Paul Fields delivers presentation to attendees at Punk Scholars conference

BNU welcomes 80 punk scholars from across the globe for annual conference

Buckinghamshire New University (BNU) hosted the annual Punk Scholars Network conference in December, welcoming more than 80 academics and punk enthusiasts from around the world.

Taking place over two days at the University’s High Wycombe Campus, the conference was open to academics, students and the general public. At the conference, which centred around ‘punk and temporality’, attendees heard talks on a range of topics including archiving, existentialism, and youth and age.

The event was organised by Paul Fields, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader across Music Business courses at BNU, who is the UK representative for the Network. 

Paul Fields delivers presentation to attendees at Punk Scholars conference

Paul said: “This year’s Punk Scholars Network International Conference was the 10th of its kind and I was very proud to have spent the last year organising it. 

“Over the two days we had 30 presentations from speakers who descended upon High Wycombe from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Slovenia, South Korea, and the United States (Illinois, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont), as well as from within the UK, including BNU’s Dr Kevin Maher. Having such an overwhelmingly international programme of speakers, all in person, made the whole event even more rewarding. 

“The conference closed on Saturday evening with an interview with Tom Reiss, Chief Operating Officer of the Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas. The conversation flowed beyond the conference well into the evening on the Saturday, and as a result there are some incredibly exciting plans for research-focused collaboration and knowledge exchange between the Punk Scholars Network and the Punk Rock Museum in 2024 and beyond.

Attendees were hugely positive about the event. 

Dr Brigitta Davidjants, Researcher at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, said: “It was really great to hear all the presentations. There are not many punk researchers in Estonia, just one other person and me, which is why this day was such a great experience.”

Dr Russ Bestley, Reader in Graphic Design and Subcultures at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London, said: “This was such a fantastic conference. A great event with great speakers, great venue, regular coffee, and inspiring conversations with inspiring people.”

Dr Paul Hollins, Professor of Cultural Research Development at the University of Bolton, said: “The conference was a very well designed and executed event that was, as always, a pleasure to attend. There was a good variety of thought-provoking papers and fantastic to see early career researchers contributing so much to the discourse.”

The Punk Scholars Network is an international forum for academic and scholarly debate, conferences, publications, talks, and public exhibitions. The network comprises thousands of punk scholars and writers across the world, with regional groups in the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Australia, and Iberia. 

As the UK representative, Paul Fields is involved in collaborative projects with the Network, as well as conducting his independent research into punk and the music business.

Paul’s recently published article ‘Punk Rock Museum: An interview with Rob Ruckus’ discussed the opening of Las Vegas’ Punk Rock Museum in 2023 with the bass player and star of reality TV show Bad Ink. Earlier works have looked at the “problematic union of craft beer and punk” and “utilising punk in the pursuit of social justice”. 

To find out more about BNU’s current research projects visit our latest research and projects page. BNU also shares its research notes publication as well as the research and impact journal which explores a diverse range of current issues.