Denah Johnston Receives her Ph.D.

Denah in front of the Anthology Film Archivesagnès films Experimental and Fringe Film Editor, Denah Johnston has received her Ph.D. in Media & Communications with an emphasis in Film & Music from the European Graduate School.  Her dissertation titled is “No Future Now: A Nomadology of Subversion and Resistance” and her adviser was Wolfgang Schirmacher.  Sigrid Hackenberg and Michael Anker were in her committee.

Here is the abstract for her amazing work:

Investigating and interrogating underground film and music this project calls on everything from the Situationist International to King Mob and the Sex Pistols, New York, Los Angeles and London Punk to No Wave and Nietzsche’s Nihilism.  Unearthing and (re)constructing a Deleuzian-inspired hybrid genealogy-Nomadology (making a map instead of a tracing) from the Beats, American Underground and Avant-Garde film to Punk, No Wave and the Cinema of Transgression, this work unearths a synesthesia of social, cultural and artistic consequences.

A terminal review of key social, artistic, cultural and political factors this work informs and locates close readings of seminal films, events and documents from 1974-1989.  Considering essential influences in the underground from the 1950s-60s lays the groundwork for the essential understanding of key movements, ideas and attitudes exploding in the 1970s.  While tapping into cross-currents of subculture, style and moral panic on both sides of the Atlantic a golden spiral continually feeds/connects the never-ending chant of forward thinking, on the edge (and often equally self-sabotaging) deviants, punks and queers located just below the radar spreading the word like gospel: “No Future Now.”

Congratulations, Denah!