I can confirm: Princeton University's Samuel W. Goldman is indeed the academy's premiere surreptitious punkademic. There is much more in Goldman's career that the Boston Globe did not identify, including time served in the divisive post-hardcore band Yakub; the successful orchestration of the 1998 New Jersey Hardcore Festival before he had graduated from high school; innumerable show promotions and fanzine publications/contributions; and the curation of similarly innumerable mixtapes with offerings delineated under "Side Mosh" and "Side Pit."
This, however, reminds me why I lacked the fortitude to follow my friend into academia:
The field of punk studies is currently enjoying an especially fertile moment. In the past two years, punk studies has generated books like “Visual Vitriol: The Street Art and Subcultures of the Punk and Hardcore Generation” and “White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race,” and papers with titles like “The Jersey Punk Basement Scene: Exploring the Information Underground” and “Let the Shillelagh Fly: Dropkick Murphys and Irish Hybridity in Punk Rock.” The Harvard Film Archive recently screened a series of 10 films about American punk, including a punk rock zombie movie. Next month will see the publication of the first issue of Punk & Post-Punk, a new peer-reviewed journal devoted entirely to the subject of punk culture. Two other academic journals are putting together special issues on the role of gender and race in punk. And soon, a group of punk enthusiasts at New York University, including the curator of the premier punk archive in the United States, will put out a call for papers in anticipation of a planned academic conference marking punk’s 40th birthday.
Why is punk rock a worthy subject for academic study? Obviously punk and hardcore made me who I am today, so I would never deny its importance. But how does it enrich your life to enter graduate study to explore the stuff you already like and obsess about? Shouldn't you be engaged in pursuits of greater scholastic rigor or broader social relevance? How does studying punk rock broaden your horizons or enrich the rest of us? The academy is not your fanzine.