Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hideous Gnosis: The future of musicological academia?

Hideous Gnosis, a six hour black metal symposium, was held Saturday in Brooklyn at Public Assembly. Although I did not have a chance to attend, the New York Times write up is a decent substitute, at least hinting at how and in what manner some new academic ideas surrounding black metal were put forth.

I’ve only given a paper at one conference (and it was a women’s studies one at that), so the difference in style and substance is obviously great. Nevertheless, my paper was on the performance of gender in glam rock and glam metal from a post-structuralist feminist and cross-cultural standpoint. I remember getting a lot of blank stares as I stood up at the podium, wishing it could have been given in a setting where my audience would know both Judith Butler and David Bowie, both Lacan and L.A. Guns. While black metal is a somewhat different case (there is far less of a stereotype (or fact) of the music and/or fans being completely anti-intellectual), I can only dream of the day where, leopard print bandana low over my eyes, I flash some horns in fingerless gloves and produce my paper from the pocket of my white leather chaps.


Nicola Masciandaro said...

Cf. http://www.metal-archives.com/release.php?id=61599

Nicola Masciandaro said...



Hideous Gnosis: Black Metal Theory Symposium 1. Edited by Nicola Masciandaro. 292 pages. $20.00. ISBN 1450572162. EAN-13 9781450572163.

Essays and documents related to Hideous Gnosis, a symposium on black metal theory, which took place on December 12, 2009 in Brooklyn, NY. Expanded and Revised.

"Life is a hideous thing, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous" (Lovecraft)

“Poison yourself . . . with thought” (Arizmenda)


Steven Shakespeare, “The Light that Illuminates Itself, the Dark that Soils Itself: Blackened Notes from Schelling’s Underground.”

Erik Butler, “The Counter-Reformation in Stone and Metal: Spiritual Substances.”

Scott Wilson, “BAsileus philosoPHOrum METaloricum.”

Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, “Transcendental Black Metal.”

Nicola Masciandaro, “Anti-Cosmosis: Black Mahapralaya.”

Joseph Russo, “Perpetue Putesco – Perpetually I Putrefy.”

Benjamin Noys, “‘Remain True to the Earth!’: Remarks on the Politics of Black Metal.”

Evan Calder Williams, “The Headless Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

Brandon Stosuy, “Meaningful Leaning Mess.”

Aspasia Stephanou, “Playing Wolves and Red Riding Hoods in Black Metal.”

Anthony Sciscione, “‘Goatsteps Behind My Steps . . .’: Black Metal and Ritual Renewal.”

Eugene Thacker, “Three Questions on Demonology.”

Niall Scott, “Black Confessions and Absu-lution.”

DOCUMENTS: Lionel Maunz, Pineal Eye; Oyku Tekten, Symposium Photographs; Scott Wilson, “Pop Journalism and the Passion for Ignorance”; Karlynn Holland, Sin Eater I-V; Nicola Masciandaro and Reza Negarestani, Black Metal Commentary; Black Metal Theory Blog Comments; Letter from Andrew White; E.S.S.E, Murder Devour I.