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Full Conference Programme

MONDAY 16th December

9.00 – Registration/Reception

9.30 – WELCOME & KEYNOTE ONE: Paul Hegarty [The Boiler House]


SESSION ONE: 11-12.30

Panel 1A: Punk, Noise & Geopolitics

Room G.11, Armstrong Building

Michael Hepworth (Sunderland University) – ‘Punk, noise and transgression: Anarchy in the UK? Adult migrants make some noise!’

John Parham (University of Worcester) – ‘Extinction’s Noisy Rebellion: A Punk Anthropocene?’

Lyndon Way (University of Liverpool) – ‘Punks’ political opposition in Turkey: Noise against authoritarianism’

CHAIR: Paul Hollins

Panel 1B: Scenes, Settings, Systems

Room G.15, Armstrong Building

Ellen Bernhard (Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia) – ‘Crowdfunding a Scene: GoFundMe, Norms of Reciprocity and Social (Media) Capital in Contemporary Punk Rock Communities’

Theo Gowans (Leeds University) – ‘How Disruption Within Noise Performances Creates a Unique Capacity for Nonhierarchal Socialising’

Adam Denton (Newcastle University) – ‘Locating the Scene(s): Where Shall We Put It?’

CHAIR: Stewart Smith

Panel 1C: Aggression/Abjection/Transgression 1

Room G.17, Armstrong Building

Céline Murillo (University of Paris 13 (Sorbonne Paris Cité)) – ‘From Aggression to Transgression: No Wave Films and Their music’

Laura Way (Bishop Grosseteste UniversityLincoln) – ‘Why punk? Exploring women’s initial exposure/attraction to punk and how this is negotiated alongside gendered ageing’

Renée Steffen (University of Basel) – ‘Abjection in Queer Film and Video’

CHAIR: Marie Thompson


SESSION TWO: 13.30-5.00

Panel 2A: Scenes & Localities

Room G.11, Armstrong Building

Grainne Milner-McLoone (Newcastle University) – ‘Punk/Noise and Aggression in Northern Ireland’

Stewart Smith (Music Journalist & Independent Scholar) – ‘Beyond The Valley of Ultrahits: Some Observations of the Glasgow Underground’

Karina Barbosa (Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Brazil) – ‘“I Am Proud To Be How I Am”: Gender and Sexuality Statements in Brazilian Punk Feminist Music Scene’

CHAIR: Matt Grimes

Panel 2B: Aggression/Abjection/Transgression 2

Room G.15, Armstrong Building

Benedict Quilter (Co-Founder Independent Woman Records, NZ) – ‘Oedipus Rex: On the Myth Of Transgression In Noise Music’

Adam Soper (Newcastle University) – ‘Swastika Girls: The Use of Nazi Imagery in Popular (Oc)culture and the Neo-folk’

James Anderson (University of Sunderland) – ‘Punk, Porn, and Politics: Pornographic Profanity in British First-Wave Punk’

CHAIR: Lyndon Way

Panel 2C: Punk Through Narrative & Identity

Room G.17, Armstrong Building

Jessica Blaise Ward (Leeds Beckett University) – ‘Who remembers post-punk women?’

Melodie Holliday (Editor & Educational Development Shades of Noir) – ‘“It was different” Navigating Punk While Black’

Louise Barrière (University of Lorraine, France) – ‘A “Very DIY Music” For Punk-Feminist People? Doing and listening to noise music in Ladyfest-inspired festivals’

CHAIR: Jessica Schwartz


SESSION THREE: 15.30-17.30

Panel 3A: Text & Context

Robert Boyle Lecture Theatre, Armstrong Building

Kevin Quinn (Central Saint Martins, UAL) – ‘The New Musical Express: Reporting the Southall Riot (1981)’

Arin Keeble (Edinburgh Napier University) – ‘Jawbreaker: Literary Punk and Authenticity’

Pete Dale (Manchester Metropolitan University) – ‘Indie Noise’ and Industry Incorporation: Fuzz and Feedback in the 1980s’

Gary Charles (University of Birmingham) – ‘Skillz 2.0: Anyone Can Play AI’

CHAIR: Craig Pollard

Panel 3B: Interrogating Contexts

The Boiler House

Daniel Blumberg (Mute Records) & Elvin Brandhi (Akademie de bildende Künste, Vienna) – Bakh

Peter J Woods (University of Wisconsin, Madison) – ‘Fluxus Event For Academic Conferences’

