Exploring Extreme Music and Marginalized Communities Bibliography is an American Libraries Association Carnegie-Whitney Grant funded project that examines extreme music (EM) written by and about members from marginalized communities, such as women, people of color (POC), and individuals that identify as LGBTQ+. In addition to books, this bibliography will also include multimedia resources including films, visual materials, digital playlists, and related materials.
This project fills the need to create awareness of the contributions of these groups, and to provide the resources to foster a growth of related research and scholarly works in the fields of music, anthropology, ethnomusicology, sociology, women and gender studies, ethnic studies, other humanities fields, and beyond.
This bibliography is in no way definitive. The librarians who curate the bibliography will continue to add books as they are published. One of the challenges encountered was the lack of books about extreme music and marginalized communities written by members of those communities. Despite this, there have been numerous books that have been released since the creation of the bibliography that will be added as time goes on.
Extreme music, according to Shafron and Kano (as cited by Sharman and Dingle, 2015) is defined as genres of music that “is characterized by chaotic, loud, heavy, and powerful sounds, with emotional vocals, often containing lyrical themes of anxiety, depression, social isolation, and loneliness.” This genre of music is broad, encapsulating, but not necessarily limited to, heavy metal, hardcore punk, noise, grind, and related genres.
Within Extreme Metal Music, scholars Hill, Lucas and Riches (2015) write, “... despite the significance of metal’s discursive construction as an inclusive space outside the mainstream, the symbolic boundaries of metal are strictly policed.” For women, people of color, and the LGBTQ communities who identify and practice as academic scholars and participants within the EM subculture, this policing remains problematic. Obstacles for these marginalized communities arise in the form of the subculture’s pre-existing and accepted framework of white masculinity and continue to exclude and erase their involvement.
There is an important need for representation of marginalized communities in media. Martins and Harrison note that television media consumption of children has a significant impact on self-esteem in relation to their race (2012). Even as inclusivity is championed in extreme music subcultures and scenes, there is still a desire for marginalized people to feel as their authentic selves, whereas the majority are already empowered to do so (Kai, 2014).
Joan Jocson-Signh, Institute Librarian of the California Institute of the Arts, and Junior Tidal, Web Services & Multimedia Librarian of the New York City College of Technology, CUNY, developed this bibliography.
Logo design by ilana Engel.
This bibliography was supported by a 2020 Carnegie-Whitney grant from the American Libraries Association (ALA).