CFP – Romanticism & Metal Studies

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Call for Papers for a Panel at the BARS/NASSR New Romanticisms Conference
2-5 August 2022, Edge Hill University

This panel pairs the new and growing field of Metal Studies with Romanticism, considering how Romantic themes, genres, and texts are carried across in heavy metal music and culture. We invite proposals for short papers on this theme to join our panel.

Within the past decade, Metal Studies has emerged from ‘a history of academic neglect or conflict over the value or legitimacy of metal music and its culture(s)’ into the global spotlight.[1] Metal Studies is beginning to intermix with Romantic Studies; recently, James Rovira’s inclusion of metal as a ‘Dark Romanticism’ in the second volume of the Rock and Romanticism series indicates the potential for future work in this area.[2] Romanticism weighs heavily upon metal, from Iron Maiden’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ to Metallica’s Frankenstein-inspired ‘Some Kind of Monster’. But Romanticism’s influence upon metal goes beyond lyrical allusions. Ross Wilson, in reflecting upon Kantian aesthetics and heavy metal’s indebtedness to Romantic negotiations of genre, observes that ‘Where Romanticism is often held to have inaugurated an epoch of freer artistic creation, dispensing with observance of established conventions of specific genres as a condition of artistic excellence, heavy metal is amazingly generically differentiated’.[3] This panel seeks to bring together established and early career scholars to consider how Metal Studies can encourage innovation and interdisciplinary exploration within the study of Romanticism.

Please send 150-word proposals for 10-minute papers to Amanda Blake Davis (amanda.davis@sheffield.ac.uk) and Matthew Sangster (matthew.sangster@glasgow.ac.uk) by Sunday 31st October


[1] Global Metal Music and Culture: Current Directions in Metal Studies, ed. by Andy R. Brown, Karl Spracklen, Keith Kahn-Harris and Niall W. R. Scott (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016), p. 1.

[2] Rock and Romanticism: Post-Punk, Goth, and Metal as Dark Romanticisms, ed. by James Rovira (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

[3] Ross Wilson, ‘Metalheads’, Cambridge Alumni Magazine, 86 (2019), 24-29 (p. 27).