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Harry Brod: His first book was the first to carry the pluralized word “masculinities” in its title. This has since become the standard scholarly convention.

Year of Masculinities Brings Founding Scholars to Campus

Harry Brod, widely recognized as a founding scholar in the field of masculinity studies, will teach the first-ever Introduction to Masculinities course at St. Norbert this fall.

The Year on Masculinity theme launched by the Cassandra Voss Center brings Brod to campus for a full semester: the first-ever such commitment from a distinguished visiting scholar. Brod is professor of sociology and humanities at the University of Northern Iowa. The author of eight books, he has published widely on anti-racism and Judaic studies as well as in the field of masculinity studies. The child of Holocaust survivors, he has long been invested in Judaic studies. He will be engaging in conversations on Jewish/Christian dialogue while at St. Norbert.

Brod’s visit will be capped by a Nov. 2-3 summit on masculinities to be held at St. Norbert. The event will bring together three thought-leaders who tower over the new field: Brod, Michael Kimmel, author of “Guyland”; and Michael Kaufman, the speaker and writer whose innovative approaches to promoting gender equality and transforming men’s lives have contributed to policy-making around the world.

A special distinction
“It’s an honor to have Harry Brod here as the first semester-long distinguished visiting professor. I hope he is the first of many for St. Norbert,” says Karlyn Crowley, director of the Cassandra Voss Center. Crowley is professor of English and of women’s and gender studies. “Having a distinguished faculty member for the semester enlivens a campus with new ideas and resources. A college should foster a vibrant, intellectual culture and distinguished visiting scholars add to that.

“Brod is a Swiss-army knife of a scholar. He will teach a groundbreaking class on masculinity studies, lead a study group, give lectures on masculinity, and be a community resource.

In addition to teaching Intro to Masculinities while at St. Norbert, Brod will lead a master class for faculty and staff on the state of the field in masculinity studies. He will also be involved in discussions of anti-violence around issues of consent, a timely and important topic.

Masculinities studies is the interdisciplinary study of gender as it relates to men and masculinity. It considers what it means to be a man and the construction of masculinity – how does masculinity shape boys and men? For example, when is masculinity detrimental by limiting a full range of feeling and emotion? Why do many men have shorter life expectancies? What are the social, political and historical ramifications of masculine identity and expression?

“ When we say we talk about gender, we always mean how gender is constructed for men as well as women,” says Crowley. “We’re on the cusp of innovative thinking on gender. Gender affects all our lives and we need scholars to help us have productive conversations – Brod will assist in that.”


Aug. 2, 2016