front cover of Adventures in Shondaland
Adventures in Shondaland
Identity Politics and the Power of Representation
Griffin, Rachel Alicia
Rutgers University Press, 2018
Innovator Award for Edited Collection from the Central States Communication Association (CSCA)

Shonda Rhimes is one of the most powerful players in contemporary American network television. Beginning with her break-out hit series Grey’s Anatomy, she has successfully debuted Private Practice, Scandal, How to Get Away with MurderThe Catch, For The People, and Station 19. Rhimes’s work is attentive to identity politics, “post-” identity politics, power, and representation, addressing innumerable societal issues. Rhimes intentionally addresses these issues with diverse characters and story lines that center, for example, on interracial friendships and relationships, LGBTIQ relationships and parenting, the impact of disability on familial and work dynamics, and complex representations of womanhood. This volume serves as a means to theorize Rhimes’s contributions and influence by inspiring provocative conversations about television as a deeply politicized institution and exploring how Rhimes fits into the implications of twenty-first century television.  
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Affirmative Reaction
New Formations of White Masculinity
Hamilton Carroll
Duke University Press, 2011
Affirmative Reaction explores the cultural politics of heteronormative white masculine privilege in the United States. Through close readings of texts ranging from the popular television drama 24 to the Marvel Comics miniseries The Call of Duty, and from the reality show American Chopper to the movie Million Dollar Baby, Hamilton Carroll argues that the true privilege of white masculinity—and its defining strategy—is not to be unmarked, universal, or invisible, but to be mobile and mutable. He describes how, in response to the perceived erosions of privilege produced by post–civil rights era identity politics, white masculinity has come to rely on the very discourses of difference that unsettled its claims on the universal; it has redefined itself as a marginalized identity.

Throughout Affirmative Reaction, Carroll examines the kinds of difference white masculinity claims for itself as it attempts to hold onto or maintain majority privilege. Whether these are traditional sites of minority difference—such as Irishness, white trash, or domestic melodrama—or reworked sites of masculinist investment—including laboring bodies, public-sphere politics, and vigilantism—the outcome is the same: the foregrounding of white masculinity over and against women, people of color, and the non-heteronormative. By revealing the strategies through which white masculinity is produced as a formal difference, Carroll sheds new light on the ways that privilege is accrued and maintained.

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Apocalypse Man
The Death Drive and the Rhetoric of White Masculine Victimhood
Casey Ryan Kelly
The Ohio State University Press, 2020
A 2021 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
Exemplified by President Donald J. Trump’s slogan “Make American Great Again,” white masculinity has become increasingly organized around melancholic attachments to an imagined past when white men were still atop the social hierarchy. How and why are white men increasingly identifying as victims of social, economic, and political change? Casey Ryan Kelly’s Apocalypse Man seeks to answer this question by examining textual and performative examples of white male rhetoric—as found among online misogynist and incel communities, survivalists and “doomsday preppers,” gender-motivated mass shooters, gun activists, and political demagogues. Using sources ranging from reality television and Reddit manifestos to gun culture and political rallies, Kelly ultimately argues that death, victimhood, and fatalism have come to underwrite the constitution of contemporary white masculinity.
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Baseball as Mediated Latinidad
Race, Masculinity, Nationalism, and Performances of Identity
Jennifer Domino Rudolph
The Ohio State University Press, 2020
In her incisive study Baseball as Mediated Latinidad: Race, Masculinity, Nationalism, and Performances of Identity, Jennifer Domino Rudolph analyzes major league baseball’s Latin/o American players—who now make up more than twenty-five percent of MLB—as sites of undesirable surveillance due to the historical, political, and sociological weight placed on them via stereotypes around immigration, crime, masculinity, aggression, and violence. Rudolph examines the perception by media and fans of Latino baseball players and the consumption of these athletes as both social and political stand-ins for an entire culture, showing how these participants in the nationalist game of baseball exemplify tensions over race, nation, and language for some while simultaneously revealing baseball as a practice of latinidad, or pan-Latina/o/x identity, for others. By simultaneously exploring the ways in which Latino baseball players can appear both as threats to American values and the embodiment of the American Dream, and engaging with both archival research and new media representations of MLB players, Rudolph sheds new light on the current ambivalence of mainstream American media and fans towards Latin/o culture.
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Been a Heavy Life
Stories of Violent Men
Lois Presser
University of Illinois Press, 2007
In this groundbreaking work, Lois Presser investigates the life stories of men who have perpetrated violence. She applies insights from across the academy to in-depth interviews with men who shared their accounts of how they became the people we most fear--those who rape, murder, assault, and rob, often repeatedly. Been a Heavy Life provides the discipline of criminology with two crucial frameworks: one for critically evaluating the construction of offenders’ own stories, and one for grasping the cultural meta-narratives that legitimize violence. For social scientists generally, this book offers a vivid demonstration of just how dynamic and contingent self-narratives are.
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Black Empire
The Masculine Global Imaginary of Caribbean Intellectuals in the United States, 1914–1962
Michelle Ann Stephens
Duke University Press, 2005
In Black Empire, Michelle Ann Stephens examines the ideal of “transnational blackness” that emerged in the work of radical black intellectuals from the British West Indies in the early twentieth century. Focusing on the writings of Marcus Garvey, Claude McKay, and C. L. R. James, Stephens shows how these thinkers developed ideas of a worldwide racial movement and federated global black political community that transcended the boundaries of nation-states. Stephens highlights key geopolitical and historical events that gave rise to these writers’ intellectual investment in new modes of black political self-determination. She describes their engagement with the fate of African Americans within the burgeoning U.S. empire, their disillusionment with the potential of post–World War I international organizations such as the League of Nations to acknowledge, let alone improve, the material conditions of people of color around the world, and the inspiration they took from the Bolshevik Revolution, which offered models of revolution and community not based on nationality.

Stephens argues that the global black political consciousness she identifies was constituted by both radical and reactionary impulses. On the one hand, Garvey, McKay, and James saw freedom of movement as the basis of black transnationalism. The Caribbean archipelago—a geographic space ideally suited to the free movement of black subjects across national boundaries—became the metaphoric heart of their vision. On the other hand, these three writers were deeply influenced by the ideas of militarism, empire, and male sovereignty that shaped global political discourse in the early twentieth century. As such, their vision of transnational blackness excluded women’s political subjectivities. Drawing together insights from American, African American, Caribbean, and gender studies, Black Empire is a major contribution to ongoing conversations about nation and diaspora.

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front cover of Black Manhood in James Baldwin, Ernest J. Gaines, and August Wilson
Black Manhood in James Baldwin, Ernest J. Gaines, and August Wilson
Keith Clark
University of Illinois Press, 2002

Challenging the standard portrayals of Black men in African American literature

From Frederick Douglass to the present, the preoccupation of black writers with manhood and masculinity is a constant. Black Manhood in James Baldwin, Ernest J. Gaines, and August Wilson explores how in their own work three major African American writers contest classic portrayals of black men in earlier literature, from slave narratives through the great novels of Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison.

Keith Clark examines short stories, novels, and plays by Baldwin, Gaines, and Wilson, arguing that since the 1950s the three have interrupted and radically dismantled the constricting literary depictions of black men who equate selfhood with victimization, isolation, and patriarchy. Instead, they have reimagined black men whose identity is grounded in community, camaraderie, and intimacy.

Delivering original and startling insights, this book will appeal to scholars and students of African American literature, gender studies, and narratology.

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Black/Gay
The Harlem Renaissance, the Protest Era, and the Constructions of Black Gay Identity in the 1980s and 90s
Simon Dickel
Michigan State University Press, 2011

This book explores key texts of the black gay culture of the 1980s and ’90s. Starting with an analysis of the political discourse in anthologies such as In the Life and Brother to Brother, it identifies the references to the Harlem Renaissance and the Protest Era as common elements of black gay discourse. This connection to African American cultural and political traditions legitimizes black gay identity and criticizes the construction of gay identity as white. Readings of Isaac Julien’s Looking for Langston, Samuel R. Delany’s “Atlantis: Model 1924” and The Motion of Light in Water, Melvin Dixon’s Vanishing Rooms, Randall Kenan’s A Visitation of Spirits, and Steven Corbin’s No Easy Place to Be demonstrate how these strategies of signifying are used in affirmative, humorous, and ironic ways.

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Bodies of Work
Civic Display and Labor in Industrial Pittsburgh
Edward Slavishak
Duke University Press, 2008
By the end of the nineteenth century, Pittsburgh emerged as a major manufacturing center in the United States. Its rise as a leading producer of steel, glass, and coal was fueled by machine technology and mass immigration, developments that fundamentally changed the industrial workplace. Because Pittsburgh’s major industries were almost exclusively male and renowned for their physical demands, the male working body came to symbolize multiple often contradictory narratives about strength and vulnerability, mastery and exploitation. In Bodies of Work, Edward Slavishak explores how Pittsburgh and the working body were symbolically linked in civic celebrations, the research of social scientists, the criticisms of labor reformers, advertisements, and workers’ self-representations. Combining labor and cultural history with visual culture studies, he chronicles a heated contest to define Pittsburgh’s essential character at the turn of the twentieth century, and he describes how that contest was conducted largely through the production of competing images.

Slavishak focuses on the workers whose bodies came to epitomize Pittsburgh, the men engaged in the arduous physical labor demanded by the city’s metals, glass, and coal industries. At the same time, he emphasizes how conceptions of Pittsburgh as quintessentially male limited representations of women in the industrial workplace. The threat of injury or violence loomed large for industrial workers at the turn of the twentieth century, and it recurs throughout Bodies of Work: in the marketing of artificial limbs, statistical assessments of the physical toll of industrial capitalism, clashes between labor and management, the introduction of workplace safety procedures, and the development of a statewide workmen’s compensation system.

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Brotherhood University
Black Men's Friendships and the Transition to Adulthood
Brandon A. Jackson
Rutgers University Press, 2024
How do young Black men navigate the transition to adulthood in an era of labor market precarity, an increasing emphasis on personal independence, and gendered racism? In Brotherhood University, Brandon A. Jackson utilizes longitudinal qualitative data to examine the role of emotions and social support among a group of young Black men as they navigate a “structural double bind” as college students and into early adulthood. While prevailing stereotypes portray young Black men as emotionally aloof, Jackson finds that the men invested in an emotion culture characterized by vulnerability, loyalty, and trust, which created a system of mutual social support, or brotherhood, among the group as they navigated college, prepared for the labor market, and experienced romantic relationships. Ten years later, as they managed the early stages of their careers and considered marriage and child-rearing, the men continued to depend on the emotional vulnerability and close relationships they forged in their college years.
 
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A Bull of a Man
John Powers
Harvard University Press, 2009

The androgynous, asexual Buddha of contemporary popular imagination stands in stark contrast to the muscular, virile, and sensual figure presented in Indian Buddhist texts. In early Buddhist literature and art, the Buddha’s perfect physique and sexual prowess are important components of his legend as the world’s “ultimate man.” He is both the scholarly, religiously inclined brahman and the warrior ruler who excels in martial arts, athletic pursuits, and sexual exploits. The Buddha effortlessly performs these dual roles, combining his society’s norms for ideal manhood and creating a powerful image taken up by later followers in promoting their tradition in a hotly contested religious marketplace.

