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Female rhetoric: Identity, persona and the academic and popular divide in the (cultural and critical) study of metal

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There has been a substantial amount of productive scholarship, particularly in the areas of critical and cultural studies, regarding the depictions of women in metal music. At the same time, there remains a divide between this important academic work and those who are popular consumers of metal. This short essay offers a potential middle path between the two. Through the use of interviews with three women involved in creating content related to metal, the author offers a two-part suggestion: (1) that the divide itself might be a matter less of content than of translation and (2) that rhetoric, of the sort practiced in departments of speech communication, could potentially provide another useful option when presenting scholarship to popular audiences.
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Keywords: critical and cultural studies; rhetoric; rhetorical persona and personae; speech communication

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Oregon State University

Publication date: June 1, 2017

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  • Metal Music Studies is the journal of the International Society for Metal Music Studies.

    The aims of the journal are:
    • To provide an intellectual hub for the International Society of Metal Music Studies and a vehicle to promote the development of metal music studies;
    • To be the focus for research and theory in metal music studies – a multidisciplinary (and interdisciplinary) subject field that engages with a range of parent disciplines, including (but not limited to) sociology, musicology, humanities, cultural studies, geography, philosophy, psychology, history, natural sciences;
    • To publish high-quality, world-class research, theory and shorter articles that cross over from the industry and the scene;
    • To be a world leader in interdisciplinary studies and be a unique resource for metal music studies.
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