Since it emerged in the 1990s, masculinity studies has attracted support and criticism from feminist and non-feminist historians alike. Recent work has built upon Robert Connell’s Masculinities while broadening critical analysis within the field. Even so, there remains unease within the field about its present situation and future direction.
In one provocative critique, Bryce Traister has argued that masculinity studies has only succeeded in resituating heterosexual white men at the centre of academic inquiry. In another, Toby L. Ditz has suggested that the renewed emphasis masculinity studies places upon the roles of men has encountered a reluctance amongst its scholars to examine gendered narratives of power – narratives that more often than not have privileged these very roles.
Does this absence indicate a new direction in the field? Or does it simply evidence a discomfort with the politics of masculinity studies? These questions, central to this debate, have led us in turn to wonder what the larger politics of masculinity studies are. Women’s studies, as a field, developed with a clear political agenda in the 1970s; masculinity studies appear to possess no such agenda. In light of these issues, and the field’s relative youth, it seems timely to ask: can the history of masculinity indeed be conceived of as ‘left’ history?
Left History is seeking submissions for a special issue on Masculinities and History with an emphasis upon articles that engage with current debates surrounding the field and which highlight the politics of its practice.
Left History accepts articles on research and theory, as well as reviews and debates, for consideration in print. We also welcome creative pieces, interviews, debates and photographs for our online edition.
The Editors, Left History
Department of History
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Toronto, ON Canada M3J 1P3
telephone: 416-736-2100 ext. 66972
fax: 416-736-5836 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the website at http://www.yorku.ca/lefthist/
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