Former ANTHRAX Guitarist Among Keynote Speakers At 'Heavy Metal And Popular Culture' Conference

The inaugural "Heavy Metal And Popular Culture" international conference will take place at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio April 4-7. It will be the first scholarly conference on heavy metal in the U.S. Registration is free and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Metal music and culture scholars from Norway, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., France, Canada, New Zealand, Finland, Brazil and all over the U.S., including Puerto Rico, will gather to share theories, network, and discuss the forthcoming peer-reviewed journal that will be published by The International Society For Metal Music Studies.

There will be four keynote speakers: Robert Walser, director of the Rock And Popular Music Institute at Case Western Reserve University and author of "Running With The Devil: Power, Gender, And Madness In Heavy Metal Music"; Keith Kahn-Harris, author of "Extreme Metal: Music And Culture On The Edge"; Laina Dawes, journalist and photographer from Toronto and author of the book "What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman's Life And Liberation In Heavy Metal"; and Dan Spitz, currently in the band RED LAMB and autism awareness advocate, and former lead guitarist of ANTHRAX.

There will also be three roundtable discussions, which include Martin Popoff (journalist, author of 41 metal books) and Deena Weinstein, author of "Heavy Metal: The Music And Its Culture". There will also be an exhibition on masks and facepaint through genres, history and cultures.

Heavy metal music studies is comprised of scholars from dozens of academic disciplines. Forty scholars will participate in the conference, including Laura Wiebe from McMaster University in Canada, who will present "'Musicians from Mars': Negotiating Music, Genre and Identity in Voivod's Science Fictional Metal." Niall Scott, University of Central Lancashire, U.K., will engage audience members in his discussion "Heavy Metal As Resistance." Colin McKinnon, independent scholar from Switzerland, will discuss "Metal And Comics: Strange Bedfellows?" Yu Zheng, Bowling Green State University, will talk about "The Scene Of Chinese Heavy Metal After The Golden Age: From Painkiller To The Globe." Sigrid Mendoza, Ponce School Of Medicine And Health Science, University Of Puerto Rico, will thrash out her paper "There's A Girl In The Mosh Pit! Female Gender Practices In Puerto Rico's Heavy Metal Scene." Kevin Ebert, Adjunct Faculty of Guitar, Music at Xavier University, Cincinnati, will present "Bridging The Divide? Classical Music And Popular Culture In Symphonic Metal."

The idea for an American conference began in the late 2000s when Bowling Green State University's Jeremy Wallach, Esther Clinton and Brian Hickam traveled to a scholarly heavy metal conferences in Europe.

"It was clear the whole metal studies thing was taking off and we had this idea that we would do a conference on heavy metal here in Bowling Green, which made sense for a lot of reasons," Wallach old the Toledo Free Press.

"Toledo's always been a metal town and Ohio's a metal state, especially in the northern part of the state. Toledo is part of the Rust Belt and industrial wastelands have always been a part of the heavy metal mythos from the beginning."

"What's awesome and a little bit different about this [conference] is it's an international conference and people are coming in from all over the world," Matt Donahue, an instructor at Bowling Green State University and a member of the local heavy metal band MAD 45, told the Toledo Free Press. And the other awesome part about it is that it's free."

The academic study of popular culture in the United States was founded in 1972 by Ray Browne, former Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Bowling Green State University. The full agenda of the conference can be found at this location.

Pictured below: Esther Clinton and Jeremy Wallach


Posted in: News


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).