FT 08-L Men and Masculinities
Warren Rosenberg, Department of English
What does it mean to be a man in today’s world? Can men really be friends? Are sports overemphasized for boys? What makes a good father? Are men naturally violent or is violence learned? How do we know when we’ve found the right life partner? These are some of the questions we will consider as we study 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 to denigrate maleness (although both will occur), but rather to examine the conflicting definitions and demands of masculinity so that we can more freely choose the kind of men we wish to be. We will read books like A Separate Peace, Shane, and Black Boy, see films like A Bronx Tale, Fight Club, 3:10 to Yuma, Smoke Signals, and High Fidelity, consider the shaping role of television and music, and discuss and write about our shared experiences as men. From time to time we will have common activities (readings, films, discussions) with Professor Calisch’s tutorial on fathers and sons.