Here’s the full iTunes playlist for Women in Rock, Women in Romanticism (Routledge 2022): click the image.
CFP: Romanticism and Heavy Metal
The editors Julian Knox and James Rovira welcome chapter proposals for the forthcoming anthology Romanticism and Heavy Metal. Like the collections Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 (Lexington 2018), Rock and Romanticism: Post-Punk, Goth, and Metal as Dark Romanticisms (Palgrave Macmillan 2018), David Bowie and Romanticism (Palgrave Macmillan 2022), and Women in Rock, Women in Romanticism (Routledge 2022), Romanticism and Heavy Metal seeks to interpret heavy metal as a cultural, artistic, and musical phenomenon using the historical insights and theoretical tools provided by the study of Romanticism.
As in previous collections, “Romanticism” is broadly conceived as a cultural, literary, artistic, philosophical, and musical movement first identified and named in the late eighteenth century without being limited in scope to that period. As a result, the relationship between metal and Romanticism should not be considered only in terms of influence: metal is or can be Romanticism in the present. “Heavy metal” is conceived as a late twentieth-century world musical phenomenon inclusive of a wide array of sub- and micro-genres that has its origins in the sonic and thematic innovations of 1960s and 70s bands such as Iron Butterfly, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, and Metallica that continues into the present.
Chapters considering historically significant heavy metal bands that engage with Romantic works and themes are welcome, as are analyses of Romanticism in relation to metal subgenres including, but not limited to, doom metal, black metal, death metal, thrash, grindcore, folk metal, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, power metal, and noise.
Contributors seeking to define Romanticism outside of its usual eighteenth- to nineteenth-century periodization are encouraged, but not required, to consult Romanticism Against the Tide of Modernity by Robert Sayre and Michael Löwy (2001). Chapter topics might include, but are not limited to,
- Romantic Satanism and heavy metal
- Romantic paganism and heavy metal
- Green Romanticism and heavy metal
- Brown Romanticism and heavy metal
- Individual author / painter / musician / band / album / music video comparisons
- Nineteenth-century musical Romanticism and heavy metal
- Romantic folk traditions and folk metal
- Working class Romanticism and metal
- Romantic celebrity and heavy metal
- Adaptations of Romantic texts in heavy metal albums
- Romantic visual art as album art
- Romanticism, metal, and political/social/environmental action
- Reception studies and fan communities
- Representations of apocalypse, post-apocalypse, and the world without us
Chapter proposals should be approximately 500 words in length, demonstrate familiarity with scholarship in both Romanticism and heavy metal, and should be accompanied by a one-page CV.
Please email all proposal materials by February 2023 James Rovira at jamesrovira at gmail dot com
If you need flexibility with proposal or chapter deadlines, please describe your needs in an email.
Women in Rock, Women in Romanticism (Routledge 2022) is the first book-length work to explore the interrelationships among contemporary female musicians and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art, music, and literature by women and men. The art, music, and videos of contemporary artists including Erykah Badu, Beyoncé, The Carters, Missy Elliot, the Indigo Girls, Janet Jackson, Janis Joplin (and Big Brother and the Holding Company), Natalie Merchant, Joni Mitchell, Janelle Monáe, Alanis Morrisette, Siouxsie Sioux, Patti Smith, St. Vincent (Annie Clark), and Alice Walker are explored through the lenses of the pastoral, Afropresentism, the Gothic, male and female Gothic, and the music and literature of Hélène Cixous, William Blake, Beethoven, Arthur Schopenhauer, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charlotte Dacre, Ralph Waldo Emerson, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Ann Radcliffe, William Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, her husband Percy Shelley, Henry David Thoreau, Horace Walpole, Jane Williams, Mary Wollstonecraft, and William Wordsworth to explore how each sheds light on the other, and how women have appropriated, responded to, and been inspired by the work of authors from previous centuries.
Contributors to Women in Rock, Women in Romanticism (Routledge 2022) participated in a virtual book launch on Saturday, November 19th, 2022. You can meet the contributors and listen to them discuss their chapters here:
Table of Contents
Introduction, James Rovira
1. Are Women in Rock also Women in Romanticism?, James Rovira
2. Jane Williams, Rolling Stone: Reconstructing British Romanticism’s Guitar God(dess), Rebecca Nesvet
3. “Work Me, Lord”: Janis Joplin’s Kozmic Blues, Sasha Tamar Strelitz
4. “All Romantics Meet the Same Fate Someday”: Joni Mitchell, Blue, and Romanticism, Christopher R. Clason
5. “There is no pure evil, nor pure good, only purity”: William Blake’s and Patti Smith’s Art as Opposition to Societal Boundaries. Alicia Carpenter
6. “A Woman with an Attitude”: Male and Female Gothic in Siouxsie and the Banshees, Diana Edelman
7. “Our Generation”: Gender, Regeneration and Women in Rock, Linda C. Middleton
8. “Laughing with a Mouth of Blood”: St. Vincent’s Gothic Grotesque, Sherry R. Truffin
9. “I can’t believe we made it”: Romanticism and Afropresentism in Works of African American Female Hip Hop and R‘n’B Artists, Kirsten Zemke
If you’d like to support the author, purchase a copy directly from him through PayPal
Women In Rock, Women in Romanticism
Women in Rock. Women in Romanticism (Routledge, 2022) is the first book-length work exploring the interrelationships among contemporary women rock musicians and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art and literature, the literature of the Romantic era. LIMITED QUANTITIES ONLY available at a 37% discount.
