Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change

Current Events

Grown Up in Britain

From first loves to first jobs, favourite hangouts to best school stories. We are building a collective memory of what it was and is like growing up in Britain and we want you to get involved! Share your memories and photographs of being a teenager and become part of the Museum of Youth Culture.

In the face of continuing self-isolation and lockdowns, lets get out the family albums and shoe box archives and share our memories of being young!

The text above was borrowed from the website page on the Museum of youth Culture Website where this project lives. Go there and submit your story, or check out the growing list of submissions!


Past EventsTeenage Bedroom Event Poster

Media, Arts and Humanities Festival of Ideas 9 - 12 June 2021

The Subcultures Network at the Media, Arts and Humanities Festival of Ideas, University of Sussex

Inspired and curated by Vivienne Westwood's Intellectuals Unite, The Subcultures Network and The Youth Club museum are occupying a strand of the festival. We take our inspiration from Vivienne Westwood's Manifesto Intellectuals Unite.

Ant Fans

Westwood may have initially made her name associated with the first wave of Punk, but the Manifesto, environmental activism and Intellectuals Unite are not backwards looking nostalgia. Westwood instead invites us to recognise each other as Intellectuals in its broadest possible scope - if you think, if you march, if you look at art or read books you are an intellectual.

Over the last year Vivienne's salon, Intellectuals Unite became moved onto Instagram for live bookclub events. We have put together a few events inspired by the conversations that we have had over the last year.

We have been particularly interested in taking our conversations beyond the usual academic conversation - universities have been pretty bad at noticing that people are perfectly capable of talking about big, ideas, connecting to the past and each other through culture. In the context of the current assault on arts and humanities funding across the board we wanted to put together a group of events inspired by literature and stories, across different sectors.

Remember to book your place online

Or you can show up and watch online


Three events

We Are All Intellectuals June 9th 2021, 12.30 pm

During lockdown Vivienne Westwood's regular Salon 'Intellectuals Unite' became an instagram book club #IOUBookclub. Together a panel of associated with #IOU will share how books have helped them make sense of the present, connect with the past and build a community of resilience by sharing stories about stories.

Putting ourselves into the Museum of Youth Culture June 11th 2021, 11 am

We will be writing ourselves into the history of youth culture. The Museum of Youth Culture are an emerging museum dedicated to the styles, sounds and social movements innovated by young people over the last 100 years. Originally developed from the archives of YOUTH CLUB, a non-profit Heritage Funded collection incorporating over 150,000 photographs, ephemera and educational texts from over 400 photographers and writers celebrating youth culture history.In this workshop Lisa Der Weduwe and the Museum of Youth Culture they will invite you to show and share your photographs of your own youth, put yourself into the archive, and share your stories.

Punk women: Memoirs and biographies June 12th 2021, 1pm In 2016

Viv Albertine took a sharpie and wrote herself back into the History of Punk by adding her name to the history board of the British Library's exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of Punk. In this panel we will explore the ongoing ways in which women have written themselves into the history of punk using their life stories. Celeste Belle and Zoe Howe collaborated to produce Dayglo: The Poly Styrene story, and the recent documentary Poly Styrene: I'm a Cliche about Celeste's mother. Together they will explore how women can write themselves and each other into Punk history, and how women get written out in the first place.

Our sister event is Rave Today! June 10th 2021 10 am

Join a panel of Sussex students and scholars as they explore the rich and varied relationships between UK rave and academic research: from sonic intimacies to subcultural studies, artists' memorials to DIY methodologies. Speakers include: Dr Ben Burbridge, Dr Malcolm James, Professor Lucy Robinson, and Dr Chris Warne.

Subcultures Network Online Reading Group

Events Poster SC Network

 Grown Up In Britain Weekender 

A 3-day exhibition in London celebrating your stories of being young. 

 The Museum of Youth Culture announces a 3-day pop-up exhibition celebrating the styles, scenes and sounds innovated by everyday people over the last 70 years. Celebrating the launch of a year-long public call out and following the success of a recent Kickstarter campaign, the Museum of Youth Culture's inaugural exhibition, Grown Up In Britain, launches on Thursday 14th November.​ The Weekender takes over the ground floor and garage of a Victorian warehouse space in London Bridge, incorporating an exhibition of photographic prints, flyers, digital and analogue projections supported by a banging sound system, scooters, and vintage motorcycles surrounded by iconic youth culture ephemera. From first loves to teenage angst, this immersive exhibition and programme of events invites you to explore previously unseen public submissions and bring in your own youth culture memories to be included in the Museum of Youth Culture. Let's celebrate our collective history!




Book Launch Event

The Subcultures Network (eds.), Ripped, Torn and Cut: Pop, Politics and Punk Fanzines from 1976 (Manchester University Press)

Tuesday 9 July 2019 5pm - 8pm

London College of Communication

Elephant & Castle

London SE1 6SB

This public event has been scheduled to launch the paperback edition of Ripped, Torn and Cut: Pop, Politics and Punk Fanzines from 1976, a collection of original essays exploring the motivations behind - and the politics within - the multitude of fanzines that emerged in the wake of British punk from 1976. Featuring talks, presentations and discussions with fanzine producers alongside academics and historians specialising in the history of punk subcultures, the event will also include a pop-up exhibition of fanzine artwork curated by the Design Activism Research Hub at LCC and book stalls including Manchester University Press, the Subcultures Network and the Punk Scholars Network. Anyone interested is welcome to attend the event. A free sign-up will be sent out via Eventbrite in order to register as space in the lecture theatre for the talks will be limited.

Student Travel Bursary Offer

In addition to inviting members of the public students to the event, the Research Office at LCC is able to offer two travel bursaries for students to attend and to visit the Fanzine Archive during the day leading up to the book launch. To apply for the travel bursaries students should email a 100 word statement outlining how attending the conference would inform their current research to LCC Research at The successful applicants will be asked to write a brief (500 word) critical reflection on the event for use on the college website.



 Our Place in History









What is a Museum?

May 23rd, 2019, 10:00-16:30
Migration Museum, The Workshop, 26 Lambeth High Street, SE1 7AG
Free tickets via Eventbrite

What is a museum Poster


Documenting Personal Histories

Join YOUTH CLUB for a one-day symposium on March 28th exploYouth Club Poster Smallring how organisations, academics and individuals are exploring ordinary people's untold histories through oral history, DIY archiving and research.

This full day event will include a keynote speech, break out sessions and time to network over food and refreshments. A collaboration between YOUTH CLUB and Layers of London, at Printworks London, and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Grab your free ticket here.



The View from Vivien's Window

The 2nd International Conference of the Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change

Call for papers:

Writing the noise: the politics and history of subcultural music

University of Reading

6-7 September 2018

Confirmed keynote speakers and events:

Simon Reynolds, author of Shock and Awe, Retromania, Energy Flash and Rip It Up and Start Again

Professor Lucy Robinson, University of Sussex, 'Less History of Zines, More Zines as History'

Plenary panel of music journalists: from the mainstream to the pop press to fanzines, featuring Simon Reynolds, David Stubbs and Cathi Unsworth

The Call:

VivienHow should we write the history of subcultures and their music? How do we write about current subcultures and musics? What theories or perspectives should we adopt? What sources can we use and how do we apply them? Who is able to write them? Did - and do - you have to have been there? This international conference will analyse the problems and possibilities of writing on subcultures and their music. It will bring together academics, journalists and practitioners; it will be multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. It will be designed to facilitate conversations between historians, sociologists and musicologists, between cultural studies and political science, between performers and commentators, between journalists, writers and academics.

Individual paper proposals should include an abstract of 300 words max, together with a brief biography and contact details.

Suggested themes and areas:

  • Histories of music
  • Theories of subcultures
  • Comparing subcultures
  • Infrastructures and institutions
  • Music journalism and the music press
  • The politics of music, the politics of subcultures
  • Fanzines
  • Archives and oral history
  • Geographies of popular music, localities and space
  • Panel proposals should include a general abstract and brief account of papers to be included (600 words in total), together with brief biographies and contact details.

Deadline: 15 November 2017

Send to conference organisers: Matthew Worley and John Street

Notification of acceptance will be sent by the end of February 2018


The conference fee will by £100, comprising lunch, refreshments and admin. Plans to give concessions to unwaged/students/PhDs are on-going. Accommodation can be booked for £61 per night. Registration information will be disseminated once the conference programme has been put in place.

The conference is organised by Matthew Worley and John Street, on behalf of the Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change

The network is responsible for the Palgrave book series on subcultures.

Previous Network publications may be found here: Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change

Call for Papers

Doing metal, being punk, doing punk, being metal: hybridity, crossover and difference in punk and metal subcultures.

Punk Scholars Network 5th Annual Conference and Postgraduate Symposium

De Montfort University Leicester, December 13-14th 2018

Hosted by the Punk Scholars Network in conjunction with the International Society for Metal Music Studies, Punk and Post-Punk, Metal Music Studies, Media and Communication Research Centre and Intellect Books.

Metal and punk cultures have long shared musical and cultural similarities. From Motörhead's ubiquitous global presence, and the complex amalgam of Thrash Metal, Doom Metal, American Hardcore, Straight Edge, Japanese-based Burning Spirits, Black Metal, and DiY cultural production, one can see a plethora of hybridised and reinterpreted global music scenes. Indeed, the pervasive influence of metal and NWOBHM from the mid-1980s onwards has had an irreversible and notable effect on both punk and metal musical and cultural aesthetics (see Glasper, forthcoming, 2018).

In spite of their broadly separate academic literatures, from their competing inceptions in the mid to late-1970s, punk and metal music studies have shared common historical, theoretical and methodological approaches. In spite of Waksman's timely and excellent (2009) This Ain't No Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk, little subsequent academic research into the crossover between metal and punk has been undertaken. The principle aim of this interdisciplinary conference is to critically reflect upon points of similarity, difference and hybridity in global punk and metal subcultures.

The Punk Scholars Network and The International Association of Metal Music Studies would like to invite new and established scholars in punk and metal music studies to critically interrogate similarities and differences, and to share their research. Not every paper needs to discuss both punk and metal: we hope that the presentation of research on the same panels to a mixed audience will allow a unique opportunity for researchers to cross perceived genre boundaries and learn from each others methodologies and trajectories.

Topics of interest for submission include, but are not limited to:

  • Metal and/or punk histories
  • Genre boundaries
  • Cross genre authenticities
  • Gender, hegemony in metal and/or punk cultures
  • Ethics/moral codes: differences and similarities in metal and/or punk cultures
  • Ethnicities and contested identities in metal and punk
  • Geographies, crossover and hybridity in punk and metal music scenes
  • Crossovers between metal and/or punk
  • Aesthetic crossovers in local and global punk/metal scenes
  • Political narratives in punk and metal music
  • 'Negatologies': bullying, marginalisation, drugs and violence in punk and/or metal cultures (Gordon, 2018)
  • Conceptual crossover and difference
  • The aesthetics of virtuosity and simplicity in metal and punk
  • The curation of punk and metal bands on festival bills
  • Legacies
  • Hybrid cultures, audience research and ethnographies of metal and/or punk cultures
  • The policy and political economy of metal and punk record labels
  • Musical production, instrumentation and aesthetics
  • Art and design in metal and/or punk

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent to by September 16th 2018.

A Hundred Years of Youth 1918-2018: Subcultures, popular music and social change

Thursday 12 April 2018, 5:30-8:00pm

Room 1.25, Manchester Metropolitan University, Business School, All Saints Campus, Mancheter, M15 6BHYouth-subcultures-image

From youth as problem to rock 'n' roll and working class culture; and from the post-punk generation's 'crisis music' to the social media infused spaces of contemporary young people - youth, subcultures and popular music have been intimately bound up with social change over the last century.

This symposium brings together a panel of four researchers from The Subcultures Network and Manchester Met's CELL alongside the Centre for Youth Studies. It will showcase how recent cross-disciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences has shed new light on the relationship of youth culture and popular music to social change.

The event will be followed by a drinks reception and a promotion of the Subcultures Network's new series for Palgrave Macmillan, 'Studies in the History of Subcultures and Popular Music', featuring Dr David Wilkinson's Post-Punk, Politics and Pleasure in Britain, Dr Sian Lincoln's Youth Culture and Private Space and Professor Keith Gildart's Images of England Through Popular Music: Class, Youth and Rock 'n' Roll, alongside Professor Melanie Tebbutt's Making Youth: A History of Youth in Modern Britain.


  • 5:30-7:00pm - Speakers and Q+A
  • 7:00pm-8:00pm - drinks and book promo


David Wilkinson is Lecturer in English at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the author of Post-Punk, Politics and Pleasure in Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and has published widely on post-punk, politics, class, gender and sexuality as well as fanzine culture and theories of popular music and subculture. A member of the Subcultures Network, David has participated in the 2016 Punk London festival and has also worked with Manchester District Music Archive on their Queer Noise exhibition at the People's History Museum and their online archive of City Fun fanzine. He is currently developing a research project on countercultural legacies. David is on the editorial board of Punk & Post-Punk and Key Words.

Sian Lincoln is Reader in Communication, Media & Youth Culture at Liverpool John Moores University. She has published widely on aspects of youth culture and the domestic sphere and her monograph Youth Culture and Private Space was published by Palgrave in 2012. Sian is currently working on a project with Brady Robards on Facebook Timelines and narratives of growing up, with a book, Growing up on Facebook,due for publication in 2019. She is co-editor of 2 book series: Cinema and Youth Cultures (Routledge) and Palgrave Studies in the History of Subcultures & Popular Music. Sian is on the management group of the Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Music, Subcultures and Social Change and is on the editorial board of Sociological Research Online.

Keith Gildart is Professor of Labour and Social History at the University of Wolverhampton. He has published widely on the coal industry, working-class politics, popular music and youth culture, including essays on the Kinks, Quadrophenia, and Georgie Fame. He is a founding member of the Subcultures Network and an editor of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Subcultures and Popular Music. He is currently leading a large AHRC project on coal communities in post-war Britain and completing a monograph on Northern Soul that will be published by Manchester University Press.

Professor ​Melanie Tebbutt heads youth history in the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies and is also a member of the History Research Centre. Her research focuses on the history of childhood and youth in the modern era and has a strong community-facing focus through involvement in collaborative engagement work with young people and local communities. Her most recent publications include Being Boys: Youth, Leisure and Identity in the Inter-War Years (Manchester University Press, 2012), Making Youth: A History of Youth in Modern Britain(Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 'From "Marriage Bureau" to "Points of View". Changing patterns of advice in teenage magazines: Mirabelle, 1956-1977' in A. Kidd and M. Tebbutt (eds.), People, Places and Identities(Manchester University Press, 2017), and 'Listening to Youth? BBC Youth Broadcasts during the 1930s and the Second World War', History Workshop Journal, issue 84, (Autumn 2017).

Book your tickets here.

Between History and Myth-Making

Call For Papers

Myth Making SmallAs spectacular as subcultural histories often are, myth and reality tend to become inextricably linked in primary sources, popular media and academic research. This Call for Papers invites researchers of various subcultural theories as well as youth subcultures to explore the process of 'mythmaking' as a means to critically engage with the Cultural Memory of youth subcultures Our project aims to uncover:

  • (i) what the basic elements of various subcultural histories and myths are;
  • (ii) how these histories develop and possibly become canonized; and finally
  • (iii) who and what is included and excluded in these stories.
We are interested in conceptual papers as well as empirical case studies.

For more information please click here.

Writing the History of Youth in the Modern World, 1800 to the present, Friday 26th May 2017, University of Sheffield

Call For Papers

The lives and experiences of young people have long been a topic of historical interest. This conference seeks to explore how historians understand and represent youth in the modern world, and encourages reflection on the different ways of writing the history of young people. With a growing amount of work in the field, this conference will provide a space for scholars to reflect on current approaches, reinterpret and re-evaluate older approaches and structures, present work that moves beyond the urban experiences of youth, or that adopts transnational approaches, and to question how the lives of young people relate to wider histories.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • The spaces and places inhabited by youth
  • Regional or local histories of young people
  • Youth organisations
  • The experiences and histories of marginalised or underrepresented youth
  • Reflections on methodologies or sources
  • Identities of young people
  • Sex and relationships
  • The young person as a consumer

Proposals for individual papers of 20 minutes are invited for any topic related to the history of young people in the modern period, loosely defined from 1800- present. Relevant proposals from outside of the discipline of history are also welcome. Abstracts of 300-350 words should be sent to Sarah Kenny ( by Friday 24th February 2017.

For more information please click here.

The Art of Punk University of Northampton Friday 25th November 2016

Art of PunkThird Annual PSN Conference and Postgraduate Symposium Call For Papers: The Art of Punk.

Since its UK inception 40 years ago, punk has profoundly changed not only music, but art, fashion and culture, giving many disillusioned young people a voice in the process. Yet how do punk's anti-authoritarian tendencies fit with the academy's critical investigation of the genre, as demonstrated by the British Library's current exhibition 'Punk 1976-78'? Does Bayard's definition reflect a contemporary philosophy of punk? Is punk static, or has it evolved beyond its initial incarnation? And what role does anarcho-punk have to play in this history?

