• University offering PhD in heavy metal music in ‘legitimate academic pursuit'

    By: Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia - An Australian university has announced a new scholarship program that offers students a chance to receive a doctoral degree in heavy metal music.

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    The University of Newcastle in New South Wales will offer two domestic students or one international student a chance to earn a PhD in “Heavy Metal Geographies” through a course of study focusing on the differences in heavy metal music in countries around the world, according to Newsweek magazine

    The ideal candidate will hold a master’s degree in geography, sociology or a related field and would allow the successful applicant to research “the social geography of heavy metal culture,” Newsweek reported.

    The scholarship is worth $19,000 or $27,596 Australian.

    Newcastle professor of human geography and director of the university’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies, Simon Springer, is leading the program.

    In an interview with the metal magazine Kerrang! Springer said it’s an exciting opportunity.

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    “I would have loved for someone to tell me that studying about metal is a legitimate academic pursuit,” he said.

    “As a lifelong 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.”

    The course description for the metal program says: “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.”

    One of the most prominent Australian metal bands, AC/DC, is internationally known. Other Australian metal bands include Phil Rudd, Mortification, Parkway Drive, Pendulum and Wolfmother.

    The application process is open until Aug. 15 and Springer said he thinks the program is a unique chance for the right person.

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    “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?” he told Kerrang!


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