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my master's thesis

“Something Happened on the Day He Died”: How David Bowie Fans Transformed Brixton

My thesis was published in February 2020 in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts, The City University of New York. 

Keywords: Fan Studies, Celebrity Studies, Death, Memorial, Mourning, Pilgrimage, Tourism, London

Recommended Citation

Gritsch, Valerie, "“Something Happened on the Day He Died”: How David Bowie Fans Transformed Brixton" (2020). CUNY Academic Works.


a selection of scholarly essays

Redefining Punk and Finding Community: A Review of Against Me! at Brooklyn Steel

May 21, 2018

An event review of punk band Against Me!’s sold out show at Brooklyn Steel in New York City on October 14th, 2017. Against Me!’s frontwoman, Laura Jane Grace, was the first major punk celebrity to come out as trans in 2012, which is when she began her transition. After doing so, Against Me’s shows became a space where fans of varying gender expressions can feel welcomed and safe to be themselves while connecting to the band, and each other, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two. Through examining their music, performance, and fans’ behavior that night, we can see how Against Me! challenges the notion of punk rock as a boy’s club, and creates cathartic places where fans can define and reaffirm their identity within the music community. Photos are courtesy of Nick Karp.

In the PDF edition of the journal Intermedium, this article appears on pages 23-32.

Keyword: Groupie

December 15, 2017

A Keyword is an essay focused on a single term and a set of debates surrounding it. In this instance, the keyword is "Groupie." This means the etymology of "Groupie" is traced, the term is defined, and questions are raised on its established and emergent terminology in regards to gender, sexuality, affect, and performance.

‘This Is My Culture, Man, This Is My Home,’ The Many Ways Frank Turner Moves His Fans

December 16, 2015

Just what is it about a musician like Frank Turner that can inspire devotion and motivate his fans to travel the world in pursuit of his concerts? What comparisons can we draw between such fandom and religion? I explore these questions from the inside out of Turner's fandom and pinpoint when an imagined community became a force of empowerment, and a chance at escape. This essay was written as an undergrad at Queens College for my Musical Subcultures course. It was awarded Best Media Studies Scholarly Essay for 2015-2016 by the Queens College Media Studies department.

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For further essays written while I was an undergrad at Queens College, please visit my page.

blogs i've written or curated


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