Rock-Chic(k) Lit: Vanguard or Old Guard?

Franklin, M. I.. 2017. 'Rock-Chic(k) Lit: Vanguard or Old Guard?'. In: Paper presented on Panel WA73: Music and the Critique of Modern International Relations at the Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, Baltimore (USA), 22nd February 2017. Baltimore, United States. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

A string of memoirs published by women musicians has been revising androcentric accounts of popular music making: onstage, in the studio, and on tour. The memoirs of Patti Smith, Viv Albertine, Kim Gordon, Carrie Brownstein, Chrissie Hynde, and Britt Smith Start provide a rich vein of inquiry into the under-acknowledged role that women musicians have played in the alternative – punk – music that is integral to the soundscape of Anglo-American countercultural and feminist politics. This paper considers their work as one way of substantiating the link between inquiries into the popular culture and world politics nexus writ large and, on the other hand, the embodied, psychoemotional dimensions of lived lives in the communities of practice that constitute these interconnections. First-person accounts like these provide opportunities and challenges for the analyst interested in exploring the complexities of creative and political agency of the female, rather than androgynous male Other (e.g. girl in a band, girl band, woman-with-guitar) in a (hetero)sexist and corporatized cultural domain sustained by masculinist tropes in music-making and analysis.

These autobiographies - of personal lives but primarily of committed musicianship, artistic and professional collaborations – are much more than stories of single-minded women achieving success in hostile domains. These narratives comprise a rich cultural archive of
the individual and collective complexities of musical countercultures that have emerged from within, but also push back against the global music and entertainment industry that underpins Anglo-American political economic and cultural hegemony.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Additional Information:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


22 February 2017Accepted

Event Location:

Baltimore, United States

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

11 Sep 2018 15:07

Last Modified:

13 Dec 2022 12:42


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