The International Society for Metal Music Studies (+board elections)

The International Society for Metal Music Studies was founded with the purpose to bring Metal scholars from around the world together to share ideas, develop new research, and grow our field. As the organization has expanded over the years, we have seen that happen through the creation of the only journal specifically for Metal research, Metal Music Studies, and we have had 4 biennial conferences since the founding of the organization in 2013.  As we have expanded our reach we are always looking for more members, and this letter is an opportunity for us to let others know a bit about our group and its purpose.

One of the strengths of our members is that we come from a wide variety of disciplines, including sociology, musicology, ethnomusicology, history, English, and anthropology to name a few. This diversity enables us to approach Metal Studies in such a way that we are able to analyze it in more depth and detail than other disciplinary fields. Our 4th Biennial Conference just concluded this past June in Nantes, France. Previously, we have met in Bowling Green, Ohio (USA), Helsinki, Finland, and Victoria, British Columbia.  Our next conference is in the summer of 2021 in Mexico City, which will be the first time we have met in the Southern Hemisphere. Beyond the biennial conferences, smaller conferences occur throughout the world, each approaching Metal Studies from different perspectives.

Beyond the biennial conferences, we are continuing to work towards further developing the field of Metal Music Studies by providing opportunities in the form of regional conferences, symposia, committee representation, and publications where diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches to the study of Metal music and culture are shared and fostered.

Our goals for the organization are to expand the scholarly reach of Metal Studies to more places around the world, both in terms of who are members are as well as what they are researching. We also want to assist scholars as they develop their own conferences and symposia, and we want to publicize anything and everything concerning Metal Studies in the world. We want to be the hub for all things Metal research. We are also in the early stages of developing a scholarly archive/database so our members and other Metal scholars can have access to research in the field. These are just a few of the goals we have set for the organization in the next two years, and we always want dedicated people who are willing to help us reach those goals.

We have an Executive Board who take care of the day to day business of the organization and we want people who are passionate about Metal and Metal Studies to run for positions or just become members of the organization. If you are interested in joining the organization feel free to check us out at our Facebook page (International Society for Metal Music Studies) or our website ( or even our Twitter account @metalstudies to learn more about us. We hope you will take the time to see what ISMMS has to offer and will consider joining the organization. We hope to hear from you soon,

Yours in Metal,

Bryan A. Bardine, Ph.D.

Chair, ISMMS Executive Board

University of Dayton

Dayton, OH (USA)

Call for applications

Secretary & two Ordinary Members

ISMMS will be having elections for three board positions: Secretary and two Ordinary Members for four years term (2019-2024). Both position descriptions are listed below. In order to run for a position you must be ISMMS member with new membership fee paid.

Those who would like to run for a position will submit:

  • 1 page application letter: Explanation of why they are qualified for the position as well as some goals they would like to see the organization reach during their term in office. Please state clearly the position you are applying for.
  • Partial CV (last 5 years)

Please email these as one PDF document to Toni-Matti Karjalainen (ISMMS Secretary 2014-2019) > < by September 15 2019. Title your application “ISMMS Application: Secretary/Ordinary”.

Please note that the application letters will be shared among ISMMS members for voting.

The ISMMS board will check the eligibility and arrange the candidates for voting. When ready, the names and applications of the candidates will be sent out to the membership who will have 2 weeks to vote (email or online, tba.) for the individuals they feel are best suited for each role. Only members who have paid the membership fee can vote.

A simple majority determines the selection. In the case of draw, the Board will make the final decision.

The Executive Board has 8 members and meets remotely (via Skype) 4-5 times each year, and more if necessary. We also meet in person prior to the beginning of the biennial conference and we convene the General Assembly during the conference. 

The remaining makeup of the board is 4 men and 1 woman. ISMMS is dedicated to creating and fostering an equitable and diverse metal studies (scholarly) community. Therefore we strongly encourage women; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ISMMS and its executive board to apply for both open positions.

Position Descriptions

Ordinary Board Members play an important role in contributing to the on-going development and progression of ISMMS and the discipline of Metal Music Studies. They are expected to provide input on and actively contribute to the planning of events, conferences, and other ISMMS related activities. The key roles for ordinary board members include attending board meetings, addressing the issues impacting the organization and the field of Metal Music Studies, working collaboratively with board members and members of the metal music studies community, and dedicating their time and effort to the organization’s mission and values.

In addition to the above, The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping records of board actions, including overseeing the taking of minutes at all board meetings, sending out meeting announcements, distributing copies of minutes and the agenda to each board member, and assuring that corporate records are maintained.

More information:

ISMMS President Bryan Bardine:

ISMMS Secretary: