Reading Our World: Masculinity

ENGL 242: Reading Our World is one of the core classes of the English major that is almost comparable to an advanced book club. Each section of Reading Our World focuses on a different theme  explored through a section of texts on that theme. Critical lenses are applied across the field of English Studies to explore different perspectives by learning methods for critiquing texts.

Of the many sections of ENGL 242 offered next semester, one of the newest to look our for is Reading Our World: Masculinity.

Toxic masculinity is a buzzword in 2018, but the concept certainly isn’t new. In academic circles, the preferred term is hegemonic masculinity. Simply put, this term refers to any practice that attempts to justify male dominance over women and “weaker” types of men. We see this not only in the male/female binary, but also in the straight/gay and alpha/beta binaries. These biases are deeply ingrained, even in our language. Honorific language is used to describe highly “masculine” traits, whereas pejoratives are used for most characteristics deemed “feminine,” especially when referring to less “masculine” men.

This course will examine Western literature through the lens of various masculinities in an effort to unveil the toxic ideology that contributes to social ills, including domestic violence, rape culture, gay-bashing, and the abuse of power, among others. Ultimately, students will leave this course able to recognize the ideology of hegemonic masculinity when they encounter it in music, film, television, and literature so that they can begin to dismantle it.

Details:

  • Wednesday from 6-9pm at the Ware Center
  • Counts as a G1 and a W
  • If you have already taken ENGL 242, you can take it again for elective credit