Normalization of the Male Body in Contemporary European Narratives (NEMLA 2014)

full name / name of organization: 
Candace Skibba/ Carnegie Mellon University
contact email: 

This panel will examine the discourses that construct normative male identity in European narrative as well as the resistance to said forces of normalization. Topics may include: body as a metaphor, sexuality, healing and rehabilitation, illness, contagion, (both literal and metaphoric), the rhetorical construction of disability, immigration and citizenship, otherness, and masculinity. Please submit 250-300 word abstracts (in English) to Candace Skibba, Carnegie Mellon University,

In his study of masculinity in Spanish cinema, Chris Perriam states that ³the body of the Spanish male star is inevitably a key point of inflection of stardom, masculinities and national specifics.² Perriam¹s analysis points to the male body as an ideologically charged site that resonates with national discourse about maleness, belonging and national identity. Drawing on this analysis, the purpose of our panel is to examine the construction of maleness and the intersection
of masculinity and nationhood in contemporary European literatures and arts. Our explorations will be grounded within a social and political context of perceived threats on accepted notions of masculinity. An example of these threats might include the immigrants¹ bodies invading Europe or the endless debates on same-sex marriage in Spain and in France.
We welcome papers that explore the discourses that construct normative male identity, as well as the resistance to these forces of normalization: How is masculinity constructed and projected by the national narrative? What are the physical characteristics of the normal and able male body? How do artists and writers subvert these constructions through the depictions of other forms of masculinities?
What is the place of these odd/other/altered bodies in the nation?
Possible paper topics may include but are not limited to:

* The body as a metaphor
* Sexuality
* Healing and rehabilitation
* Illness, contagion, (both literal and metaphoric)
* The rhetorical construction of disability
* Immigration
* Normalization and otherness
* Citizenship and Bodies
* Foreign masculinity