In this groundbreaking study of previously unexplored aspects of the early Buddhist tradition, John Powers skillfully adapts methodological approaches from European and North American historiography to the study of early Buddhist literature, art, and iconography, highlighting aspects of the tradition that have been surprisingly invisible in earlier scholarship. The book focuses on the figure of the Buddha and his monastic followers to show how they were constructed as paragons of masculinity, whose powerful bodies and compelling sexuality attracted women, elicited admiration from men, and convinced skeptics of their spiritual attainments.

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Changing Men and Masculinities in Latin America
Matthew C. Gutmann ed.
Duke University Press, 2003
Ranging from fatherhood to machismo and from public health to housework, Changing Men and Masculinities in Latin America is a collection of pioneering studies of what it means to be a man in Latin America. Matthew C. Gutmann brings together essays by well-known U.S. Latin Americanists and newly translated essays by noted Latin American scholars. Historically grounded and attuned to global political and economic changes, this collection investigates what, if anything, is distinctive about and common to masculinity across Latin America at the same time that it considers the relative benefits and drawbacks of studies focusing on men there. Demonstrating that attention to masculinities does not thwart feminism, the contributors illuminate the changing relationships between men and women and among men of different ethnic groups, sexual orientations, and classes.

The contributors look at Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, and the United States. They bring to bear a number of disciplines—anthropology, history, literature, public health, and sociology—and a variety of methodologies including ethnography, literary criticism, and statistical analysis. Whether analyzing rape legislation in Argentina, the unique space for candid discussions of masculinity created in an Alcoholics Anonymous group in Mexico, the role of shame in shaping Chicana and Chicano identities and gender relations, or homosexuality in Brazil, Changing Men and Masculinities highlights the complex distinctions between normative conceptions of masculinity in Latin America and the actual experiences and thoughts of particular men and women.

Contributors.
Xavier Andrade, Daniel Balderston, Peter Beattie, Stanley Brandes, Héctor Carrillo, Miguel Díaz Barriga, Agustín Escobar, Francisco Ferrándiz, Claudia Fonseca, Norma Fuller, Matthew C. Gutmann, Donna Guy, Florencia Mallon, José Olavarría, Richard Parker, Mara Viveros

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City of Men
Masculinities and Everyday Morality on Public Transport
Romit Chowdhury
Rutgers University Press, 2023
In South Asian urban landscapes, men are everywhere. And yet we do not seem to know very much about precisely what men do in the city as men. How do men experience gender in city spaces? What are the interactional dynamics between different groups of men on city streets? How do men adjudicate between good and bad conduct in urban spaces? Through ethnographic descriptions of copresence on public transport in Kolkata, India, this book brings into sight the gendered logics of cooperation and everyday morality through which masculinities take up space in cities. It follows the labor geographies of auto-rickshaw and taxi operators and their interactions with traffic police and commuters to argue that the gendered fabric of urban life needs to be understood as a product of situational forms of cooperation between different social groups. Such an orientation sheds light on the part played by everyday morality and provisional support in upholding male privilege in the city.
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Cold Warriors
Manliness on Trial in the Rhetoric of the West
Suzanne Clark
Southern Illinois University Press, 2000

Cold Warriors: Manliness on Trial in the Rhetoric of the West returns to familiar cultural forces—the West, anticommunism, and manliness—to show how they combined to suppress dissent and dominate the unruliness of literature in the name of a national identity after World War II. Few realize how much the domination of a “white male” American literary canon was a product not of long history, but of the Cold War. Suzanne Clark describes here how the Cold War excluded women writers on several levels, together with others—African American, Native American, poor, men as well as women—who were ignored in the struggle over white male identity.

Clark first shows how defining national/individual/American identity in the Cold War involved a brand new configuration of cultural history. At the same time, it called upon the nostalgia for the old discourses of the West (the national manliness asserted by Theodore Roosevelt) to claim that there was and always had been only one real American identity.

By subverting the claims of a national identity, Clark finds, many male writers risked falling outside the boundaries not only of public rhetoric but also of the literary world: men as different from one another as the determinedly masculine Ernest Hemingway and the antiheroic storyteller of the everyday, Bernard Malamud. Equally vocal and contentious, Cold War women writers were unwilling to be silenced, as Clark demonstrates in her discussion of the work of Mari Sandoz and Ursula Le Guin.

The book concludes with a discussion of how the silencing of gender, race, and class in Cold War writing maintained its discipline until the eruptions of the sixties. By questioning the identity politics of manliness in the Cold War context of persecution and trial, Clark finds that the involvement of men in identity politics set the stage for our subsequent cultural history.

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Conceiving Masculinity
Male Infertility, Medicine, and Identity
Liberty Walther Barnes
Temple University Press, 2014

In Conceiving Masculinity, Liberty Walther Barnes puts the world of male infertility under the microscope to examine how culturally pervasive notions of gender shape our understanding of disease, and how disease impacts our personal ideas about gender. 

 

Taking readers inside male infertility clinics, and interviewing doctors and couples dealing with male infertility, Barnes provides a rich account of the social aspects of the confusing and frustrating diagnosis of infertility. She explains why men resist a stigmatizing label like "infertile," and how men with poor fertility redefine for themselves what it means to be manly and masculine in a society that prizes male virility. Conceiving Masculinity also details how and why men embrace medical technologies and treatment for infertility.

 

Broaching a socially taboo topic, Barnes emphasizes that infertility is not just a women's issue. She shows how gender and disease are socially constructed within social institutions and by individuals. 

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front cover of Constructing the Black Masculine
Constructing the Black Masculine
Identity and Ideality in African American Men’s Literature and Culture, 1775–1995
Maurice O. Wallace
Duke University Press, 2002
In seven representative episodes of black masculine literary and cultural history—from the founding of the first African American Masonic lodge in 1775 to the 1990s choreographies of modern dance genius Bill T. Jones—Constructing the Black Masculine maps black men’s historical efforts to negotiate the frequently discordant relationship between blackness and maleness in the cultural logic of American identity. Maurice O. Wallace draws on an impressive variety of material to investigate the survivalist strategies employed by black men who have had to endure the disjunction between race and masculinity in American culture.
Highlighting their chronic objectification under the gaze of white eyes, Wallace argues that black men suffer a social and representational crisis in being at once seen and unseen, fetish and phantasm, spectacle and shadow in the American racial imagination. Invisible and disregarded on one hand, black men, perceived as potential threats to society, simultaneously face the reality of hypervisibility and perpetual surveillance. Paying significant attention to the sociotechnologies of vision and image production over two centuries, Wallace shows how African American men—as soldiers, Freemasons, and romantic heroes—have sought both to realize the ideal image of the American masculine subject and to deconstruct it in expressive mediums like modern dance, photography, and theatre. Throughout, he draws on the experiences and theories of such notable figures as Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and James Baldwin.
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The Culture of Male Beauty in Britain
From the First Photographs to David Beckham
Paul R. Deslandes
University of Chicago Press, 2021
A heavily illustrated history of two centuries of male beauty in British culture.
 
Spanning the decades from the rise of photography to the age of the selfie, this book traces the complex visual and consumer cultures that shaped masculine beauty in Britain, examining the realms of advertising, health, pornography, psychology, sport, and celebrity culture. Paul R. Deslandes chronicles the shifting standards of male beauty in British culture—from the rising cult of the athlete to changing views on hairlessness—while connecting discussions of youth, fitness, and beauty to growing concerns about race, empire, and degeneracy. From earlier beauty show contestants and youth-obsessed artists, the book moves through the decades into considerations of disfigured soldiers, physique models, body-conscious gay men, and celebrities such as David Beckham and David Gandy who populate the worlds of television and social media.  
 
Deslandes calls on historians to take beauty and gendered aesthetics seriously while recasting how we think about the place of physical appearance in historical study, the intersection of different forms of high and popular culture, and what has been at stake for men in “looking good.”
 
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The Cut of His Coat
Men, Dress, and Consumer Culture in Britain, 1860–1914
Brent Shannon
Ohio University Press, 2006

The English middle class in the late nineteenth century enjoyed an increase in the availability and variety of material goods. With that, the visual markers of class membership and manly behavior underwent a radical change. In The Cut of His Coat: Men, Dress, and Consumer Culture in Britain, 1860–1914, Brent Shannon examines familiar novels by authors such as George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, Thomas Hughes, and H. G. Wells, as well as previously unexamined etiquette manuals, period advertisements, and fashion monthlies, to trace how new ideologies emerged as mass-produced clothes, sartorial markers, and consumer culture began to change.

While Victorian literature traditionally portrayed women as having sole control of class representations through dress and manners, Shannon argues that middle-class men participated vigorously in fashion. Public displays of their newly acquired mannerisms, hairstyles, clothing, and consumer goods redefined masculinity and class status for the Victorian era and beyond.

The Cut of His Coat probes the Victorian disavowal of men’s interest in fashion and shopping to recover men’s significant role in the representation of class through self-presentation and consumer practices.

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Dangerous Masculinity
Fatherhood, Race, and Security Inside America's Prisons
Anna Curtis
Rutgers University Press, 2019
For incarcerated fathers, prison rather than work mediates access to their families. Prison rules and staff regulate phone privileges, access to writing materials, and visits. Perhaps even more important are the ways in which the penal system shapes men’s gender performances. Incarcerated men must negotiate how they will enact violence and aggression, both in terms of the expectations placed upon inmates by the prison system and in terms of their own responses to these expectations. Additionally, the relationships between incarcerated men and the mothers of their children change, particularly since women now serve as “gatekeepers” who control when and how they contact their children. This book considers how those within the prison system negotiate their expectations about “real” men and “good” fathers, how prisoners negotiate their relationships with those outside of prison, and in what ways this negotiation reflects their understanding of masculinity.
 
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Disarming Manhood
Roots of Ethical Resistance
David A.J. Richards
Ohio University Press, 2005
Masculine codes of honor and dominance often are expressed in acts of violence, including war and terrorism. In Disarming Manhood: Roots of Ethical Resistance, David A.J. Richards examines the lives of five famous men—great leaders and crusaders—who actively resisted violence and presented their causes with more humane alternatives.Richards argues that Winston Churchill, William Lloyd Garrison, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Leo Tolstoy shared a psychology whose nonviolent roots were deeply influenced by a loving, maternalistic ethos deeply influenced by the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Drawing upon psychology, history, political theory, and literature, Richards threads a connection between these leaders and the maternal figures who profoundly shaped their responses to conflict. Their lives and work underscore how the outlook of maternal care givers and women enables some men to resist the violent responses characteristic of traditional manhood. The voice of nonviolent masculinity has empowered important democratic movements of ethical transformation, including civil disobedience in South Africa, India, and the United States. Disarming Manhood demonstrates that as Churchill, Garrison, Gandhi, King, and Tolstoy carried out their various missions they were galvanized by teachings whose ethical foundations rejected unjust violence and favored peaceful alternatives. Accessibly written and free of jargon, Disarming Manhood's exploration of human nature and maternal bonds will interest a wide audience as it furthers the understanding of human nature itself and contributes to the fields of developmental psychology and feminist scholarship.
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Empowering Men of Color on Campus
Building Student Community in Higher Education
Brooms, Derrick R.
Rutgers University Press, 2018
While recruitment efforts toward men of color have increased at many colleges and universities, their retention and graduation rates still lag behind those of their white peers. Men of color, particularly black and Latino men, face a number of unique challenges in their educational careers that often impact their presence on campus and inhibit their collegiate success. Empowering Men of Color on Campus examines how men of color negotiate college through their engagement in Brothers for United Success (B4US), an institutionally-based male-centered program at a Hispanic Serving Institution. Derrick R. Brooms, Jelisa Clark, and Matthew Smith introduce the concept of educational agency, which is harbored in cultural wealth and demonstrates how ongoing B4US engagement empowers the men’s efforts and abilities to persist in college. They found that the cultural wealth(s) of the community enhanced the students’ educational agency, which bolstered their academic aspirations, academic and social engagement, and personal development. The authors demonstrate how educational agency and cultural wealth can be developed and refined given salient and meaningful immersions, experiences, engagements, and communal connections. 
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Fascination with the Persecutor
George L. Mosse and the Catastrophe of Modern Man
Emilio Gentile and and Stanley G. Payne, translated by John and Anne Tedeschi
University of Wisconsin Press, 2021
In 1933, George L. Mosse fled Berlin and settled in the United States, where he went on to become a renowned historian at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Through rigorous and innovative scholarship, Mosse uncovered the forces that spurred antisemitism, racism, nationalism, and populism. His transformative work was propelled by a desire to know his own persecutors and has been vital to generations of scholars seeking to understand the cultural and intellectual origins and mechanisms of Nazism.
 
