Over the last few years, I’ve been building up more and more ideas for books I’d like to write. It’s unlikely I’ll ever publish more than a fraction of them, so I wanted to find a way to ‘let go’ on my ‘impossible’ books.
I’ve started ‘publishing’ these books (including covers by Gus Condeixa) on Medium. At the time of writing I’ve produced 10 and plenty more will follow. I intend to cross post them on this site but will need to create a new page to do so and haven’t yet worked out how to do it. For the time being, check out the publication page here:
Comments Off on Call For Papers for a new collection on Jews and Metal
Call for contributions to a new edited volume
Black Shabbes: Jews & Metal
Edited by Shamma Boyarin and Keith Kahn-Harris
When the guitarist Marty Friedman auditioned for Megadeath, singer Dave Mustaine loved his playing but told his manager to get Friedman to change his name because Jews were ‘not metal’
Can Jews ‘be metal’?
Certainly, crude stereotypes of the Jewish male – weak, bookish, awkward, hypochondriac – and crude stereotypes of the metal male – sexually promiscuous, loud and tough – seem to be in conflict. Yet not only do these stereotypes hide the considerable diversity amongst both Jews and metallers (to say nothing of their gendered nature), there is a significant history of Jewish involvement in metal culture.
Jews have featured prominently in significant numbers of prominent metal bands, including Kiss, Anthrax, Biohazard, Death and Guns N Roses. Moreover, in at least some cases, the Jewish backgrounds of metal musicians has impacted on their careers, as in the networks of communal and family support that Anvil drew on during their long commercial decline. Further, there have also been metal bands that have drawn on Jewish sources and themes, including Israeli acts such as Orphaned Land and Salem and a number of more obscure artists in the US.
Yet whilst there has been a more than nominal Jewish involvement in metal, the significance and impact of this involvement is much less clear. What might looking at metal through a Jewish lens and Jewishness through a metal lens bring to light? A sustained consideration of the relationship between Jews and metal will illuminate this hidden history while at the same time raising wider issues in the nature of Jewish and metal identity and culture.
We invite contributions from academics, critics, writers musicians and others, for a volume dedicated to explore the connection between metal and Jews from a number of different perspectives. We welcome both non-fiction and fiction.
Themes can include:
·The history of the Jewish presence in metal.
·The use of Jewish themes in metal
·Israeli metal scenes
·The relationship between Satanism, anti-Semitism and Judaism as explored in metal
·Anti-semitism within metal scenes
·Reading/hearing metal through a Jewish lens – is a Jewish metal criticism possible?
·Jewish community attitudes to metal
Please submit abstracts of 200-250 words (by September 30 2014), and inquiries to:
“The relationship between Anglo-Jewry and Israel is perilous, complex terrain – and there are few better placed to navigate it than Keith Kahn-Harris.” Jonathan Freedland
Diaspora Jews are no longer unified in their support for Israel.
The author, a sociologist. Jewish and a committed left-of-centre Zionist, explores the causes of the conflicts and describes his own innovative efforts at conflict resolution. Analysing the various groupings – left, right, secular and religious, pro and anti-Zionist – in Britain and the USA, Keith Kahn-Harris looks at the history of civility in society and examines the different methods used by international organisations and groups involved in developing dialogue within Jewish communities.
He describes, how using these techniques and with expert help, he brought together more than seventy prominent diverse British Jews for a series of encounters. He concludes that dialogue and civility is possible. But with no change in behaviour there will be serious consequences for the Jewish communities of the world.
“A masterful and thoughtful analysis of the various existing positions of Jews and Israel advocates on Israel. This book might just give us the language, the insights – and the pause – for us to do something a little more sensible, before it’s, stupidly, too late.” Clive Lawton – Jewish educator
“I applaud Keith Kahn-Harris for having the courage to examine this vexatious debate in his richly textured book.” Gabrielle Rifkind – Oxford Research Group’s Middle East conflict resolution specialist
The latest New Statesman is a special issue on ‘Who speaks for British Jews?’ I have a piece in it on how Israel and anti-semitism make the work of Jewish communal institutions a fraught affair. (Sadly it’s not online yet).
I co-edited with Titus Hjelm and Mar LeVine a special issue of the journal Popular Music History entitled ‘Heavy Metal: Controversies and Countercultures’ (Vol 6: 1/2, April/August 2012). It’s a great collection of articles. It may be hard for those who don’t have access to an academic e-library to access, but I’ve thrown caution to the wind and posted a pdf of the introductory article here: