"There Will Be Poems": Depictions of Masculinity and Care in Modern Media
The title for this session is taken from the AMC series The Terror, in which an older man is heartbroken as he stands by the bed of his dying captain. “It was an honor serving you, sir. You are a good man. There will be poems,” he assures him (The Terror Episode 9). His grief and his care are portrayed sincerely and not as an indication of a lack of masculinity or courage. His desire to create poems for a beloved dying man is not pathologized and instead represents a strength of character. This year, NEMLA asks us to consider the theme of care, and our vulnerabilities and interdependence on each other. Depictions of masculinity provide a rich area in which to consider care and dependence as certain kinds of masculinity can prove resistant to care. As our society becomes more aware of the damage that toxic masculinity can cause, we should continue to search for alternative modes of masculinity. As we redefine masculinity, how can we include care in our framework? This panel asks for analysis of masculinity and care in modern media. What happens when male characters care for each other, expose vulnerabilities, and are dependent on each other for emotional and physical needs? How are male characters depicted when they are shown in typically female professions, such as nursing or teaching young children? Papers could explore traditional caregiver roles, teaching and instructing roles, experiences during war or survival stories, and more. Submissions should feel free to consider films, television, music, podcasts, books, and more of the 21st century.