University of Kent, Canterbury, April 22 – 23, 2016
Deadline: Dec 20, 2015
Masculinity and the Metropolis
This interdisciplinary conference, hosted by the University of Kent,
takes as its starting point the range of complex and contradictory
engagements between masculinity and the developing metropolis since the
beginning of the twentieth century. Throughout this period the
metropolis maintained a paradoxical status as a place of liberation and
possibility, but simultaneously as one of alienation, sin, and
oppression. What do responses to the modern city in visual art, film,
and literature tell us about masculinity as it both asserts itself and
registers its own anxieties, and subsequent representations of the
city? In what ways do these contrasting positive and negative
conditions, which encouraged complex responses, fit within the
framework of masculinity?
In the wake of industrialization artistic reactions to modern urbanity
were spurred on by the rapid growth of cities and the transition from
rural to metropolitan living. This caused socio-cultural changes and a
diverse range of masculinities to develop within the metropolis in
terms of race, class, and sexualities. How has masculinity been
visualized with the construction of this modern cityscape and ideas of
the urban? And later in the 20th Century, how did artists registering
with ideas of deindustrialization or feminist and queer art forms
affect or approach theories of masculinity and the urban? Can we
construct an overarching lineage on this relationship? As one starting
point, the so-called “crisis of masculinity”, and the way it is
represented in various media, can be connected in interesting ways to
the rise of the metropolis. This conference will bring together
scholars from varying fields in order to begin a dialogue regarding the
way theories of masculinity and the metropolis have developed in
tandem, charting their evolution from the beginning of the 20th Century
to the present day. Scholars with diverse interests and approaches to
this broad subject are welcome with papers concerning various media
within the 20th and 21st centuries.
Examples of subjects invited for submission include, but are in no way
– Representations of the male and masculinity in metropolitan society
within literature, film, and fine art. Contributions from theatre,
and music are also welcome.
– Male as artist or witness to the evolving physical cityscape
– Modern and contemporary responses to 19th Century representations of
industrialisation and the urban / de-industrialization and the
changing nature of the urban and the masculine
– The metropolis as a milieu of capitalist oppression, and how this can
be related to masculinity
– Urban photography and the metropolitan male identity
– Masculine national identities within the cityscape
– Masculinity and the nocturnal city
– The modern or contemporary flâneur
– Cityscape planning and the organization of male spaces
– Destruction of the city and the crisis of masculinity
– The male Superhero
– Masculinities and sexualities within the metropolis
– Depictions of the urban male and race
– The relationship of masculinity to musical sub-cultures / the protest
song and music as social commentary
– Feminist, gay, and / or trans artistic reactions to masculinity and
– Masculinity and dramatic performance within the metropolis
Dr. Deborah Longworth, University of Birmingham
Dr. Hamilton Carroll, University of Leeds
Dr. Gabriel Koureas, Birkbeck, University of London
We invite submissions of short abstracts (300 words) accompanied by a
brief biography (100 words). The time slot for presentations is 20
minutes with a 10 minute session for questions at the end of each panel.
Please send your abstract as an attachment (.pdf or .doc) to:
The subject of the email should contain the words: “Masculinity and the
The body of the email should include author(s) name, affiliation,
abstract title and the email address you would like us to use to
communicate with you.
Deadline for submissions: 20 December 2015.
Notification of acceptance/non-acceptance: 26 January 2016.
Postgraduate students / University of Kent Staff and Students: £10
Other researchers: £20
Registration will be required prior to the conference. Registration
opens on the 1st of March 2016. Details on how to register will follow
in due course.
James Finch, History of Art
Hannah Huxley, Centre for American Studies
Sara Janssen, Film
Margaret Schmitz, History of Art
With a special thanks to our sponsors: The University of Kent’s History
of Art and Visual Cultures Research Centre, Aesthetics Research Centre
and the Centre for Film and Media Research.
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