Welcome to The International Association for the Study of Popular Music UK and Ireland Branch

Metal and Musicology

Posted: November 17th, 2015 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

One-day conference sponsored by the International Society for Metal Music Studies
12 March 2016 at University of Hull, UK

The recent and burgeoning field of metal studies continues to foster an interdisciplinary approach to metal music culture, drawing academics from sociology, philosophy, anthropology, political science, business, religious studies, and many more diverse areas of study. Musicology’s contribution to metal studies is less pronounced. With the exceptions of pioneering work by Robert Walser and more recent texts by Jonathan Pieslak, Mark Mynett, and Esa Lilja (among some others), metal studies’ relationship with musicology is somewhat underdeveloped. Despite a more reflexive and inclusive musicology emerging since the 1980s and ‘90s, metal music has rarely figured in musicological discussion of popular music or avant-gardes. Given metal’s status as a music culture, and the supposed broadening of musicological thought, it seems timely that metal studies and musicology embrace one another more directly.

Following trends in both metal studies and in musicology, this conference takes on broad definitions of metal and of musicology.

We welcome abstracts on a wide range of topics including but not limited to:

  • Defining and conceptualising metal music (including discussion of genres and subgenres)
  • Producing and consuming metal (including composition)
  • Metal as popular or classical music (or neither)
  • Metal and music theory
  • Metal historiography
  • Fan cultures
  • Metal performance
  • Metal as a music culture

Supported by the International Society for Metal Music Studies, this conference seeks to further a dialogue between metal studies and musicology, posing questions on the suitability of traditional music-theoretical models applied to metal, on the potentially controversial status of metal as popular music, and on specific or possibly unique metal production practices. We wish to understand what challenges metal might pose to musicology and what musicology can add to the metal studies discourse.

The first of its kind, this one-day conference offers an opportunity for scholars interested in both metal music and musicology to present current research. Musicological insights provide new perspectives on metal music culture, while the addition of metal to the musicological corpus presents alternative challenges for researchers. By bringing together academics working in metal studies, or musicologists with an interest in metal music, the conference aims to broaden and enrich both fields of study. Following a series of (15-20min) papers, the conference will close with a roundtable discussion with metal studies scholars and UK-based metal producers on the topic of metal studies and musicology.
The International Society for Metal Studies (ISMMS) is pleased to support this event at Hull. It is yet another opportunity for scholars to engage with this growing movement. We encourage conference delegates to look out for information on how to join ISMMS and how to access our journal Metal Music Studies, published by Intellect.

Abstracts of no more than 400 words, accompanied by contact details and institutional affiliation should be sent to [email protected] no later than 6 January 2016.

Lewis Kennedy
PhD Student
Department of Drama, Music and Screen (Music)
University of Hull

Leave a Reply