Transnational Masculinities

Convenors: Dr Connor Doak and Dr Bradley Stephens (Modern Languages)

Our 2016/7 workshop series, ‘Transnational Masculinities’, puts the question of how masculinity travels across borders at the heart of our research agenda. In so doing, we respond to the call of Raewyn Connell, a leader in the field, who challenged us to go beyond typological approaches that explore how masculinity functions in specific societies when she visited Bristol in 2015. Connell urged the academic community to focus on the peculiar dynamism of masculinity, its ability to reproduce itself historically and to travel across geographical borders. When we speak of masculinity crossing borders, we refer in the first instance to borders between sovereign countries: several researchers in our group are interested in how masculinity factors into issues such as migration, refugees, and security. Others investigate issues around masculinity and transculturation: that is, how masculinity travels in cultural exports that cross borders (e.g. the Victorian novel or Japanese anime). Still others explore the infringement of borders through war and occupation reshapes masculinity. Yet there also exist less tangible borders that masculinity scholars traverse, as we negotiate the divide between theory and practice and unpack the relationship between culture and lived experience. Our group seeks to bridge the disciplinary divide between social sciences approaches to masculinity (typically more structuralist and empirical, following Connell) and arts/humanities approaches (more poststructuralist and deconstructionist, following Judith Butler).

Our events in 2017 include:

Performing Masculinity

Monday 23rd January, 1pm—4pm

Verdon-Smith Room, Royal Fort House

Our first research workshop brings together specialists in English, Theatre, and film and television studies to explore how masculinity is performed on stage and screen. Featuring: Dr Ruth Heholt (English, Falmouth), Mr Nick Havergal (PhD student in Theatre, Bristol), Dr Eleanor Rycroft (Theatre, Bristol), Dr Enrico Biasin (Italian, Bristol), and Prof Andrew Spicer (Cultural Production, UWE). More information is available here.


Why Masculinity Matters

Thursday 2nd February, 5.15pm—7pm

Pugsley Lecture Theatre, Queen’s Building

Why Masculinity Matters is a town-hall style event aimed at students with a passion for gender issues. It is organized in collaboration with Consented magazine. The panel will include Meenakshi Bala (Medicine student, Bristol; Gal-Dem magazine subeditor), Natalie Jester (PhD student in Sociology, Bristol), Dr Patricia Neville (Social Sciences, Bristol), Amit Singh (Co-founder of Consented magazine), and Dr Bradley Stephens (French, Bristol). Chaired by Mike Pope (Co-founder of Consented). More information is available here. Unfortunately there are no tickets remaining for this event.


Inclusive Masculinity

Keynote Lecture by Prof Eric Anderson

Thursday 30th March, 5.15pm—7pm

Lecture Theatre 3, Arts Complex, 17 Woodland Road

Eric Anderson is Professor of Sport, Masculinities & Sexualities at the University of Winchester. A leading voice in masculinity studies, he has published dozens of journal articles and several books on the topic, including the influential Inclusive Masculinity: The Changing Nature of Masculinities (2009).

At this keynote lecture, Prof Anderson will elaborate his theory of ’inclusive masculinity’. His research demonstrates that young, straight males are kissing, cuddling and loving each other in ways that previous generations of British and American men did not. He highlights that alongside decreasing homophobia comes increased tactility between men, and a demise of heterosexual boundaries. For example, his research shows a willingness on the part of straight males to engage in their own anal eroticism; the proliferation of bromances, in which men value their same-sex love as much or more than their girlfriends; and the inclusivity of gay men in their physical behaviours and emotional relationships.

This lecture will be of interest to everybody from undergraduate students to university staff.


Institutions of Masculinity

Tuesday 9th May, 1pm—4pm

Verdon-Smith Room, Royal Fort House

This research workshop asks how masculinity is performed, perpetuated and challenged through such institutions as schools, the legal system, the  medical profession, and the workplace.  Featuring: Dr Victoria Basham (IR, Cardiff); Dr Ali Haggett (History, Exeter); Prof Richard Collier (Law, Newcastle). More information will follow shortly.


Beyond Putin: Masculinity in Russia & Eastern Europe

Monday 19th June, 2.15pm—4pm

Verdon-Smith Room, Royal Fort House

Beyond Putin goes beyond the clichés about Russia’s President to offer a more grounded, historical exploration of how masculinity operates in Russian history and visual culture, as well as the Balkans today. This research workshop features: Dr Catherine Baker (History, Hull); Prof David Gillespie (Russian, Bath, Emeritus); Dr Claire McCallum (History, Exeter).

More information will follow shortly.


Masculinity and Power

Friday 30th June, 2.15pm—4pm

Verdon-Smith Room, Royal Fort House

Our final workshop brings together scholars working on the relationship between masculinity and power in the fields of politics and international relations. Featuring: Prof Marysia Zalewski (IR, Cardiff), Dr Sarah Bulmer (Politics, Exeter), and Dr Rahul Rao (Politics, SOAS). More information will follow shortly. 


This IAS workshop has led to the foundation of MMICS: The Men & Masculinities in Culture & Society Research Network, an interdisciplinary community of academics interested in critical masculinity research. Currently around 80 researchers are involved, mostly from the south-west of England and Wales, but increasingly reaching across the UK and beyond. MMICS welcomes new members; please contact or if you wish to join. You can also follow us on our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.