CFP: British Heavy Metal (5/31/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Gerd Bayer
contact email: 

British Heavy Metal

Essays are sought for a book project that takes a Cultural Studies approach
to British Heavy Metal.

Heavy Metal has developed from a British fringe genre of rock music in the
late 1960s to a global market consumer good in the early twenty-first
century. Early proponents of the musical style, like Black Sabbath, Deep
Purple, Judas Priest, Saxon, Uriah Heep, and Iron Maiden, were mostly
seeking to reach a young male audience. Songs were often filled with
violent, sexist, and nationalistic themes but were also speaking to the
growing sense of deterioration in social and professional life. At the same
time, however, the genre was seriously indebted both to the legacies of
blues and classical music as well as to larger literary and cultural themes.
It also produced mythological concept albums and rewritings of classical
poems. In other words, Heavy Metal tried from the beginning to locate itself
in a liminal space between pedestrian mass culture and a rather elitist
adherence to complexity and musical craftsmanship, speaking from a subaltern
position against the hegemonic discourse. While direct political involvement
remained the exception, it is precisely the hidden political and ideological
agenda of Heavy Metal culture that deserves closer attention.

This collection of essays will provide a comprehensive and
multi-disciplinary look at British Heavy Metal from its beginning through
The New Wave of British Heavy Metal up to the increasing
internationalisation and wide-spread acceptance in the late 1980s, with the
launch of MTV's Headbangers Ball (1987) and Metallica's winning of a Grammy
(1990). Essays are invited from all the various fields that make up
contemporary Cultural Studies. Individual sections of the book will focus on
such issues as gender, class, race, and the nation. Authors should analyze
British heavy metal from a textual perspective, providing critical analyses
of the politics and ideology behind the lyrics, images, and performances of
this highly successful genre of popular music. Rather than write papers on
individual bands or songs, authors should strive to argue with the larger
system of Heavy Metal music in mind, providing comprehensive analyses of
their particular focus (like violence) that claim general validity and
relate directly to the larger context of British life and culture.

Topics may include (but are not necessarily limited to):

Nation and Tribalism
        * Englishness
        * Racism and Xenophobia
        * Celtic Metal

Class and Work
        * Angry Young Guitarists
        * High and Low Art
        * Work Ethics and Pride

Mythology, Fantasy and Literature
        * The Concept Album
        * On Knights, Gnomes, Satan, and Monsters
        * Metal Lyrics and English Poetry

Gender and Sexuality
        * Masculinities
        * Sexism
        * Love Songs & (Positive) Emotions

Violence and War
        * Excessive Brutality
        * Blood, Sweat, and No Fear
        * Battlegrounds and Heroism

Visual Spectacles
* Metal Movies & Video Clips
* Band DVDs
* Life Performances (Eddie and beyond)

Complete articles of 5-7,000 words will be due 15 January 2007. Interested
authors should send a 600-word abstract and a 1-2 page CV by 31 May 2006 to

or to

Dr. Gerd Bayer
Department of English
University of Erlangen
Bismarckstr 1
91054 Erlangen, Germany

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Sat Mar 18 2006 - 13:38:31 EST