Metal and Cultural Impact Conference

    Dates: November 6 - 8, 2014

    Sponsor: Department of English

 Bryan Bardine

    Phone number: 937-229-3421

    Supporting Involvement: Graul Chair in Arts and Languages, College of Arts and Sciences

    Website: Department of English

    Metal studies is a growing interdisciplinary field, connected, but not limited to fields as diverse as popular culture, leisure studies, anthropology, sociology, history, English studies, music, cultural and critical studies, gender studies, critical theory, and business and economics.

    Alex SkolnickThis conference aims to examine metal culture’s role in society throughout the world. Does metal seek to bring people together or pull them away from mainstream culture? Does it serve as a rallying cry for the oppressed throughout the world? Has its development over time negatively affected the quality of the music, or has the changing nature of our world made it that much more important to its fans, musicians, and those who control the industry? How has metal music and its culture adapted with the changing world - or has it? And, as metal continues to be a part of world cultures, how will it not only affect the world, but also how will it be affected by the world?

    There will be more than 30 presentations over three days, including a presentation by Alex Skolnick, guitar virtuoso and member of the legendary thrash metal band Testament. The conference will draw presenters from nine countries on four continents.

    We welcome individual proposals or pre-formed panels that address any or all of these questions. Registration is required; details to be announced.

    Images of Alex Skolnick courtesy of Tom Couture.


    Related Links

    Queer Metal Matters: Metal, Sexuality, and the Future

    Amber Clifford-NapeleoneA presentation by Amber R. Clifford-Napoleone

    Date: November 6, 2014

    Time: 9:45 - 11:00 am

    Location: Kennedy Union Ballroom, located on the second floor of Kennedy Union

    From Rob Halford to Laura Jane Grace, hard and heavy music has served as a space and place of challenging ideas about gender, sexuality, and the margins. Though not well explored, this is no more true than in the scenes of heavy metal. Is there an intersection between queer identities, the politics of alterity, and the future of heavy metal?  Using personal experience, metal's historic past, its stylistic cues, and the voices of over 500 self-identified queer metal fans from around the world, Dr. Clifford-Napoleone will explore the double-edged alterity of queer heavy metal.

    This event is free and open to the public.

    March of the Gods

    Edward BanchsA documentary film about the heavy metal community in the African nation of Botswana, presented by Edward Banchs

    Date: November 6, 2014

    Time: 8:00-10 pm

    Location: Kennedy Union Ballroom, located on the second floor of Kennedy Union

    March of the Gods is a documentary film which takes a glimpse at the heavy metal community in the African nation of Botswana. The film’s director Raffaele Mosca was intrigued by the distinctiveness of the metal scene in the country and in particular the band Wrust.  After the film there will be a panel discussion led by Edward Banchs, an independent scholar with experience writing about the metal scene in Africa.

    This event is open to the public. Registered conference attendees and University students and faculty attend for free. For members of the public there is a $5 fee.

    Masked Performance: Facepaint, head coverings, and masks in 21st Century Popular culture

    An exhibition Presented by Brian Hickam

    Date: November 7, 2014

    Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm

    Location: Roesch Library, second floor

    MaskMasks and head coverings surround us. Oftentimes, they are familiar sites; other times, we take little notice. From Carnival & La Tomatina, to Broadway’s Phantom and Wicked, to comic book super heroes, horror film serial killers, zombie marchers, mummers and Halloween trick-or-treaters, masks and face coverings fascinate fans of high culture and popular ("low") culture. Animals and human skulls were likely pre-historic inspirations for masks.  Evidence of our continued fascination with skulls is found in the clear glass bottles of Crystal Head Vodka, Día de Muertos celebrations, black metal’s corpsepaint, and the storyline of Mastodon’s concept album Blood Mountain. Animal-headed humans grace covers by Goldfrapp, dredg, Korn, and Basement Jaxx and iron masks are signature characters for MF Doom and Madvillain.

    Real-life people, such as the Aghori Monks and New Zealand’s tattooed Māori, capture our fascination. Around the globe, protestors wear Guy Fawkes masks and gas masks for practical and symbolic reasons. Sports fans attend games in team-colored facepaint and costumes, while increasing numbers of players don "war paint." The world of contemporary art is also enthralled with masks and head coverings, as seen in the wearable art of Joshua Harker & Hyungkoo Lee, the carpet masks of Bertjan Pot, the art of Jonathan Bergeron, Michael Weignman & Samuli Heimonen, and the avant-garde sculptures of Hedi Xandt, Mimmo Paladino, Martin Rangelov & Wolfgang Stiller. This exhibit will highlight the wide variety of masks and head coverings in the 21st Century.

    This event is free and open to the public. ID required for admission.

    Heavy Metal: A business, a lifestyle, past, present, and future

    Josh BernsteinKeynote Address, presented by Josh Bernstein

    Date: November 8, 2014

    Time: 6:00 - 7:30 pm

    Location: Sears Recital Hall, located on the first floor of the Jesse Philips Humanities Center

    How does the heavy metal music industry survive as a global business today and in the future? The key may be in the commonality of the music, the bands and fans being misunderstood across time and cultures, a true global force. This presentation will address:

    • Heavy Metal’s history and why humans take things to extremes
    • The current state of the heavy metal music industry
    • Society’s view of heavy metal fans vs. reality
    • The future of heavy metal as a true global force

    This event is free and open to the public. 

    Heavy Metal Concert

    Alex Skolnick promo pictureThe conference capstone event

    Date: November 8, 2014

    Time: 9:00 pm

    Off-campus Location: Oddbody's Music Room, located at 5418 Burkhardt Road in Dayton

    This performance concludes the 2014 conference and will feature:

    • Three local heavy metal bands: Forces of Nature, Engines of Chaos, and Lick the Blade.
    • Special guest Alex Skolnick, guitar virtuoso and member of the legendary thrash metal band Testament.
    • Special guest Josh Bernstein, who has a long history in music industry marketing. He has served as the director for the brands of Revolver, Guitar World, Guitar Player, and Bass Player. He also created, and was the executive producer of, the annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards for several years. He is currently producing the Alternative Press Magazine Awards Show, which will be held this summer at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit two local charities. Admission pricing and details are forthcoming.