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.