CfP: Modern Heavy Metal 2017: Music and National Identities, Aalto University, 28 June-2 July – Deadline: 31 January 2017

Finland 100


June 28 – July 2 @ Helsinki, Finland

Organized by
Aalto University School of Business

In collaboration with
MHMC2017 is part of the Centenary of Finland’s Independence programme

What is MHMC2017 about?

Modern Heavy Metal Conference is an international event particularly meant for academic scholars, music industry representatives, and students (from universities, music/culture/business schools) who are interested in presenting and discussing various viewpoints and themes around the markets, practices and cultures of heavy metal music. The starting point for MHMC was when Aalto University School of Business hosted the original MHM Conference in June 2015, in collaboration with the International Society for Metal Music Studies (ISMMS) and a number of Finnish universities. Some 150 visitors attended MHMC2015, both from the academia and music industry. In the course of the five conference days, over 60 research papers and keynote speeches – by metal artists and academic scholars – were delivered, accompanied with an industry panel/workshop and other metal-laden programme bits. This was followed by MHMC2016 that gathered some 40 international metal scholars and 30 metal industry representatives in Helsinki in June/July 2016. To strengthen the practical relevance, MHMC2016 collaborated closely with Tuska Festival, the biggest metal music event in Finland, and Music Finland, a public organization that promotes Finnish music at home and abroad. MHMC delegates had the great opportunity of participating in the Tuska Festival that directly followed the conference, and a few panel discussions and artist interviews were also brought to the festival venue.

MHMC2017 is based on this functional format. The event consists of paper/practice presentations, keynotes, and metal industry panel discussions. The conference will again be touching the various aspects of metal business and markets, and on fortifying the link between the academia and metal practice. The special focus of 2017 will be on the links between music – and culture in general – and national identities, motivated by the Finland’s 100th Anniversary. MHMC2017 is proud to be part of the Centenary of Finland’s Independence programme.

Tuska Festival will again be the central part of the conference experience. MHMC guests are able to experience the special Tuska atmosphere and see great bands in the festival. And many of the artists and industry reps at Tuska will have a good excuse to visit the MHMC. In addition to music performances, Tuska Festival will include panel sessions and artist interviews arranged in collaboration with MHMC2017. And Music Finland is again the key partner of MHMC2017.

Call for presentations

The backbone of the MHMC2017 is built by presentations from academic scholars and practitioners. The plan is to keep the number of presentations rather low in order to ensure consistent conference days organized around one presentation track; there is tentatively room up to 20-30 presentations (15-20 min).

“Music and National Identities” is the special theme of MHMC2017. The theme is motivated by the 100th Anniversary of Finland’s independence – MHMC2017 is part of the Centenary of Finland’s Independence programme – as well as the 20th Anniversary of Tuska Festival. National identity is also a highly relevant theme from the viewpoint of music research and practice. Cultural products play a remarkable role in shaping the identities of nation states; they are often seen as a core ingredient of nation branding, as has been the case of Finland and metal music. The history of popular music includes richness of examples where the music, bands and artists, songs and albums, are identified, contextualized, and located through narratives and scenes tied to particular places – areas, countries, or cities – and their specific characteristics and heritage. National identity is ever-present also in the production and consumption of metal music, and central part of the discourse within global, local, and trans-local metal communities. Essentially, country-of-origin references and localized narratives serve as points of band identification and differentiation for metal fans and media.

Both academic scholars and industry representatives are invited to submit an abstract of max 300 words to toni-matti.karjalainen(at) by January 31st 2017. We particularly look for proposals that address the specific theme of music and national identities. But the call his is not only limited to metal music, or music in general; viewpoints from other areas of popular and high culture are also warmly welcome. As are proposals addressing the various other aspects of heavy metal markets, practices and cultures, global and local, from the perspective of the bands, fans, and/or media. The abstracts will be scholarly reviewed, with particular attention paid on their relevance to the conference themes as well as academic quality and/or practical relevance. Initial selection for conference presentations will be made by February 28th 2016. The selected abstracts will be published online at the MHM page before the conference.

Tentative MHMC2017 Programme

Wednesday June 28th
Afternoon/evening: Conference opening & presentation/panel sessions, get-together
Thursday June 29th
Morning: Presentation sessions
Afternoon: Metal industry panels
Evening: TUSKA club gig or other programme (tba.)
Friday June 30th
Morning: Presentation sessions
Afternoon/evening: TUSKA FESTIVAL DAY 1, including possible panels/interviews at the festival
Saturday July 1st
TUSKA FESTIVAL DAY 2, including possible panels/interviews at the festival
Sunday July 2nd
TUSKA FESTIVAL DAY 3, including possible panels/interviews at the festival


Registration will open at in January 2017. The conference fee includes access to the presentation/panel sessions on Wed-Fri and coffee & light refreshments during them.

Registration fees:
Early crow (by March 31st): 60 euros
Standard (by May 31st): 90 euros
Late crow (by June 23rd): 120 euros
Student (by May 31st, student card/credentials required): 30 euros

Tickets to Tuska Festival (including possible panels/interviews at the festival) and and other additional events are not included in the conference fee. A limited number of special priced VIP tickets to Tuska Festival may be arranged for registered MHMC guests (prices and practicalities tba.).

More information toni-matti.karjalainen(at)