Can Punk Music Influence Corporate Behavior?

Photo by ArtHouse Studio from Pexels

Photo by ArtHouse Studio from Pexels

The Jandoli Institute’s next music and social justice forum will focus on punk music’s ability to question corporate behavior. The forum will take place on Zoom on Monday, March 15, starting at 7 p.m.

“Punk music grew from working class angst in England, and it still carries messages related to inequality, hypocrisy and the struggles of neglected groups,” Paul Ziek, chair of the Department of Media, Communications, and Visual Arts at Pace University, said.

Ziek, who will lead the discussion, said many of today’s punk bands have been able to “call-out” the actions of corporations, especially as they relate to social issues. His presentation will focus on Rise Against and the band’s ability to engage its fans and the public on topics such as child labor, corporate greed, environmental misconduct and the abuse of power. 


The presentation, part of the institute’s “Sharp Notes, Sharp Thoughts” series, will be followed by an online discussion with:

  • Alex R Gillham, an assistant professor of philosophy at St. Bonaventure University. Gillham’s research focuses on topics in ethics, ancient philosophy and philosophy of religion. He is particularly interested in the connection between music, identity and morality.
  • David Freeman, a musician, producer and cultural arts educator. Freeman is a faculty member at Pace University’s Department of Media, Communication and Visual Arts and Director of Education for Brooklyn Raga Massive. He also serves on the board of The Association of Teaching Artists.
  • Richard Lee, an associate professor in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University and executive director of the Jandoli Institute. He writes and comments regularly on the intersection of music and public policy. During his career as a journalist, he covered rock’n’roll for several years before establishing himself a political reporter.
  • Stephen Wilt, an archivist at Media Transfer Service in Rochester and host of a weekly podcast, ”Street Corner Talking.” As station manager and music director at 88.3 WSBU-FM, he interviewed professional musicians, celebrities and athletes. They included Stephen Stills, Judy Collins, Louis Anderson, Doug Flutie, Dr. Oz, Jimmy Page and many others.

To register for the March 15 forum, complete the institute’s online Registration Form.

The Jandoli Institute launched “Sharp Notes, Sharp Thoughts” in October to explore the connection between music and social justice. The institute developed the project in collaboration with the Department of Media, Communications, and Visual Arts at Pace University. Through the project, scholars, musicians, journalists and others plan to show how music has been – and can continue to be — a positive tool for social change.

Previous forums have explored how today’s society should view the Band’s 1969 song “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” the Jazz and People’s Movement which attention to African American jazz musicians in the 1970s, and the role musicians’ fans can play in promoting social justice. 

Introductory Roundtable (Oct.19)

Songs, Statues and Solutions (Nov. 16)

Outrage, Protests and Passion 50 Years before BLM (Dec. 21)

Prevention, Proliferation, and Prioritization: The Good You Can Do as a Fan (Feb. 15)



Categories: Jandoli Institute, Pop Culture

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