When The Beatles and The Rolling Stones first launched their music, many critics declared them trash, thinking their music was mere rubbish for the generation that supposedly had abandoned good music. Comic books, Playboy and hardboiled noir also suffered from the same initial bias. In the decades that have followed, these cultural icons have transformed into more quality forms of art, but are often still categorised as ‘trash’. On the other end of the spectrum is legitimate trash, including reality television and prepubescent ‘rock’ idols Justin Bieber and One Direction. As a result, the cultural logic surrounding the concept of ‘trash’ is constantly changing and in a state of flux; cultural artefacts previously deemed trashy can transform into higher forms of art, such as comic books, while artefacts previously a part of a more respected status have transformed into trash. Put simply, there are various forms of trash, some aspects more culturally significant, while others are absolute, genuine trash.
As such I was inspired to set up an online open-access journal focusing on the politics of Trash Culture. Launched two days ago, the journal, which encourages both academic and non-academic essays, has already developed international interest, and ideas, suggestions, fans and reviewers are pouring in. To visit the site, please go to trashculturejournal.wordpress.com. We aim to have the first issue released by the middle of the year. The journal is to be co-edited by translation and media scholar Joel Gilberthorpe, along with an extensive team of researchers as part of the editorial team.