What does it mean to be a man? Is one born a man or does one become a man? Is it possible to have masculinity without men? Why say masculinities and not masculinity? This course will be an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of masculinities. The main objective will be to familiarize students with important issues, histories, and debates in this field. Key concerns include the extension of work in women’s and gender studies into the study of men and masculinities, the social construction of masculinity in the United States history, and intersectional analyses of masculinities in contemporary national and international context.
Although the United States will be a central focus of our explorations, examples from other countries/regions will be analyzed to gain a broad comparative perspective. Position papers, quizzes and classroom projects will encourage students to bring their own questions and perspectives to classroom conversations. Classroom work will be complemented by a film series, which students will be required to attend at either scheduled screenings or by visiting the Douglass Music Library in their own time.