This symposium seeks to explore the artistic approach of punk through its social, political and cultural manifestations. We invite both researchers and practitioners of punk to contribute papers and performances exploring punk's impact on the wider culture beyond music, including the arts, ethnography, sociology, politics, fashion, film, history, musicology, pedagogy and literature. We invite presentations from the perspective of any discipline.

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Punk and Society
  • Literature, philosophy, art & punk
  • Anarcho punk
  • Punk and the academy
  • Transnational punk
  • Punk painting and photography
  • Gender and punk
  • Fashion, aesthetics, and style
  • Practices of production
  • Musicology
  • Politics
  • Subculture
  • Proto and post-punk movements
  • Concepts of independence and DIY cultures
  • Archiving punk
  • Race and the punk movement
  • Global cross pollination of punk art

The programme will consist of a number of thematically grouped panels for both academics and postgraduates. By creating a dual purpose to the symposium, the Punk Scholars Network aims to bring together established academics and the next generation of punk scholars in a supportive and collaborative environment, which we hope will encourage networking opportunities, ideas exchange and potential future research opportunities.

Postgraduates and graduates can present work-in-progress papers on their PhD thesis, Master's dissertation or graduate dissertation. Alongside the conference there will be an art exhibition exploring the art of punk, in all its forms, including but not limited to: photography, audio, graphics and fashion. An individual paper/performance/video is strictly limited to a reading time of 20 minutes, and we encourage, though do not require, self-organized panels of three presenters. Proposals for workshops, roundtables, or other types of sessions are also welcome.

Proposals should be submitted in the form of an abstract of c.250 words. All proposal submissions should also include:

  • Full title of the paper/performance/video/exhibition
  • Full name, contact details, and institutional affiliation (if any)
  • Any requirements (projector, CD/DVD player, OHP, etc)
  • Your academic status (if applicable) post graduate/graduate or 'established' academic (this is for the purpose of panel allocation)

Deadline for receipt of proposals/abstracts is 31st August 2016.

Symposium organisers: Dr Claire Allen and Roy Wallace

Proposals should be sent as e-mail attachments to:

The conference programme will be announced in September 2016. It is intended that a selection of papers presented during the Conference and Symposium will be developed for future publication.

For more information please click here.

The Punk Scene in France (1976-2016): 40 Years of History International and interdisciplinary conference
25-26 November 2016 Philharmonie de Paris

During the summer of 1976, simultaneously in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and across many European countries including France, scores of musical groups were suddenly being referred to in the press or self-defining themselves as "punk", a slang term meaning lout, a good-for-nothing, a worthless nobody. Defined by Hebdige as an "unnatural synthesis" and an "alliance of diverse and superficially incompatible musical traditions", all of these groups had one thing in common: the desire to wipe the slate of rock history clean and to start from scratch, thanks to a form of music which laid stress on simplicity, on lyrics which derided social and political conventions, and on an energetic and confrontational attitude.40 Years of Punk in France

In the stultifying France of president Valérie Giscard d'Estaing, where the ebbing shadow of Gaullism and of the May 1968 student protests lingered on, the punk explosion, signalled as early as summer 1976 by the Mont-de-Marsan festival, defied the pervasive gloom linked to the economic crisis and to rising unemployment, and voiced its refusal of boredom. The first stage of a movement which asserted lack of hope and of prospects - summed up by the motto "No Future" - came to a close in 1978 when across the Western world, many iconic groups brought about their own end and a large number of scenes disappeared, upstaged by emerging musical trends such as post-punk, new wave and disco. And yet punk was to be rejuvenated in France, as elsewhere, by the emergence of a novel wave of punk which was characterised by a harsher and less melodic sound and by more politically committed lyrics, the appearance of new musical categories (street punk, hardcore, oi, etc.) and new sartorial codes (studded leather, Mohican haircuts, etc.), reinventing what it means to sound punk and to be punk up until this very day. The study of this ever-unfolding and evolving history, with all of its paradoxes, strengths and weaknesses, is the task which lies at the heart of this conference.

The aim of the conference is thus to reconsider the relevance of the periodizations and turning-points which are taken to define and structure France's forty-year-old punk scene, to transcend interpretations which view the punk phenomenon as an essentially Anglo-American cultural expression and to examine how the boundaries between a hegemonic culture and a relatively subversive culture are constructed and negotiated.

For more information please click 40 Years of Punk in France.

The third KISMIF International Conference  "Keep It Simple, Make It Fast! (KISMIF) DIY Cultures, Spaces and Places" in Porto, Portugal, between 18th July and 21st July 2016

The submission of abstracts for this conference is open to academic researchers working in all areas of sociology, anthropology, history, cultural economics, geography, urban planning, media and cultural studies and cognate disciplines, such as design, illustration, popular music, cinema, visual and performing arts.

This initiative follows the great success of the two first KISMIF Conference editions (held in 2014 and 2015), seeking to voice the will of the many researchers who have sought to promote an annual scientific meeting for the discussion of underground music scenes and do-it-yourself culture at the highest level.

KISMIF Conference 2016 is once again focused on underground music, directing its attention this time towards the analysis of DIY cultures' relationship to space and places. kismif 2016 Thus, we challenge students, junior and senior teachers/researchers, as well as artists and activists, to come to the KISMIF International Conference and present works which explore the potential of the theoretical and analytical development of the intersection of music scenes, DIY culture and space under a multidimensional and multifaceted vision. We hope with this to enrich the underground scenes and DIY cultures analysis by producing innovative social theory on various spheres and levels, as well as focusing on the role of DIY culture in late modernity.

