University in Australia offering heavy metal PhD scholarship

Posted by on June 27, 2019

Ever want to study metal music academically? A university in Australia is now offering the chance to do just that with their latest PhD scholarship. 

The University of Newcastle in Australia is offering two fully-funded PhD scholarships (or one international scholarship) to the school’s Centre for Urban and Regional Studies to study Geography and Environmental Studies under Professor/ Director of Human Geography at the University of Newcastle, Simon Springer. Recipients of the $27,596 (AUS) scholarships will be studying “social geographies across a series of cultures,” one of which being Heavy Metal Geographies.

Those that look to study in the Heavy Metal Geographies path will be observing different subcultures of metal as they relate to the part of the world where it formed. According to Anarchist Geographies, the group (run by Professor Springer) that is putting on the program, the course description reads:

“Heavy Metal is a global phenomenon, representing a major cultural trend for the past four decades. Numerous subgenres exist within the general framework of Heavy Metal, each representing unique subcultures. Many of these subgenres, such as Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal evolved in specific geographical settings, often referred to as ‘scenes’. While unique scenes have evolved across the globe, the bulk of Heavy Metal’s bands have originated within countries in the northern latitudes. Australia is uniquely positioned within this global evolution, owing to its historical connection to the United Kingdom and shared cultural affinities with its colonial originator. While remote from the geographical heart of Heavy Metal culture, Australia has developed its own unique and passionate approach, producing a number of high profile bands.”

Not beholden to just metal, other subjects of study within the scholarship include Homelessness and Mutual Aid, Vegan Geographies and Unschooling and the Possibilities of Childhood.

Professor Simon told Kerrang:

“So basically, I had free reign to recruit students to work in areas of personal interest and as a life-long metal fan who has only recently started to do some work in the area of metal studies, I figured this would be a good conduit to further my research agenda in this area,”  “Certainly when I was a PhD student, I would have loved for someone to tell me that studying about metal is a legitimate academic pursuit! I also think the opportunities for funding in this particular area are few and far between, so I thought why not put a call out for applications and see if anyone is interested in studying the geography of heavy metal?”

Those looking to apply for the scholarship need at least a BA Honours and “ideally” a Masters in a geography-related field. Proposals are due by August 15 and recipients will be notified of their approval in September. Recipients must begin their studies between January 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020.  

[via Kerrang]

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