Our conference theme, “We Don’t Need the English!”: Punk and Its Afterlives, is inspired by the special issue from Socialtext https://www.dukeupress.edu/punk-and-its-afterlives and the Bag’s song “We Don’t Need the English.” This conference traces non-white genealogies of punk beyond the U.K. and New York scenes, including punk genealogies stemming from the Southwest that are seldom celebrated or acknowledged within mainstream punk historiography. This intergenerational and interdisciplinary conference invites artists and musicians, punkademics, community members, students of all ages and academic backgrounds. This conference will take place at UC Riverside on May 4th, 2019 at 9am- 6pm with on-site and online pre-registration. This is a free event open to the public. We have considered academic papers, mix style presentations, and/or non-paper panels (i.e. performances, workshops, roundtables, poster presentations) that address the following topics:

  • Punk before 2008
  • Punk in the 90s-2000s
  • Borderlands regions
  • The Southwest
  • Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality in Punk
  • Feminisms
  • DIY archives/ing practices  

Our conference committee is composed of graduate students and undergraduate students, who are interested in punk studies and culture as scholars but also as cultural participants. This conference exemplifies interdisciplinary and cross-institutional collaboration and engagement. As the two lead graduate students organizing this event, we are each housed in different home institutions and departments.

Marlen Rios-Hernandez is an exiting 6th year Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside. Her dissertation “We Were There”: From Alice Bag to Emos The War on Punk in the Time of Ronald Reagan and Other Décadas Podridas is a full length transnational comparative study of queer Chicana and Latina participants in the Los Angeles/Southern California and Latin American punk scenes from 1977-2001 respectively. Alice Bag, a queer Chicana punk from the 1970s punk scene in L.A., creates this dissertation’s foundation by calling for both a reexamination of the lack of representation of queer Latinas/Chicanas in punk historiography and L.A. punk as a global scene in conversation with the global south specifically Mexico and Nicaragua. Additionally,  Marlen has been recently featured by UCR News and Fierce by Mitu.  https://news.ucr.edu/articles/2018/10/15/phd-punk-only-uc-riverside

Susana Sepulveda is a fifth-year PhD student in the department of Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) who is minoring in Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory (SCCT) at the University of Arizona. These fields inform her scholarship and developing dissertation project on Chicana punk subcultures. Her work addresses the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexuality in Chicana punk experiences and emphasizes the importance of consciousness formations in punk in relation to Chicana feminist praxis. Her work engages Chicana feminist studies, cultural studies, sound studies and punk subcultures.In addition to being a scholar, Sepulveda is also a punk musician, event organizer, and zinester or creator of self-published booklets.
Our scholarship reflects the interdisciplinary nature of our conference. Moreover, our cross-institutional collaboration aims to map the different geographical localities of punk that our studies represent.

What is Punk and Why Does it Matter?
Punk is a post-war music subculture that that has transformed into a transnational cultural movement. Most scholarship on punk subculture has described it as emerging in the mid-to-late 1970s in the metropolitan cities of London, New York, and Los Angeles. Predominating representations of punk include white British and Anglo Saxon, masculine, and heterosexual subjects. But as our conference aims to highlight, participants have shaped punk across different ethnic, racial, national, gender, sexual, and geographical localities. In addition, while there is a large body of work in punk studies that transcends disciplines, a lot of the scholarship on punk is limited to specific regions and geographies that often do not include the Southwest regions of what we now call the U.S. This conference aims to disrupt “punk orthodoxies” (Sabin, 1999), broaden punk histories and narratives, as well as expand the breadth of punk studies. We hope to foster a space where participants and presenters may engage intellectually as a community of scholars, both academic and non-academic, and as cultural practitioners and/or producers. Moreover, this conference seeks to address underrepresented punk subjects, identities, experiences, cultural work, and the different geographical localities in which punk exists but is often rendered invisible–– especially the intellectual contributions of people/youth of color interested in the study of punk localized within the Inland Empire and Southern California.

Thank you for your consideration and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

The 2019 UCR Punk Conference Committee