Beyond Don Juan: Rethinking Iberian Masculinities

full name / name of organization: 
The Catalan Center at NYU (New York University)


New York, March 31-April 1, 2011

The Catalan Center at New York University

In collaboration with:

Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, New York University
Men and Masculinities, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Centre Dona i Literatura/Càtedra UNESCO "Dones, desenvolupament i cultures", Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Espai Francesca Bonnemaison, Diputació de Barcelona, Spain
CEDIC (Centre d'Estudis dels Drets Individuals i Col.lectius), Ajuntament de Barcelona, Spain

The Iberian Peninsula has produced some of the most compelling and enduring male archetypes in Western literature and culture, including eponymous characters such as El Cid and Don Juan, and iconic personages such as the bullfighter or the hidalgo, among others. Indeed, both Spain and Hispanic cultures have long been associated with the archetypal notions of machismo and the macho that originated in medieval Iberia.
Nevertheless, constructions of masculinity in the Iberian Peninsula and in Iberian cultures as they developed beyond the Peninsula go far beyond these figures. In the Catalan-speaking territories, in Galicia, in the Basque Country, as well as in the Americas, other styles and figurations of masculinity exist below the radar of the medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque texts that gave rise to this gallery of characters. And perhaps in Spanish language literature, Don Quixote can already be said to queer traditional images of the macho bravado, following on the heels of his Catalan counterpart, Tirant lo Blanc.
This conference will thus focus on both tracing and revisiting these archetypes of masculinity from medieval Iberia to the present, by placing them in the context of the divergent counter-images that exist, and have always existed, below the radar. The conference will be especially concerned with the exploration of alternative models for being a man which examine or challenge the traditional links between machismo and Hispanic culture, and/or suggest more egalitarian models of manhood. Therefore, we welcome papers that investigate both the construction and de-construction of masculinity in Iberian cultures and literatures, from any genre and historical period, from different disciplines (literary studies, film studies, art, religion, visual culture, photography, etc.) and methodological perspectives (masculinity studies, feminist theory, queer studies, cultural studies, etc.). We are particularly interested in re-visions of Iberian masculinities, especially as they are manifested in Catalonia, the Basque country, and Galicia, in non-Christian cultures in the Iberian Peninsula, and in the Americas, including Latino cultures in the U.S. and Canada. We hope that rethinking masculinities from these counterpoints will contribute different perspectives on the topic, and that by exploring Iberian cultures through masculinities we will understand new aspects of the relationship between these cultures.
Please send 250-word abstract proposals to (CC by March, 1 2010. A selection of the papers presented at the conference will be published as a special issue of the prestigious academic journal Men and Masculinities (Sage Publications).