I’m pleased to announce the publication of Women in Rock, Women in Romanticism (Routledge, 2022), which is the first book-length work to explore the interrelationships among contemporary female musicians and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art, music, and literature by women and men. The music and videos of contemporary musicians including Erykah Badu, Beyoncé, The Carters, Missy Elliot, the Indigo Girls, Janet Jackson, Janis Joplin (and Big Brother and the Holding Company), Natalie Merchant, Joni Mitchell, Janelle Monáe, Alanis Morrisette, Siouxsie Sioux, Patti Smith, St. Vincent (Annie Clark), and Alice Walker are explored through the lenses of pastoral and Afropresentism, Hélène Cixous, Gothic, male and female Gothic, and the literature of William Blake, Beethoven, Arthur Schopenhauer, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charlotte Dacre, Ralph Waldo Emerson, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Ann Radcliffe, William Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, her husband Percy Shelley, Henry David Thoreau, Horace Walpole, Jane Williams, Mary Wollstonecraft, and William Wordsworth to explore how each sheds light on the other and how women have appropriated, responded to, and been inspired by the work of authors from previous centuries.
You can read more about the book here.
I will be hosting a virtual book launch this coming Saturday, November 19th from noon to 3:00 p.m. ET (we’re off Daylight Savings Time now, -5 UTC). The book launch will be held simultaneously on Zoom and on Instagram live streaming at the account rock.and.romanticism:
The lineup is as follows.
If you’d like to attend on Zoom, please email me privately for the session login. Feel free to promote the session on social media and elsewhere.
11:55-12:10 – Jim Rovira introducing the book and session.
12:10-12:30 – Alicia Carpenter on William Blake and Patti Smith
12:30-12:50 – Rebecca Nesvet on Jane Williams and the figure of the rolling stone
12:50-1:10 – Sasha Strelitz on Janis Joplin and “electric Romanticism.”
1:10-1:30 – Christopher Clason – on Joni Mitchell and German Romanticism
1:30-1:50 – Diana Edelman – on Siouxsie Sioux and the male/female Gothic
1:50-2:10 – Sherry Truffin on St. Vincent, the Gothic, and the grotesque
2:10-2:30 – Kristen Zemke on Romanticism and Afropresentism in Erykah Badu, Missy Elliott, and Beyonce
2:30-2:50 – Sherry Truffin interviews Jim Rovira on Schopenhauer, music, and women in German Romanticism, and the extension of that topic to the study of British Romanticism and women in rock.
Each section will reserve five minutes at the end for questions.
My fifteen-year-old self couldn’t assimilate Bowie’s gender subversion: both of his appearances as a male that night [on SNL in 1979] were completely artificial, one kind of boy doll or another, the former’s movement completely restricted and the latter’s hyperactively unnatural. . . Bowie’s theatrical androgyny disrupted a culture of authenticity that was already, but only to an extent, committed to eliminating masculine and feminine as categories.James Rovira, David Bowie and Romanticism, pp. 32, 33
Chapter 2 of David Bowie and Romanticism is “David Bowie and Romantic Androgyny” by James Rovira. In it, I discuss Bowie’s famous (and infamous) gender bending of the 1970s in the light of an intellectual history beginning with the book of Genesis, moving through Plato, Ovid, and John Milton, and then on into the Romantic era with authors such as William Blake, Charlotte Dacre, and Percy Shelley. I argue that while previous authors acknowledge or at least imagine various degrees of gender fluidity, John Milton’s description of angelic sex in Paradise Lost (1667, 1674) is the most total in its representation of gender fluidity.
In Milton’s epic poem about the creation and fall of humanity and the rebellion of the angels, the angel Rafael explains to the newly-created Adam and Eve that angels can transform themselves from completely spiritual forms to fully material forms, and in their fully material forms can be male, female, or both, and that angels can experience sex in all forms, including in their spiritual forms, fully encompassing all definitions of “androgyny,” which includes being simultaneously male and female, ambiguously male or female, and neither male nor female.
Check out the iTunes playlist for David Bowie and Romanticism.
Few authors seem to be as thorough in their disconnection of sexual identity from bodily form and, in fact, in Milton’s angels bodily form seems to follow sexual desire rather than the other way around. Furthermore, not only does Milton’s Rafael see human sexuality on the same spectrum as angelic sexuality, but he sees angelic sexuality as the ideal form of human sexuality. I believe Milton was attempting to fully spiritualize sex–rather than biology driving sexual desire, the spirit does, so that the ideal form of sexual identity is one in which body follows spirit rather than the other way around. Milton’s view of human sexuality, prior to the twentieth century, most closely resembles that of the Romantics mentioned above, for whom both sex and gender identity could be fluid and changing.
Rock and roll participates in this gender-bending tradition of western thought at least since Little Richard, and David Bowie complexly participated in this tradition through the 1970s. This chapter negotiates Bowie’s conflicting claims about his own sexuality and the representation of gender bending in his music, especially in the song “The Width of a Circle.” But I particularly focus on David Bowie’s 1979 performances on Saturday Night Live. He performed three songs that night: “The Man Who Sold the World,” “TVC 15,” and “Boys Keep Swinging.”
Bowie’s outfits change from a tuxedo doll costume in “The Man Who Sold the World” to a woman’s business suit in “TVC 15” to a green-screen male puppet body for “Boys Keep Swinging.” His head, however, remains the same as his different bodies rotate around underneath it. I suggest in my chapter that Bowie represented an ideal of Romantic androgyny during these SNL performances in the late 1970s, one consistent with Milton and the Romantics, in which bodily form follows desire rather than desire following bodily form.
I argue in part that David Bowie’s method during this period was to inscribe his identity on his surfaces, the opposite of an ethos of authenticity in which individuals attempt to transparently be their own essential selves. You can read the full chapter in David Bowie and Romanticism. Check out the bookstore or request it for your library.
James Rovira teaches writing and literature at Keiser University and has published a number of books in the area of English Romanticism, one book on literary theory, and poetry, creative non-fiction, and short fiction.