This translation makes Emilio Gentile’s groundbreaking study of Mosse’s life and work available to English language readers. A leading authority on fascism, totalitarianism, and Mosse’s legacy, Gentile draws on a wealth of published and unpublished material, including letters, interviews, lecture plans, and marginalia from Mosse’s personal library. Gentile details how the senior scholar eschewed polemics and employed rigorous academic standards to better understand fascism and the “catastrophe of the modern man”—how masculinity transformed into a destructive ideology. As long as wars are waged over political beliefs in popular culture, Mosse’s theories of totalitarianism will remain as relevant as ever.
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Fashionable Masculinities
Queers, Pimp Daddies, and Lumbersexuals
Vicki Karaminas
Rutgers University Press, 2022
Fashionable Masculinities explores the expression of masculinities through constructions of fashion, identity, style and appearance as the third decade of the new millennium begins: a contradictory and precarious moment when masculinities are defined by protests and pandemics whilst being problematized across class, ethnicity, race, gender and sexuality. Whilst a majority of men might still define themselves as ‘traditional,’ post-millennials are now talking about how they envision a future without gender boundaries and borders. Rather than being defined as a gender, masculinity has now become a style that can be worn and performed as traditional and normative codes of masculinity are modulated and manipulated. This volume includes original essays on musical pop sensation Harry Styles, rapper and producer “Puff Daddy” Sean Combs, lumbersexuals, spornosexuals, sexy daddies, and aging cool black daddies. Bringing together contributions from leading scholars, this book interrogates and challenges the meaning of masculinities and the ways that they are experienced and lived. 
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Fatherhood
Ross D. Parke
Harvard University Press, 1996

It has been said that fathers are a biological necessity but a social accident. When Ross Parke first wrote about fathers for the Developing Child series, American culture seemed to adhere strongly to the stereotype of Dad the breadwinner, pacing outside the delivery room and peeking through the nursery window, and Mom the homemaker, warming bottles and changing diapers. Simple—in fact, a bit too simple. In the intervening years the conventional image of the uninvolved father has given way to a new stereotype: the father who takes an active part in rearing his children.

The dramatic technological, economic, and ideological changes in society over the past several decades have reconfigured the nuclear family and redefined the role of fathers. More women now work outside the home; fewer families can depend on an extended network of relatives for help with childcare; more divorced fathers assume or share custody of their children. Fathers have become partners in parenthood, wielding a more direct influence on their children’s development. But, Parke asks, is the new ideal of fathers—participating in childbirth and sharing in the care and feeding of their children—any more accurate than the earlier uninvolved father stereotype?

Social scientists have long ignored fathers, focusing on mothers as the significant figure in infant development. But research is showing that maternal caretaking is not biologically fixed, nor are fathers necessarily restricted to a secondary role in childcare. Turning away from well-worn theories in favor of direct observation, modern studies have revealed a substantial amount about how fathers behave with their children, how this behavior differs from maternal behavior, and how it affects children.

In this new book, Parke considers the father–child relationship within the “family system” and the wider society. Using the “life course” view of fathers that has emerged in recent years, he demonstrates that men enact their fatherhood in a variety of ways in response to their particular social and cultural circumstances. And while it is becoming clear that fathers play an important role in their children’s lives, it is also becoming clear that fathering is good for men.

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Fatherhood
Evolution and Human Paternal Behavior
Peter B. Gray and Kermyt G. Anderson
Harvard University Press, 2010

We've all heard that a father's involvement enriches the lives of children. But how much have we heard about how having a child affects a father's life? As Peter Gray and Kermyt Anderson reveal, fatherhood actually alters a man's sexuality, rewires his brain, and changes his hormonal profile. His very health may suffer—in the short run—and improve in the long. These are just a few aspects of the scientific side of fatherhood explored in this book, which deciphers the findings of myriad studies and makes them accessible to the interested general reader.

Since the mid-1990s Anderson and Gray, themselves fathers of young children, have been studying paternal behavior in places as diverse as Boston, Albuquerque, Cape Town, Kenya, and Jamaica. Their work combines the insights of evolutionary and comparative biology, cross-cultural analysis, and neural physiology to deepen and expand our understanding of fatherhood—from the intense involvement in childcare seen in male hunter-gatherers, to the prodigality of a Genghis Khan leaving millions of descendants, to the anonymous sperm donor in a fertility clinic.

Looking at every kind of fatherhood—being a father in and out of marriage, fathering from a distance, stepfathering, and parenting by gay males—this book presents a uniquely detailed picture of how being a parent fits with men's broader social and work lives, how fatherhood evolved, and how it differs across cultures and through time.

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front cover of From Dead Ends to Cold Warriors
From Dead Ends to Cold Warriors
Constructing American Boyhood in Postwar Hollywood Films
Peter W.Y. Lee
Rutgers University Press, 2021
After World War II, studies examining youth culture on the silver screen start with James Dean. But the angst that Dean symbolized—anxieties over parents, the “Establishment,” and the expectations of future citizen-soldiers—long predated Rebels without a Cause. Historians have largely overlooked how the Great Depression and World War II impacted and shaped the Cold War, and youth contributed to the national ideologies of family and freedom. From Dead Ends to Cold Warriors explores this gap by connecting facets of boyhood as represented in American film from the 1930s to the postwar years. From the Andy Hardy series to pictures such as The Search, Intruder in the Dust, and The Gunfighter, boy characters addressed larger concerns over the dysfunctional family unit, militarism, the “race question,” and the international scene as the Korean War began. Navigating the political, social, and economic milieus inside and outside of Hollywood, Peter W.Y. Lee demonstrates that continuities from the 1930s influenced the unique postwar moment, coalescing into anticommunism and the Cold War.
 
 
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Getting It, Having It, Keeping It Up
Straight Men’s Sexuality in Public and Private
Beth Montemurro
Rutgers University Press, 2022
Scholars and social critics are looking at gender and sexuality, as well as masculinity, in new ways and with more attention to the way cultural ideologies affect men’s and women’s lives. With the rise of an online “incel” (involuntarily celibate) community and the perpetration of acts of violence in their name, as well as increased awareness about the complexities of sexual interaction brought to the fore by the #metoo movement, it has become critical to discuss how men’s sexuality and masculinity are related, as well as the way men feel about the messages they get about being a man. Prior research on masculinity and masculine sexuality has examined the experiences of adolescent boys. But what happens to boys as they become men and as many move away from homo-social environments into sexual relationships? What happens when they no longer have a crowd of peers to posture or perform for? How do their sexual experiences and sexual selves change? How do they prove their masculinity in a society that demands it when they are no longer surrounded by peers? And how do they cultivate sexual selves and sexual self-confidence in a culture that expects them to always already be knowledgeable, desiring sexual subjects? In Getting It, Having It, Keeping It Up, Beth Montemurro explores the cultivation of heterosexual men’s sexual selves. Based on detailed, in-depth interviews with a large, diverse group of  heterosexual men between the ages of 20 and 68, she investigates how getting sex, having sex, and keeping up their sex lives matters to men. Ultimately, Montemurro uncovers the tension between public, cultural narratives about hetero-masculinity and men’s private, sexual selves and their intimate experiences.
 
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Global Divas
Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora
Martin F. Manalansan IV
Duke University Press, 2003
A vivid ethnography of the global and transnational dimensions of gay identity as lived by Filipino immigrants in New York City, Global Divas challenges beliefs about the progressive development of a gay world and the eventual assimilation of all queer folks into gay modernity. Insisting that gay identity is not teleological but fraught with fissures, Martin Manalansan IV describes how Filipino gay immigrants, like many queers of color, are creating alternative paths to queer modernity and citizenship. He makes a compelling argument for the significance of diaspora and immigration as sites for investigating the complexities of gender, race, and sexuality.

Manalansan locates diasporic, transnational, and global dimensions of gay and other queer identities within a framework of quotidian struggles ranging from everyday domesticity to public engagements with racialized and gendered images to life-threatening situations involving AIDS. He reveals the gritty, mundane, and often contradictory deeds and utterances of Filipino gay men as key elements of queer globalization and transnationalism. Through careful and sensitive analysis of these men’s lives and rituals, he demonstrates that transnational gay identity is not merely a consumable product or lifestyle, but rather a pivotal element in the multiple, shifting relationships that queer immigrants of color mobilize as they confront the tribulations of a changing world.

[more]

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Guys Like Me
Five Wars, Five Veterans for Peace
Messner, Michael A
Rutgers University Press, 2019
Over the last few decades, as the United States has become embroiled in foreign war after foreign war, some of the most vocal activists for peace have been veterans. These veterans for peace come from all different races, classes, regions, and generations. What common motivations unite them and fuel their activism?
 
Guys Like Me introduces us to five ordinary men who have done extraordinary work as peace activists: World War II veteran Ernie Sanchez, Korean War veteran Woody Powell, Vietnam veteran Gregory Ross, Gulf War veteran Daniel Craig, and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran Jonathan Hutto. Acclaimed sociologist Michael Messner offers rich profiles of each man, recounting what led him to join the armed forces, what he experienced when fighting overseas, and the guilt and trauma he experienced upon returning home. He reveals how the pain and horror of the battlefront motivated these onetime warriors to reconcile with former enemies, get involved as political activists, and help younger generations of soldiers.
 
Guys Like Me is an inspiring multigenerational saga of men who were physically or psychically wounded by war, but are committed to healing themselves and others, forging a path to justice, and replacing endless war with lasting peace
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The Handbook of Research on Black Males
Quantitative, Qualitative, and Multidisciplinary
Theodore S. Ransaw
Michigan State University Press, 2018
Drawing from the work of top researchers in various fields, The Handbook of Research on Black Males explores the nuanced and multifaceted phenomena known as the black male. Simultaneously hyper-visible and invisible, black males around the globe are being investigated now more than ever before; however, many of the well-meaning responses regarding media attention paid to black males are not well informed by research. Additionally, not all black males are the same, and each of them have varying strengths and challenges, making one-size-fits-all perspectives unproductive. This text, which acts as a comprehensive tool that can serve as a resource to articulate and argue for policy change, suggest educational improvements, and advocate judicial reform, fills a large void. The contributors, from multidisciplinary backgrounds, focus on history, research trends, health, education, criminal and social justice, hip-hop, and programs and initiatives. This volume has the potential to influence the field of research on black males as well as improve lives for a population that is often the most celebrated in the media and simultaneously the least socially valued.
 
