Heavy Metal class is more than meets the ear

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UVU Heavy Metal class taught by Stephen Fullmer, Ph.D., teaches students music, literary analysis and student engagement.


Professor Stephen Fullmer, Ph.D., teaches a class at UVU called “Heavy Metal.” Students say the class is much more than meets the ear.


Jennifer Hill, a UVU student who is taking Heavy Metal for her third semester, said that the class has more to offer than what may seem.


“I’m a huge music fan in the first place, but breaking down the lyrical content is really interesting, especially with heavy metal – it’s so misunderstood. A lot of it is a lot deeper level than what people think. I think there is a lot more literary value actually,” she said.


Fullmer, who has been teaching the course for four semesters now, said that his class consists of more than listening to heavy metal music. Through the class, he hopes to dispel the social stigmas that surround heavy metal, rock ’n’ roll and hard rock.


“Often heavy metal is misunderstood and you’ve got to understand the depth of the lyric and the complexity of the music . . . literature can be explored besides in poetry, drama or a short story. There are a lot of elements in there to learn how to analyze,” Fullmer said.


The course entails critical theory analysis of lyrics, rhyme scheme, lyric meaning, writing, a major research paper and interviews of professionals in the music industry. Aside from bringing in musical groups to talk about the industry, Fullmer helps his students get hands-on experience through benefit work, specifically through benefit concerts.


“It just blossoms out into student engagement and supporting scholarships that need help. We do so much in there as service work,” Fullmer said.


Fullmer’s Heavy Metal classes have held benefit concerts to raise funds for the Donner/Galbraith Memorial Scholarship, in honor of four UVU students who died in a cave accident in 2005. They also held a benefit concert to help a UVU student known as the Provo Survivor, and have held a Mental Awareness Symposium during last semester’s Mental Awareness Week.


Fullmer is planning to hold a service project again this semester and in the future. The Heavy Metal class is offered during the spring semester under ENGL 276R, Themes in Literature Heavy Metals, and will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

By Breanna Carlile
Life Writer

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