Wendy Fonarow

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Wendy Fonarow
Wendy Fonarow, 2010
Wendy Fonarow, 2010
BornDOB unknown
Los Angeles, California, United States
OccupationAnthropology, Professor, Writer, A&R

Wendy Fonarow has been an anthropology professor[1] at Glendale Community College,[2][3] writer and music industry professional. She is best known for the book Empire of Dirt, and for her column Ask the Indie Professor in The Guardian.

Life and career[edit]

Wendy Fonarow was born in Los Angeles.

While studying at University of California in San Diego, she worked at the campus radio station. There she was exposed to bands like The Fall, Pink Industry, Wire, Magazine, and the magazine NME. Milo Aukerman of the Descendants also attended UCSD and decided to do a cover of the Beach Boys "Wendy" for her which was later included on The Descendant's album Enjoy! After graduating, back in LA, she started to go to concerts of similar bands.

In 1989, Fonarow was added to the guest list of Something Happens (an Irish band who gave her backstage access. While attending other concerts, she noticed that the spectators (usually) obeyed some unwritten rules, which made her interested in music performance as a ritual. She chose this area as the topic for her PhD thesis .

In 1996, she workied at MCA Records in Los Angeles as an A&R manager.

In 1999, she finished her PhD thesis and in 2006 released a book.[4][5] She has given lectures and keynotes at Cambridge University, Princeton, Columbia University, UCLA, University of Milan, University of Oslo and the University of Edinburgh as well as conferences, including By:Larm, CMJ, SXSW, Music Finland, and EMP in Seattle, NYC, and Los Angeles.

Outside of her career as a professor, Wendy Fonarow held a discussion about the Day of the Dead at the ACE121 Gallery in Glendale, California on October 22, 2018. She spoke to and educated children on the origins of the holiday, along with its significance in today’s society. Following her discussion was a screening of the movie “Coco,” as it is based on the Mexican holiday. She received her master’s degree in Halloween. Therefore, educating others on the roots of Halloween and the Day of the Dead has become a large passion of hers.



  • (1995) "The Spatial Organization of the Indie Music Gig" reprinted in The Subcultures Reader, Ken Gelder (Editor), Sarah Thornton (Editor).
  • (1996) "Spatial Distribution and Participation in British Contemporary Musical Performances" Issues in Applied Linguistics, 7(1)
  • (1999) “The Culture of Participation and the Morality of Aesthetics in British Independent Music Performances” PhD. Diss., University of California at Los Angeles (Ann Arbor: UMI).
  • (2006) Empire of Dirt: The Aesthetics and Rituals of British Indie Music . Paperback: ISBN 978-0-8195-6811-3, Hardcover: ISBN 978-0-8195-6810-6.
  • (2008) "Portrait du chercheur en fan", Cairn.info



  1. ^ Dr. Wendy Fonarow, Professor of Anthroplogy, on sabbatical
  2. ^ Glendale Community College : Faculty & Staff : FONAROW, WENDY
  3. ^ Dr. Wendy Fonarow, Associate Professor of Anthropology
  4. ^ "England Made Me", The Word (magazine), Issue 86, April 2010, pages 108-111
  5. ^ Empire of Dirt: The Aesthetics and Rituals of British Indie Music Paperback: ISBN 978-0-8195-6811-3, Hardcover: ISBN 978-0-8195-6810-6
  6. ^ Wendy Fonarow (22 March 2011). "Ask the indie professor: Why so many bad band names?". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  7. ^ Wendy Fonarow (2006-07-25). "Three vs. 3". mojave3online.com. Archived from the original on October 27, 2007. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  8. ^ _tunic_ (2012-10-07). "SeBADoH". Retrieved 2013-12-04.
  9. ^ "Secret EP by Sebadoh". Sebadoh. Retrieved 2013-12-04.

External links[edit]