Assistant Professor English, Pleasantville
What is the central theme of your book?
This book considers mass media and contemporary cultural trends to examine masculinity at a point of unprecedented change. While sexual and gender politics have always been fraught, the long unexamined privilege associated with masculinity is now subject to intense scrutiny marked by a host of complex factors.
What inspired you to write this book?
As past markers of masculine norms have been challenged on cultural, social, and economic fronts, men occupy public space ever aware that how they interact with others is questioned and questionable. What does manhood mean? Who is included in its dominant formations? What performances signify membership in the club? How are men reading this contemporary moment and to what extent does cultural literacy inform, maintain, or challenge normative male identities and subsequent performances? This work examines such questions through language and symbolic meaning, and challenges its readers to critically examine what men know and how they understand and embody gender and sexuality in a post-millennial society.
Why is this book important in your field? What does it contribute to the current body of knowledge on its topic?
This book looks at masculinity through the lens of literacy studies. While literacy has been studied in many forms, such as recent work regarding its intersection with sexuality, I am not sure I have seen another text that approaches this topic in the manner in which we did.
What is the one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
In short, to stop and consider all of the information and media that is thrust upon us each day – to think through how specific performances of masculinity are being challenged and how new ways of doing or being masculine are finding a way into contemporary cultural conversations.
What other books have you had published?
Out in the Center: Public Controversies, Private Struggles
This work examines such questions through language and symbolic meaning, and challenges its readers to critically examine what men know and how they understand and embody gender and sexuality in a post-millennial society.
When did you join Dyson College?
What motivates you as a teacher?
Supporting my students and writing staff as best I can.
What do you do in your spare time; to relax/unwind?
Play basketball and tennis
What are you reading right now?
Covered in Ink: Tattoos, Women, and the Politics of the Body by Beverly Yuen Thompson.