In recent times, heavy metal steadily began finding its way to universities, attracting young scholars around the globe.
Bringing metal to the academic crowd, International Society of Heavy Metal Studies (ISMMS) are now available at Leeds Metropolitan University. Professor of Leisure Studies Dr. Karl Spracklen gave a thorough explanation of the metal course, discussing his specific focus on the black metal genre. Check out the clip below for more details.
"Heavy metal is an important part of modern culture and everyday life, so studying heavy metal enables us to understand both of those things," Spracklen told Cvlt Nation (via Blabbermouth). "For me, the interesting thing about heavy metal is the tension between metal's strong sense of being part of a non-mainstream subculture, and metal's place in the industry of modern pop and rock music. That's because I'm essentially a sociologist.
"Other heavy metal scholars might be interested in the way the music is constructed, or the meaning behind song lyrics, or the history of the scene, or the use of heavy metal as a philosophy or ideology of life. Heavy metal is just a subject field, a lens, through which we can think about problems in other academic disciplines."
Asked on whether the university's been hostile toward metal in the past, Sprackled commented: "I think there have been academics who have been very dismissive of heavy metal in the past, people who have seen the music as serving no good purpose in everyday life. I think for many of these critics, their own prejudices and tastes have got in the way: metal has always had that blue-collar association, and some cultural academics still can't bring themselves to acknowledge the diversity and depth of the genre.
"There are also some academics who think heavy metal is a great evil, and we still see some papers written that claim metal fans are more likely to be criminals and so on," the professor added. "This is just bad science, but every time someone publishes these crude generalizations the press picks up the story. This journal is the journal of the International Society For Metal Music Studies. This learned society is partly for academics who have a professional interest in metal, but also those in the industry who want to be a part of Metal Music Studies, including musicians and journalists, and fans."
Would you consider giving metal studies a go? Let us know in the comments.