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Health Issues in Latino Males
A Social and Structural Approach
Aguirre-Molina, Marilyn
Rutgers University Press, 2010
It is estimated that more than 50 million Latinos live in the United States. This is projected to more than double by 2050. In Health Issues in Latino Males experts from public health, medicine, and sociology examine the issues affecting Latino men's health and recommend policies to overcome inequities and better serve this population. The book addresses sexual and reproductive health; alcohol, tobacco, and drug use; mental and physical health among those in the juvenile justice or prison systems; chronic diseases; HIV/AIDS; Alzheimer's and dementia; and health issues among war veterans. It discusses utilization, insurance coverage, and research programs, and includes an extensive appendix charting epidemiological data on Latino health.
[more]

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Hysterical Men
Mark S. Micale
Harvard University Press, 2008

Over the course of several centuries, Western masculinity has successfully established itself as the voice of reason, knowledge, and sanity—the basis for patriarchal rule—in the face of massive testimony to the contrary. Hysterical Men boldly challenges this triumphant vision of the stable and secure male by examining the central role played by modern science and medicine in constructing and sustaining it.

Mark Micale reveals the hidden side of this vision, that is, the innumerable cases of disturbed and deranged men who passed under the eyes of male medical and scientific elites from the seventeenth century onward. Since ancient times, physicians and philosophers had closely observed and extravagantly theorized female weakness, emotionality, and madness. What these male experts failed to see—or saw but did not acknowledge—was masculine nervous and mental illness among all classes and in diverse guises. While cultural and literary intellectuals pioneered new languages of male emotional distress, European science was invested in cultivating and protecting the image of male, middle-class detachment, objectivity, and rationality despite rampant counter-evidence in the clinic, in the laboratory, and on battlefields.

The reasons for suppressing male neurosis from the official discourses of science and medicine as well as from popular view range from the personal and psychological to the professional and the political. They make for a history full of profound silences, omissions, and amnesias. Now, however, under the greatly altered circumstances of today’s gender revolution, Micale’s work allows this story to be heard.

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"I'm Not Gonna Die in This Damn Place"
Manliness, Identity, and Survival of the Mexican American Vietnam Prisoners of War
Juan David Coronado
Michigan State University Press, 2018
By the time of the Vietnam War era, the “Mexican American Generation” had made tremendous progress both socially and politically. However, the number of Mexican Americans in comparison to the number of white prisoners of war (POWs) illustrated the significant discrimination and inequality the Chicano population faced in both military and civilian landscapes. Chicanos were disproportionately “grunts” (infantry), who were more likely to be killed when captured, while pilots and officers were more likely to be both white and held as POWs for negotiating purposes. A fascinating look at the Vietnam War era from a Chicano perspective, “I’m Not Gonna Die in this Damn Place”: Manliness, Identity, and Survival of the Mexican American Vietnam Prisoners of War gives voice to the Mexican American POWs. The stories of these men and their families provide insights to the Chicano Vietnam War experience, while also adding tremendously to the American POW story. This book is an important read for academics and military enthusiasts alike.
 
[more]

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Making American Boys
Boyology and the Feral Tale
Kenneth B. Kidd
University of Minnesota Press, 2005
Will boys be boys? What are little boys made of? Kenneth B. Kidd responds to these familiar questions with a thorough review of boy culture in America since the late nineteenth century. From the "boy work" promoted by character-building organizations such as Scouting and 4-H to current therapeutic and pop psychological obsessions with children's self-esteem, Kidd presents the great variety of cultural influences on the changing notion of boyhood. Analyzing icons of boyhood and maleness from Huck Finn and The Jungle Book's Mowgli to Father Flanagan's Boys Town and even Michael Jackson, Kidd surveys films, psychoanalytic case studies, parenting manuals, historical accounts of the discoveries of "wolf-boys," and self-help books to provide a rigorous history of what it has meant to be an all-American boy.
[more]

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Manhood Impossible
Men's Struggles to Control and Transform Their Bodies and Work
Melzer, Scott
Rutgers University Press, 2018
In Manhood Impossible, Scott Melzer argues that boys’ and men’s bodies and breadwinner status are the two primary sites for their expression of control. Controlling selves and others, and resisting being dominated and controlled is most connected to men’s bodies and work. However, no man can live up to these culturally ascendant ideals of manhood. The strategies men use to manage unmet expectations often prove toxic, not only for men themselves, but also for other men, women, and society. Melzer strategically explores the lives of four groups of adult men struggling with contemporary body and breadwinner ideals. These case studies uncover men’s struggles to achieve and maintain manhood, and redefine what it means to be a man.  
[more]

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Manhood in Hollywood from Bush to Bush
By David Greven
University of Texas Press, 2009

A struggle between narcissistic and masochistic modes of manhood defined Hollywood masculinity in the period between the presidencies of George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. David Greven's contention is that a profound shift in representation occurred during the early 1990s when Hollywood was transformed by an explosion of films that foregrounded non-normative gendered identity and sexualities. In the years that have followed, popular cinema has either emulated or evaded the representational strategies of this era, especially in terms of gender and sexuality.

One major focus of this study is that, in a great deal of the criticism in both the fields of film theory and queer theory, masochism has been positively cast as a form of male sexuality that resists the structures of normative power, while narcissism has been negatively cast as either a regressive sexuality or the bastion of white male privilege. Greven argues that narcissism is a potentially radical mode of male sexuality that can defy normative codes and categories of gender, whereas masochism, far from being radical, has emerged as the default mode of a traditional normative masculinity. This study combines approaches from a variety of disciplines—psychoanalysis, queer theory, American studies, men's studies, and film theory—as it offers fresh readings of several important films of the past twenty years, including Casualties of War, The Silence of the Lambs, Fight Club, The Passion of the Christ, Auto Focus, and Brokeback Mountain.

[more]

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Manhood on the Line
Working-Class Masculinities in the American Heartland
Stephen Meyer
University of Illinois Press, 2016
Stephen Meyer charts the complex vagaries of men reinventing manhood in twentieth century America. Their ideas of masculinity destroyed by principles of mass production, workers created a white-dominated culture that defended its turf against other racial groups and revived a crude, hypersexualized treatment of women that went far beyond the shop floor. At the same time, they recast unionization battles as manly struggles against a system killing their very selves. Drawing on a wealth of archival material, Meyer recreates a social milieu in stunning detail--the mean labor and stolen pleasures, the battles on the street and in the soul, and a masculinity that expressed itself in violence and sexism but also as a wellspring of the fortitude necessary to maintain one's dignity while doing hard work in hard world.
[more]

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Manhood
The Rise and Fall of the Penis
Mels van Driel
Reaktion Books, 2009
 In Manhood, experienced urologist and sexologist Mels van Driel offers an unprecedented history of the penis—with answers to everything you wanted to know, and even some questions you’d never thought to ask. Investigating the penis and its functions, van Driel’s work ranges from impotence to the speed of ejaculation, and from inguinal hernia to infertility. Psychological factors that have an impact on sexual experience, as well as contemporary phenomena, such as cyber sex, are examined along the way with good humor and much insight.
 
[more]

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Manly Arts
Masculinity and Nation in Early American Cinema
David A. Gerstner
Duke University Press, 2006
In this innovative analysis of the interconnections between nation and aesthetics in the United States during the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth, David A. Gerstner reveals the crucial role of early cinema in consolidating a masculine ideal under American capitalism. Gerstner describes how cinema came to be considered the art form of the New World and how its experimental qualities infused other artistic traditions (many associated with Europe—painting, literature, and even photography) with new life: brash, virile, American life. He argues that early filmmakers were as concerned with establishing cinema’s standing in relation to other art forms as they were with storytelling. Focusing on the formal dimensions of early-twentieth-century films, he describes how filmmakers drew on European and American theater, literature, and painting to forge a national aesthetic that equated democracy with masculinity.

Gerstner provides in-depth readings of several early American films, illuminating their connections to a wide range of artistic traditions and cultural developments, including dance, poetry, cubism, realism, romanticism, and urbanization. He shows how J. Stuart Blackton and Theodore Roosevelt developed The Battle Cry of Peace (1915) to disclose cinema’s nationalist possibilities during the era of the new twentieth-century urban frontier; how Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler positioned a national avant-garde through the fusion of “American Cubism” and industrialization in their film, Manhatta (1921); and how Oscar Micheaux drew on slave narratives and other African American artistic traditions as he grappled with the ideological terms of African American and white American manhood in his movie Within Our Gates (1920). Turning to Vincente Minnelli’s Cabin in the Sky (1943), Gerstner points to the emergence of an aesthetic of cultural excess that brought together white and African American cultural producers—many of them queer—and troubled the equation of national arts with masculinity.

[more]

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The Manly Masquerade
Masculinity, Paternity, and Castration in the Italian Renaissance
Valeria Finucci
Duke University Press, 2003
The Manly Masquerade unravels the complex ways men were defined as men in Renaissance Italy through readings of a vast array of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century evidence: medical and travel literature; theology; law; myth; conduct books; and plays, chivalric romances, and novellas by authors including Machiavelli, Tasso, and Ariosto. Valeria Finucci shows how ideas of masculinity were formed in the midst of acute anxiety about paternity by highlighting the beliefs—widely held at the time—that conception could occur without a paternal imprimatur or through a woman’s encounter with an animal, or even that a pregnant woman’s imagination could erase the father’s "signature" from the fetus. Against these visions of reproduction gone awry, Finucci looks at how concepts of masculinity were tied to issues of paternity through social standing, legal matters, and inheritance practices.

Highlighting the fissures running through Italian Renaissance ideas of manliness, Finucci describes how, alongside pervasive images of the virile, sexually active man, early modern Italian culture recognized the existence of hermaphrodites and started to experiment with a new kind of sexuality by manufacturing a non-man: the castrato. Following the creation of castrati, the Church forbade the marriage of all non-procreative men, and, in this move, Finucci identifies a powerful legitimation of the view that what makes men is not the possession of male organs or the ability to have sex, but the capability to father. Through analysis, anecdote, and rich cultural description, The Manly Masquerade exposes the "real" early modern man: the paterfamilias.

[more]

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The Man-Not
Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood
Tommy J. Curry
Temple University Press, 2017

The Before Columbus Foundation 2018 Winner of the AMERICAN BOOK AWARD

Tommy J. Curry’s provocative book The Man-Not is a justification for Black Male Studies. He posits that we should conceptualize the Black male as a victim, oppressed by his sex. The Man-Not, therefore,is a corrective of sorts, offering a concept of Black males that could challenge the existing accounts of Black men and boys desiring the power of white men who oppress them that has been proliferated throughout academic research across disciplines.

Curry argues that Black men struggle with death and suicide, as well as abuse and rape, and their genred existence deserves study and theorization. This book offers intellectual, historical, sociological, and psychological evidence that the analysis of patriarchy offered by mainstream feminism (including Black feminism) does not yet fully understand the role that homoeroticism, sexual violence, and vulnerability play in the deaths and lives of Black males. Curry challenges how we think of and perceive the conditions that actually affect all Black males.

