FT 06-N Men and Masculinity
Warren Rosenberg, Department of English
What does it mean to be a man in our society? We will look at the array of cultural messages beamed at us from birth that have shaped our gendered identities. Our main purpose will be neither to celebrate nor denigrate maleness (although both will occur), but rather to examine the conflicting definition and demands of masculinity so that we can more freely choose the kind of men we wish to be. The underlying assumption of the course is, therefore, that men are not born but culturally created - but that is an assumption we will probably be arguing about. We will read books like A Seperate Peace, Shane, Black Boy, Maurice, see films like A Bronx Tale, Born on the Fourth of July, Unforgiven, Smoke Signals, High Fidelity, discuss television and music, and share experiences on a variety of subjects central to the male experience: growing up, sports, friendship, parenting, war, love, and work.