It is something of a trope that masculinity is always in crisis. But since the political turbulence of 2016 that crisis has become writ large in the politics of the global north. Whilst great political progress has been made in the latter half of the twentieth century, the ideas and forces unleashed threaten to undermine many of these achievements. A new generation of quasi-autocratic ‘strong men’ have taken charge of many of the world’s most powerful countries, presenting a model of neo-traditionalist masculinity recently branded by the American Psychological Association as explicitly pathological. In the digital realm the ‘Manosphere’ and the ‘intellectual dark web’ present a space for young men who proclaim their alienation from and rejection by mainstream society, sometimes with tragically violent consequences. At the same time, the emergence of wider forms of political and social expression create provocative new conceptions of what it means - or can mean - to identify as male.
There is a challenging, multi-directional tension between patriarchally afforded male privilege, the call to listen as an ally and also the need for judiciously exercised political agency. In this conference we wish to ask whether masculinity should be thought of as irredeemably toxic or pathological in character? And if not what might an alternative vision of maleness look like and on which – and whose – terms can it be formulated? This is a conference to talk openly, compassionately and critically about masculinity and its possibilities.
We invite academics and students of any discipline to explore these issues in this one day conference at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) in central London on Thursday 6th June 2019.
For details on registration and abstract submission please see the relevant pages above. Further information about the structure of the conference itself will be sent to conference guests closer to the time.
For the conference website, and abstract submissions, go to https://sites.google.com/view/post-patriarchal-masculinities/home