Call for Papers: Masculinity and Body Image in the 21st Century

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Masculinity Sex and Popular Culture AHRC Network Launch
Masculinity and Body Image in the 21st Century
Birmingham City University
Friday 3rd May 2019

Popular culture is saturated with images of men’s bodies that might once have been dismissed as homoerotic, pornographic or obscene. Now commonplace, images of sexualised male bodies inform understandings of contemporary masculinities and can be felt in the ways men experience and describe their bodies and represent themselves on and offline.

This 24-month AHRC funded research network will explore the pervasiveness of sexualised masculine embodiment across contemporary popular culture, and set an ambitious agenda for subsequent research. The network steering group includes Begonya Enguix, Joao Florencio, Jamie Hakim, Mark McGlashan, Peter Rehberg and Florian Voros.


Our first, free-to-attend event in Birmingham in May 2019 will set priorities for the network by addressing contemporary concerns about men’s physical and mental well-being within the context of a sexualised culture and will focus on male body image.

We invite individual papers, pre-constituted panels, poster presentations, video presentations or position papers on topics related to masculinity and body image in the 21st century from any field of study.

The network will engage with a range of questions including but not limited to:

  • How is the male body sexualised across a breadth of online and offline media?
  • What does sexualised masculinity mean for the social and cultural construction of masculinities?
  • What politics underpin sexualised masculinity?
  • What is the relationship between debates around health and well-being, and sexualised masculinity?
  • How do neoliberalism, precarity, class, race, nation and geographic region impact on manifestations of sexualised masculinity across Europe?

These questions matter for popular debate and media reportage, the work of health professionals, educators and policy makers and we are keen to involve practitioners and non-academics in our discussions and events.

Please send a 300-word abstract and short bio (max. 100 words) to Professor John Mercer john.mercer@bcu.ac.uk and Professor Clarissa Smith clarissa.smith@sunderland.ac.uk

Deadline for proposals 15th February 2019. Attendance will be free.


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