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overlapping images of warriors; one warrior is dressed as a cheetah, another one is a woman with a crown and a spear, and the last is dressed as an ancient samurai warrior

Heavy Metal & Global Premodernity Conference

Sunday, March 17, 2024
9:00 am

In this conference we gather 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 Brazilian, Denmark, Mexico, and Turkey, discussing such topics as ancient Egypt, Republican Rome, medieval Byzantium, and the precolonial Americas.

Fulya Çelikel Soğancı studied music theory, composition and classical piano at Bilkent University in Ankara, following up with a Performing Musician master degree on piano from ARTez Fine Arts University, The Netherlands. After working for seven years in various European countries, she decided on academia and begun further studies on Musicology at Istanbul Technical University, Center for Advanced Studies in Music. In this period, she founded a symphonic-progressive metal band called Listana, performed, wrote, published and toured extensively in Turkey and abroad. Fulya defended her PhD thesis: “Music Non-literate Virtuosi: The Autodidact Metal Musician” in 2019. After working at Sabanci University as a Lecturer and the audio sector as product manager for SynthMaster, a software synthesizer company for 15 years, Fulya is currently an independent scholar and entrepreneur, working to implement a technology-based community improvement project called “Music for Everyone”.

Register here

Cosponsored by the Department of French, Italian, and Classical Studies and the Humanities Center

Dr. Fulya Çelikel Soğancı
Dr. Fulya Çelikel Soğancı
Independent Scholar, Istanbul, Turkey