Michal Puchovský defended his dissertation thesis

The dissertation thesis “Modern Pagan Music in the Czech Republic” is devoted to the analysis of pagan elements in the work of selected bands from the Czech Republic that publicly admit to being inspired by Paganism. The research was conducted in an interdisciplinary spirit and, in addition to textual and sound analysis, was supplemented by findings from the author’s fieldwork, qualitative and quantitative research in the environment of the modern pagan music scene in the Czech Republic.

31 Mar 2023

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In the theoretical part, the dissertation is devoted to an analysis of the scholarly and modern pagan discourse on Paganism, which, in the author’s opinion, most influences the understanding of Paganism in modern pagan music. The analytical chapter introduces key concepts such as genre, scene and folklore. It then discusses the history of modern pagan music in the world and in the Czech Republic and analyses the construction of paganism in the work of fifteen selected bands, which are categorised on the basis of genre affiliation (metal, folk and acoustic music, punk, ambient).

The dissertation also explores the fans’ perspective on modern pagan music, with special emphasis on its place in the identity of modern pagans. At the end of the thesis, the author presents a typology of modern pagan bands from the Czech Republic. He categorizes the strategies of constructing paganism in music based on the results of the dissertation research into two categories: a) historical-ethnological and b) neo-pagan.

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