Go Gaga: Anarchy, Chaos, and the Wild

In this essay, I track a history of punk that I associate with wild vocalization within a history of black aesthetics. Building upon the work of Fred Moten, Jayna Brown, and Tavia Nyong’o, this essay returns to some eccentric moments in punk musical production—songs by Rhoda Dakar and Poly Styrene, but also a cover version of a punk song by Grace Jones. My essay ultimately advances an alternative history of anarchism that is less about an antistate political philosophy than about the sonic breakdowns of sense and rationality in punk songs that offer rage-filled critiques of racism, colonialism, and heteronormativity.

jack halberstam