Teenage Kicks: The Representation of Youth Subcultures in Fiction, Film and Other Media

Alon Lischinsky alischinsky at gmail.com
Mon May 20 08:21:36 UTC 2013


Teenage Kicks: The Representation of Youth Subcultures in Fiction,
Film and Other Media
Keele University, 11-13 July 2013


Speakers include:

Alan Fletcher (author of Quadrophenia, and The Mod Crop Trilogy)
Don Letts (director of The Punk Rock Movie, The Clash: Westway to the
World, and Subculture)
Alex Wheatle (author of Brixton Rock, East of Acre Lane, and The Dirty South)
Professor Scott Wilson (author of Great Satan's Rage: American
negativity and rap/metal in the age of supercapitalism)

Conference Website: http://www.keele-conferencemanagement.com/teen2013

The legendary UK DJ John Peel has the words 'Teenage Dreams so hard to
beat' carved on his gravestone, the opening line of The Undertones'
classic punk song 'Teenage Kicks'. Peel's love of the music, style,
attitude and outlook of youth subcultures encapsulates a general and
ongoing fascination for writers, filmmakers and critics alike. From
Teddy Boys to Hoodies, subcultural groups have formed the backdrop or
basis for a series of imaginative works.

This interdisciplinary and international conference aims to bring
together researchers, academics and practitioners working in the field
of subcultural studies, and in particular in the representation of
youth subcultures in fiction and film.

Much work has been done in sociology, criminology, cultural studies,
cultural history and musicology to map and analyse subcultural
identity and issues around youth, but comparatively little academic
work has been done on the way in which youth subcultures have been
represented in fiction and film. Colin MacInnes’s Absolute Beginners
set the trend for the subcultural novel in the 1950s, and by way of
Nik Cohn’s I am Still the Greatest Says Johnny Angelo, Richard Allen’s
1970s Skinhead novels, Jonathan Coe’s The Dwarves of Death and Hanif
Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia in the 80s and 90s, to Gautum
Malkani’s Londonstani and novels by John King and Alex Wheatle in the
2000s, fiction has provided a rich source of articulation and
engagement with subcultural positions and lifestyles. This is in
addition to the DIY fiction and fanzines that have accompanied
subcultures down the years. On screen, iconic works such as The Wild
Ones, Performance, A Clockwork Orange, Blitzkrieg Bop, Quadrophenia,:
The Punk Rock Movie, Trainspotting, The Filth and the Fury, 8 Mile,
This is England and Ill Manors have mapped both the experience of
subcultural belonging and the various moral panics they have caused.

The conference organizers welcome proposals for 20-minute papers, and
panels, from academics and researchers working in the field. Part of
the aim of the conference is to generate interdisciplinary and
multidisciplinary debate and interaction, so proposals are welcomed
from a range of disciplines including literary studies, film studies,
cultural studies, media studies, sociology, criminology, cultural
history, music and musicology.

Although many of the novels and films cited above have UK and USA
settings, we welcome papers on the representation of subcultures from
all parts of the world, and are indeed interested in the way in which
subcultural identity circulates internationally. From Scandinavian
Death Metal to K-Pop; from La Heine to Pussy Riot, the international
range of youth subcultures has provided material for the expression of
emotional, ethical and political sentiment in fiction, film and other

We also aim to include a strand of creative practice into the
conference, so would welcome 20-minute
presentations/performances/films or displays from literary writers
(fiction, poetry and drama), film makers, photographers, visual
artists, musicians and other creative practitioners.

Abstracts should be 250-300 words in length and emailed to
n.bentley at keele.ac.uk by the extended deadline of 24th May 2013.

We plan to produce a collection of essays based on papers given at the

To register for the conference please go to:

Registration closes:  Sunday 30 June 2013. Early bird rates are
available until 31 May 2013

The conference organizers are Dr Nick Bentley, Dr Mark Featherstone,
Dr Beth Johnson and Dr Andy Zieleniec. The conference is in
association with the Keele University’s Humanities Research Institute,
the Keele Cultural Research Group, and the Subcultures Network: The
Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subcultures, Popular Music
and Social Change.
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