[more]

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Manthology
Poems on the Male Experience
Craig Crist-Evans
University of Iowa Press, 2006
Why focus an anthology of poems on the male experience when, for centuries, men have pretty much dominated everything from politics to the literary canon? Hasn't everything that can be said about the male experience already been said? This collection proves that the answer is a resounding no.Each of the anthology's ninety-three poems spotlights an individual experience that nonetheless becomes universal. Together poems from ninety-three poets---twenty-six of them female---take on self-doubt, fatherhood, sex, death, relationships, work, war, peace, and a diversity of other topics to form a perceptive and insightful collection. “The idea isn't so much that the poems celebrate men as that they challenge the reader to discover for him or herself what is male about the poem,” says Billy Collins about the collection. Humorous, sad, celebratory, and thoughtful, Manthology gathers a surprising group of poems focused on the almost poignant intensity of the male experience, with its attendant urgencies, confusions, and hilarities.Contributors includeMarvin Bell, Robert Bly, Christopher Buckley, David Clewell, Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, Stuart Dybek, Lynn Emanuel, Dana Gioia, Ray González, Tony Hoagland, David Lehman, Philip Levine, Bret Lott, Campbell McGrath, Naomi Shihab Nye, Maureen Seaton, Betsy Sholl, David St. John, Charles Harper Webb, David Wojahn, and many more
[more]

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Masculinity Besieged?
Issues of Modernity and Male Subjectivity in Chinese Literature of the Late Twentieth Century
Xueping Zhong
Duke University Press, 2000
In Masculinity Besieged? Xueping Zhong looks at Chinese literature and films produced during the 1980s to examine male subjectivities in contemporary China. Reading through a feminist psychoanalytic lens, Zhong argues that understanding the nature of male subjectivities as portrayed in literature and film is crucial to understanding China’s ongoing quest for modernity.
Before the 1990s onslaught of popular culture decentered the role of intellectuals within the nation, they had come to embody Chinese masculinity during the previous decade. The focus on masculinity in literature had become unprecedented in scale and the desire for “real men” began to permeate Chinese popular culture, making icons out of Rambo and Takakura Ken. Stories by Zhang Xianliang and Liu Heng portraying male anxiety about masculine sexuality are employed by Zhong to show how “marginal” males negotiate their sexual identities in relation to both women and the state. Looking at writers popular among not only the well-educated but also the working and middle classes, she discusses works by Han Shaogong, Yu Hua, and Wang Shuo and examines instances of self-loathing male voices, particularly as they are articulated in Mo Yan’s well-known work Red Sorghum. In her last chapter Zhong examines “roots literature,” which speaks of the desire to create strong men as a part of the effort to create a geopolitically strong Chinese nation. In an afterword, Zhong situates her study in the context of the 1990s.
This book will be welcomed by scholars of Chinese cultural studies, as well as in literary and gender studies.
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Mask Off
Masculinity Redefined
JJ Bola
Pluto Press, 2019
"A vital addition to books on masculinity. It is opening up conversations, whilst offering guidance towards joyful, emotional, non-violent masculinities"—Bad Form
 
From Blurred Lines to gang signs, how does society cause toxic masculinity? How do we define masculinity today? Dominating the world around us, seen in deadly gun violence, higher male suicide rates, and the incels on Reddit, masculinity is perceived to be “toxic,” “fragile,” and “in crisis.” What does that mean for society, and how can we understand it?
 
In Mask Off, JJ Bola exposes masculinity as a performance that men are socially conditioned into. Using examples of non-Western cultural traditions, music, and sport, he shines light on historical narratives around manhood, debunking popular myths along the way. He explores how LGBTQ men, men of color, and male refugees experience masculinity in diverse ways, revealing its fluidity, how it's strengthened and weakened by different political contexts, such as the patriarchy or the far-right, and perceived differently by those around them. Chapters include:
 
*Real men: Myths of masculinity
*What’s love got to do with it? Love, sex and consent
*This is a man’s world: The politics of masculinity, the masculinity of politics
*If I were a boy: Gender equality and feminism
*Slamdunk at the funk: masculinity and sport
 
At the heart of love and sex, the political stage, competitive sports, gang culture, and mental health issues, lies masculinity: Mask Off is an urgent call to unravel masculinity and redefine it. "What do our own perceptions of masculinity and the wider cultural norms around it mean for young boys growing up into manhood? What do they mean for young men and older men grappling with a society that encourages them to hold on to the anger that destroys the lives of women as well as the lives of many men?" Those questions and more offer food for thought for every man.       
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Men and Popular Music in Algeria
The Social Significance of Raï
By Marc Schade-Poulsen
University of Texas Press, 1999

Raï music is often called the voice of the voiceless in Algeria, a society currently swept by tragic conflict. Raï is the voice of Algerian men, young men caught between generations and classes, in political strife, and in economic inequality. In a ground-breaking study, anthropologist Marc Schade-Poulsen uses this popular music genre as a lens through which he views Algerian society, particularly male society. He situates raï within Algerian family life, moral codes, and broader power relations.

Schade-Poulsen did his research in the 1990s, in clubs, recording studios, at weddings, and with street musicians. He describes the history of raï, which emerged in the late 1970s and spread throughout North Africa at the same time the Islamist movement was growing to become the most potent socio-political movement in Algeria.

Outsiders consider raï to be Western in origin, but Schade-Poulsen shows its Islamic roots as well. The musicians do use Western instruments, but the music itself mixes Algerian popular songs and rhythms with the beat of American disco, Egyptian modalities, Moroccan wedding tunes, and the songs of Julio Iglesias. The lyrics deal with male-female relationships but also with generational relationships and the problems of youth, as they struggle to find a place in a conflicted society.

The study, in its innovative approach to music as a template of society, helps the reader understand the two major movements among today's Algerian youth: one toward the mosque and the other toward the West.

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Men Can
The Changing Image and Reality of Fatherhood in America
Donald N.S. Unger
Temple University Press, 2010

Fatherhood is evolving in America. Stay at home dads are becoming more commonplace; men are becoming more visible in domestic, caregiving activities. In Men Can, writer, teacher, and father Donald Unger uses his personal experiences, stories of real-life families, as well as representations of fathers in film, on television, and in advertising, to illuminate the role of men in the increasingly fluid domestic sphere.

In thoughtful interviews, Don Unger tells the stories of a half dozen families—of varied ethnicities, geographical locations, and philosophical orientations—in which fathers are either primary or equally sharing parents, personalizing what is changing in how Americans care for their children. These stories are complemented by a discussion of how the language of parenting has evolved and how media representations of fathers have shifted over several decades.   

Men Can shows how real change can take place when families divide up domestic labor on a gender-neutral basis.  The families whose stories he tells offer insights into the struggles of—and opportunities for—men caring for children. When it comes to taking up the responsibility of parenting, his argument, ultimately, is in favor of respecting personal choices and individual differences, crediting and supporting functional families, rather than trying to force every household into a one-size-fits-all mold. 

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Men in a Developing Society
Geographic and Social Mobility in Monterrey, Mexico
By Jorge Balán, Harley L. Browning, and Elizabeth Jelin
University of Texas Press, 1973

The central objective of Men in a Developing Society is to show, as concretely as possible, how men experience a period of rapid economic development, particularly in the areas of migration, occupational mobility, and status attainment. It is based mainly on a sample of 1,640 men in Monterrey, Mexico, a large and rapidly growing manufacturing metropolis in northern Mexico with much in-migration, and a sample of 380 men in Cedral, San Luis Potosí, a small, economically depressed community with high rates of out-migration, much of it to Monterrey.

The study of men in Monterrey is perhaps the most thorough one yet conducted of geographic and social mobility in a Latin American city. In part, this was possible because of the innovation of collecting complete life histories that record what each man was doing for any given year in the lay areas of residence, education, family formation, and work. These data permit the effective use of the concepts of life cycle and cohort analysis in the interpretation of the men's geographic and occupational mobility.

The experience of the Monterrey men in adapting to the varied changes required by their mobility was not found to be as difficult as is often indicated in the social science literature on the consequences of economic development. In part this may be because Monterrey, in comparison with most other Latin American cities, has been unusually successful in its economic growth. The impact of migration also was lessened because most of the men had visited the city prior to moving there and many had friends or relatives in the city.

The age of the migrants upon arrival in Monterrey made a significant difference in subsequent occupational mobility; those of nonfarm background who arrived before age 25 fared better than natives of the city. Although it appears that status inheritance in Monterrey is somewhat higher than in industrialized countries, a considerable proportion of men do move up the occupational ladder. And perhaps as important, the Monterrey men, whether or not they themselves are moving up, perceive the society as an open one.

The very success of Monterrey's development created conditions that would bring about changes in the educational, economic, and cultural expectations of its inhabitants. Thus, paradoxically, the general satisfaction and the lack of group and class conflict in Monterrey over the previous decades may well have given rise to future dissatisfaction and conflict.

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Men in Black
John Harvey
University of Chicago Press, 1995
Mr. Pink:
"Why can't we pick out our own color?"

Joe:
"I tried that once, it don't work. You get four guys fighting over who's gonna be Mr. Black."

—Quentin Tarantino, Reservoir Dogs

Men's clothes went black in the nineteenth century. Dickens, Ruskin and Baudelaire all asked why it was, in an age of supreme wealth and power, that men wanted to dress as if going to a funeral. The answer is in this history of the color black. Over the last 1000 years there have been successive expansions in the wearing of black—from the Church to the Court, from the Court to the merchant class. Though black as fashion was often smart and elegant, its growth as a cultural marker was fed by several currents in Europe's history—in politics, asceticism, religious warfare. Only in the nineteenth century, however, did black fully come into its own as fashion, the most telling witnesses constantly saw connections between the taste for black and the forms of constraint with which European society regimented itself.

Concentrating on the general shift away from color that began around 1800, Harvey traces the transition to black from the court of Burgundy in the 15th century, through 16th-century Venice, 17th-century Spain and the Netherlands. He uses paintings from Van Eyck and Degas to Francis Bacon, religious art, period lithographs, wood engravings, costume books, newsphotos, movie stills and related sources in his compelling study of the meaning of color and clothes.

Although in the twentieth century tastes have moved toward new colors, black has retained its authority as well as its associations with strength and cruelty. At the same time black is still smart, and fashion keeps returning to black. It is, perhaps, the color that has come to acquire the greatest, most significant range of meaning in history.
[more]

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Men in Black
John Harvey
Reaktion Books, 1995
Mr. Pink:
"Why can't we pick out our own color?"

Joe:
"I tried that once, it don't work. You get four guys fighting over who's gonna be Mr. Black."

—Quentin Tarantino, Reservoir Dogs

Men's clothes went black in the nineteenth century. Dickens, Ruskin and Baudelaire all asked why it was, in an age of supreme wealth and power, that men wanted to dress as if going to a funeral. The answer is in this history of the color black. Over the last 1000 years there have been successive expansions in the wearing of black—from the Church to the Court, from the Court to the merchant class. Though black as fashion was often smart and elegant, its growth as a cultural marker was fed by several currents in Europe's history—in politics, asceticism, religious warfare. Only in the nineteenth century, however, did black fully come into its own as fashion, the most telling witnesses constantly saw connections between the taste for black and the forms of constraint with which European society regimented itself.

Concentrating on the general shift away from color that began around 1800, Harvey traces the transition to black from the court of Burgundy in the 15th century, through 16th-century Venice, 17th-century Spain and the Netherlands. He uses paintings from Van Eyck and Degas to Francis Bacon, religious art, period lithographs, wood engravings, costume books, newsphotos, movie stills and related sources in his compelling study of the meaning of color and clothes.

