Metal Music Studies 101, Metal Methodology and ISMMS
The International Society for Metal Music Studies (ISMMS) is excited to announce two projects which will share new and existing research with metal scholars and others through its distribution on ISMMS’ website and social media.
The first is called Metal Music Studies 101 and is the brainchild of Didier Goossens, an emerging scholar in metal studies and a strong supporter of the work ISMMS is doing. Metal Music Studies 101 is a collection of weekly blog posts, each focusing on a different topic in metal studies. For instance, once the posts begin in February some of the topics include literature, drone metal mysticism, sexual violence, nationalism, and musicology.
Each post is 350-500 words length. The goal is to introduce the audience to metal music studies by sharing current research. Furthermore, the posts are meant to be entry-level, to introduce the audience to the research and to increase interest in metal music studies. Each post also makes use of examples to the understanding of the entry. We are excited about this new endeavour, not the least of which is that the authors contributing are some of the best in the field. Metal music studies is still quite young, though each year more and more articles and books are published in an ever-widening research arc.
The second project, titled Metal Methodology, is a podcast series hosted by Dr. Owen Coggins, author of Mysticism, Ritual, and Religion in Drone Metal. Each edition is an interview with notable scholars in metal studies who will discuss theoretical and methodological approaches to interdisciplinary metal studies research.
The series is also scheduled to begin in February, with Dr. Florian Heesch, who will be focusing on why considerations of method are so important in any research; Dr. Rosemary Lucy Hill talking about feminism and the necessity of considering gender in research on metal; and Dr. Nelson Varas-Diaz discussing decoloniality in metal, which has emerged from his research on metal in the Global South but is vitally important for metal research worldwide.
ISMMS is an organization of scholars from around the world whose goal is to “encourage and facilitate trans/interdisciplinary and international academic research regarding processes and phenomena related to metal music and its various subgenres.” Furthermore, the organization strives to make metal music studies a relevant and respected academic discipline and to contribute to the growing field of scholarship on metal studies research. The organization has hosted four biennial international conferences in places such as Bowling Green, Ohio; Helsinki, Finland; Victoria, British Columbia; and Nantes, France, with the next one set to take place in fall 2021 in Mexico City. At our most recent conference in Nantes, scholars from 25 nations presented their research.
The ISMMS Executive Board is its organizing body, with 8 members from 5 different countries. The board’s purpose is to set goals for the organization, plan the future of the group, give support to scholars and other groups who may be putting on conferences or symposia, and to plan for the future by working to expand the membership of ISMMS. As a board we are always looking to the future to grow and support the work being done by Metal Studies scholars.
We hope you will check out MMS 101 as well as ISMMS’s website, and we look forward to hearing from you in the future. Take care and stay healthy,
Bryan A. Bardine, PhD
Chair, International Society for Metal Music Studies
Professor of English
University of Dayton
Dayton, OH, USA
Songs to keep in your ear
Testament, ‘Into the Pit’