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Daisy Rooks collection

 Collection 0452-SCPA-ROOKS

Daisy Rooks (b. September 11, 1975) is a scholar and an educator who was also a participant in the Washington, D.C. hardcore punk music and fanzine scene as a teenager and young adult in the 1990s. Rooks was involved in the production of numerous zines, most notably Not Even. Along with her sister and friends, she was also a part of the Chicks Up Front Posse, an informal group that fought against sexism in the hardcore punk scene. The Daisy Rooks collection consists of zine production boards, photocopies, ephemera, and published zines.


  • 1992-1994

Collection use and access

The collection is open for research use. Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room during SCPA’s operating hours. Please contact the curator for an appointment or if you have questions related to digital access of the materials.

Duplication and copyright information

Copyright was not transferred to the University of Maryland with the gift of any copyrighted materials. All rights remain with the creators and rights holders. The University of Maryland Libraries is granted permission for the use in scholarly research by the Libraries’ patrons under fair use in Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act. To inquire about duplication of materials for research or for publication, please contact SCPA’s curator.


2.5 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

This collections consists of fanzines and fanzine production materials (camera-ready production art masters, stencils) created by Dr. Daisy Rooks, who was active in the Washington, D.C. hardcore punk community as a teenager in the early 1990s. Dr. Rooks is currently the Chair of the Sociology department at the University of Montana. During her time in the DC punk scene, Rooks was well known for her feminist activism within the hardcore punk scene, which was often a misogynistic space. Rooks and her friends became known as the "Chicks Up Front Posse," staking out space in front of the stage in defiance of the violent male dancers surrounding them. Rooks' zines from this period, Not Even and Treadmill, covered the hardcore punk community through a feminist lens. Her efforts sparked debate and reflection within the community and she remains a notable figure from that time within studies of the subculture.

Biographical / Historical

Daisy Rooks (b. September 11, 1975) is a scholar and educator who was a participant in the Washington, D.C. hardcore punk music and fanzine scene as a teenager and young adult in the early 1990s. Inspired by the hardcore and straight edge punk scenes, Rooks began publishing the fanzine Not Even as a high school student in 1991. Not Even published interviews and record reviews of many D.C. bands, as well as others from the national and international hardcore punk community. Hardcore music began as an offshoot of punk in the 1980s, with faster tempos and an edgier style. This scene had many sub-scenes, straight edge being among others with its roots in D.C.. Straight edge values included a rejection of the wider punk scene’s nihilistic tendencies, and touted abstinence from drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity. Written during the second wave of the straight edge/hardcore punk era, Not Even and the one-off collaborative fanzine Treadmill tackled social issues relevant to the scene.

Among these issues was the role of religion in the punk scene, which Rooks investigates in the third issue of Not Even, aptly named “The Religion Issue.” The values of straight edge punks had led to some members of the scene becoming interested in the religious countercultural movement, Hare Krishna, by the early 1990s. Many controversial aspects of the Hare Krishna movement were reflected in punks’ responses to the growing number of their young peers converting to the religion. Women were stated in the religious texts to be less intelligent than men, which was in direct conflict with contemporary Riot Grrrl and other feminist punk movements. In issue 3 of Not Even, Rooks interviewed bands and band members on all sides of the issue, including Shelter, Born Against, and Downcast. Another issue relevant to the scene at the time was the normalization of homosexuality. Although many people in the scene were accepting of gay people, straight punks who spoke in favor of them tended to clarify that they were not gay themselves, and would insist that they were not a part of the same community. In Not Even issue 5 she addresses this hypocrisy of “homopositivity” in the punk scene in a short article stating “this freedom just cannot be the case as long as there is such a clear dependence on the concept of discussing the issue from the outside, that you are not ‘one of them’.” She also further dives into the topic of sexuality in general, pointing out how for both gay people and for women: “no, sex has never been [an] ‘uncomplicated’ experience.” Rooks’ writing in Not Even connects larger societal problems with similar issues she had noticed in the hardcore scene, and she did not shy away from calling out inequality and encouraging her peers to do better.

Rooks advocated for feminism and actively worked to make a space for women within the hardcore scene. For example, Rooks is also responsible for starting the “Chicks Up Front Posse,” which began as a joke between her and her sister, Margaret, but became a small movement encouraging women to take up space at hardcore shows. Although she held similar values to the better known Riot Grrrl movement, she held herself apart from it in a letter to the popular punk zine Maximumrocknroll protesting that “it seems that [...] every girl in hardcore who was feminist, strong, aggressive, or confrontational was automatically pushed into this narrow slot and branded as ‘riot grrrl’.” Riot Grrrl began as a network of punk girls organizing together, creating spaces for women in punk and calling out the hypocrisy of a scene that claimed anti-establishment ideals, yet still normalized misogyny among its participants. Whether as a part of the group or individually, women were pushing back against the male-dominated values of the scene in many different ways. Rooks’ writing and interviews in issues 4 and 5 of Not Even (from 1993-1994) explored roles women in the straight edge/hardcore scene inhabited, and the more general societal views of domestic violence against women.

Rooks stayed involved in the straight edge and hardcore scene after the final issue of Not Even, contributing regularly to the hardcore zine HeartattaCk, being interviewed in zines like Knotwork and Seen Not Heard, and appearing as a guest speaker for a Tufts University course on punk in 1998. As of 2024, she is the Department Chair for the University of Montana’s Sociology and Criminology department.


This collection consists of three series:

  1. Production materials
  2. Publications
  3. Ephemera

Custodial History

Gift of Daisy Rooks, September 15, 2023.

Related Materials

D.C. punk and indie fanzine collection, Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland Libraries. (finding aid)

"Persistent Vision: The D.C. Punk Collections at the University of Maryland", Exhibition. (website)


Haenfler, Ross. 2006. Straight Edge : Clean-Living Youth, Hardcore Punk, and Social Change. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.

International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Krishna Consciousness in the West. Edited by David G Bromley and Larry D Shinn. Lewisburg Pa.: Bucknell University Press, 1989.

Kuhn, Gabriel. 2010. Sober Living for the Revolution : Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics. Oakland, CA: PM Press.

Judah, J. Stillson. Hare Krishna and the Counterculture. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1974.

Rochford, E. Burke. Hare Krishna Transformed. New York: New York University Press, 2007.

Pepitone, Stephanie. “Rioting or Shopping? Generation X's Feminists”. Prized Writing 1994-1995 (1995)

Kira Cronin-Hennessy
March 2024
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States