Although in the twentieth century tastes have moved toward new colors, black has retained its authority as well as its associations with strength and cruelty. At the same time black is still smart, and fashion keeps returning to black. It is, perhaps, the color that has come to acquire the greatest, most significant range of meaning in history.
[more]

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Men in Place
Trans Masculinity, Race, and Sexuality in America
Miriam J. Abelson
University of Minnesota Press, 2019

Daring new theories of masculinity, built from a large and geographically diverse interview study of transgender men
 

American masculinity is being critiqued, questioned, and reinterpreted for a new era. In Men in Place Miriam J. Abelson makes an original contribution to this conversation through in-depth interviews with trans men in the U.S. West, Southeast, and Midwest, showing how the places and spaces men inhabit are fundamental to their experiences of race, sexuality, and gender.

Men in Place explores the shifting meanings of being a man across cities and in rural areas. Here Abelson develops the insight that individual men do not have one way to be masculine—rather, their ways of being men shift between different spaces and places. She reveals a widespread version of masculinity that might be summed up as “strong when I need to be, soft when I need to be,” using the experiences of trans men to highlight the fundamental construction of manhood for all men.

With an eye to how societal institutions promote homophobia, transphobia, and racism, Men in Place argues that race and sexuality fundamentally shape safety for men, particularly in rural spaces, and helps us to better understand the ways that gender is created and enforced.

[more]

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Men without Women
Masculinity and Revolution in Russian Fiction, 1917–1929
Eliot Borenstein
Duke University Press, 2001
In Men without Women Eliot Borenstein examines the literature of the early Soviet period to shed new light on the iconic Russian concept of comradeship. By analyzing a variety of Russian writers who span the ideological spectrum, Borenstein provides an illuminating reading of the construction of masculinity in Soviet culture. In each example he identifies the replacement of blood ties with ideology and the creation of a social order in which the family has been supplanted by the collective.
In such works as Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel, Envy by Yuri Olesha, and Chevengur by Andrei Platonov women are either absent or transformed into bodiless abstractions. Their absence, claims Borenstein, reflects the masculine values that are hallmarks of the post-revolutionary era: production rather than reproduction, participation in history rather than domestic ahistoricity, heavy industry, construction, and struggle. He identifies in this literature groups of “men without women” replacing the family, even while the metaphor of family is used as an organizing feature of their recurring revolutionary missions. With the passage of time, these characters’ relationships—just as those in the Soviet culture of the time—begin to resemble the family structure that was originally rejected and destroyed, with one important exception: the new “families” had no place for women. According to Borenstein, this masculinist myth found its most congenial audience during the early period of communism, but its hostility to women and family ties could not survive into the Stalinist era when women, home, and family were no longer seen as antithetical to socialism.
Drawing on the theory and writings of Levi-Strauss, Girard, Sedgwick, and others, Men Without Women will be of interest to students and scholars of Slavic literature and history as well as specialists in literary theory and gender studies.
[more]

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Misframing Men
The Politics of Contemporary Masculinities
Kimmel, Michael
Rutgers University Press, 2010

This past decade has witnessed an extraordinary transformation in men's lives. For years, wave after wave of the women's movement, a movement that reshaped every aspect of American life, produced nary a ripple among men. But suddenly men are in the spotlight.

Yet, the public discussions often seem strained, silly, and sometimes flat-out wrong. The spotlight itself seems to obscure as much as it illuminates. Old tired clichTs about men's resistance to romantic commitment or reluctance to be led to the marriage altar seem perennially recyclable in advice books and on TV talk shows, but these days the laughter feels more forced, the defensiveness more pronounced. Pop biologists avoid careful confrontation with serious scientific research in their quest to find anatomical or evolutionary bases for promiscuity or porn addiction, hoping that by fiat, one can pronounce that "boys will be boys" and render it more than a flaccid tautology. And political pundits wring their hands about the feminization of American manhood, as if gender equality has neutered these formerly proud studs. Misframing Men, a collection of Michael Kimmel's commentaries on contemporary debates about masculinity, argues that the media have largely misframed this debate.

Kimmel, among the world's best-known scholars in gender studies, discusses political moments such as the Virginia Military Institute and Citadel cases that reached the Supreme Court (he participated as expert witness for the Justice Department) along with Promise Keepers rallies, mythopoetic gatherings, and white supremacists. He takes on antifeminists as the real male bashers, questions the unsubstantiated assertions that men suffer from domestic violence to the same degree as women, and examines the claims made by those who want to rescue boys from the "misandrous" reforms initiated by feminism.

In writings both solidly grounded and forcefully argued, Kimmel pushes the boundaries of today's modern conversation about men and masculinity.
[more]

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Mostly Straight
Sexual Fluidity among Men
Ritch C. Savin-Williams
Harvard University Press, 2017

Most of us assume that sexuality is fixed: either you’re straight, gay, or bisexual. Yet an increasing number of young men today say that those categories are too rigid. They are, they insist, “mostly straight.” They’re straight, but they feel a slight but enduring romantic or sexual desire for men. To the uninitiated, this may not make sense. How can a man be “mostly” straight? Ritch Savin-Williams introduces us to this new world by bringing us the stories of young men who consider themselves to be mostly straight or sexually fluid. By hearing about their lives, we discover a radically new way of understanding sexual and romantic development that upends what we thought we knew about men.

Today there are more mostly straight young men than there are gay and bisexual young men combined. Based on cutting-edge research, Savin-Williams explores the personal stories of forty young men to help us understand the biological and psychological factors that led them to become mostly straight and the cultural forces that are loosening the sexual bind that many boys and young men experience. These young men tell us how their lives have been influenced by their “drop of gayness,” from their earliest sexual memories and crushes to their sexual behavior as teenagers and their relationships as young adults. Mostly Straight shows us how these young men are forging a new personal identity that confounds both traditional ideas and conventional scientific opinion.

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Muscle Works
Physical Culture and the Performance of Masculinity
Broderick D. V. Chow
Northwestern University Press, 2024
Men’s fitness as a performancefrom nineteenth-century theatrical exhibitions to health and wellness practices today
 
This book recounts the story of fitness culture from its beginnings as spectacles of strongmen, weightlifters, acrobats, and wrestlers to its legitimization in the twentieth-century in the form of competitive sports and health and wellness practices. Broderick D. V. Chow shows how these modes of display contribute to the construction and deconstruction of definitions of masculinity.
 
Attending to its theatrical origins, Chow argues for a more nuanced understanding of fitness culture, one informed by the legacies of self-described Strongest Man in the World Eugen Sandow and the history of fakery in strongman performance; the philosophy of weightlifter George Hackenschmidt and the performances of martial artist Bruce Lee; and the intersections of fatigue, resistance training, and whiteness. Muscle Works: Physical Culture and the Performance of Masculinity moves beyond the gym and across the archive, working out techniques, poses, and performances to consider how, as gendered subjects, we inhabit and make worlds through our bodies.
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National Manhood
Capitalist Citizenship and the Imagined Fraternity of White Men
Dana D. Nelson
Duke University Press, 1998
National Manhood explores the relationship between gender, race, and nation by tracing developing ideals of citizenship in the United States from the Revolutionary War through the 1850s. Through an extensive reading of literary and historical documents, Dana D. Nelson analyzes the social and political articulation of a civic identity centered around the white male and points to a cultural moment in which the theoretical consolidation of white manhood worked to ground, and perhaps even found, the nation.
Using political, scientific, medical, personal, and literary texts ranging from the Federalist papers to the ethnographic work associated with the Lewis and Clark expedition to the medical lectures of early gynecologists, Nelson explores the referential power of white manhood, how and under what conditions it came to stand for the nation, and how it came to be a fraternal articulation of a representative and civic identity in the United States. In examining early exemplary models of national manhood and by tracing its cultural generalization, National Manhood reveals not only how an impossible ideal has helped to form racist and sexist practices, but also how this ideal has simultaneously privileged and oppressed white men, who, in measuring themselves against it, are able to disavow their part in those oppressions.
Historically broad and theoretically informed, National Manhood reaches across disciplines to engage those studying early national culture, race and gender issues, and American history, literature, and culture.


[more]

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Native Men Remade
Gender and Nation in Contemporary Hawai'i
Ty P. Kawika Tengan
Duke University Press, 2008
Many indigenous Hawaiian men have felt profoundly disempowered by the legacies of colonization and by the tourist industry, which, in addition to occupying a great deal of land, promotes a feminized image of Native Hawaiians (evident in the ubiquitous figure of the dancing hula girl). In the 1990s a group of Native men on the island of Maui responded by refashioning and reasserting their masculine identities in a group called the Hale Mua (the “Men’s House”). As a member and an ethnographer, Ty P. Kāwika Tengan analyzes how the group’s mostly middle-aged, middle-class, and mixed-race members assert a warrior masculinity through practices including martial arts, woodcarving, and cultural ceremonies. Some of their practices are heavily influenced by or borrowed from other indigenous Polynesian traditions, including those of the Māori. The men of the Hale Mua enact their refashioned identities as they participate in temple rites, protest marches, public lectures, and cultural fairs.

The sharing of personal stories is an integral part of Hale Mua fellowship, and Tengan’s account is filled with members’ first-person narratives. At the same time, Tengan explains how Hale Mua rituals and practices connect to broader projects of cultural revitalization and Hawaiian nationalism. He brings to light the tensions that mark the group’s efforts to reclaim indigenous masculinity as they arise in debates over nineteenth-century historical source materials and during political and cultural gatherings held in spaces designated as tourist sites. He explores class status anxieties expressed through the sharing of individual life stories, critiques of the Hale Mua registered by Hawaiian women, and challenges the group received in dialogues with other indigenous Polynesians. Native Men Remade is the fascinating story of how gender, culture, class, and personality intersect as a group of indigenous Hawaiian men work to overcome the dislocations of colonial history.

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No More Invisible Man
Race and Gender in Men's Work
Adia Harvey Wingfield
Temple University Press, 2012

The “invisible men” of sociologist Adia Harvey Wingfield’s urgent and timely No More Invisible Man are African American professionals who fall between extremely high status, high-profile black men and the urban underclass. Her compelling interview study considers middle-class, professional black men and the challenges, obstacles, and opportunities they encounter in white male–dominated occupations.

No More Invisible Man chronicles these men’s experiences as a tokenized minority in the workplace to show how issues of power and inequality exist—especially as they relate to promotion, mobility, and developing occupational networks. Wingfield’s intersectional analysis deftly charts the ways that gender, race, and class collectively shape black professional men’s work experiences.

In its examination of men’s interactions with women and other men, as well as men’s performances of masculinity and their emotional demeanors in these jobs, No More Invisible Man extends our understanding of racial- and gender-based dynamics in professional work.

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On Religious Liberty
Roger Williams
Harvard University Press, 2012

Banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his refusal to conform to Puritan religious and social standards, Roger Williams established a haven in Rhode Island for those persecuted in the name of the religious establishment. He conducted a lifelong debate over religious freedom with distinguished figures of the seventeenth century, including Puritan minister John Cotton, Massachusetts governor John Endicott, and the English Parliament.

James Calvin Davis gathers together important selections from Williams’s public and private writings on religious liberty, illustrating how this renegade Puritan radically reinterpreted Christian moral theology and the events of his day in a powerful argument for freedom of conscience and the separation of church and state. For Williams, the enforcement of religious uniformity violated the basic values of Calvinist Christianity and presumed upon God’s authority to speak to the individual conscience. He argued that state coercion was rarely effective, often causing more harm to the church and strife to the social order than did religious pluralism.

