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Dossier "Metal studies"

The International Society for Metal Music Studies

Niall Scott
p. 205

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Genre musical :

heavy metal / hard rock
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Texte intégral


1No one could have imagined a decade ago that heavy metal studies would have grown at the rate it has. It would not be accurate to say that it has spread across the globe from any particular point, but rather through effective communication, music media publicity publication output, symposia and conferences, the movement has emerged by scholars consolidating their commitment already at work in metal music studies. Indeed, this was noted along with the idea for a metal studies society as viable in the Journal for Cultural Research, (Brown, A. Kahn-Harris, K. and Spracklen, K. vol 15 issue 3 July 2011, p.210 ). The first of the events to kick such discussions off though, was the now legendary ‘Music Metal and Politics: Heavy Fundametalisms’ conference at Salzburg organised and hosted by Following this gathering, the possibility of founding a society dedicated to metal studies became a goal. Further events advancing the coming together of metal studies included the Heavy Metal and Gender conference organised at Koln, the Black Metal Theory symposia, the Home of Metal conference at Wolverhampton and the forthcoming Heavy Metal and popular culture conference at Bowling Green OH., as well as an increase in publication rate of books and journal articles.

2It is then a fitting thing to be able to announce here, that this new scholarly society and the prospective appearance of a journal have been established. The presence of the International Society of Metal Music studies (ISMMS) was informally announced as in the making at the Home of Metal Conference in Wolverhampton in 2011. Since then a small number of metallectuals have come together to iron out the details of the society. Through a gargantuan effort the Secretary Karl Spracklen has been hard at work putting together the frame work for a journal, Amber Clifford has been teasing out the structure for the financial and legal foundation of the society, and Brian Hickam has been fine tuning the bibliographic archive for the website, taking over the previous sterling work by Keith Kahn-Harris’ original metal studies bibliography1. The mission statement for the society available to see on its website holds:

“The mission of ISMMS is to encourage and facilitate trans / interdisciplinary and international academic research regarding processes and phenomena related to heavy metal music and culture and to support the recognition of such research as a significant contribution to academic communities. Sub-genres of heavy metal and related genres, e.g., hardcore punk, are included. ISMMS exists as a focal organization to establish metal music studies as a relevant and respected academic discipline and contribute to the growth of knowledge within the academic and music communities. These aims shall be accomplished through the development, organization and promotion of state of the art collaborations, publications, activities and events that demonstrate high standards and principles of academic excellence and the important purpose of this research around the world.”

Practical information


Announces are yet to be made concerning membership details and calls for papers that will follow from the inaugural board meeting at Bowling Green University in April 2013. For further information contact: Dr Niall Scott (chair of ISMMS) at

Board of ISMMS: Chair: Dr Niall Scott; Secretary: Prof Karl Spracklen; Treasurer Amber Clifford; Brian Hickam: Communications and Archive, Imke von Helden, Claudia Azevedo, Colin MacKinnon

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1 Originally published in Volume!, here: [editor's note].

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Référence papier

Niall Scott, « The International Society for Metal Music Studies », Volume !, 9 : 2 | 2012, 205.

Référence électronique

Niall Scott, « The International Society for Metal Music Studies », Volume ! [En ligne], 9 : 2 | 2012, mis en ligne le 15 décembre 2012, consulté le 01 décembre 2020. URL : ; DOI :

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Niall Scott

Dr Niall W. R. Scott is Senior Lecturer in Ethics at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston. He is chair of the International Society for Metal Music Studies (ISMMS). He is hub leader for the Music Metal and Politics project, part of the Black metal theory movement and editor of Helvete, a journal of Black Metal Theory and 'Reflections in the Metal Void' (Inter-Disciplinary Press 2011), documenting the first Heavy Metal conference held in Salzburg in 2008.

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Droits d'auteur

L'auteur & les Éd. Mélanie Seteun

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