Indeed, the role of music and DIY cultures is once more an important question ? taking place in a world of piecemealed yet ever-present change. The space, spaces, places, borders, zones of DIY music scenes are critical variables in approaching contemporary cultures, their sounds, their practices (artistic, cultural, economic and social), their actors and their contexts. From a postcolonial and glocalized perspective, it is important to consider the changes in artistic and musical practices with an underground and/or oppositional nature in order to draw symbolic boundaries between their operating modalities and those of advanced capitalism. Territorialization and deterritorialization are indelible marks of the artistic and musical scenes in the present; they are related to immediate cosmopolitanisms, to conflicting diasporas, new power relations, gender and ethnicity.

For more information please click KISMIF Conference 2016

How to Write and Conceptualize the History of Youth Cultures 30th June - 1st July 2016 Center for Metropolitan studies, TU Berlin, Hardenbergstraße 16-18, 10623 Berlin

Initially, delinquency and crime provided the lens through which academics discussed youth culture. Studying deviant behaviour ensured that criminologists focused on questions of re-education and the relationship between the newly branded "teenager", delinquency and youth culture. With the emergence of Cultural Studies in Britain, "youth" was interpreted in generational terms, through which a critical understanding of the changing nature of British society could be inferred.

Poster WorkshopAcross the academic landscape of historical studies, however, youth cultures tend to play but a minor role in general overviews and historical narratives of the social and cultural history of European societies after the Second World War. The workshop "How to Write and Conceptualize the History of Youth Cultures" will endeavor to emphasize the importance of framing the history of youth cultures after the Second World War within larger social and cultural developments of European societies after 1945: that is, shifts in the world economy related to the international division of labour and the emergence of a dominant service sector; geo-politics (the Cold War and after); the transformation of class in society; the end of empire and new patterns of migration; the transformation of gender and sexual relations; new forms of urbanization and urban development; new technologies and the influence of (new) media.

With a strong focus on the history of British youth cultures, the workshop discusses the impact of social and cultural development in four areas: The transformation of work and leisure (1); the driving forces of youth cultures (2); the influence of space on youth (3); gender dimensions of youth cultures and their history (4). By locating youth cultures in their wider historical context, it hopes to explore how the practices and products of youth culture helped reflect and shape the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

For registration please contact:

Raymond Williams, Popular Music and Subculture Friday 10th June 2016, 9am-5pm, Friends' Meeting House, Mount St, Manchester

Popular Music and SubcultureRecently, there has been a significant revival of interest in the diverse legacy of Raymond Williams. So far, however, the connections between Williams and the study of subcultures, popular music and social change have been little explored. How have Williams�s early work, his later cultural materialist approach, and the work of those influenced by him, shaped the field? And how might this tradition be developed to address some of the most pressing issues and problems in contemporary popular musical and subcultural studies?

Confirmed speakers include Rhian E. Jones (author of Clampdown: Pop Cultural Wars on Class and Gender), Anne Robinson (University of the Arts London) and Pete Dale (Manchester Metropolitan University)

We invite proposals for 20-minute presentations from all with an interest in the theme. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Working class culture, popular music and subculture
  • Structures of feeling
  • Cultural materialism and the contemporary music industry
  • Technology and new media
  • Theories of subculture/post-subculture
  • 'The politics of modernism' - tensions between musical and political radicalism
  • Williams' work in adult education and the recent interest in alternative pedagogies in popular musical and subcultural studies
  • Residual, emergent and dominant musical forms and subcultures post-2000

For more information or to book a place, please e-mail David Wilkinson or Pete Dale

Punk Scholars Network Conference and Postgraduate Symposium, 29-30 October 2015, Birmingham City University

Following the dynamic emergence of punk in the UK, USA and Europe in the 1970s, the subculture spread widely. As punk and new wave gained commercial and critical success, together with an attractive notoriety, it soon began an ongoing journey around the globe - both as a product and as an ideology. Punk, then, despite its omnipresence in contemporary undpsnbirmerground and popular cultures, is clearly more than legacy music. More than forty years after the proto-punk progenitors of Detroit and New York unconsciously launched an underground revolution, to continue what some of the 60's and 70's anarchic counter culture propagated, and after untold premature obituaries, it appears that punk - in terms of music, philosophy, and identity - remains in rude health.

Punk scenes continue to thrive as far afield as Russia, South America, India, China, Japan, the Middle East and Indonesia - 2011 saw the first official Saudi Arabian punk record release, while other scenes have established their mark in Madagascar, Algeria, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, even Tibet and the Himalayas. Nearer to home, an underground punk scene never actually went away and continues to 'mutate and survive'- ranging from the continued support for longstanding bands and scenes to the network of small-scale gigs, fanzines, music distribution, (sub)cultural and political activities of a truly cross-generational subculture.

This joint conference and postgraduate symposium seeks to illuminate the current landscape of contemporary punk in all of its global, musical, political and (sub)cultural manifestations

For more information and the programme please visit

CFP: Keep it Simple, Make it fast! Crossing Borders of Underground Music Scenes, 15-17 July 2015, Porto, Portugal

"Keep It Simple, Make It Fast! (KISMIF) Crossing Borders of Underground Music Scenes" will take place in Porto, Portugal between 13th July and 17th July 2015. simpleeast1

The submission of papers for this conference is open to academic researchers working in all areas of sociology, anthropology, history, cultural economics, geography, urban planning, media and cultural studies and cognate disciplines, including design, illustration musicology, popular music and visual and performing arts.

The conference will be preceded by a two-day summer school on (13th to 14th July) entitled "Gettin' Underground Together!". The summer school will offer an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students, including those staying on for the conference, to attend specialist master classes and discuss their research in seminars led by top academics in the field.

