Candace Hansen
Musicology Graduate Student

Candace Hansen is a PhD student, drummer, educator, and scholar currently studying and teaching at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music in Musicology. Hansen holds an Associate’s degree in Women’s Studies from Santa Ana College, dual Bachelor’s degrees in History and Gender Studies from UCLA, and a Masters of Art in Musicology from UCLA. A former community organizer, Hansen has organized events on campus for the Center for Musical Humanities such as Curating Resistance: Punk as Archival Method conference and the lecture series Hear/Now/Then/There: Subversion, Sound, and the Queer Underground. Hansen is passionate about accessible and equitable pedagogy, and works to create lesson plans that engage multiple types of learners as both a TA and a professor. As a Gender Studies concentrator Hansen has developed and taught courses centered on thinking through queer punk as a method, on contemporary LGBTQ+ literature, and lesbian and trans narratives and critiques in film and television.

Hansen’s dissertation is focused primarily on dissonant drumming and queer and trans punk as an act of critical becoming and world building. They are interested in how queer punk music embodies queer time and hails listeners through it, creating spaces for transformation, connection, critique, and hope at multiple scales. In his book Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, José Esteban Muñoz wrote that queer art and aesthetic practices “contain the blueprints, the schemata, of a forward dawning futurity.” Inspired by Muñoz, Hansen is interested in the affective elements of queer music that hold those blueprints, that transmit and transmute through feeling, invoking the not-yet-conscious while embodying maps to queer utopias. Hansen’s work bridges musicology, gender studies, LGBTQ studies, history, media studies, and performance studies.

In addition to their scholarly work, Hansen is an active drummer, zinester, and member of the local queer punk creative community. Before grad school, Hansen was the co-director of the Rock n Roll Camp for Girls Orange County, a not-for-profit organization that worked to empower girls and gender expansive youth through music and education from 2012-2019, and a freelance writer at publications such as Tom Tom Magazine, OC Weekly, and Razorcake. When inspiration strikes, Hansen self-releases zines and prints, and has done readings, talks, and workshops at events such as the LA Zine Fest and The Poetry Project. Hansen loves to collaborate, record and perform, and has been an active studio and live drummer over the last 15 years, most recently with underground punk bands YAAWN and dimber as well as with punk legend Alice Bag on her solo records Alice Bag, Blueprint, and Sister Dynamite.

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