We are the Sons of the Southern Cross

Gendered Nationalisms and Imagined Community in Australian Extreme Metal


  • Catherine Hoad Macquarie University




Australia, extreme metal, scenes, masculinity, imagined community


Australia's extreme metal scenes have developed largely in isolation from not only the rest of the world, but also one another. Nonetheless, extreme metal scenes throughout the Australian continent share common sentiments of national identity that allow for the formation of an imagined community across disparate locales. Such nationalistic sentiment, realized through the reiteration of the masculinist master symbols of Australian identity, enables an imagined community to be sustained across extreme metal scenes. This article explores how music functions as a medium through which communities can be imagined and boundaries between them drawn. Australian extreme metal scenes construct and maintain a sense of nationhood and community in exclusionary, rather than conciliatory ways. The particular experience of belonging offered by Australian extreme metal scenes is hence marked by rigid parameters of what, or who, may constitute "Australianness" in the image of such communion.

Author Biography

  • Catherine Hoad, Macquarie University

    Catherine Hoad was recently awarded her PhD in Cultural Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney. Her doctoral thesis explores the processes through which discourses of whiteness have been deployed across heavy metal scenes in Norway, South Africa and Australia, and how such narratives are embroiled in broader regional trajectories of masculinity and colonialism.


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Gender, Popular Music and Australian Identity

How to Cite

Hoad, C. (2016). We are the Sons of the Southern Cross: Gendered Nationalisms and Imagined Community in Australian Extreme Metal. Journal of World Popular Music, 3(1), 90-107. https://doi.org/10.1558/jwpm.v3i1.31133