For more information, including full CFP and registration see:

CFP: Court and Spark: An international symposium on the work of Joni Mitchell, 3 July 2015, University of Lincoln

Call for Papers

Joni Mitchell is widely recognised as an innovative, influential, much-loved and much-imitated artist. From her debut album Song to a Seagull to her most recent Shine, Mitchell's music: her tunings, her lyrics, her scope has drawn critical and popular acclaim. And yet, scholarly attention to her work has been relatively limited. This symposium will attend to Mitchell as a figure worthy of sustained critical thought and appreciation.joni1

The School of English and Journalism at the University of Lincoln invites you to join us in considering all things Mitchell. Academics, music critics, fans are encouraged to attend. Paper proposals that mix personal with critical, historical, musicological, or cultural-studies analyses are welcome.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Considerations of the relationship between Mitchell's visual art and her music.
  • Politics and political activism in Mitchell's music [for example: Mitchell as reluctant feminist, Mitchell's ecocriticism].
  • Race in Mitchell's work.
  • Low affect in Mitchell's work [disappointment, boredom, ennui, alienation].
  • High affect in Mitchell's work [joy, desire, excitement, enchantment].
  • Commodification, stardom, the market and fame.
  • Cover versions and reworkings.
  • The politics of space and travel in Mitchell's work.
  • Mitchell in popular culture.
  • Mitchell's histories.
  • Queer Mitchell.

Please send paper proposals of 300 words, plus a short bio to Dr. Ruth Charnock at by 14th January, 2015

Subcultures International: The Global Circulation of Style, 19 June 2015, University of West London

This one day symposium will consider the international flow and local configuration of subcultural styles, fashions and identities. Focusing on the development of local, trans-local and global subcultuwestlondon1ral scenes, the symposium will discuss the ways in which circulation, space and place work to create, shape and limit the nature of subcultural expression. Particular attention will be afforded to the worldwide processes of subcultural transmission and exchange, and their relation to issues of age, ethnicity, gender, class and sexuality.

Speakers confirmed include Prof. Hilary Pilkington (University of Manchester) and Prof. Carol Tulloch (University of the Arts, London). The symposium is funded by the AHRC and is organised by the Subcultures Network, The University of West London, and London Metropolitan University. For more information please click here

This is a free event but you must register to attend. Please email:

This event is the last of five symposia organised as part of an AHRC project. For more information about the project please see our AHRC project page

Youth, Politics and Identity Symposium, University of Surrey, 31 March 2015

This symposium considers the politics of identity and the politics of place, examining the ways in which political meanings are projected onto and taken from youth and subcultural forms.  It will assess how political organisations and subcultures interact and discuss the politics of youth cultural identity, and the relationship between subcultures, targeted victimsurreysub2isation and resistance.

Confirmed speakers include: Angela Bartie (University of Edinburgh), Richard Bramwell (University of Cambridge), Nigel Copsey (Teesside University), Rich Cross (Independent), Leo Goretti (University of Reading), Sylvia Lancaster (Chief Executive, The Sophie Lancaster Foundation), James Treadwell (University of Birmingham), Loretta Trickett (Nottingham Trent University), Bart van der Steen (Leiden University), Tara Young (London Metropolitan University)

This event is the fourth of five symposia organised as part of an AHRC project. For more information about the project please see our AHRC project page

This is a free event but you must register to attend. Please email Jon Garland ( or Matthew Worley ( by February 28th 2015 to book a place.

For more details click here

PSN Postgraduate Conference, University of Leicester, 30 October 2014

- Matt Grimes: '"Where There's a Will There's a Way": Methodology, Investigating Memory and the Life-Courses of 1980s British Anarcho-Punks.'psnleicesterpg
- Sophie Sparham: 'How Close is Close? The Role of the Punk Rock Ethnographer and Their Relationship With Their Research Subjects.'
- Laura Way: A Virtual Moshpit? Dilemmas in research post-youth punk women online.
- Tanja Walty: '¡Sirenas al ataque! Punk women in Mexico City.'
- Karis Hanson: 'Challenging
"whitestraightboy" Hegemony: A Phenomenological Exploration of Gender, "race" and Sexuality Within the London Punk Scene.'
- Oliver Ward: 'Unity in Diversity: An Exploration of Punk in Indonesia.'
- Rebecca Binns: 'A Humorous Offensive: Tracing the Development of an 'Anarcho-Punk' Aesthetic in Gee Vaucher's Images for Crass.'
- James Newton: 'The Anarchist Cinema.'
- Simon Licourinos: 'Anarcho-punk: Defining a Retrospective Rock History Using Connections, Relationships and Traits [CRT].'
- Birce Pakkan: 'Is Punk a Subculture in Turkey?'
- Vincent Bedu: Reception and Appropriation of the Straight Edge Culture in the French Hardcore Punk Scene
- Tony McMahon: 'Johnny Rotten Can Save Your Life: Punk's Healing Pedagogy.'
- Richard Foster: 'To what extent did the Dutch ULTRA Movement Create and Express a Lasting and Unique Identity?'
- Zoe Armour: 'Beyond Nocturnal Visibility in the Late '90s UK Club Scene: Sartorial Differences in Gatecrasher PaSSion and Sundissential?'
- Guy Mankowski: 'Pop Manifestos and Nosebleed Art Rock: What Was The Point Of Post-Punk?'

For more information see:

Doing subcultures: research methodologies and practice around subcultural histories, University of Sussex, 15 October 2014

sussexoct14Style-based subcultures, scenes and tribes - along with their music genres - have pulsated through the history of social, economic and political change. Distinctive blends of fashion and music have become a defining feature of the cultural landscape. Research into these phenomena has traversed the social sciences and humanities, offering key insights into the interactions which shape everyday experience.