This is the first collection of Williams’s writings in forty years reaching beyond his major work, The Bloody Tenent, to include other selections from his public and private writings. This carefully annotated book introduces Williams to a new generation of readers.

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Papa, PhD
Essays on Fatherhood by Men in the Academy
Marotte, Mary Ruth
Rutgers University Press, 2010
It is not easy raising a family and balancing work and personal commitments in academia, regardless of gender. Parents endure the stress of making tenure with the demands of life with children. While women's careers are derailed more often than men's as a result of such competing pressures, fathers, too, experience conflicting feelings about work and home, making parenting ever more challenging.

In Papa, PhD, Mary Ruth Marotte, Paige Martin Reynolds, and Ralph James Savarese bring together a group contributors from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. They are white, black, South Asian, Asian, and Arab. They are gay and straight, married and divorced. They are tenured and untenured, at research-one universities and at community colleges. Some write at the beginning of their careers, others at the end. But, perhaps most important they do not look back-they look forward to new parental and professional synergies as they reflect on what it means to be a father in the academy.

The fathers writing in Papa, PhD seek to expand their children's horizons, giving them the gifts of better topic sentences and a cosmopolitan sensibility. They seriously consider the implications of gender theory and queer theory-even Marxist theory-and make relevant theoretical connections between their work and the less abstract, more pragmatic, world of fathering. What resonates is the astonishing range of forms that fatherhood can take as these dads challenge traditional norms by actively questioning the status quo.
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Race and the Subject of Masculinities
Harry Stecopoulos and Michael Uebel, eds.
Duke University Press, 1997
Although in recent years scholars have explored the cultural construction of masculinity, they have largely ignored the ways in which masculinity intersects with other categories of identity, particularly those of race and ethnicity. The essays in Race and the Subject of Masculinities address this concern and focus on the social construction of masculinity—black, white, ethnic, gay, and straight—in terms of the often complex and dynamic relationships among these inseparable categories.
Discussing a wide range of subjects including the inherent homoeroticism of martial-arts cinema, the relationship between working-class ideologies and Elvis impersonators, the emergence of a gay, black masculine aesthetic in the works of James Van der Zee and Robert Mapplethorpe, and the comedy of Richard Pryor, Race and the Subject of Masculinities provides a variety of opportunities for thinking about how race, sexuality, and "manhood" are reinforced and reconstituted in today’s society. Editors Harry Stecopoulos and Michael Uebel have gathered together essays that make clear how the formation of masculine identity is never as obvious as it might seem to be. Examining personas as varied as Eddie Murphy, Bruce Lee, Tarzan, Malcolm X, and Andre Gidé, these essays draw on feminist critique and queer theory to demonstrate how cross-identification through performance and spectatorship among men of different races and cultural backgrounds has served to redefine masculinity in contemporary culture. By taking seriously the role of race in the making of men, Race and the Subject of Masculinities offers an important challenge to the new studies of masculinity.

Contributors. Herman Beavers, Jonathan Dollimore, Richard Dyer, Robin D. G. Kelly, Christopher Looby, Leerom Medovoi, Eric Lott, Deborah E. McDowell, José E. Muñoz, Harry Stecopoulos, Yvonne Tasker, Michael Uebel, Gayle Wald, Robyn Wiegman

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Racial Castration
Managing Masculinity in Asian America
David L. Eng
Duke University Press, 2001
Racial Castration, the first book to bring together the fields of Asian American studies and psychoanalytic theory, explores the role of sexuality in racial formation and the place of race in sexual identity. David L. Eng examines images—literary, visual, and filmic—that configure past as well as contemporary perceptions of Asian American men as emasculated, homosexualized, or queer.
Eng juxtaposes theortical discussions of Freud, Lacan, and Fanon with critical readings of works by Frank Chin, Maxine Hong Kingston, Lonny Kaneko, David Henry Hwang, Louie Chu, David Wong Louie, Ang Lee, and R. Zamora Linmark. While situating these literary and cultural productions in relation to both psychoanalytic theory and historical events of particular significance for Asian Americans, Eng presents a sustained analysis of dreamwork and photography, the mirror stage and the primal scene, and fetishism and hysteria. In the process, he offers startlingly new interpretations of Asian American masculinity in its connections to immigration exclusion, the building of the transcontinental railroad, the wartime internment of Japanese Americans, multiculturalism, and the model minority myth. After demonstrating the many ways in which Asian American males are haunted and constrained by enduring domestic norms of sexuality and race, Eng analyzes the relationship between Asian American male subjectivity and the larger transnational Asian diaspora. Challenging more conventional understandings of diaspora as organized by race, he instead reconceptualizes it in terms of sexuality and queerness.
[more]

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Reshaping the Work-Family Debate
Joan C. Williams
Harvard University Press, 2008

The United States has the most family-hostile public policy in the developed world. Despite what is often reported, new mothers don’t “opt out” of work. They are pushed out by discriminating and inflexible workplaces. Today’s workplaces continue to idealize the worker who has someone other than parents caring for their children.

Conventional wisdom attributes women’s decision to leave work to their maternal traits and desires. In this thought-provoking book, Joan Williams shows why that view is misguided and how workplace practice disadvantages men—both those who seek to avoid the breadwinner role and those who embrace it—as well as women. Faced with masculine norms that define the workplace, women must play the tomboy or the femme. Both paths result in a gender bias that is exacerbated when the two groups end up pitted against each other. And although work-family issues long have been seen strictly through a gender lens, we ignore class at our peril. The dysfunctional relationship between the professional-managerial class and the white working class must be addressed before real reform can take root.

Contesting the idea that women need to negotiate better within the family, and redefining the notion of success in the workplace, Williams reinvigorates the work-family debate and offers the first steps to making life manageable for all American families.

[more]

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Revising Eternity
27 Latter-day Saint Men Reflect on Modern Relationships
Edited by Holly Welker
University of Illinois Press, 2022
Marriage’s central role in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints distinguishes the faith while simultaneously reflecting widespread American beliefs. But what does Latter-day Saint marriage mean for men? Holly Welker presents a collection of essays exploring this question. The essayists provide insight into challenges involving sexuality, physical and emotional illness, addiction, loss of faith, infidelity, sexual orientation, and other topics. Conversational and heartfelt, the writings reveal the varied experiences of Latter-day Saint marriage against the backdrop of a society transformed by everything from economic issues affecting marriage to evolving ideas about gender.

An insightful exploration of the gap between human realities and engrained ideals, Revising Eternity sheds light on how Latter-day Saint men view and experience marriage today.

[more]

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A Room of His Own
A Literary-Cultural Study of Victorian Clubland
Barbara Black
Ohio University Press, 2012

In nineteenth-century London, a clubbable man was a fortunate man, indeed. The Reform, the Athenaeum, the Travellers, the Carlton, the United Service are just a few of the gentlemen’s clubs that formed the exclusive preserve known as “clubland” in Victorian London—the City of Clubs that arose during the Golden Age of Clubs. Why were these associations for men only such a powerful emergent institution in nineteenth-century London? Distinctly British, how did these single-sex clubs help fashion men, foster a culture of manliness, and assist in the project of nation building? What can elite male affiliative culture tell us about nineteenth-century Britishness?

A Room of His Own sheds light on the mysterious ways of male associational culture as it examines such topics as fraternity, sophistication, nostalgia, social capital, celebrity, gossip, and male professionalism. The story of clubland (and the literature it generated) begins with Britain’s military heroes home from the Napoleonic campaign and quickly turns to Dickens’s and Thackeray’s acrimonious Garrick Club Affair. It takes us to Richard Burton’s curious Cannibal Club and Winston Churchill’s The Other Club; it goes underground to consider Uranian desire and Oscar Wilde’s clubbing and resurfaces to examine the problematics of belonging in Trollope’s novels. The trespass of French socialist Flora Tristan, who cross-dressed her way into the clubs of Pall Mall, provides a brief interlude. London’s clubland—this all-important room of his own—comes to life as Barbara Black explores the literary representations of clubland and the important social and cultural work that this urban site enacts. Our present-day culture of connectivity owes much to nineteenth-century sociability and Victorian networks; clubland reveals to us our own enduring desire to belong, to construct imagined communities, and to affiliate with like-minded comrades.

[more]

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A Room of His Own
A Literary-Cultural Study of Victorian Clubland
Barbara Black
Ohio University Press
In nineteenth-century London, a clubbable man was a fortunate man, indeed. The Reform, the Athenaeum, the Travellers, the Carlton, the United Service are just a few of the gentlemen’s clubs that formed the exclusive preserve known as “clubland” in Victorian London—the City of Clubs that arose during the Golden Age of Clubs. Why were these associations for men only such a powerful emergent institution in nineteenth-century London? Distinctly British, how did these single-sex clubs help fashion men, foster a culture of manliness, and assist in the project of nation-building? What can elite male affiliative culture tell us about nineteenth-century Britishness?

A Room of His Own sheds light on the mysterious ways of male associational culture as it examines such topics as fraternity, sophistication, nostalgia, social capital, celebrity, gossip, and male professionalism. The story of clubland (and the literature it generated) begins with Britain’s military heroes home from the Napoleonic campaign and quickly turns to Dickens’s and Thackeray’s acrimonious Garrick Club Affair. It takes us to Richard Burton’s curious Cannibal Club and Winston Churchill’s The Other Club; it goes underground to consider Uranian desire and Oscar Wilde’s clubbing and resurfaces to examine the problematics of belonging in Trollope’s novels. The trespass of French socialist Flora Tristan, who cross-dressed her way into the clubs of Pall Mall, provides a brief interlude. London’s clubland—this all-important room of his own—comes to life as Barbara Black explores the literary representations of clubland and the important social and cultural work that this urban site enacts. Our present-day culture of connectivity owes much to nineteenth-century sociability and Victorian networks; clubland reveals to us our own enduring desire to belong, to construct imagined communities, and to affiliate with like-minded comrades.
[more]

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Shaping the New Man
Youth Training Regimes in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany
Alessio Ponzio
University of Wisconsin Press, 2017
Despite their undeniable importance, the leaders of the Fascist and Nazi youth organizations have received little attention from historians. In Shaping the New Man, Alessio Ponzio uncovers the largely untold story of the training and education of these crucial protagonists of the Fascist and Nazi regimes, and he examines more broadly the structures, ideologies, rhetoric, and aspirations of youth organizations in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

Ponzio shows how the Italian Fascists' pedagogical practices influenced the origin and evolution of the Hitler Youth. He dissects similarities and differences in the training processes of the youth leaders of the Opera Nazionale Balilla, Gioventù Italiana del Littorio, and Hitlerjugend. And, he explores the transnational institutional interactions and mutual cooperation that flourished between Mussolini's and Hitler's youth organizations in the 1930s and 1940s.

