Date of Award

August 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication and Rhetorical Studies


Dana L. Cloud


Cultural Studies, DIY Punk, Geography, Performance, Publics, Rhetoric

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


This thesis takes the example of two scenes of activity—a punk house in Huntington, West Virginia and a 2016 DIY punk rock festival—to investigate the material-spatial influences that play out across the worldmaking performances of DIY Punk counterpublics as they oscillate across spaces that range from the intimate underground to the public writ large. Drawing on a mass of data including field interviews from punk house residents and fragments gathered from the festival and the internet, I render these scenes as radical activist worldmaking spaces that organize and prepare the international DIY punk community to do instrumental activist work. This work intervenes in counterpublic theory (Asen; Brouwer, Squires; Fraser) through an interface with geography (Blomley; Harvey; Mitchell; Staeheli) and performance studies (McKenzie; Taylor) by emphasizing space and mobility’s importance for the development of counterpublics and by pointing out the role of performance for understanding stylistically shared knowledges and counterpublic efficacies in general. Finally, this thesis draws on Lester Bangs to introduce a new counterpublic modality for thinking about enclaves that are primarily art communities and secondarily activist ones: the DIY punk party.


Open Access



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