Fall 2020 Undergraduate English Courses

359:315 Culture and Revolution: Punk

01 TTH5  CAC   05717   DIENST   FH-B5

How does social and cultural change happen? And what happens when change become irreversible, or uncontainable? Is that what we call a “revolution”? In order to think about what the concepts of “culture” and “revolution” might have to do with each other, we will explore the example of punk. Is it a musical genre, a movement, a way of life, a historical event, or something else? In order to open up these questions, we’ll read a lot: the classic Lipstick Traces by Greil Marcus, which spelled out the “secret history” that linked 70s punk to Dada and the Situationist International; texts by Vivien Goldman and Sara Marcus on punk feminism and Riot Grrl; and texts on East German punk in the 80s and Pussy Riot in the 2000s. Of course, there will be lots of other material to read, hear, and watch. Can there be a theoretically-charged, curiosity-driven, university-level course on punk in this day and age? We’re about to find out.