Masculinity studies emerged in the 70s but have become more generalized in the last twenty years, after Connell’s famous Masculinities and her theorization of hegemonic masculinity. However, they are still scarce within social sciences and in gender studies in particular, which have mainly sought to address women’s absence from the canon and to uncover power relations in gender relations.
Accordingly, the major trend in masculinity research has been focused on interrogating men’s practices from a critical angle, deconstructing dominant discourses and models on gendered meanings and doings. In some cases, unpacking “traditional” masculinities has been opposed to uncovering the so called “new” masculinities.
It is now time to move away from this oppositional thinking and add, to the critique of power, the study of emerging models of masculinities through a dynamic interrogation of men’s practices, experiences, discourses, and realities. This is particularly necessary in contexts of crisis, as the ones we live in, because they can be seen as an opportunity to challenge current gendered assumptions, norms, roles and stereotypes. We think that this dynamic approach, beyond the assumption of teleological progress in changing masculinities, can illuminate men’s practices in their processual moving and complex negotiations, and will help us to better understand gender relations and social processes of change.
The project MEN in MOVEMENT, formed by Begonya Enguix, Krizia Nardini and Paco Abril, and the International Conferences it organizes, aims to interrogate current understandings of masculinities bringing together cutting-edge researchers from different backgrounds and academic traditions as well as practitioners and activists in order to enable conversations and build stable networks of discussion on masculinities from a critical perspective. Our name, Men in Movement, expresses our intention to bring together critical thinking on masculinities considered as intersectional, complex, dynamic and flexible social processes.
Our first Conference Men in Movement, I: Trans/forming Masculinities in Politics, Care, and Media took place in 2015 in Barcelona, organized by UOC with the collaboration of Homes Igualitaris (AHIGE) and with the support of La Caixa (Internationalization at Home Programme), IN3, Estudis d’Arts i Humanitats (UOC), Diputació de Barcelona, AHIGE and Gentic (IN3-UOC)
It shed light on the ways in which men’s daily practices are shifting, on how traditions and images of masculinity circulate and are re-invented through our focus on the realms of politics, care and representations. You can see all the videos and the programme of this conference in our VIDEO webpage.
Our second conference Men in Movement, II: Resilient, resistant and changing masculinities in uncertain times will be held on December 5th and 6th in Rome organized by UOC together with Tor Vergata University of Rome, University of Genova, University of Padova with the collaboration of AG About Gender (International Academic Journal in Gender Studies) and the men’s networks AHIGE and Maschile Plurale.
This conference (SEE PROGRAMME) will be centered on the analysis of resilient, resistant and changing masculinities in uncertain times. It is structured in four seminars: Sexual/Intimate Citizenship chaired by Luca Trappolin (University of Padova); Politics of Representation chaired by Begonya Enguix (UOC); Men and Care, Social Order and Masculinities chaired by Paco Abril (UOC); and Migration and Transnational Construction of Masculinities chaired by Emanuela Abbatecola (University of Genova). The opening keynote lecture Constructing Masculinity and Masculinity Research will be delivered by James W. Messerschmidt (University of Southern Maine) and the closing keynote lecture will be on Euroscepticism and the Gender and Sexual Politics of Neoliberalism given by Jon Binnie (Manchester Metropolitan University).
The conference hosts also two evening workshops in order to offer further occasions for exchange and networking activities among activists and practitioners in the field. During the conference we will present AG AboutGender special issue on masculinities Maschilità: tras/formazione, cambiamenti, resilienze e riconfigurazioni co-edited by Krizia Nardini (UOC) and Stefano Ciccone (Tor Vergata University).