CFP: [18th] Masculinities, Empire and Difference 1660-1830

full name / name of organization: 
Stephen H. Gregg
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Masculinities, Empire and Cultural Difference:
literature and culture, 1660-1830

This will be an edited collection of critical essays. Concentrating on the
period c.1660-c.1830, it concerns the representation and constructions of
masculinity and how it interacts with cultural difference and the project
of empire in England/Britain or in English/British areas of global interests.

Masculinities, Empire and Cultural Difference will be a timely intervention
in the expanding, but still relatively new, area of study of literature,
cultural history and masculinity. It has often been a critical given that
the ethos of empire and colonialism is masculinist, yet as regards the
eighteenth-century this assumption has largely been left unexamined (with a
handful of exceptions). Arguably, such assumptions only help mythologize
certain ideologies of manliness and masculinity.

While ‘masculinity’ is an important analytical category, it is one that
should encompass a critically diverse range of male behaviours and roles,
both normative and marginalised. ‘Masculinities’, therefore, has been
adopted as a general critical category that manages to encompass diverse
discourses and models of what were, more precisely, manlinesses and
effeminacies. Indeed, the methodological approach of the collection will
not just examine this important dyad, but will also emphasise the
differences between men. As John Tosh has argued, masculinity ‘makes
socially crippling distinctions not only between men and women, but between
different categories of men – distinctions which have to be maintained by
force, as well as validated through cultural means’ (Tosh, 1994). Such
differences and marginalisations can be seen in representations of men as
refracted through, for example, the perception of the effects of empire or
encounters with cultural difference. Similarly, while conceptual models
such as civic humanism, politeness and sensibility have provided useful
ways of elucidating the shapes and forms of eighteenth-century
masculinities, the interaction between these discourses, critical models of
human difference and the ‘cultures of empire’ (Catherine Hall, 2000) is a
matter of urgent critical attention.

It is envisaged that the collection may range across (but not limited to)
the following topics: colonial spaces; women, men and sex; Black Atlantic
voices; literary discourses of empire and gender; cultural difference in
the contact zone; difference and empire at ‘home’; homoeroticism and male
friendship; slaves, slavers and the slave trade; representations /
discourses of landscape. One of this collection’s strength lies in its
interdisciplinary nature, and contributions will be sought not only from
literature and history, but also those working across the disciplinary
boundaries of literature, history, the arts, and cultural studies. It is
also envisaged that the collection will touch upon all the multiform
geo-political spaces of British interest in this period, including, of
course, Britain itself.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is Friday February 1st 2008.
Essays will be around 6,000 words.

Dr Stephen H. Gregg
School of English and Creative Studies
Bath Spa University
Newton St Loe

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Received on Fri Nov 16 2007 - 14:14:30 EST

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