Pete Dale

Lecturer in Popular Music


Born in Kent in 1970, Pete Dale studied Communication Studies at Sunderland Polytechnic in the late 1980s/early 1990s. On graduating, he remained in the North East playing in several indie/punk underground bands and running the cult DIY record label/distributor Slampt until 2000 (at which time he was an invited panellist, as a practitioner, at the IASPM UK conference). Although he remains an active performer up to the present day, Pete took up school teaching as his main occupation in 2001, leading the music department of a Gateshead secondary school for many years. Simultaneous with his teaching career, he completed an MA in Music and PhD at Newcastle, under the supervision of Professor Richard Middleton. This study, now adapted as a book, explores the politics and music of the punk underground in which Pete has himself been a notable player.

Undergraduate Teaching


Dissertation Supervision

U66002 Film and Popular Music: Listening Skills

U66085 Professional Practice

Postgraduate Teaching

P66004 MA Approaches to Popular Music


On taking up his fellowship within the Popular Music Research Unit at Oxford Brookes in 2012, Pete’s principal research interests can be clustered around the theme of music and the subaltern or ‘low-other’: the music of the punk underground in which he retains a strong and long-held interest, but also the ‘hardcore’ DJ and MC-orientated music which his recent research has suggested is the music of choice for some of the most disaffected and socio-economically deprived individuals in our society. A further area of interest is the changing nature of the music industry; indeed, the essence of Pete’s research work can be summarised broadly as explorations of the relationships between music and capitalism.

Books and other publications

Anyone Can Do It: Empowerment, Tradition and the Punk Underground (Ashgate, 2012)

Journal Articles

'Creating Positive Spaces of Learning: DJers and MCers Identity-work with New Literacies', co-authored with Garth Stahl, Educational Forum 76/4: 510-523, 2012.

‘Derridean Justice and the DJ: A Classroom Impossibility?’, Philosophy of Music Education Review, 20:2, 2012.

Review of Punk Record Labels and the Struggle for Autonomy: The Emergence of DIY by Alan O'Connor, Encyclopedia of Punk Music and Culture by Brian Cogan, in Popular Music, 29/1, pp. 176-178, 2010.

‘Punk as folk: Tradition as inevitability, the appearance of subjectivity and the circuitry of justice’, Radical Musicology, Vol. 4, on-line, 2009.

‘It was easy, it was cheap, so what?: Reconsidering the DIY principle of punk and indie music’, Popular Music History, 3/2, pp.171-193, 2008.

Research Dissemination

(2012) ‘Raving against the Neo-liberal Agenda’, Cambridge University, Faculty of Education, 6 February.

(2011) ‘Raving in the classroom: DJing, MCing and the value of the “dex” for low-achieving and disaffected boys’, Cambridge University, Faculty of Education, 7 March.

(2011) ‘The Politics of Punk’, British Library, Eccles Centre for American Studies, Building A New World with a Better Jukebox: Amanda Palmer Invades the British Library, 5 September

(2010) ‘Equal rights, Karl Marx and Peter Tosh: Rasta consciousness, class consciousness and reggae music’, Newcastle University, ICMuS, 17 March.

(2010) ‘Anyone can do it: querying the desirability of universal engagement in music’, Experience, Engagement, Meaning IASPM conference, Cardiff University, 2-4 September

(2009) ‘Punk modernism at the moment’, The Artist Under the Microscope, c. 1950 - present day conference, Ustinov College, Durham University, 14 November

(2008) There is no authority but…: Crass and anarcho-punk', Newcastle University, ICMuS, 20 Feb.

(2007) ‘What is the shape of an event?’, Music, Philosophy and the Vernacular II symposium, Newcastle University, ICMuS, 12 May

(2007) ‘Punk as folk: The problem of subjectivity in the idealised realm of collective practice’, at Between Folk and Popular: The Liminal Spaces of the Vernacular, British Forum for Ethnomusicology annual conference, Newcastle University, ICMuS, 18-21 April

Pete Dale


School of Arts

Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus
Gipsy Lane
Oxford, OX3 0BP

Tel: +44 (0) 1865 484778