This workshop event reflects the current resurgence of interest in the place of youth and subcultures in shaping the contemporary world. It brings together researchers working in innovative and original ways on the historic significance of subcultural experience. It offers the chance for students and researchers to engage with the key issues that shape current methodologies and approaches, and to reflect on their own work and practice.

To register and for more information:

In/between Spaces, Liverpool John Moores University, 5 September 2014

This symposium will explore the role of 'space' in youth cultures, both urban and domestic, with a particular focus on under-examined private and semi-private spaces such as bedrooms, virtual chat rooms and social network sites and young people's parliverpool1ticipation in them. The symposium will examine the ways in which private and semi-private spaces interconnect with one another and different public space and will trace trajectories through - and between - the multiple spaces that forge cultural, social and political identities.

Confirmed speakers include Michael Bull (University of Sussex), Robert MacDonald (Teeside University), Tracy Shildrick (Leeds University), Brady Robards (University of Tasmania), Iain Aitch, Rupa Huq (Kingston University), Joanne Neary (University of Glasgow) and Sian Lincoln (Liverpool John Moores University).

For more details please click here

This event is the third of five symposia organised as part of an AHRC project. For more information about the project please see our AHRC project page

Here by the Sea and Sand: A Symposium on Quadrophenia, 10-11 July 2014, University of Sussex

Conference welcome by Pam Thurschwell followed by Paolo Hewitt reading from The Sharper Word: A Mod Anthology

Mods and Quads: International perspectives
Christine Feldman-Barrett (Griffith University, Australia): Beyond Brighton, Beyond Britain: Quadrophenia and the Post-1960s Mod Diaspora
Suzanne Coker: Quad to Run: on Quadrophenia and Born to Run quad2s
Simon Wells: TBA

"You're watching movies trying to find the feelers": Quadrophenia as Cult Film
Dolores Tierney (University of Sussex) :Quadrophenia as a 'new' cult musical
Stephen Glynn (De Montfort University): "Dressed Up Better Than Anyone": Quadrophenia and the Cult Film Experience
Andy Medhurst (University of Sussex): From Soho down to Brighton: Capital, Coast and Quadrophenia

The Who in History
Keith Gildart (University of Wolverhampton): Class, Youth and Dirty Jobs: Exploring continuity and change in post-war England through Pete Townshend's Quadrophenia
Sam Cooper (University of Sussex): Heat Wave: The Who, the Mods and the Cultural Turn
Ben Winsworth (University of Orleans): "Who (the Fuck) are You?": Out with the In Crowd in Quadrophenia (1973)

Reading Quadrophenia
Tom Wright (University of Sussex): 5:15: Mods, Mobility and the Brighton Train
Pam Thurschwell (University of Sussex)"You were under the impression that when you were walking forward, you'd end up further onward, but things ain't quite that simple": Quadrophenia's segues and historical impasse
Brian Baker (Lancaster University): The Drowning Machine: the sea and the scooter in Quadrophenia

Keynote: James Wood (Harvard University)

Symposium sponsored by the Centre for Modernist Studies, the Centre for Visual Fields, the Centre for Research into Childhood and Youth, University of Sussex, and the Interdisciplinary Network for the study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change

For more information please click here

Entertainment! Post Punk, New Wave and Authenticity, 8-9 May 2014, London College of Communications

Design Panel Round Table
Russ Bestley (Chair) / Rob O'Connor (Stylorouge design) / Bill Smith (Polydor: the Jam, the Cure designer) / Marco NFT (the Gaggers, No Front Teeth Records)psnuea3

Design Panel Interview
Malcolm Garrett (Assorted Images: Buzzcocks, Magazine, the Members designer) in conversation with Richard Boon (Buzzcocks manager)

Post Punk and New Wave Graphics Exhibition

Punk Scholars Network
Dr. Pete Dale (Manchester Metropolitan University): I'm the Man with the Jigsaw Feeling
Dr. Alastair Gordon (De Montfort University): 'I'm More Punk than You!' - Subcultural Theory, Distinctions of Authenticity and the Everyday Punk Self
Guy Mankowski (University of Northumbria): Pop Manifestos and Nosebleed Art Rock: What was the point of Post Punk?
Prof. Martin James (Southampton Solent): Archiving No Wave: Authenticity as Artifice

For full programme and more information please click here

Event organised by London College of Communication Graphic Subcultures and Manchester Metropolitan University in association with the Punk Scholars Network

Sound Affects Workshop, 15 April 2014, University of East Anglia, Norwich

This workshop will ask how, in understanding the relationship between subcultures, music and social change, we should research asa22nd analyse the particular contribution made by music. Does it, as some seem to suggest, provide a 'soundtrack' to social history, merely illustrating the 'real' business of change; or does it play a more direct part in constituting identities and mobilising action? To answer such questions, the symposium will draw on expertise from political science, sociology, history and music studies to develop a framework for the analysis of music's role.

For more details and registration please click here

This event is the second of five symposia organised as part of an AHRC project. For more information about the project please see our AHRC project page

"Re-telling the Riots! Music, Community and Civic Unrest"
18 October 2013, St Werburgh's Centre, Bristol

This symposium will explore the histories and experiences of living in Bbristo subcultures smallritish cities to examine the role of music and music scenes in the urban unrest of 1981 and 1986 and the more recent unrest of Summer 2011. Bristol, as the venue for this symposium, has a unique position in the history of British popular music and we seek to use that history to explore the relationship between the past and present and between Bristol and the wider national context. The Bristol music scene has a rich history that produced bands such as Black Roots, Massive Attack, Disorder, Roni Size, Portishead and the Pop Group. The multicultural nature of the scene often reflected the close proximity of communities where ethnicity, class and different heritages mingled and fed off each other. Many of these musicians created a narrative in lyrics, aesthetics, imagery and comment on the cultural and political scene within the city and nationally. Bristol's example demonstrates not only the importance of the history of popular music, but also the role of musicians, audiences and music in making history happen. Other British cities have their own histories and peculiarities that are reflected in events such as these but also there are some similarities to the Bristol example and we hope that we can attempt to illustrate and reflect on those differences and links in this symposium.

