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UCL Institute of the Americas Event

On Not Being Punk or Mexican-American and Predicating the Wildebeest of Our Future

March 16, 2020 @ 17:30 - 19:00

When exactly did the term ‘punk’ go from street insult to global descriptor of a subcultural musical phenomenon? This talk departs from a now abandoned historical question: When exactly did the term ‘punk’ go from street insult to global descriptor of a subcultural musical phenomenon? Contrary to popular belief, the story that ensues does not centre on the mid-seventies but rather the late sixties. Nor does it involve rehashed accounts of London or New York, asking instead we reconceptualize Saginaw, Michigan as an epicentre of certain cosmic forces. Even more contrary to belief, the primary figure in the story involves a punk who refuses to be named as such, presenting instead as a utopian whose refusal to engage in identity politics opens up a radical ontological horizon from which the most important lessons to be gained come from the Wildebeest.