"Problems of Early Punk Practice in Brazil, 1977-1982" Dr. Alexander Dent, Associate Professor, George Washington University
Room 130, 80 Queen's Park
Free and open to the public. Presentation will be followed by a casual reception.
This discussion examines the relics of early punk rock in Brazil, seeking, as it does so, to problematize the notion of origins. The talk will attempt an ambivalent history that simultaneously embraces life and oblivion -- the combined aesthetic forces put into action by Brazilian punk performance in the late seventies and early eighties. Among the relics: 1) The 1979 opening, by Fábio Sampáio (later of band Olho Seco) of Punk Rock Discos in São Paulo; 2) The recording, in 1981, of three bands that would become cornerstones of Brazilian punk -- Olho Seco, Cólera, and Inocentes -- on a record entitled Suburban Scream (Grito Suburbano); 3) The 1982 organization of a giant show in São Paulo that brought together 20 bands from the region in an event called "The Beginning of the End of the World." Across these sites, the paper will consider punk's balancing of over- and under-production in musical and linguistic terms.
Alexander Dent (PhD Chicago, 2003) is Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Relations at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. Dr. Dent's current research reframes digital textuality as a way to critique the violent policing of media “piracy.” He also seeks to expose the use of intellectual property laws to curtail participation in global economies -- particularly informal ones. A second project analyses the role of “confidence” in establishing political and economic authority. A third project focuses on Brazilian punk-rock in order to understand the role of music in fostering social change. A new fourth project, funded by the National Science Foundation, examines cellular phone use among teenagers in Washington DC. His last book scrutinized the post-authoritarian popularity of Brazilian "country" music and rodeo as a way to unify theories of performance from linguistic anthropology, media, and performance studies; the book also sought to expand on notions of center and periphery as ways of accounting for popular culture under contemporary capitalism.