CFP: CIRCLE OF LIFE CONFERENCE: “Heavy metal music, culture and philosophy” Literature, Animals and Veganism

by | May 20, 2020 | Call For Proposals


“Heavy metal music, culture and philosophy”
Literature, Animals and Veganism
1st edition, Pula, 2020.
International Scientific Conference 6th – 7th August 2020
Faculty of Interdisciplinary, Italian and Cultural Studies
Juraj Dobrila University of Pula (Croatia) 

First Notification

This year, specifically February 13, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the album “Black Sabbath” by the band of the same name. The album is formally considered the beginning of the music genre better known as heavy metal. Even though it has, in the past 50 years, developed in several directions, it can be said that heavy metal is a culture in its own right, with similarities and differences within its various offshoots.

In 1871 the English anthropologist Sir Edward Burnett Tylor wrote the following: “Culture or Civilization, taken in its wide ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.” Tylor considers culture in a broader sense, even synonymous with civilization itself. If one has all of the things mentioned above, then one is a member of society. Heavy metal meets all these necessary requirements and can therefore be considered a culture, both theoretically and practically. Heavy metal satisfies all requirements of what it is to be a culture even if we take into account its other definitions: if we think about culture as it is defined by the social sciences and the humanities, or if we take into account Cicero’s definition of culture as cultivation of the soul (cultura animi), heavy metal is a fully fledged culture.
Heavy metal developed from rock and roll and was influenced by a wide range of human activities. The heavy metal world has its own rules, fashions, laws and order.


Metal festivals are definitely a depiction of this world. The culture that developed within this world is not static, indeed, it embraces new ways for people to “cultivate their souls” through it.
Therefore, the aim of this conference is to reflect upon the different aspects of the heavy metal culture phenomenon under the general title “Heavy metal music, culture and philosophy”. Yet, the research is lacking in order to gain some basic knowledge about heavy metal. For the first edition of this conference we chose the subtitle “Literature, Animals and Veganism”, so that we may reflect upon recent (and some not so recent) trends in this culture. Referencing particular heavy metal festivals, which reflect (but also develop) heavy metal culture, one of its interesting aspects is the embrace of environmental, and sometimes vegan worldviews, many incentives for which can be found in heavy metal “literature”.
Heavy metal was (and still is) at its beginnings considered dark, metaphorical, subcultural and in many cases incomprehensible. A similar view of veganism is present today. On the other hand, humanity has, for centuries, developed a prejudice against certain animals. Wolves, snakes, scorpions, bats, goats and many other species are considered to evil animals in the “world of man”, along with the common belief that animals are lower beings which should serve humankind. These prejudices are present in culture, literature, everyday life etc. However, a different view of animals can be found in heavy metal literature, art and poetry. This is why we have combined the concepts of animals, literature, veganism, heavy metal, philosophy and culture for one conference.

There are many open questions about these issues:
Heavy metal music as poetry
Can we talk about heavy metal literature?
The influence of literature on heavy metal, metal bands, metal genres
Animals in metal poetry
Cultural animalism and heavy metal
Destroying the prejudice about “evil” animals with heavy metal
Veganism in heavy metal or: can veganism be considered a part of the metal lifestyle?
Heavy metal as a tool for making people aware of their relationship with nature
Is veganism saving the world?

The proposed thematic frameworks do not entirely exhaust the research possibilities and approaches toward certain issues and topics that connect heavy metal with culture, animals, sustainability and ecological movements, green initiatives and veganism. We invite you to submit your presentations proposing new questions and expanding research horizons.
We accept presentations and research papers in three languages: Croatian (and similar languages), English and Italian.

Loud about the circle of life
Distorted about the circle of life
Dense about the circle of life
Vigorous about the circle of life
Important dates:
June 30th, 2020 – Beginning of abstract submission
July 15th, 2020 – Conformation of abstract submission
July 15th-Augist 1st , 2020 – Registration
July 16–August 1, 2020 – Registration
August 6th –7th , 2020 – Conference, Pula, Croatia
October 1, 2020- Deadline for article submission

In case the conference does not take place (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) the papers will be published in the Proceedings
(October 1st , 2020- Deadline for article submission)

Conference fee: 

Conference fee for participants: 390 KN

Conference for students: 100 KN

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