Critical Men Studies

Type: lectures and seminars (28 hours), group discussions, reading literature.

Level: advanced.

Credits: 3 ECTS.

Tutor: Lidia Kriulya, PhD, lecturer.

Aims of the course:

Studies help a student to:

  • familiarize with basic concepts of critical men studies;
  • understand philosophical discourses about dominant and alternative models of masculinity during the Antiquity, the period of Early Christianity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the New Times and the Enlightment, and in the XIX century;
  • identify systems of domination and subordination;
  • analyze stereotypes and biases about gender and other intersecting identities like ethnicity, class, sexuality etc.;
  • understand and apply the theoretical framework for interpreting life situations, and discourses that serve as mechanisms for one’s identity creation;
  • acquire gender sensitivity, self-awareness, and tolerance to the Other.

Learning outcomes:

After the studies a student must understand:

  • the dichotomous gender symbolism embedded in cultures and philosophical theories;
  • the role of discursive practices in the formations of plural masculinities at a particular historic, social, cultural, religious contexts in relation to such categories as ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality;
  • oppressive character of hierarchal relationships, reproduced by the patriarchal order.

After the course a student must be able to:

  • to interpret discourses about dominant and alternative models of masculinity in contexts;
  • to analyze how and why transformations of the models took place;
  • to critically reflect on disciplinary power mechanisms that maintain hierarchy inside masculine gender group.

Content description:

The course aims to develop students’ capacity to explain how different philosophical, cultural and religious ideas, developed at different historical periods and under different economical, political and ideological circumstances, influenced transformations of the normative and alternative models of masculinity. Masculinity is understood as a social construction which is multiple and constantly changing. During the course the students will get the knowledge about the reasons and mechanisms that served to maintain the dominance of “basic masculine” characteristics since the pre-historic times till the nineteenth century. Special focus will be made on philosophical theories justifying the hierarchical gender order as well as disapproving it. We will start from the Greek and Roman mythology proceeding further with St.Paul, Philo, Clement of Alexandria, St. Augustine, Aquinas, Meister Eckhart, J. Rousseau, M. Montaigne, T. Hobbs, J. Lock, D. Defoe, R. Descartes, N. Condorcet, P. Barr, W. Thompson, I. Kant, G. Hegel, M. Weber, C. Darwin, G. Spenser, E. Durkheim, F. Sheller, F. Schlegel.

Teaching methods :

Lectures, seminars, group discussions, reading the literature.

Work requirements:

Participation in lectures, seminars and group discussions, reading the literature.

Assessment methods:

A research paper in which students are required to critically analyze some kind of masculinity with the reference to the themes discussed during the course, and followed by its presentation during the colloquium. 3 ECTS.


Pass / Fail

Recommended reading :

Will be delivered by the tutor.