Metal & Cultural Impact Conference Set to Take Place at University of Dayton; Speakers Include Testament’s Alex Skolnick


MACI bannerIt’s been great to see metal growing as a topic within academia over the past few years; we’ve been seeing academic conferences and symposiums since at least 2009, and West Texas A&M even launched a course on metal lyrics last year.

Continuing in that tradition is the Metal and Cultural Impact Conference (the cool kids call it “MACI”), which will take place at Ohio’s University of Dayton from November 6 – 8. The event is being sponsored, in part, by the International Society for Metal Music Studies, “a new international and multi-disciplinary learned society for anyone interested in the academic study of heavy metal.” That so sounds so awesome. If only such a thing had existed back when I was still in school!

MACI’s website outlines the premise of the symposium:

“MACI is a three-day scholarly conference that looks to examine Metal music’s role in society in in the 21st century. The conference invites scholars and individuals not involved in Metal scholarship to explore broadening and academically diverse field of study. Attendees will have ample opportunities to meet and talk to the presenters and keynote speakers throughout the three days of the event.”

And the speakers announced thus far are truly excellent: amongst them are Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick, who will head a panel called “Louder Education” (named after the web series he does with our friends at Metal Injection), and Josh Bernstein, founder and former producer of Revolver‘s Golden Gods Awards (in addition to having a hand in the behind-the-scenes goings-on of tons and tons of other metal-related events and media outlets), who will deliver the closing keynote, “Heavy Metal:  A Business, A Lifestyle, Past, Present & Future.” Additionally, there will be some really cool sounding metal-related events, including a heavy metal “masks” art exhibit, a screening of the documentary Heavy Metal Africa, and a closing off-campus concert featuring regional metal bands.

This really sounds amazing; I don’t think anyone reading this needs to be persuaded of Skolnick’s knowledge and talent, but MetalSucks has been lucky enough to work with Josh Bernstein on several occasions over the years, and we can assure you, he’s as informed and insightful as anyone working in the metal world today. If you have the opportunity to attend, you definitely ought to. You can get more information, as well as register for the conference, on MACI’s official website. You can also keep up with the event via Facebook.

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