Queerness in Heavy Metal Music: Metal Bent, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Queerness in Heavy Metal Music

Metal Bent, 1st Edition

By Amber R. Clifford-Napoleone


166 pages

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While the growing field of scholarship on heavy metal music and its subcultures has produced excellent work on the sounds, scenes, and histories of heavy metal around the world, few works have included a study of gender and sexuality. This cutting-edge volume focuses on queer fans, performers, and spaces within the heavy metal sphere, and demonstrates the importance, pervasiveness, and subcultural significance of queerness to the heavy metal ethos.

Heavy metal scholarship has until recently focused almost solely on the roles of heterosexual hypermasculinity and hyperfemininity in fans and performers. The dependence on that narrow dichotomy has limited heavy metal scholarship, resulting in poorly critiqued discussions of gender and sexuality that serve only to underpin the popular imagining of heavy metal as violent, homophobic and inherently masculine. This book queers heavy metal studies, bringing discussions of gender and sexuality in heavy metal out of that poorly theorized dichotomy.

In this interdisciplinary work, the author connects new and existing scholarship with a strong ethnographic study of heavy metal’s self-identified queer performers and fans in their own words, thus giving them a voice and offering an original and ground-breaking addition to scholarship on popular music, rock, and queer studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Heavy Metal Queerscape 2. Black Leather 3. Outsider Togetherness 4. Everybody Knows 5. Eat Me Alive Conclusion

About the Author

Amber R. Clifford-Napoleone is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Curator of Nance Collections at the University of Central Missouri, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Popular Music

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections covering Popular Music. Considering music performance, theory, and culture alongside topics such as gender, race, celebrity, fandom, tourism, fashion, and technology, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Ethnomusicology
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Heavy Metal
MUSIC / History & Criticism