'Punk Pals': Correspondence and Community in Punk Culture
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Before the widespread adoption of the internet, members of subcultures like the American punk scene maintained a sense of community through both physical events such as concerts as well as a hearty communication infrastructure sustained by small press zines and mailing lists. Viewed through the lens of the private letters, zines, and small record company releases collected by musician, writer, and 'veteran punk' Justin 'Freud' Reia, 'Punk Pals': Correspondence and Community in Punk Culture explores the various means of communication employed by American punk musicians and scenesters to make their lifestyles and communities sustainable. Providing an alternative 'safe' space for individuals disconnected with mainstream American society, the 1980's and 1990's punk scene became a highly diverse and generally accepting home for groups that would have otherwise been marginalized, perhaps most notably the LGBTQ+ community and individuals being rehabilitated in American correctional facilities. Archival materials from the University of Texas Libraries illustrate the means of communication used to maintain and support the lifestyles of punks in the decades immediately preceding the dawn of the 21st century.