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Online Conference, 15-17 March 2024

Flyer by Lauren Gornik: Website | Instagram

About the Conference

Heavy Metal & Global Premodernity is a biennial online conference that gathers investigators and artists to critically examine how heavy metal music and its culture (or scenes) have interacted with, been inspired by, and commented on global premodernity (history and culture up through roughly 1600 CE). We wish to seize the moment when the study of heavy metal music and the study of the reception of classical, religious, and historical texts and artifacts in popular culture have risen to prominence.

While heavy metal in Europe and North America has obviously been seen to interact with western religious symbolism and draw on classical icons, the metal scenes elsewhere—especially those in the majority world—draw on a diverse range of imagery, folk tales, and indigenous history to tell their stories and inspire their work. This conference aims to create a wider view of the place of premodern histories and musical traditions within heavy metal. 

One of the joys of heavy metal music for many fans is the breadth of this now half-century-old, global counterculture. Our aim is to create interdisciplinary dialogue between those working on the interaction between popular culture and traditional/historical narratives and culture by using heavy metal music as a central focus.  Our program includes musicians, journalists, and scholars from over a dozen countries such as Peru, Denmark, Mexico, and Turkey, discussing such topics as ancient Egypt, pre-Roman Italy, Byzantine empresses, and the precolonial Americas. 

We are concerned to make the conference as accessible as possible to disabled people and those for whom English is not their first language. We will be providing closed captions through Zoom but if you have other access requirements please do get in touch with us at the contact details below to discuss how we can help you take part. 


Please email with any questions, concerns, or curiosities about the conference!