More details here

This event is the first of five symposia organised as part of an AHRC project. For more information about the project please see our AHRC project page

No Sir, I Won't: Reconsidering the Legacy of Crass and Anarcho-punk, 28 June 2013, Oxford Brookes University

subculturespsnoxfordAnarcho-punk Graphics Exhibition
Russ Bestley

'"You'll Never Beat the System by Bombing Number 10": Perceptions of the Utility of Political Violence in Anarcho-punk, 1977-1987'
Rich Cross

'Rudolf (is a Punk) Rocker: Anarchism as a Politics of Punk / Punk as a Culture of Resistance'
Jim Donaghey

'Call it Crass but "There is no Authority but Yourself": De-canonizing Punk's Underbelly'
Matt Grimes

'Punk is Dead, Long Live Punk! The Representation of Politics in Anarcho-punk Music Graphics'
Ana Raposo

'More Than Music? Confusions of Musical Style and Political Attitude in Anarcho-punk from Crass Onwards'
Pete Dale

More details here

Punk In Other Places: Transmission and Transmutation, 19 April 2013, University of Reading

Session 1: All Around the World

'Sounds of a 'rotting city': Punk in Russia's Arctic Hinterland'
Hilary Pilkington

'Punk (and anarchism) in Indonesia: transition, politics, religion'
Jim Donaghey

'Atomic Attack and Nuclear Accidents: From Hiroshima to Fukushimsubculturespsnreadinga, transmissions of shared anti-nuclear aesthetics between European and Japanese punk culture (1980 to the present)' Alastair Gordon

'80 Million Hooligans: The German asylum debate, racism and xenophobia in German punk song lyrics of the nineties'
Melani Schroeter

'Punk in contemporary Russia: Putin, politics and Pussy Riot'
Gareth Dylan Smith and Leo Deanocs

Session 2: War Across the Nation

'Hitsville UK: Punk and Graphic Design in the Faraway Towns, 1976- 84'
Russ Bestley (London College of Communication):

'Death to Trad Historicism: Futuremania, Avant-Gardism and Scottish Post-Punk 1985'
Pete Dale (Oxford Brookes)

'Getting it wrong, but in the right way: a provincial punk in the UK'
Paul Harvey (Tyne Metropolitan College)

More details here

Ageing Within a Spectacular Youth Subculture, 9 November 2012, University of Derby

'A Teenage Dream or a way of life? Ageing within the spectacular youth culture of Mod'
Paul Hooper-Keeley

'Keeping the Faith in Old(er) Age: a study of active music scene participation in later life'
Nicola Smithsubculturesageingpostermsll

'The Embrace of Family and Parenthood by Ageing Subcultural Participants'
Paul Hodkinson

'Hip hop and Ageing: Conscious Heads, Aged Hipsters and Thugs for life'
Patrick Turner

'Punk and Ageing: Then and Now'
Pete Webb

Special Guest: Interview/Q&A Session with Alan Fletcher (Original 60s Mod and author of the 'Quadrophenia' novel and 'Mod Crop Trilogy')

More details here
Pictures and more information

Youth, Culture and the End of Consensus Workshop, 29 November 2011, University of Wolverhampton

The Subcultures Network held a successful workshop on 29 November 2011, examining the relationship between culture and politics during the collapse of consensus politics in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The papers included Keith Gildart examining the songs and lyrics of the Kinks; Bill Osgerby analysing New English Library literature from the 1970s; Lez Henry discussing British soundsystems; Anna Gough Yates looking at tsubculturewolvesnewposter3he Shocking Pink fanzine; Pete Webb assessing anarcho punk; Lucy Robinson critiquing the rise of the charity single; and Matt Worley looking at far left and far right attempts to appropriate elements of British youth culture in a period of perceived crisis. We hope to submit these as a special issue to an academic journal in the new year.

In the afternoon, the steering committee met to discuss future plans. We intend to send a panel representing the Network to the international working class association conference in New York (June 2012), and will plan to organise one or two smaller workshops/symposiums over the coming 12 months. In the meantime, the Network will work up an AHRC Network bid, with the objective of raising funds for larger conference in 2013. Finally, we discussed outputs from the September conference. A proposal for a book centred on punk is currently being drawn up, alongside a wider multi-themed collection that we hope will reflect some of the common research strands that emerged at the conference. As always, we hope that other ideas for publication, symposiums and contacts will be fed into the Network from beyond the steering committee.

Subcultures_youthPosterEvents Poster SC Network

Inaugural Symposium, 15 & 16 September 2011, London Metropolitan University

The Subcultures Network held its inaugural conference on 15-16 September 2011 at London Metropolitan University. Over 120 people attended, representing 20 countries from across the world. Professor Dick Hebdige and Professor David Hesmondhalgh were the keynote speakers, and audio versions of both papers will soon be made availablesubcultureinaugpost1 on the website. Throughout, the standard of research showcased was excellent, and the Network's belief in the potential for cross-disciplinary interaction was reaffirmed. We hope to build on the conference's success with further symposiums, through the publication of journal special issues and edited collections, and via the promotion of related events on the website. Contact details of those who attended the conference will soon be made available and it is hoped that from this future collaborations, events and publications will ensure that the study of subcultures, popular music and social change will flourish over the coming years. We invited papers and themed panels which investigate these and other areas of interest from a wide range of theoretical posititions and disciplines including: sociology, history, cultural studies, criminology, media studies, music studies, politics, psychology. A vast array of titles and abstracts were submitted, click below to view the full list.


Pictures from Inaugural Symposium


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