Metal Studies in Central/Eastern Europe: 1st (online) workshop

Metal Studies in Central/Eastern Europe: 

1st (online) workshop

Several months ago, the network “Metal Studies in Central/Eastern Europe” was established. The idea was to connect individual scholars interested in metal studies in the CEE region together and also to create a platform for closer collaboration.

We are pleased to announce “Metal Studies in Central/Eastern Europe” organizes its first (online) workshop.  

Date: 8th December 2021

Focus areas of the workshop are: 

1) development, current status, situation, and prospects of metal studies in CEE
2) current/previous research of CEE scholars interested in metal studies
3) metal scenes in CEE
4) specifics of CEE metal considering communist and post-communist history
5) religion and metal in individual CEE countries

Keynote speaker:

Karl Spracklen

Karl Spracklen is a Professor of Sociology of Leisure and Culture in Leeds School of Sciences at Leeds Beckett University. He was promoted in 2011 to a Professor of Leisure Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University (the former name of Leeds Beckett University), which recognised his growing international profile, his research and his leadership. He has remained a Professor for ten years while moving into Music and then Social Sciences. This last internal move was a promotion to lead and be the Director of Research for two Research Excellence Framework (REF) Units: Social Work and Social Policy; and Politics and International Studies. Spracklen’s research ranges across leisure studies, popular music studies and metal music studies, though with a sociological lens. He is interested especially in inequalities, as his latest monograph Metal Music and the Re-imagining of Masculinity, Place, Race and Nation, shows. Most of his research is empirical, exploring meaning through tracing human interactions, though some of his work is theoretical. Spracklen is driven by inter-disciplinarity, and all his work is grounded in history and philosophy. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief and the founder of International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure, published by Springer. He has been the Chair of the Leisure Studies Association, is currently the Secretary of the Research Committee 13 (Sociology of Leisure) of the International Sociological Association, and has a global profile in leisure studies. His three monographs on leisure theory have been widely cited, and were assessed at 3 to 4 star in REF 2014. In metal music studies, Spracklen was the co-founder of the International Society for Metal Music Studies, and was the co-founder and first editor of its journal Metal Music Studies, published by Intellect. He has attended a number of conferences in metal music studies as a keynote speaker, and retains a global profile in the subject field. Spracklen is incredibly prolific and has written eight monographs, forty-seven papers, forty chapters and eleven edited collections. In the latest REF period he had forty-nine eligible outputs.

Keynote lecture:

The Genesis and Evolution of Metal Music Studies

In the 1990s, serious academic research on metal music studies was as unpopular as heavy metal itself. Psychologists dismissed metal fans for their violent tendencies, critics in the press mocked metal for being stupid music for stupid people, and musicologists such as Walser believed metal music was some kind of cultural devolution. Only a few sociologists such as Weinstein and Gaines made the case for metal – as a subject of academic study: as community, as meaning and purpose, as space for fun populated by intelligent humans. In the 2000s, a small number of academics labouring away in their own universities to convince others of the importance of metal started to grow aware of each other’s existence. Most of these scholars were brought together by progressive rebels Rob Fisher and Niall Scott at the first inter-disciplinary conference on metal, music and politics in Salzburg. From this first conference came the stimulus that grew metal music studies – proud to advocate for heavy metal, determined to be inter-disciplinary – fighting the corner for PhD students around the world who suddenly had a space to share their research. These days, metal music studies the subject field is everywhere – in its own conferences, its own academic journals and books, and is increasingly visible and legitimate in academia globally. In this keynote, as one of the co-founders of the International Society for Metal Music Studies and the first Principal Editor of the journal Metal Music Studies, I will trace that growth and attempt to predict the future of metal music studies.


Will be provided in the end of November.

Organizational bodies:

Department for the Study of Religions, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

Czech Metal Studies


Dr. Miroslav Vrzal

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