Riffs at Punk Pedagogies Symposium

By Iain Taylor on July 11th, 2019


BCMCR’s Matt Grimes attended and presented on behalf of the Riffs team at the Punk Pedagogies symposium at University of Lincoln on the 5thJuly 2019. The event, part of the Punk Scholars’ Network’s series of themed symposiums, was conceived as a space for exploring the ways in which the ethics, attitudes and people of punk rock can inform, shape, critique and revolutionise teaching pedagogies.

The paper, entitled ‘A Punk Pedagogies Manifesto by the Riffs Editorial Team’ put forward a manifesto for how the editorial team believe that the DIY ethos which the journal embodies can and should inform our collective approaches to pedagogy across the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of study that we teach on. Our manifesto is as follows:

We, the Riffs editors declare:

  • To engage with our students through Riffs as a process, a platform and a living collection of experimental academic texts.
  • To make sure that our pedagogy informs our research and that our research informs our pedagogy.
  • To encourage our students to experiment with scholarly research and writing.
  • To make Riffs and inclusive and inspirational space.
  • To give due thanks and credit to those who work with us and inspire us.
  • To organise events that offer a space for thinking through and producing things/ideas/stuff.
  • To question academia when it gets stale and to offer alternative ways of doing.
  • To think about audiences beyond academia and encourage our students to do the same.
  • To share our ideas, practices and processes with others.

In considering this manifesto, members of the Riffs team – Matt Grimes, Iain Taylor, Asya Dragonova, and Sarah Raine – provided reflections on the various ways in which Riffs, and the process of producing and distributing it, have come to form a key part of their pedagogies. The presentation covered a range of subjects including:

  • DIY Publishing in relation to student project supervision
  • Links between research, practice, and creativity
  • Debates about what popular music research looks like, sounds like, and feels like

This represents one of several conference papers by the Riffs editorial board and the consolidation of emerging pedagogical tools provided by the journal (and its ethos) within and beyond the research centre. Speaking to the attending community of scholars, the presentation ended by a request for collaboration which stands at the core of The Manifesto and Riffs itself.

As part of commitment to embodying the values stated in the manifesto, the Riffs editorial team can provide workshops on ‘zine making, DIY publishing, creative and experimental writing and more. If you’d like to work with Riffs, or want to know more about publishing with us, reviewing for us, or using our open access publications in your teaching, please get in touch! – info@riffsjournal.org