School of Dentistry | [email protected]

Pete Dale
Manchester Metropolitan University, Department of Contemporary Arts | [email protected]

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