Since Black Sabbath unleashed the floodgates of the hellish sounds of heavy metal in 1970, it’s been believed that heavy metal is the domain of white, heterosexual males. Is this representation accurate?
Keeping in tune with this notion, Scarab Productions, organizers of the Noctis 666 Metal Festival, are pleased to announce presentations that suggest otherwise, from author Laina Dawes and metal scholar Sarah Kitteringham, on Thursday, September 19th, from 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at the Ramada Hotel Downtown Calgary (708 8th Ave S.W.). Entrance is free and open to the public. Debate and dissent is welcomed! The session is being presented in conjunction with the festival, which runs in Calgary from September 19 to September 21 and will present bands as diverse as Carcass, Candlemass, Girlschool, Possessed, Blasphemy, Gorguts, Exciter, Pagan Altar, and others.
Dawes is best known as the race, gender and pop culture writer responsible for 2012’s WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal. Touching and shocking, Dawes book explores her experience in heavy metal, and black women’s contributions to the genre, while simultaneously discussing the intersections of race and racism within the metal scene. Dawes book has received praise from PopMatters, Vice, The Guardian, Revolver, and more. Recently, Dawes presented as one of three keynote speakers at Bowling Green University’s “Heavy Metal and Popular Culture” Conference. Her book is available at www.bazillionpoints.com
Also presenting will be University of Calgary Graduate Student and Mount Royal University alumni Sarah Kitteringham, who is currently wrapping up her Masters thesis entitled “Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses: The Rise of Women in Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, and Grindcore.” Writing from a uniquely Canadian perspective, her research entailed interviewing 15 musicians from the subgenres, and asking about their experiences, opinions, and the challenges of being a woman in extreme metal. At times hilarious, contradictory, and surprising, her research aims to explore the notion that extreme metal is the exclusive domain of males, and will also discuss the treatment of female performers in those subgenres. Kitteringham is also a freelance metal journalist and photographer, and drummer in a metal band. You can see her photography at www.facebook.com/
Special guest at the session will be Dr. Deena Weinstein from DePaul University, who wrote the first academic book on heavy metal, “Heavy Metal: A Cultural Sociology”. Facilitating the session will be Dr. Sara Sutler-Cohen from San Francisco State University who is currently conducting research on “Cultural Capital vs. Socioeconomic Realities for Touring Metal Bands.”