Nate Floyd sits at the table closest to the window in King Café, his headphones draped around his neck, sifting through his Spotify playlists while taking sips of his coffee.
The quiet, soft-spoken librarian sports a collared shirt buttoned all the way up with a dark green sweater hanging loosely around his shoulders.
Nate is a visiting assistant librarian from Indiana University (IU) at King Library. His Ph.D. is in Mass Communications with a dissertation in the Development of Journalism Education.
Nate focuses his studies on how others perceive the usefulness of journalism and the way in which the subject is taught based off the opinions of administrators and professionals in the working world.
But despite his professional demeanor and dedication to his research, Nate has a slightly subversive side: he loves music, especially the punk rock scene.
“My favorite thing to do is to go to shows, and I haven’t seen a single punk since I’ve been in Oxford,” Nate said with a smile. “I recognize that I’m not a punk, but I do like to piggyback on their scene.”
Originally from southeastern Ohio, Nate went to Marshall University for his undergrad and his masters. However, he didn’t find his cultural niche until he discovered the music scene in Bloomington at IU, which was blossoming in a way he never experienced at Marshall.
“I felt like I had some citizenship there when I was younger, I don’t feel that connection as strongly anymore, but I still love live music,” Nate said.
Nate uses music as a mnemonic device of sorts.
The way he remembers how he felt or what was happening during a particular time in his life can be traced back through his playlists on Spotify. Some tracks represent various relationships, while others relate to current events both in Nate’s life and throughout the world.
“When I’m at a punk show, I enjoy the music, but I also feel like I’m there as kind of an ethnographer in the sense that I’m observing this scene,” Nate said. “When you’re not super involved in something but you’re just observing, you kind of see some things that others who are fully invested can’t see.”
When considering whether or not there was a connection between his research into journalism education and his appreciation for the punk rock scene, Nate paused briefly.
“There’s a connection between the study of media and audiences and this joy of listening to music and watching people who are playing,” Nate said. “But also I enjoy music in the same way that anyone else does, independent of my research.”