Configuring Masculinity in Theory and Literary Practice


Configuring Masculinity in Theory and Literary Practice combines a critical survey of the most current developments in the emergent field of Masculinity Studies with both a historical overview of how masculinity has been constructed within British Literature from the Middle Ages to the present and a special focus on developments in the 20th and 21st centuries.
The volume combines seminal articles on the most important concepts in Masculinity Studies by acknowledged experts such as Raewyn Connell, Todd Reeser, and Richard Collier with new and innovative analyses of key British literary texts combining Literary and Cultural Studies approaches with those currently deployed in Masculinity Studies, Gender Studies, Legal Studies, Postcolonial Studies as well as methodologies derived from sociology.
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Biographical Note

Stefan Horlacher is Chair of English Literature at Dresden University of Technology. He has published widely on English Literature from the Renaissance to the present, on Gender and Masculinity Studies, Media Studies, psychoanalysis, semiotics, and theories of the comic.

Review Quotes

"The collection opens with three essays that provide broad and thorough introductions to key developments in the field [of masculinity studies] over time. Stefan Horlacher’s introduction, entitled “Configuring Masculinity”, is a succinct exploration of just what is and what might be this “new field of research” called masculinity studies. For those new to the field, Horlacher’s review of the field’s development serves as an important first step toward future studies; for those who’ve been at it a while, it serves as a good take on just how we can make this field matter, not just to literary studies, but to all inquiries into the humanities.
We know by now that masculinity has moved beyond a single, stable benchmark against which all male behavior can be read. What we don’t know is what’s next, and the essays here help us envision the possibilities of what the future of masculinities studies might hold. What all of these readings do, to various degrees, can be applied to the reading of any work of literature, and I would suggest other works of art as well. They teach us how to note and interpret the many visions and versions of masculinity that we come upon as we move through the business of making sense and lessons out of whatever reading and interpreting we may do.”
- Fred Gardaphe, Queens College/CUNY in Culture, Society & Masculinities, (2016) Vol.8.1 pp. 82-84

"This set of essays is ideal for readers who wish to gain new interpretative methodologies to reading literary texts.”
- Georgina Bozsó, University of Debrecen, HU in Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, Vol. 23 No. 2 2017 pp. 440-444

Table of contents


Stefan Horlacher
Configuring Masculinity

Todd W. Reeser
Concepts of Masculinity and Masculinity Studies

Raewyn Connell
Masculinities: The Field of Knowledge

Richard Collier
On Reading Men, Law and Gender: Legal Regulation and the New Politics of Masculinity

Christoph Houswitschka
Masculinity in Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur

Mark Bracher
From Antisocial to Prosocial Manhood: Shakespeare’s Rescripting of Masculinity in As You Like It

Rainer Emig
Sentimental Masculinity: Henry Mackenzie’s The Man of Feeling (1771)

Stefan Horlacher
“Joseph the Dreamer of Dreams”: Jude Fawley’s Construction of Masculinity in Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure

Sebastian Müller
From Angry Young Scholarship Boy to Male Role Model: The Rise of the Working-Class Hero

Fatemeh Hosseini
“Filiarchy” and Masculinity in the Early Novels of Ian McEwan

Bettina Schötz
“What Is a Man?”, or the Representation of Masculinity in Hanif Kureishi’s Short Fiction

Bénédicte Ledent
Of Invisible Men and Native Sons: Male Characters in Caryl Phillips’ Fiction

Daniel Lukes
Surrogate Dads: Interrogating Fatherhood in Will Self’sThe Book of Dave

Notes on Contributors


This book is of key interest to students, university teachers, and researchers in the fields of British Literature, Gender, Masculinity, and Cultural Studies as well as Literary Studies generally.