Critical Masculinities (May 2017)


Critical Masculinities (May 2017)


"Hegemonic Masculinity" and the Rise of Donald Trump

Is masculinity currently in crisis? What about men, are they in crisis? Has feminism, post-industrialization, or globalization put an end the reign of “real men” in America? What is a “real man,” anyway?

Photo credit Nikko


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Mondays, May 1 - 29th, 2017 (5 sessions) || 7:00-8:30pm
Hatch Innovation || 2420 NE Sandy
Tuition: $135 || 10 Students min; 25 max

Taught by Dr. Lisa Knisely

If you're interested in the role of power and politics in our daily lives or you want a crash course in the study of gender, this course is for you. In this class, we’ll take Donald Trump’s recent rise as our departure point for examining the concept of “hegemonic masculinity" – a set of cultural norms, beliefs, and everyday practices that operate in concert to sustain men’s collective socioeconomic power and dominance over women. In particular, we'll focus on the idea of "aggrieved entitlement" as the contemporary face of American masculinity while thinking about how factors such as race, class, and sexuality nuance masculinities as ideals, lived embodiments, and gendered performances. We'll also discuss resistant and queer alternatives to hegemonic masculinity, as well as men’s participation in feminist movements.

Texts for this class will include both popular and academic writing and several films. Students should enroll in the course prepared to watch and read before each class meeting. A willingness to wrestle with dense theoretical language and a desire to participate in discussions on contemporary social issues are recommended.

Week One: Gender Performativity - Introduction to contemporary gender theory and some of its key terms and ideas with a focus on gender performativity.

Week Two: Hegemonic Masculinity - What is the idea of hegemony and what does it have to do with masculinity? Is hegemonic masculinity a useful way of thinking about gendered power?

Week Three: Angry White Men - Examining “aggrieved entitlement” and misogyny as complementary political forces.  

Week Four: “She Made Me Do It” - Thinking through the roots of men’s violence in Western liberalism via Nietzsche.

Week Five: Embodying Counter-Hegemonic Masculinities at the Intersections - Thinking about non-ideal/non-normative masculinities as resources to counter hegemonic masculinity.

Dr. Lisa C. Knisely earned her bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree in women's, gender, and sexuality studies with a scholarly focus on Continental feminist ethics and democratic theory. She has taught at The University of Arizona, Emory University, Knox College, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art, as well as working as a freelance writer and editor for publications such as philoSOPHIA, Hypatia, Bitch, Paste, and Render."