Academic Metal Studies - what’s it all about?
- What is the interaction between academia, artists, fans, and the metal industry at large?

Heavy metal music has been around for more than 50 years. Finally, and quite recently, the music, cultures, and practices of metal have also been increasingly welcomed as credible phenomena for academic study in universities all over the world. During the last 15 years, in particular, there has been an increasing number of metal-headed professors, researchers, Ph.D. candidates, and other people studying the field. Tens of conferences, courses, and other events have been arranged. A vast variety of books, articles, and other publications have also been put out, showcasing the multiple sides and characteristics of metal.


The session reviews this fascinating development and shows some examples of the topic, events, and publications of this multidisciplinary inquiry. We get to discuss what this is all about, why and for whom we study metal, and what is the interaction between academia and the artists, the fans, and the metal industry at large.

Friday 15. April 15:00 - Room 1

Mark van Schaick

Mod: Mark van Schaick (NL)


Mark van Schaick has been writing about rock, metal and jazz since 1985. He has been the editor of music magazine OOR and musician's magazines Slagwerkkrant and Gitarist. 2018 saw the publication of his book Why Go, on the Seattle scene in the 1990's, In 2021 he was the editor of the book Melkweg 50 Light Years, which appeared on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of venue Melkweg in Amsterdam. For Dutch copyright society Buma, Mark has programmed six editions of loud music conference and showcase festival Buma ROCKS! (until 2018). He is the current conference programmer of inJazz and New Music Conference, aimed at the international promotion of Dutch copyright in jazz and contemporary classical music. He has covered Inferno Music Conference 2019 for webzine Never Mind The Hype and was a moderator at 2021’s online edition of IMC.


Dr. Toni-Matti Karjalainen (University of Arts Helsinki, FI)

Dr. Toni-Matti Karjalainen works as Professor of Arts Management in the Sibelius Academy, at the University of the Arts Helsinki. He has also acted as a speaker, lecturer, event organizer, reviewer and supervisor in many universities, schools, events and other occasions in different countries. Among other research topics, Toni-Matti has been involved in the field of metal studies for several years, his own core work focusing on cultural narratives and Finnish metal exports. He also initiated and organized the annual Modern Heavy Metal Conference in 2015-2020 – gathering a wide range of metal scholars, artists, industry reps and media to discuss heavy metal in Helsinki – and acted as the Secretary of the International Society for Metal Music Studies in 2015-2019. And, as the bottom line, he has been a heavy user of metal and hard rock since 1984. More information:

Photo credits: Miikka Varila

C.F. Béra.jpg

Camille F. Béra (National Coalition of Independent Scholars, FR)

Camille F. Béra is a French Doctor in Musicology and an independent scholar. She graduated from the University of Rouen Normandie in 2018 with her thesis entitled Black Metal, A Musical Genre Between Transgression and Transcendence. Since 2015, she has attended international conferences in Europe and Canada to present her research on Heavy Metal, specialising in popular music history, musicological analysis, aesthetics, and the links between popular music and art music. She has published several papers and book chapters investigating metal and its culture, and is a member of several academic associations: the IASPM, the ISMMS and the NCIS. Since 2021, she has formed part of the editorial team for Kohlhammer Verlag’s Meta/Metal book series, and in 2022 joined a work group focusing on the subject of ‘Music in the North’, attached to the University of Strasbourg.