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Shooting from the Hip
Photography, Masculinity, and Postwar America
Patricia Vettel-Becker
University of Minnesota Press, 2005
In Shooting from the Hip, Patricia Vettel-Becker reveals how photography helped to reconstruct and redefine the American idea of masculinity after the traumas of World War II. She argues that from 1945 to 1960 photography became increasingly concerned with restoring the male body and psyche, glorifying traditional masculinity - cowboys, boxers, athletes, military men - while treading carefully in an increasingly homophobic Cold War climate. Examining photojournalism as well as art and fashion photography, Shooting from the Hip finds in the crisp images of postwar photography five models of masculinity - the breadwinner, the action hero, the tough guy, the playboy, and the rebel. Vettel- Becker shows how the professionalization of photography itself was an attempt by male photographers to identify themselves as breadwinners. She goes on to analyze combat photography, exposing its valorization of action, subjugation of the enemy, and the use of the blurred shot to signify credibility. She links street photography - heir to Depression-era social documentary - with hard-boiled crime photography, exemplified in the works of William Klein and Weegee. And sexualized fashion models and their relationships with photographers, such as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, fuel the ideal of the consummate playboy. Finally, Vettel-Becker demonstrates the authentic and sometimes rebellious nature of the male body as presented by sports photographers and others influenced by the Beat generation, including Robert Frank and Bruce Davidson. Taking a wide view of postwar photography, Vettel-Becker presents it as the triumph of a new form of modernist photography, centered on individual expression and the seductive image of the male body, and stimulated by a quest for the existential truth of masculinity.
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Studs, Tools, and the Family Jewels
Metaphors Men Live By
Peter F. Murphy
University of Wisconsin Press, 2001

Peter F. Murphy's purpose in this book is not to shock but rather to educate, provoke discussion, and engender change. Looking at the sexual metaphors that are so pervasive in American culture—jock, tool, shooting blanks, gang bang, and others even more explicit—he argues that men are trapped and damaged by language that constantly intertwines sexuality and friendship with images of war, machinery, sports, and work.
     These metaphors men live by, Murphy contends, reinforce the view that relationships are tactical encounters that must be won, because the alternative is the loss of manhood. The macho language with which men cover their fear of weakness is a way of bonding with other men. The implicit or explicit attacks on women and gay men that underlie this language translate, in their most extreme forms, into actual violence. Murphy also believes, however, that awareness of these metaphorical power plays is the basis for behavioral change: "How we talk about ourselves as men can alter the way we live as men."

[more]

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Superman
The Persistence of an American Icon
Gordon, Ian
Rutgers University Press, 2017
After debuting in 1938, Superman soon became an American icon. But why has he maintained his iconic status for nearly 80 years? And how can he still be an American icon when the country itself has undergone so much change?

Superman: Persistence of an American Icon examines the many iterations of the character in comic books, comic strips, radio series, movie serials, feature films, television shows, animation, toys, and collectibles over the past eight decades. Demonstrating how Superman’s iconic popularity cannot be attributed to any single creator or text, comics expert Ian Gordon embarks on a deeper consideration of cultural mythmaking as a collective and dynamic process. He also outlines the often contentious relationships between the various parties who have contributed to the Superman mythos, including corporate executives, comics writers, artists, nostalgic commentators, and collectors.     

Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of Superman’s appearances in comics and other media, Gordon also digs into comics archives to reveal the prominent role that fans have played in remembering, interpreting, and reimagining Superman’s iconography. Gordon considers how comics, film, and TV producers have taken advantage of fan engagement and nostalgia when selling Superman products. Investigating a character who is equally an icon of American culture, fan culture, and consumer culture, Superman thus offers a provocative analysis of mythmaking in the modern era.

 
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Tough Ain't Enough
New Perspectives on the Films of Clint Eastwood
Friedman, Lester D
Rutgers University Press, 2018
Throughout his lengthy career as both an actor and a director, Clint Eastwood has appeared in virtually every major film genre and, at this point in his career, has emerged as one of America’s most popular, recognizable, and respected filmmakers. He also remains a controversial figure in the political landscape, often characterized as the most prominent conservative voice in mostly liberal Hollywood. At Eastwood’s late age, his critical success as actor and director, his combative willingness to confront serious cultural issues in his films, and his undeniable talent behind the camera all call for a new and comprehensive study that considers and contextualizes his multiple roles, both on and off screen. Tough Ain’t Enough offers readers a series of original essays by prominent cinema scholars that explore the actor-director’s extensive career. The result is a far-reaching and nuanced portrait of one of America’s most prolific and thoughtful filmmakers.  
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Violent Land
David T. Courtwright
Harvard University Press, 1996

This book offers an explosive look at violence in America—why it is so prevalent, and what and who are responsible. David Courtwright takes the long view of his subject, developing the historical pattern of violence and disorder in this country. Where there is violent and disorderly behavior, he shows, there are plenty of men, largely young and single. What began in the mining camp and bunkhouse has simply continued in the urban world of today, where many young, armed, intoxicated, honor-conscious bachelors have reverted to frontier conditions.

Violent Land combines social science with an engrossing narrative that spans and reinterprets the history of violence and social disorder in America. Courtwright focuses on the origins, consequences, and eventual decline of frontier brutality. Though these rough days have passed, he points out that the frontier experience still looms large in our national self-image—and continues to influence the extent and type of violence in America as well as our collective response to it.

Broadly interdisciplinary, looking at the interplay of biological, social, and historical forces behind the dark side of American life, this book offers a disturbing diagnosis of violence in our society.

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Warrior Ways
Explorations in Modern Military Folklore
Eric Eliason and Tad Tuleja
Utah State University Press, 2012

Warrior Ways is one of the first book-length explorations of military folklife, and focuses on the lore produced by modern American warriors, illuminating the ways in which members of the armed services creatively express the complex experience of military life. In short, lively essays, contributors to the volume, all of whom have close personal or professional relationships to the military, examine battlefield talismans, personal narrative (storytelling), “Jody calls” (marching and running cadences), slang, homophobia and transgressive humor, music, and photography, among other cultural expressions.

Military folklore does not remain in an isolated subculture; it reveals our common humanity by delighting, disturbing, infuriating, and inspiring both those deeply invested in and those peripherally touched by military life. Highlighting the contemporary and historical importance of the military in American life, Warrior Ways will be of interest to scholars and students of folklore, anthropology, and popular culture; those involved in veteran services and education; and general readers interested in military culture.
 

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What Makes a Man?
Sex Talk in Beirut and Berlin
Rashid al-Daif and Joachim Helfer. Translated by Ken Seigneurie and Gary Schmidt
University of Texas Press, 2015

In 2003, Lebanese writer Rashid al-Daif spent several weeks in Germany as part of the “West-East Divan” program, a cultural exchange effort meant to improve mutual awareness of German and Middle Eastern cultures. He was paired with German author Joachim Helfer, who then returned the visit to al-Daif in Lebanon. Following their time together, al-Daif published in Arabic a literary reportage of his encounter with Helfer in which he focuses on the German writer’s homosexuality. His frank observations have been variously read as trenchant, naïve, or offensive. In response, Helfer provided an equally frank point-by-point riposte to al-Daif’s text. Together these writers offer a rare exploration of attitudes toward sex, love, and gender across cultural lines. By stretching the limits of both fiction and essay, they highlight the importance of literary sensitivity in understanding the Other.

Rashid al-Daif’s “novelized biography” and Joachim Helfer’s commentary appear for the first time in English translation in What Makes a Man? Sex Talk in Beirut and Berlin. Also included in this volume are essays by specialists in Arabic and German literature that shed light on the discourse around sex between these two authors from different cultural contexts.

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When Cowboys Come Home
Veterans, Authenticity, and Manhood in Post–World War II America
Aaron George
Rutgers University Press, 2024
When Cowboys Come Home: Veterans, Authenticity, and Manhood in Post–World War II America is a cultural and intellectual history of the 1950s that argues that World War II led to a breakdown of traditional markers of manhood and opened space for veterans to reimagine what masculinity could mean. One particularly important strand of thought, which influenced later anxieties over “other-direction” and “conformity,” argued that masculinity was not defined by traits like bravery, stoicism, and competitiveness but instead by authenticity, shared camaraderie, and emotional honesty. To elucidate this challenge to traditional “frontiersman” masculinity, Aaron George presents three intellectual biographies of important veterans who became writers after the war: James Jones, the writer of the monumentally important war novel From Here to Eternity; Stewart Stern, one of the most important screenwriters of the fifties and sixties, including for Rebel without a Cause; and Edward Field, a bohemian poet who used poetry to explore his love for other men. Through their lives, George shows how wartime disabused men of the notion that war was inherently a brave or heroic enterprise and how the alienation they felt upon their return led them to value the authentic connections they made with other men during the war.
 
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front cover of White Guys on Campus
White Guys on Campus
Racism, White Immunity, and the Myth of "Post-Racial" Higher Education
Cabrera, Nolan L
Rutgers University Press, 2019
Winner of the 2019 AERA Division J Outstanding Publication Award and the 2019 ASHE Outstanding Book Award

On April 22, 2015, Boston University professor Saida Grundy set off a Twitter storm with her provocative question: “Why is white America so reluctant to identify white college males as a problem population?” White Guys on Campus is a critical examination of race in higher education, centering Whiteness, in an effort to unveil the frequently unconscious habits of racism among White male undergraduates. Nolan L. Cabrera moves beyond the “few bad apples” frame of contemporary racism, and explores the structures, policies, ideologies, and experiences that allow racism to flourish. This book details many of the contours of contemporary, systemic racism, while engaging the possibility of White students to participate in anti-racism. Ultimately, White Guys on Campus calls upon institutions of higher education to be sites of social transformation instead of reinforcing systemic racism, while creating a platform to engage and challenge the public discourse of “post- racialism.” 
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front cover of White Men Aren't
White Men Aren't
Thomas DiPiero
Duke University Press, 2002
Psychoanalytic theory has traditionally taken sexual difference to be the fundamental organizing principle of human subjectivity. White Men Aren’t contests that assumption, arguing that other forms of difference—particularly race—are equally important to the formation of identity. Thomas DiPiero shows how whiteness and masculinity respond to various, complex cultural phenomena through a process akin to hysteria and how differences traditionally termed “racial” organize psychic, social, and political life as thoroughly as sexual difference does. White masculinity is fraught with anxiety, according to DiPiero, because it hinges on the unstable construction of white men’s cultural hegemony. White men must always struggle against the loss of position and the fear of insufficiency—against the specter of what they are not.

Drawing on the writings of Freud, Lacan, Butler, Foucault, and Kaja Silverman, as well as on biology, anthropology, and legal sources, Thomas DiPiero contends that psychoanalytic theory has not only failed to account for the role of race in structuring identity, it has in many ways deliberately ignored it. Reading a wide variety of texts—from classical works such as Oedipus Rex and The Iliad to contemporary films including Boyz 'n' the Hood and Grand Canyon—DiPiero reveals how the anxiety of white masculine identity pervades a surprising range of Western thought, including such ostensibly race-neutral phenomena as Englightenment forms of reason.

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front cover of Writing through Boyhood in the Long Eighteenth Century
Writing through Boyhood in the Long Eighteenth Century
Age, Gender, and Work
Chantel Lavoie
University of Delaware Press, 2024
Writing through Boyhood in the Long Eighteenth Century explores how boyhood was constructed in different creative spaces that reflected the lived experience of young boys through the long eighteenth century—not simply in children’s literature but in novels, poetry, medical advice, criminal broadsides, and automaton exhibitions. The chapters encompass such rituals as breeching, learning to read and write, and going to school. They also consider the lives of boys such as chimney sweeps and convicted criminals, whose bodily labor was considered their only value and who often did not live beyond boyhood. Defined by a variety of tasks, expectations, and objectifications, boys—real, imagined, and sometimes both—were subject to the control of their elders and were used as tools in the cause of civil society, commerce, and empire. This book argues that boys in the long eighteenth century constituted a particular kind of currency, both valuable and expendable—valuable because of gender, expendable because of youth. 
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