Heavy Metal, Gender and Sexuality : Interdisciplinary Approaches book cover
1st Edition

Heavy Metal, Gender and Sexuality
Interdisciplinary Approaches

ISBN 9780367229443
Published February 7, 2019 by Routledge
332 Pages

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Book Description

Heavy Metal, Gender and Sexuality brings together a collection of original, interdisciplinary, critical essays exploring the negotiated place of gender and sexuality in heavy metal music and its culture. Scholars debate the current state of play concerning masculinities, femininities, queerness, identity aesthetics and monstrosities in an area of music that is sometimes mistakenly treated as exclusively sustaining a masculinist hegemony. The book combines a broad variety of perspectives on the main topic, regarding gender in connection to: the history of the genre; the range of metal subgenres; heavy metal's multidimensional scope (music, lyrics, performance, style, illustrations); men and women; sexualities and various local and global perspectives. Heavy Metal, Gender and Sexuality is a text that opens up the world of heavy metal to reveal that it is a very diverse and ground-breaking stage where gender play is at the centre of its theatricality and sustains its mass appeal.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Charts
List of Music Examples
Notes on Contributors

Heavy Metal and Gender: An Introduction Florian Heesch and Niall Scott

Part I Heavy Metal Culture – A Case of Limited Diversity in Gender and Sexuality?

1 Playing with Gender in the Key of Metal Deena Weinstein

2 "Coming Out": Realising the Possibilities of Metal Keith Kahn-Harris

3 Metal, Masculinity, and the Queer Subject Amber R. Clifford-Napoleone

Part II Solo Metal Masculinities

4 Living History: The Guitar Virtuoso and Composer Steve Vai Michael Custodis

5 "Never say die!" Ozzy Osbourne as a male role model Dietmar Elflein

6 Placing Gender: Alice Cooper’s Motor City Move Sarah Gerk

Part III Extended Critical Metal Masculinities

7 Wild Side: Self-Styling and the Aesthetics of Metal in the Music Videos of Mötley Crüe Mollie Ables

8 "Body Count’s in the House": Challenging the US Working-Class Metal-Hero Thorsten Hindrichs

9 The Monstrous Male and Myths of Masculinity in Heavy Metal Niall Scott


10 Female Metal Singers: A Panel Discussion with Sabina Classen, Britta Görtz, Angela Gossow and Doro Pesch Sarah Chaker and Florian Heesch

Part IV Dialogues and Intermediaries

11 What is ‘male’ about black and death metal music? An empirical approach Sarah Chaker

12 "Girls like metal, too!" Female reader’s engagement with the masculinist culture of the tabloid metal magazine Andy R. Brown

13 "This isn’t over ‘til I say it’s over!" Narratives of Male Frustration in Deathcore and Beyond Marcus Erbe

14 Relocating Violence in Thrash Metal Lyrics: The Tori Amos Cover of Slayer’s Raining Blood Luc Bellemare

15 Liquid Identity: Love, Heavy Metal and the Dynamics of Gender in Anime Soundtracks Maria Grajdian

Part V Global and Local Perspectives

16 Heavy, Death and Doom Metal in Brazil: A Study on the Creation and Maintenance of Stylistic Boundaries within Metal Bands Hugo Ribeiro

17 Brutal Masculinity in Osaka’s Extreme-metal Scene Rosemary Overell

18 Race and Gender in Globalized and Postmodern Metal Magnus Nilsson


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Florian Heesch is a musicologist who completed his doctoral thesis on operas and Swedish literature at the University of Gothenburg in 2006. He researched and lectured at several German universities, mainly in the fields of rock music, music and Norse mythology, popular music and queer theory. In 2013 he became professor of popular music and gender studies at the University of Siegen, Germany.

Niall Scott is Senior Lecturer in Ethics at the University of Lancashire in Preston. His primary research interest is in philosophy and heavy metal, and he is one of the founding members of the current metal studies movement. He also works in the fields of cultural theory, bioethics and theology. Together with Rob Fisher and ID.net, he put together the first conference on heavy metal in Salzburg in 2008, where he first met Florian Heesch. Niall is editor of Helvete, A Journal of Black Metal Theory and co-editor, with Professor Karl Spracklen, of the journal Metal Music Studies (Intellect). He is currently the chair of the International Society for Metal Music Studies (ISMMS), and has published widely and spoken internationally on heavy metal, politics, philosophy and cultural theory.