Masculine Identities
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students
Department: Humanities
Course Number: NLIT 3392
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
This course examines the variety of masculine identities, the long history of changing definitions of what it means "to be a man." We trace the warrior ideal from the Homeric epics through Arthurian tales to current antiheroic representations of men at war. We also examine the complex history of same-sex relations from Plato to 19th-century passionate friendships to the varied styles of modern gay identities. Hemingway's writing evokes a powerful masculine ideal as well as its discontents. Since masculinity is shaped by ethnicity, the course considers the construction of masculine identities in African-American, Jewish, and Asian men. We also look at the changing constructions of the male body, examine visual artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe, consider the notion of female masculinity, read current gender theory about masculinities, and discuss such film genres as the buddy film, the western, and the muscle film. Students present oral reports on styles of contemporary masculinity.
Course Open to: Degree Students