Right-wing media outlets have dubbed Donald Trump “The Punk Rock President” to validate his rule-breaking crudeness and appeal to white working-class rage. How did this happen? What can we do about it? This presentation will confront the complex and often contradictory politics of punk songs, symbols, and representations of race and sexuality, drawing on Cornell University’s extensive punk rock archive of flyers, zines, posters, t-shirts, and ephemera. I will discuss archival materials from the Sex Pistols, Crass, the Germs, Wasted Youth, Crucifix, Atrocity, as well as Austin’s own MDC and the Dicks, among others, to show how punk history can be a tool for political conversation and engagement in the present.
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