Rivalrous Masculinities: Images of the Male Body over Time
This project put together an international network of scholars and students based in German departments to provide the opportunity to build strength in linguistic fluency, cross-cultural literacy, and deep historical knowledge. Specifically, a series of undergraduate seminars based at Duke met virtually with similar seminars being held at the University of Bamberg toward the curation of an exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, which is tentatively scheduled for the center space of gallery three during the spring semester 2014. Other university partners will be engaged in ongoing work.
Seven students completed the seminar during Fall 2012. Their final presentations were delivered in a mini-conference setting, giving each student the opportunity to explore a topic in depth and present it to an audience at Duke and at the University of Bamberg. Their online exhibition can be seen here. Students in the Fall 2013 class will add to this exhibition.
The co-conveners believe that curating an exhibition focusing on the male body is an ideal way to achieve the intellectual goals of teaching undergraduates that masculinity, like femininity, is a social and cultural construction of gender; that constructions of masculinity change over time; and that different forms of masculinity co-exist, often in sharp competition with one another, no less so in the past than today. We believe that students will discover through this learning experience that representations of the body and gender intersect with political, racial, and religious discourses that have changed in salient ways over time. They will also discover that in these images the body has become a site of identity, a place where struggles for power and control play out.
The project is being convened by: