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
Gritsch, Valerie, "“Something Happened on the Day He Died”: How David Bowie Fans Transformed Brixton" (2020). CUNY Academic Works.
a selection of scholarly essays
How David Bowie Fans Transformed Brixton After His Death
January 01, 2020
My first peer-reviewed essay was published in the Journal of Popular Culture in January 2020, volume 52, issue 6, pages 1451-1471 in the Special Issue: Exploring the Popular Culture and Tourism Place-making Nexus. This pulls from my Master's thesis research on how David Bowie's death affected his fans and his hometown of Brixton, South London. The DOI link is: https://doi.org/10.1111/jpcu.12865
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.
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.
For further essays written while I was an undergrad at Queens College, please visit my academia.edu page.
blogs i've written or curated
Essays and blogs about an array of topics can be found on my WordPress site, including:
Fandom in the Time of COVID-19. March 22, 2020.
Stop Sneering At Our Joy Like It's A Careless Mistake. February 10, 2019.
Embodying 'God Damn - It's Great To Be Alive'. December 3, 2018
A Close Reading of Camp Cope's "The Opener". October 13, 2018
After All, It Was Rock and Roll. August 27, 2017
Selected writing from the XMR Hub, the official blog of Xtra Mile Recordings:
Suicide Prevention Day: #MusicWasThere. Sept 10, 2017
Gig Survival Tips for the Chronically Ill. April 29, 2017
International Women's Day: Stories of Persistence in the Music Industry. March 8, 2017
The Revenge of the FTHC Tour Flag: Stories of Triumph and Tragedy. January 1, 2016
The Honest Review: How to Almost Die at 2000 Trees Festival. August 17, 2015
"Where Do You Camp at 2000 Trees?" on the 2000 Trees Festival site
Originally posted to the XMR Hub on July 3, 2016