Home of Metal Symposium and Workshop 13th-14th September 2019

Date & Time:

13th September, 09:30


Parkside Building
5 Cardigan Street
B4 7RJ
United Kingdom


Open to all, this public symposium brings together researchers, policy makers, heritage and creative workers and musicians with an interest in heritage, archives and metal music.

Music Heritage, People and Place

Home of Metal (HoM) is a heritage project created and led by the Capsule organisation. Launched in 2011, supported by volunteers, building a crowd-sourced archive and curating a range of popular public events in Birmingham and the Black Country, HoM seeks to highlight and celebrate the value of Heavy Metal music and culture and the role in it of founding artists from the English midlands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Judas Priest.

In 2017 the project went international in its reach, exploring metal culture around the world with a particular focus on the band Black Sabbath. As a result, in 2019 a range of exhibitions and events have been launched in ‘celebration of an artform created in Birmingham that maintains significant global reach and influence.’ The value of this reach is indicated by the Wall Street Journal that has described the genre as the real ‘World Music’, that ‘Heavy Metal has become the unlikely soundtrack of globalisation’ (2016).

PUBLIC Symposium: Friday 13th September 2019 9.30-19.30

Open to all, this public symposium brings together researchers, policy makers, heritage and creative workers and musicians. Its experts situate HoM in relation to wider issues and opportunities focussed on popular music in order to understand its value and impact at home and abroad.

The day will open with a keynote presentation on Rockheim, Norway’s National Museum of Popular Music and close with a panel discussion of plans for a dedicated heavy metal collection and museum in Birmingham.

Throughout the day, presentations will cover aspects of heavy metal heritage as well as other genres and projects dedicated to exploring, preserving and exhibiting popular music history and the making of place.

Midlands Metalheads Radio will be on site to capture and share discussion, ideas and to provide the day’s soundtrack.

The symposium is funded by the Faculty of Art, Design and Media, Birmingham City University. It is organized by the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR), in partnership with Home of Metal. It takes place in the City Centre Campus of Birmingham City University.

An exhibition specially curated by Home of Metal takes place in the BCU Parkside Building throughout September.

Friday Schedule

Registration and Coffee is from 930 with a prompt start for the Keynote session at 10.00am.

Parallel panel presentations commence at 11,00 am with a lunch break at 1230.

Afternoon panel sessions run from 1.30-3.00 and 3.15-4.4.45.

A plenary panel to discuss proposals for a Metal Museum will take place from 5.00 with a drinks reception.

Symposium Panels and Papers (running order TBC – read the abstracts and speaker bios here)


SYNNØVE ENGEVIK (Rockheim): Q: What is a rock museum? A: Rockheim, The National Museum of Popular Music

With Marion Leonard (UNIVERSITY of LIVERPOOL)

Youth Culture and Memory

AMANDA BARNETT (UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL): ‘I will survive’ in the Alternative Archive: An examination of how archival collections of heavy metal music in student societies is preserved and understood within universities.

LISA DER WEDUWE & JAMIE BRETT: Youth Club Archive: Museum Of Youth Culture

TOM CARDWELL (UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS, LONDON): Illuminating Battle Jackets – a Fine Art Research Project.

Heavy metal global and local

EDWARD BANCHS (INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR) The Curious Case of Metal in Botswana: Observations of the Nation’s Heavy Metal Culture in Western Spaces.

NIALL SCOTT (UCLAN) Reporting on the World Metal Congress.

ZELMARIE CANTILLON (PRESENTER), RAPHAËL NOWAK AND SARAH BAKER (GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY): ‘Cultural justice for deindustrialising cities: a popular music heritage approach’.

Post/communist perspectives on metal

ASYA DRAGANOVA “To Break a Wall”: Reflections on the genealogy of subcultural scenes in Eastern Europe

DAWN HAZLE (INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR): Performing the ‘right’ music: Russian metal music as a political barometer.

NIKOLAI OKUNEW (M.A.)(LEIBNIZ CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY HISTORY POTSDAM) Red Metal Radio: Heavy Metal in the socialist public sphere of 1980s East Germany

 Music places and living identities

The Hellfest Festival : A Metalhead’s Pilgrimage.


RUTH ADAMS (KINGS COLLEGE LONDON) ‘We made the genre everybody’s onto, it’s all come from Bow E3’ (Wiley, ‘E3’) Grime Music and Identity in East London.

Live spaces and DiY politics

KARL SPRACKLEN (LEEDS BECKETT UNIVERSITY) The problem with celebrating metal’s heritage: A case study of Rios.

KIRSTY FIFE (UCL): Document It Yourself: Unauthorised Heritage Praxis in UK-based DIY Music Spaces

LYVINIA ELLESCHILD (UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH) Film, Image and Music Based Presentation: ‘Without Live Music This Culture Is Dead’: Documenting a Community Struggle to Keep Live Music at Maker, Cornwall.

Birmingham Echoes


NOLAN STOLZ (UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA UPSTATE) More Than Metal: Black Sabbath’s Use of Blues, Classical, Jazz, Prog and other Musical Styles.


The future is the past: Heritage sources of music inspiration

JAN HERBST (UNIVERSITY OF HUDDERSFIELD): Teutonic Heritage: A Producer’s View on the Effects of Cultural Origin on Record Production and Artist Interaction.

FLAVIO PIRES (UNIVERSITY OF PORTO) Embracing Heritage: Black Metal and the Visual Legacy of Romanticism Online Presentation

NIGEL SANDERS (ANGLIA RUSKIN UNIVERSITY) accompanied by What is the relationship of music heritage, creativity and new music scenes?


PUBLIC WORKSHOP: Saturday 14th September 10.00-4.00

The Saturday Workshop invites attendees to join us for a tour of the main Home of Metal exhibition at BMAG. A workshop will then take place at BCU for discussion about music heritage, the value of the project and the wider recognition of the genre, contributing to a podcast and report about the impact of Home of Metal for Birmingham’s cultural identity.

Numbers are limited for the Workshop so to secure a place, please email: paul.long@bcu.ac.uk