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MMS 101

Our series of short posts on different topics in metal studies, written to introduce a general audience to current research.

Metal Methodology

A podcast series hosted by ISMMS Secretary Owen Coggins featuring interviews with notable scholars in metal studies.

Events, CfPs & more

All information about events, calls for proposals, and other announcements related to metal music studies.

All Posts

Methodological Approaches to Music and Dance: Exploring the Field of Heavy Metal and Its Genre Boundaries

September 08 – September 09, 2022, University of Siegen Music and dance are connected intimately and especially in popular music cultures dance plays a vital role. Even though academic attention so far has rather attended to forms such as tap dance, salsa, hip hop or various forms of electronic dance music, heavy metal is no exception in this respect: It has developed characteristic, music-related bodily practices that at times serve to designate cultural membership as, for example, the term "headbangers" indicates. At concerts, the music is accompanied by common movements like headbanging...

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Internet Musicking: Popular Music and Online Cultures

Although the below call is about popular music in general, the conference team encourage proposals on metal related topics.   internetmusicking.com A free academic conference sharing new research into cultural practices of music taking place online21–22 May 2022Department of Music, University College Cork (Ireland) & Online   Over the last few years, music researchers have paid increased attention to the internet and its effects on cultural life. For example, edited collections on digital culture, virtuality, and social media have emerged alongside landmark research projects...

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Popular Music, Populism and Nationalism in Contemporary Europe

Although the below call is about popular music in general, the conference team encourage proposals on metal related topics.   University of Oldenburg (Germany), 07–09 April 2022 Organisation: Mario Dunkel, Reinhard Kopanski, Simon Wehber (University of Oldenburg; Faculty III; Department of Music). Deadline for submitting proposals: 15th November 2021 It is undisputed that the recent rise of populist-nationalist and far-right parties poses a challenge to democracies, not exclusively, but also in the European Union. However, “populism’s toxic embrace of nationalism,” as Lawrence Rosenthal...

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Election for ISMMS Executive Board Positions

The positions of Chair and Ordinary Member on the ISMMS Executive Board will become available in January 2022, at the end of the current terms of Dr Bryan Bardine (Chair) and Dr Gabby Riches (Ordinary Member). We seek candidates to stand for each position in an election of the ISMMS membership, to serve four year terms. Roles The Chair will be responsible for formally representing the Society in activities which further its aims. The Chair shall convene regularly scheduled board meetings, shall preside or arrange for other members of the Executive Board to preside at each meeting in the...

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C Squared with Holly Royle – ‘Female Fronted Metal’ Podcast

Check out this podcast featuring metal scholar Holly Royle along with her PR colleagues and fellow musicians: Curtis Dewar, Gaia Guarda, and Sarah Lindsey from Book of Wyrms. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOAtIfgm_Uk Holly is a PhD student researching masculinities in heavy metal at the University of Chester. Her research brings in her experience as a musician, journalist, and music publicist in metal.

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IASPM-US 2022 Call For Proposals

On behalf of IASPM-US, please check out the call for the 2022 conference, and consider sending in a proposal. Horns up!   IASPM-US 2022 Conference: Grooves and Movements May 26-May 28, 2022 Ann Arbor/Detroit Michigan Dates and Place: The International Association for the Study of Popular Music-United States chapter (IASPM-US) invites proposals for its annual conference, which will take place in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan on May 26-28, 2022. We welcome abstracts for individual papers, organized panels, roundtable discussions, and alternative (non-paper) presentations on all...

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Glocal Metal w/ Didier Goossens

Glocal metal   Didier Goossens    Not long after the first metal music studies, attention arose for its ways of production, distribution and consumption across the globe, with significant attention for non-Anglo American/European contexts. This became theorized as the global metal scene. But that utopic idea steals the thunder of many unique contexts of local metal scenes by depicting a global industry of artists, labels, platforms and fans – while some artists might not even aim for global audiences. This explains the need for a new critical framework, one that attends to the specific...

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Multilingual Metal w/ Riitta-Liisa Valijärvi 

Multilingual Metal w/ Riitta-Liisa Valijärvi 

Multilingual Metal   Riitta-Liisa Valijärvi  Heavy metal is often sung in English. This is a global language, the use of which can increase sales and reach wider audiences. Yet, many bands choose to write lyrics and sing in other languages. We explored this choice in an edited volume titled Multilingual Metal Music: Sociocultural, Linguistic and Literary Perspectives on Heavy Metal Lyrics (edited by myself, Charlotte Doesburg and Amanda DiGoia).  Bands may choose to write their lyrics in a language other than English to celebrate a culture or a certain national identity. This choice is...

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Black Metal in Turkey w/ Douglas Mattsson

Black Metal in Turkey w/ Douglas Mattsson

BLACK METAL IN TURKEY  Douglas Mattsson  “Black metal? We don’t have that in Turkey.” - The middle aged Turkish academic sitting across from me in a restaurant in Istanbul is not the first to have expressed surprise, even disbelief, when I told him about my topic of research. Although literature on metal music in Muslim majority societies has multiplied during the last decade, black metal, one of metal music’s most extreme subgenres, has rarely been the subject of study. A Turkish black metal scene, however, exists since the late 1980s.   In 1988 Turkey’s first black metal band Witchtrap,...

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Metal and Synthesizers with Fulya Çelikel 

Metal and Synthesizers with Fulya Çelikel 

METAL AND SYNTHESIZERS  Fulya Çelikel    As a metalhead and a metal musician, it has always amazed me that metal research that touches on organology (the musicological term for the study of musical instruments) is mostly on the electric guitar in some way. There is very little in terms of timbres or techniques that are considered “metal” for non-guitar instruments, such as bass guitars and/or drums. Although synthesizers have been in use in metal music since 1988, with Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, and since then the metal spectrum has widened to contain many a synthesized...

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Ethno-journalism in Metal Research w/ Edward Banchs

Ethno-journalism in Metal Research w/ Edward Banchs

Ethno-journalism in metal research  My research has come about because I could not answer a simple question when I was in graduate school: What did I know about metal in Africa?  Though I was never educated to become a journalist, I have utilized a more journalistic approach in order to properly profile scenes, and their respective nascency’s throughout the continent, as little had ever been published about metal in Africa when I began. My work has since incorporated academic aspects in order to study these scenes more critically, including hybridity between this Western-rooted music and...

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MMS101 – Black Metal Ontology: Performing the Witch with Dr. Jasmine Hazel Shadrack

MMS101 – Black Metal Ontology: Performing the Witch with Dr. Jasmine Hazel Shadrack

Black Metal Ontology: Performing the Witch Dr Jasmine Hazel Shadrack   Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and as terrible as an army with banners? (qtd. in Grey, 2013, p. 14)   Through my performance as Denigrata Herself in the black metal band Denigrata, something ‘other’ has been advancing in parallel with my on-stage persona. She has made herself known to me through our shows, promotional pictures, album art and videos. Whilst I had no a priori desire to create Denigrata Herself in these terms, she has evolved this way nonetheless....

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