Call for Papers: ‘Romanticism and Heavy Metal’ Anthology

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Editors: James Rovira and Julian Knox

The editors welcome chapter proposals for the forthcoming anthology Romanticism and Heavy Metal. Like the collections Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 (Lexington 2018), Rock and Romanticism: Post-Punk, Goth, and Metal as Dark Romanticisms (Palgrave Macmillan 2018), David Bowie and Romanticism (forthcoming Palgrave Macmillan 2022), and Women in Rock/Women in Romanticism (forthcoming Routledge 2022), Romanticism and Heavy Metal seeks to interpret heavy metal as a cultural, artistic, and musical phenomenon using the historical insights and theoretical tools provided by the study of Romanticism. 

As in previous collections, “Romanticism” is broadly conceived as a cultural, literary, artistic, philosophical, and musical movement first identified and named in the late eighteenth century without being limited in scope to that period. As a result, the relationship between metal and Romanticism should not be considered only in terms of influence: metal is or can be Romanticism. “Heavy metal” is conceived as a late twentieth-century world musical phenomenon inclusive of a wide array of sub- and micro-genres that has its origins in the sonic and thematic innovations of 1960s and 70s bands such as Iron Butterfly, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Judas Priest that continues into the present.

Chapters considering historically significant heavy metal bands that engage with Romantic works and themes are welcome, as are analyses of Romanticism in relation to metal subgenres including, but not limited to, doom metal, black metal, death metal, thrash, grindcore, folk metal, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, power metal, and noise. Contributors seeking to define Romanticism outside of its usual eighteenth- to nineteenth- century periodization are encouraged, but not required, to consult Romanticism Against the Tide of Modernity by Robert Sayre and Michael Löwy (2001). Chapter topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Romantic Satanism and heavy metal
• Romantic paganism and heavy metal
• Green Romanticism and heavy metal
• Brown Romanticism and heavy metal
• Individual author / painter / musician / band / album / music video comparisons
• Nineteenth-century musical Romanticism and heavy metal
• Romantic folk traditions and folk metal
• Working class Romanticism and metal
• Romantic celebrity and heavy metal
• Adaptations of Romantic texts in heavy metal albums
• Romantic visual art as album art
• Romanticism, metal, and political/social/environmental action
• Reception studies and fan communities
• Representations of apocalypse, post-apocalypse, and the world without us

Chapter proposals should be approximately 500 words in length, demonstrate familiarity with
scholarship in both Romanticism and heavy metal, and should be accompanied by a one-page
CV.

Please email all proposal materials by December 31st, 2022 to both of the editors:
James Rovira, jamesrovira@gmail.com
Julian Knox, julian.knox@gcsu.edu

Completed chapters will be expected Summer of 2023. If you need some flexibility with the chapter deadline, please describe your needs in your proposal.

Closing date: 31 December 2022