It’s in Brazil, Israel, China, Morocco, the United States, Norway, and beyond.
It’s passionate, expressive, and can be used as a force for change.
Its fans are among some of the most devoted in the world, flying from all over to attend concerts of up to 100,000 people.
Listening to it is a punishable offense in Iran.
It’s heavy metal music, and contrary to what one might expect, it’s sweeping the globe, influencing young and old alike, and helping to form its own subcultures on nearly every continent.
Join scholars Dr. Mark Levine, Dr. Jeremy Wallach, Dr. Deena Weinstein, and Dr. Esther Clinton at the University of Dayton’s Heavy Metal and Globalization: A Symposium as they speak from personal experience and research, breaking down stereotypes about this style of music and explaining how heavy metal music has spread and impacted cultures around the world.
“When most people think about heavy metal music, they just think that it’s a bunch of guys with long hair and spandex… but research shows they’re a lot of good musicians and looking to affect change,” said Dr. Bryan Bardine, associate professor at UD and the organizer of the symposium.
From research on how the genre has bred an underground resistant counter culture in the Middle East, to why the music appeals to people of different cultures around the globe, these four speakers will explore an array of topics concerning the global spread of heavy metal music.
One international appeal to heavy metal music is in the messages found in its songs, which are often a call to end oppression and to embrace social justice. For example, the members of Iraqi band Acrassicauda, having survived both the Gulf War and Iraqi War, focus on messages imbued with the struggle of living in an area rife with conflict, losing family and friends to war, and even having to flee from bombings during their own musical performances.
Bardine suggests that heavy metal music is a logical medium for conveying these messages.
“It’s a music that motivates them, it’s more intense, it’s more aggressive,” he said.
It is these messages and passion which pervade the genre of heavy metal music and render it so fluid across cultures, drawing its fans together to experience a bond that is rarely matched by any other genre of music.
Come to the symposium to explore the spread of heavy metal music as an example of grass-roots globalization while this genre is growing and becoming more diverse throughout the world.
As Bardine suggests, there’s good reason to set aside any preconceived notions about heavy metal music and take the time to better understand the genre and its broadening global influence:
“There’s more to it than just loud music, there’s more depth, and it’s not going anywhere. It’s getting more diverse.”
The symposium will be held on Friday, Nov. 9, from 3-6 p.m. at the University of Dayton’s Sears Recital Hall in the Jesse Philips Humanities Center. This event is free and open to the public. The event is presented by the University of Dayton’s Department of English and Arts Series in conjunction with other campus partners.
For those who are interested, there will also be a pre-symposium film screening of the documentary, Global Metal, at 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, held in ArtStreet Studio B screening room.
For more information about arts events at UD, visit www.udayton.edu/arts.
(submitted by Lauren Glass – a senior at the University of Dayton, where she is studying journalism and working as a social media assistant for ArtStreet)