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London Calling

Clash London

Dr Ruth Adams is back from Bordeaux, France, where she was invited to give a conference paper on the punk music scene in London in the 1970s. The invitation came from the research group “European Capitals and Heritage since 1945: Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris”, which is based at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Ruth’s paper considered the ways in which London punk constructed an image and identity through a process of appropriation and bricolage.  While it had an explicitly English identity and drew on tropes of domestic history and heritage, Ruth argued that it also incorporated some of the strategies of the European Modernist avant-garde into its (sub)cultural patchwork.

Ruth recently has also had a chapter published in a new book about London punk band The Clash.  Entitled “‘Are you going backwards.  Or are you going forwards?’ England Past and England Future in 1970s Punk”, it examines the ways in which the comparatively cosmopolitan and political approach of The Clash could be regarded as progressive and forward looking.

This chapter features in Coulter C. (ed.), Working for the Clampdown: The Clash, The Dawn of Neoliberalism and the Political Promise of Punk, published by Manchester University Press (2019):

Clash fans will note that the London launch event for the book was held at the Elgin pub (a regular haunt of the band) in Ladbroke Grove, W11.


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