Dear Everyone!

Can you feel it?  That slight tingle that suggests there’s something afoot…cuz there is.  It’s time to spike some honey!

The Occasion:

This is the final installment of the Bush School Intercultural Speaker Series, and it is being done in conjunction with this year’s Women Who Rock (un)Conference.

Saturday, APRIL 26 || 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM @ the Bush School (Community Room) 3400 E Harrison St, Seattle.  Admission Free.

“Unpacking the power of the female in the punk rock world.” Although perhaps better stated: “Unpacking the power of punk rock women in the world.”

The Panelists:

Alice Bag is a punk rock singer, musician, author, educator and feminist archivist. She is most famous for being a member of The Bags, one of the first bands on the L.A. punk scene. The Bags were notable for having two female lead musicians, and for pioneering an aggressive sound and style which has been cited as an early influence on what would become the hardcore punk sound. Members of the Bags appeared as the Alanna Le Swirlice Bag Band in director Penelope Spheeris’s landmark 1981 documentary on the Southern California punk scene, The Decline of Western Civilization. Bag went on to appear and perform in other Los Angeles based rock bands including Castration Squad, The Boneheads, Alarma, Cambridge Apostles, Swing Set, Cholita – the Female Menudo (with her friend and collaborator, performance artist Vaginal Davis), Las Tres, Goddess 13 (the subject of a KCET/PBS produced documentary, “Chicanas In Tune”) and Stay At Home Bomb. Bag’s memoir, Violence Girl, From East LA Rage to Hollywood Stage – A Chicana Punk Story, was published by Feral House in Fall 2011. Bag maintains a blog, Diary of A Bad Housewife and a digital archive of interviews with women who were involved in the first wave of the Southern California punk scene in the 1970’s.


Jessica Mills is a punk rock saxophonist, author, educator, and activist who has played with various bands including Less Than Jake, and Citizen Fish. She has taught English and journalism in high schools, and is also a long time punk-parenting columnist for Maximum Rock and Roll. Disappointed by run-of-the-mill parenting books that didn’t speak to her experience; she set out to write a book tackling the issues faced by a new generation of moms and dads. The result is a parenting guide like no other. Written with humor, extensive research, and much trial and error, My Mother Wears Combat Boots delivers sound advice for parents of all stripes. Amid stories of bringing kids (and grandparents) to women’s rights demonstrations, taking baby on tour with her band, and organizing cooperative childcare, Jessica gives detailed nuts-and-bolts information about weaning, cloth vs. disposable diapers, the psychological effects of co-sleeping, and even how to get free infant gear. This book provides a clever, hip, and entertaining mix of advice, anecdotes, political analysis, and factual sidebars that will help parents as they navigate the first years of their child’s life.


The women of NighTraiN were brought together as a concept band for an original stage play production called “Hot Grits.” In a process that was projected to take nine months, the women were to learn their assigned instruments, write songs and begin performing in the Seattle underground music scene in preparation for the play. The Band and their music were very well received. Although, very diverse in experience, age and backgrounds, the original women developed a profound friendship and connection in the music and decided to reunite after the stage play ended to form NighTraiN (NtN). NighTraiN offers a fresh take on the garage, punk, and rock genres, and they are constantly discovering their ever changing voice. The fluctuating ages of the group and their individual experiences genuinely affect the outcome of their music. Exposed to different viewpoints, they stick to their own truths; therefore, NighTraiN’s music is never stagnant or stuck within one genre due to their non-traditional approach. NighTraiN’s sound is a heavy engine hum formed by the blunt bass rhythms of Selena “No Pick” Whitaker-Paquiet. It is a heartbeat held steady by the percussive stylings of Taryn “Hot Legs” Dorsey. It is dark heat strummed from the guitar of Nicole “Jaja Juicy” Peoples and accompanied by the steam whistle wail of Rachael Ferguson.

The Moderators:

Monica De La Torre is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. Her scholarship bridges New Media and Sound Studies by analyzing the development of Chicana feminist epistemologies in radio and digital media production. A member of Soul Rebel Radio, a community radio collective based in Los Angeles, she is specifically interested in the ways in which radio and digital media production function as tools for community engagement. An active member of the UW Women of Color Collective and the Women Who Rock Collective as well as a HASTAC scholar. She co-curated the Women Who Rock Digital Oral History Archive, along with members of the Women Who Rock Collective.  She earned a B.A. in Psychology and Chicana/o Studies from University of California, Davis and an M.A.in Chicana/o Studies from California State University, Northridge; her master’s thesis was entitled “Emerging Feminisms: El Teatro de las Chicanas and Chicana Feminist Identity Development.” She received a 2012 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, which recognizes superior academic achievement, sustained engagement with communities that are underrepresented in the academy, and the potential to enhance the educational opportunities for diverse students.

Iris C. Viveros Avendaño was born and raised in Mexico. She is a first year Ph.D. student and a McNair Scholar whose academic interests and projects emphasize the integration of third world feminist approaches to analyze the impact of colonialism in present-day systems of violence. To this effect, she focuses on the role of social structures and state-mediated technologies of power and domination in perpetuating violence against Latin American women. In addition, Iris’s scholarly work focuses on the connection between cultural production—in the form of communal music, dance, literature, and performance—and practices of resistance, recovery, and healing from trauma. A major source of Iris’s academic and personal inspiration comes from her involvement as a bailadora/dancer in the Seattle Fandango Project, a community dedicated to forging relationships and social activism through participatory music, poetry, and dance.

Raised on L.A. radio, Michelle Habell-Pallán grew up in Downey, California. She is a professor of Chicana/Latina Studies in the Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies and adjunct in the School of Music and Communication at the University of Washington.  A respected cultural critic, digital archivista, and exhibit curator, she authored Loca Motion: The Travels of Chicana/Latina Popular Culture (NYU Press) and coedited Latino/a Popular Culture (NYU Press).  In her role as public scholar she is a curator of  the award-winning bilingual and currently traveling exhibit American Sabor:  Latinos in U.S. Popular Music hosted by the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).  As a digital feminista that seeks to transform digital humanities through community engagement, she co-founded and co-directs the University of Washington Libraries Women Who Rock: Making Scenes, Building Communities Oral History Archive.  Habell-Pallán is  recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Research Award as well as a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Research Award for her innovative research on gender, popular music and culture.  She has been awarded a 2014 Digital Commons Faculty Summer Fellowship, sponsored by the Simpson Center for Humanities to support the Women Who Rock:  Making Scene,  Building Communities Oral History Archive. She makes community &  music with the Seattle Fandango Project and is a member of the Fembot Collective|Gender, New Media & Technology. Her article, “‘Death to Racism and Punk Revisionism’: Alice Bag’s Vexing Voice and the Unspeakable Influence of Canción Ranchera on Hollywood Punk,” appears in Pop When the World Falls Apart: Music in the Shadow of Doubt (Duke University Press, 2012) and her new manuscript Beat Migration: Transmediating “American Sabor” for the Digital Humanities is in progress.

The Audience:


YOU!!!! Hope to see you there…


Be Well,

Director of Intercultural Affairs

The Bush School




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