"Practices of Masculinity: Boundaries, Contagion, and the Marking of
This panel takes the 2011 AAA theme of ?traces, tidemarks, and
legacies? as an opportunity to investigate the relationship between
contemporary practices of masculinity and processes of boundary-making
and marking. We are broadly interested in the ?work? of masculinity
in various guises: How is masculinity employed in difference-making,
and how do men (and others) work to create, recreate, maintain, alter,
or challenge such distinctions? How might we understand these
distinctions as outgrowths of both new and familiar difference-making
and sustaining processes associated with globalization, political and
economic competition, and the cultural juxtapositions occasioned by
mobility and exchange?
Like tidemarks, boundaries often shift, but also may be crossed, just
as distinctions may be blurred, limits threatened; difference-marking
practices of masculinity may fall short, or fail entirely. We are
therefore also interested in exploring danger, contagion, and failure.
When and why are certain practices of masculinity considered
threatening, or under threat? How does the fear of contagion across
boundaries invoke and shape masculinity? In the production of
distinctions that rely upon masculinity, what is the cost of failure?
The papers in this panel address the practices generative of
oppositional identities, and the practices that simultaneously
destabilize or threaten them, as well. We therefore invite
ethnographically-grounded contributions from prospective presenters
whose research engages any of the following (or related) questions:
? What are the tidemarks against which masculinity is measured in the
21st century, and what shifting ?tides? might these reflect?
? What are the contexts and evaluative standards against which groups
maintain coherent visions of what it is to be a successful, good, or
accomplished man worthy of recognition?
? What are the difference-making mechanisms that sustain social
boundaries, and how is their safeguarding associated with the
protection of symbolic domains?
Please send abstracts by e-mail to Antonio Sorge at
firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday, April 8, 2011.
Organizer: Antonio Sorge (Department of Anthropology, University of Waterloo)
Chair: Naor Ben-Yehoyada (Department of Anthropology, Harvard University)