A History of Punk from 1976-78: A Free Online Course from the University of Reading




From Matthew Worley, professor of modern history at the University of Reading, comes the free online course Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-78. (Worley is also the author of the book, No Future: Punk, Politics and British Youth Culture.) The course covers the following ground:

In the late 1970s, a new youth subculture emerged in the UK. This, of course, was punk, and a cultural revolt was underway.

In this course, you will learn about the emergence of punk and its diverse range of meanings. You’ll use that lens to explore how youth cultures provided space for people to reimagine, discover and challenge the society and communities in which they were coming of age.

You’ll explore punk as a tool of expression for young people, and how it related to politics and events. You’ll consider punk’s relationship with gender, class, race, sexuality and protest, drawing comparisons with the youth culture of today…

This history course also has an emphasis on the creative side of punk. You’ll explore DIY punk design and writing, epitomised by fanzines. You’ll learn how to create a real-life fanzine of your own, all the way to publishing and distribution. This will help strengthen your communication skills and encourage independent thought and creativity.

Among other things, the course will cover:

  • The diverse meanings of ‘punk’, its roots and its effects on British culture.
  • The originators and defining events that led to punk’s spread across the UK and beyond.
  • The music: how the Sex Pistols opened the way for a wide range of sounds and bands.
  • Why fanzines became the perfect medium for punk.
  • Punk’s influence on publishing, fashion, art and design.
  • Punk’s impact on issues of gender, class, race, sexuality and protest.
  • Punk’s legacy and continuing influence on society.

Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-78 can be taken for free on the FutureLearn platform. The course will be added to our list: 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

Related Content:

How the Clash Embraced New York’s Hip Hop Scene and Released the Dance Track, “The Magnificent Dance” (1981)

The Sex Pistols Riotous 1978 Tour Through the U.S. South: Watch/Hear Concerts in Dallas, Memphis, Tulsa & More

The Sex Pistols Make a Scandalous Appearance on the Bill Grundy Show & Introduce Punk Rock to the Startled Masses (1976)

The Sex Pistols’ 1976 Manchester “Gig That Changed the World,” and the Day the Punk Era Began


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