Although there is a growing body of scholarly literature focusing on theories of masculinity in the social sciences, attention to the construction of masculinities remains underrepresented across the arts and humanities, despite feminist scholarship being a well-established field. For example, while R.W.Connell’s concept of hegemonic masculinities (1995) is a mainstay of scholarship in the social sciences, it rarely surfaces in a discipline such as literary studies. This conference aims to redress this imbalance by asserting the value of investigating and exploring constructions of masculinity in the arts and humanities. In particular, we argue that masculinity becomes particularly pressing when considering the history and construction of nationhood and citizenship. Masculinity haunts the work of theorists of nationhood as varied as Homi Bhabha, Benedict Anderson and Eric Hobsbawm, yet has rarely been investigated explicitly in the arts and humanities, although there are signs that this is beginning to happen. This event aims to bring together researchers from across the UK and beyond working in the intersections between masculinity and discourses of the nation and citizenship. It will interrogate the way that masculinity has been, and still is, constructed as invisible or un-gendered, as well as examining essentialist assumptions. We hope to encourage both the academic community and the public to consider how masculinities are constructed in the period 1750-1945. We invite 250 word proposals for 20 minute papers.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The role of group identities (e.g. Boy Scouts) in nation-formation
  • Masculinity and warfare
  • The role of the Other in creating paradigms of masculinity
  • Representations of men and/or masculinity in literature
  • Queer theory and theories of sexuality
  • Visual and performative representations e.g. propaganda and satirical maps
  • The male body in discourses of nation

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Marie Cecilie Stern-Peltz

Ph.D. Candidate, English Literature
Newcastle University
Coming of (the) Age: Youth, History and the First World War in Contemporary Culture