Australia is a country known for many things, including top-shelf kangaroo steaks, barbies, and shrimp. Heavy metal is not one of those things.
Here's a quick pop quiz: name a single heavy metal band from Down Under. And don't stick up your hand to start screeching "AC/DC" because they don't count (the most important members of said band are, as every Rock & Roll Jeopardy! fan knows, actually from Scotland [Angus Young] and Dunston, England [Brian Johnson]).
The fact you probably just came up crickets is good news if you're the kind of person who loves the idea of post-secondary education, but don't want to have to worry about such inconveniences as being overloaded with work.
Australia's University of Newcastle has decided to make scholarships available for a two domestic students and one international students to the tune of $25,000 per year. To be eligible, all one has to be willing to do is study social geographies as they relate to the following: Homelessness and Mutual Aid, Vegan Geographies, Unschooling and The Possibilities of Childhood. And, perhaps requiring the least amount of effort of all, heavy metal.
Before you get too excited about the lack of work you'll be doing, your tireless exploration of all things headbanging won't stop in the land of Oz.
Here are the course requirements, as outlined by Anarchist Geography, which will oversee the project:
The Geography of Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal is a global phenomenon, representing a major cultural trend for the past four decades. Numerous subgenres exist within the general framework of Heavy Metal, each representing unique subcultures. Many of these subgenres, such as Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal evolved in specific geographical settings, often referred to as ‘scenes’. While unique scenes have evolved across the globe, the bulk of Heavy Metal’s bands have originated within countries in the northern latitudes. Australia is uniquely positioned within this global evolution, owing to its historical connection to the United Kingdom and shared cultural affinities with its colonial originator. While remote from the geographical heart of Heavy Metal culture, Australia has developed its own unique and passionate approach, producing a number of high profile bands.
What sorts of lyrical themes have Australian Metal bands adopted? Are these culturally and geographically unique to the continent?
What is the relationship between the cultural evolution of Heavy Metal in Australia and colonialism?
Is Heavy Metal in Australia largely a white phenomenon? What has been the response to diversity within the scene?
How is gender negotiated within the Metal scene in Australia?
What sort of reputation do Heavy Metal fans have within the Australian context? Does this impact the types of spaces that Heavy Metal fans can utilize?
How has the geography of Australia in proximity to other scenes contributed to or hindered its cultural uptake?
What is it about Australian Heavy Metal that makes it distinctive?
If you think you're able to answer any of the above questions, and are either: a) an Australian who's grown tired of snowboarding in Whistler for the past 17 years or b) a headbanger with a mullet that would give the guys of FUBAR an erection, here's your golden opportunity to get paid to pontificate about the genre that has been responsible for 348 Scandanavian church burnings and 24.9 billion basement-rec-room bong hits.
To apply for the program, e-mail to Professor Simon Springer at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can use the below as a primer for boning up, and remember: don't mention AC/DC.