Yol (Independent scholar, Hull) – ‘REPEATED/FRACTURED/MEANING’

Phame* (Si Paton & ykxa s) – ‘Throwing Shade (No, Fuck you)’

* Simon Paton (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University) & Jessica A Schwartz (UCLA)

CHAIR: Russ Bestley

EVENING SHOW 19.00-22.00 [TOPH @ Alphabetti Theatre]

Guttersnipe, BLØM, Elvin Brandhi + Plastiglomerate X Territorial Gobbing

TUESDAY 17th December

9.30 KEYNOTE TWO: Marie Thompson [The Boiler House]


SESSION FOUR: 10.30-12.00

Panel 4A: HarshNoiseWall & Its Discontents

The Boiler House

Lexi Turner (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY) – ‘Ballet Shoes, Butchers Knives and Black Leather Gloves: Narrative of the Body in Harsh Noise Wall’

Peter J. Woods (University of Wisconsin, Madison) – ‘Defining Noise-As-Gesture: Mapping the Politics of Abjected Sound Through Con-Dom and Moor Mother’

Michael Blenkarn (Newcastle University) – ‘Anxiety Silenced: Harsh Noise Wall as a Means of Attenuating the Experience of Anxiety’

CHAIR: Gretchen Aury

Panel 4B: Anti-Professionalism

Robert Boyle Lecture Theatre, Armstrong Building

Ian Trowell (Independent scholar based in the Fens) – ‘Where the system starts: Throbbing Gristle vs Architectural Association’

Chris Bailey (Plymouth College of Art) – ‘Imperfect Orchestra – A Battle Between Performance and Ethos’

David Howcroft (No Audience Underground Tapes) – ‘The Manifesto’

CHAIR: Charlie Bramley


SESSION FIVE: 13.00-14.30

Panel 5A: US Hardcore, Punk & Dissemination

The Boiler House

Daniel Makagon (DePaul University, Chicago) – ‘Punk’s Decisive Moments: Seeing the Scene through Photozines’

Jessica Schwartz (University of California, Los Angeles) – ‘Los Angeles Punk Through Noise & Nausea’

Craig Pollard (Newcastle University) – ‘Exposing (and exploding) contradictions: particular trajectories of US hardcore’

CHAIR: Pete Dale

Panel 5B: Metal Machine Music vs. the Harsh Noise Wall

Robert Boyle Lecture Theatre, Armstrong Building

Marko Djurdjic (York University, Toronto) –  ‘“My week beats your year”: On Listening to Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music

Elvin Brandhi (Akademie de bildende Künste, Vienna) – ‘Punk Conference’

Paul Hollins (University of Bolton & Leeds College of Music), Sean Albiez (Author and Independent Scholar) & Anthony Roocroft (University of Bolton) – ‘The Best Worst Noise Ever Made? (A Non Discursive, Discursive Experimental Performance Piece)’

CHAIR: Arin Keeble


SESSION SIX: 15.00-16.00

Panel 6A: Curation & Disruption

The Boiler House

Francis Stewart (Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln) – ‘Sounds of the (marginalised punk) underground: the use of noise in punk curation and narration’

Russ Bestley (London College of Communication, UAL) – ‘Visual Noise: Punk Graphic Design and Visual Disruption’

CHAIR: Ellen Bernhard

Panel 6B: Mythologies’ Interwoven Extremities

Robert Boyle Lecture Theatre, Armstrong Building

Clive Henry (Independent scholar, Southampton) – ‘Modern HNW is Rubbish’

Tom Cardwell (Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL) & Mark Gubb (University of Worcester) – ‘“Hiraeth” – a collaborative project’

CHAIR: Will Edmondes

16.00 KEYNOTE THREE: Sezgin Boynik [The Boiler House]

17.00 [CLOSE]


Published by Gustav Thomas

Claws & Tongues was started in order to provide a visible yet fluid platform with which to try out ideas for writings by Gustav Thomas that may or may not lead elsewhere, as in articles, chapters, essays, papers zines or books. Gustav Thomas is my real name in so far as it comprises the two middle names included on my birth certificate, which, as a bona fide part of my ‘real’ name makes it only a half-alias. I’m not ashamed, especially, of what one would normally consider my ‘real name,’ but I don’t intend to use it on this blog or announce it here, in this ‘about’ text, or anywhere else on this blog. That’s not because I wish to keep it somehow hidden or secret – to find out what my framing monikers are would be very easy since I’ve never sought to keep them separate from Gustav Thomas. Rather it’s because that ‘real’ name is the one that teachers, headmasters, employers, medical receptionists, the Inland Revenue, medical staff, authorities of any kind, and so on, and on, has been so thoroughly used by, and thus inextricably tied to, such institutional protocols, that it leaves me, as an individual who, like any individual has the capacity to access their own agency, very little space or scope for developing the potential power and effectiveness of that agency. Gustav Thomas happens to also be my facebook name and as a musician I also chose it (actually the first time I used it) as the pseudonym I use whenever I produced 8-bit Techno on a Gameboy (I haven’t ruled out extending that use to any beat-based project should I pursue any in the future, in preference to either Virginia Pipe or Copydex, the latter being, for obvious reasons, a strictly plunderphonic collage vehicle, anyway). Gustav Thomas also conveniently encapsulates my two ethnic provenances as half Slovene and half Welsh; they are also the first names of both my grandfathers, one a fairly well known (in his time) Slovene writer, novelist and educationalist, the other a WW2 colonel among officers who led the Normandy landings, for whatever significance that, or any other part of their own rich histories, can have, here, or in anything else that I do. Above all, I have started this blog because in my professional life, which is academic, I have made the decision, officially, to have my research assessed (by the various state bodies that do that, through the RAE, REF etc.) as much through my thinking and writing as through my art practice, which it has been exclusively so far. The kind of writing I intend to do is the kind of writing I’ve always done, over the past 15 years mostly on internal departmental blogs meant as teaching support, and will almost completely draw on things I’ve been thinking and saying within an academic context during that time. My first extended pieces, then (those that are 10,000 words or more), are being extracted from my brain as a matter of almost pathological necessity, freeing up space before I can move on and at least learn new ideas, if not make them and articulate them formally. Given the context, and my stage in life (a 50-year-old whose two kids have left home), I fully intend not to start teaching myself to write in a recognizably formal-academic style; nor do I intend for my writing to be considered as such, albeit there are inevitable traces of academia in what I’m writing due to my having earned my living as an academic for – already - too long. Instead my intention is to improve, develop and extend the style I already have which will have probably begun somewhere in early childhood when I first scrawled some short stories with the vague idea that I wanted to be a ‘writer’ and, above all which has evolved through at least three decades of learning, loving to know about, talking about, and teaching about music, art and the ideas, impulses and inherent discourses that inhabit and surround them. I am aware that I have a propensity to criticize certain other artists and commentators harshly, often with extreme formulations, in a manner easily identifiable as arrogance or some such self-interested tendency. I’m not sure exactly where that emerged from; it could be the years of being fully committed (because I knew it was right) to a mode of expressive practice that operates very consciously, and critically, beyond the reductive ring-fencing of ordained culture, what most people think of as Music and Art - Culture; it may well be, though, that I learned such an approach from certain writers I’ve read over the years – it’s in Dostoyevsky, Bukowski and DeLillo in ways I can see in my own mannerisms, but also in someone like Ben Watson/Out To Lunch, whose writing on music and ideas not only had a big impact on me but certainly also encouraged me to be bold and direct about what I knew needed saying, not least because – and this is central to everything – the way in which music, popular music, popular arts and cultures are dealt with on the day-to-day ordinary level, as in what people consume, accept and ingest, how/why they do it, manages to circumscribe completely the immeasurable seriousness regarding how politically and ideologically penetrating all art is (and was always meant to be), but especially (and this is embarrassingly tautological in a way that’s generally ignored) that which is thrust upon a people at great expense by its state and the (almost entirely) corporate (read: oligarchal) interests the State serves. I’ve been accused by colleagues of being too polemical and by Ben Watson as not being a polemicist at all, in both cases meant as identifying a weakness; I would say that to consider anything I write as polemical would be to negate any capacity it may have to say something useful – too much is being said and done by modern humanity that is unfathomably (self-)destructive. My drive in all this comes from a need not necessarily to oppose and take up the position on any opposite pole; rather I just feel that someone (as many someones as possible, starting anywhere at all, including just ‘me’) needs to be engaging in a tendency to question, starting with the very simple interruption, ‘Hang on a second… that can’t be right.’ There are tens of thousands of writers and artists already doing that very well, of course. This blog is merely a workshop from which to start making my own contribution more discernible and, just possibly, useful.

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