School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of Michigan

Karen Fournier

Associate Professor of Music


Karen Fournier‘s principal area of research, the role played by women in the British punk movement during its foundation in the mid-1970s, has generated a book-length study provisionally titled Punk and Disorderly: Acting Out Gender in Class in Early British Punk. The study takes an intersectional approach to its subject, focusing on the interlocking systems of oppression surrounding gender and class, and it references British bands as Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Slits, X-Ray Spex, the Adverts, and Delta 5 to illustrate this framework. Other aspects of her work on punk have been published in such collections as Media Narratives in Popular Music (eds. Chris Anderton and Martin James), The Bloomsbury Handbook of Popular Music Video Analysis (eds. Lori Burns and Stan Hawkins), Beyond No Future: Cultures of German Punk (eds. Mirko Hall, Seth Howes, and Cyrus Shahan), Saints, Sinners, and Seekers: A Collection of Essays on Rock and Religion (eds. Alex DiBlasi and Bob McPartland). Forthcoming essays on various aspects of gender performance in popular music will appear in the volumes Women’s Rock Memoirs: Music, History, and Life-Writing (Oxford University Press), Gender and Age/Aging in Popular Culture (Bielefelder Verlage), and Word, Sound Image; Intertextuality in Music Videos (Bloomsbury). Karen has also published The Words and Music of Alanis Morissette (Bloomsbury/Praeger, 2015), which is the only book-length study of the singer-songwriter’s work.



BA (history), Carleton University
BA with distinction (music), University of Ottawa
MA (musicology), University of Western Ontario
PhD (music theory), University of Western Ontario

Selected Publications

“Gold Diggers of MTV: Critiquing Music Industry Sexism through the Busby Berkeley ‘Showgirl’ Trope,” in Word, Sound, Image: Intertextuality in Music Videos. Eds. Tomasz Dobrogoszcz and Carol Vernallis. New York: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2023.

“Gender, Rage, and Age in Alanis Morissette’s ‘Reasons I Drink’,” Gender and Age/Aging in Popular Culture. (University of Graz, Aging Studies Series). Eds. Nicole Haring, Roberta Maierhofer, and Barbara Ratzenböck. Bielefeld, Germany: Bielefelder Verlag, forthcoming 2023.

“Jayne County, Laura Jane Grace, and the HerStory of Transgender Punks in America,” in Women’s Rock Memoirs: Music, History, and Life-Writing. Eds. Cristina Garrigós and Marika Ahonen. Oxford: Oxford University Press, in press and forthcoming, Fall 2022.

“Wartime Propaganda as Cultural Critique in Julien Temple’s Punk Can Take It’ (1979),” in Punk and Philosophy: God Save the Queen (of the Sciences). Eds. Josh Heter and Richard Greene. Chicago: Carus Books, in press and forthcoming, Summer 2022.

“Punk Fanzines, Subcultural Consecration, and Hidden Female Histories in Early British Punk,” in Media Narratives in Popular Music: 201-218. Eds. Chris Anderton and Martin James. New York City: Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2021.

“The Politics of Representation in Early British Punk Videos: Détournement and the Moving Image,” in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Popular Music Video Analysis: 129-142. Eds. Lori Burns and Stan Hawkins. New York City: Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2019. (Book finalist for the 2020 Association of American Publishers Prose Award.)

“Christ from Chaos: Redemption through Rebellion in Christian Hardcore,” in Finding God in the Devil’s Music: Critical Essays on Rock and Religion: 62-73. Eds. Alex DiBlasi and Robert McParland. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland Publishing, 2018.

“Nazi Signifiers and the Narrative of Class Warfare in British Punk,” in Beyond “No Future”: Cultures of German Punk: 91-108. Eds. Mirko Hall, Seth Howes, and Cyrus Shahan. New York City: Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2016.