Tag: Masculinity

Food Media, Gender, and Power: An Interview with Emily Contois

Emily J. H. Contois has been researching masculinity in American diet culture for over a decade. During that time, the rise of social media, a devastating economic recession, and an unprecedented fixation on food combined to radically transform two enduring national obsessions: hegemonic masculinity and our fear of fat. In Diners, Dudes, and Diets: How… Read more →

Diners, Dudes, and Diets

It took me six months to dream up the title Diners, Dudes, and Diets (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). For anyone who’s ever watched Guy Fieri’s show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, my inspiration is likely pretty clear. As I researched gender and power in contemporary American food media, I spent years analyzing Fieri’s polarizing… Read more →

Civil War Disability in the Light and the Dark: An Interview with Sarah Handley-Cousins

Sarah Handley-Cousins argues in her new book, Bodies in Blue: Disability in the Civil War North, that the bodies of disabled Union soldiers and veterans “were sites of powerful cultural beliefs about duty, honor, and sacrifice,” yet those ideals became complicated with men who failed to perform the socially accepted role of wounded warrior. Her work… Read more →

“Ample Justification for the Deed”: Public Interest in the “Sickles Tragedy” as Gender Performance

Congressman Daniel Sickles murdered Philip Barton Key on February 27, 1859, just steps from the White House. The day before, Sickles’s wife, Teresa, had tearfully confessed to an affair with Key, who was then the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. When Key, oblivious to this new development, appeared in view of the Sickles… Read more →

Roadmap to the Brave New (Transmasculine) World: An Interview with Arlene Stein

In the past two decades, the word “transgender” has found a place in our everyday lexicon, featuring in headlines, TV shows, books, movies, and conversations in a wide variety of spaces. Yet, even as Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner have become household names, trans people continue to navigate a society where a common understanding of… Read more →

Lizards and the Idea of Mexico

In the summer of 1782, Don Juan de Luna, a respected elder citizen of the City of Mexico, nearly choked on a lagartija, a lizard, when he ate it to ease the throbbing tumor on his tongue. The details are foggy, but he likely followed the protocol established by his medical counsel, the celebrated physicist,… Read more →

Not a Day for Salads: The Football Food Rules of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl LII will soon be upon us, along with its super-sized spread of snacks, an American meal as iconic as Thanksgiving. Matching debates over what to serve on the fourth Thursday in November, food rules guide what supposedly pairs perfectly with the nation’s favorite sport. Super Bowl party menus most often include foods like… Read more →

Real Men & Real Food: The Cultural Politics of Male Weight Loss

When Weight Watchers first launched an online program “customized just for guys” in 2007, one of their advertisements proclaimed, “Real men don’t diet.” This counterintuitive declaration evoked the questions that animate my current research. I’m analyzing how the consumer culture constructs notions of “real men” through depictions of food and the body, particularly during moments… Read more →

Coin-Operated Boys: An Interview with Carly Kocurek

Carly Kocurek’s Coin-Operated Americans: Rebooting Boyhood at the Video Game Arcade (Minnesota, 2015) examines the origins of modern video game culture in the “classic” arcade era, spanning the release of Pong in 1972 and the industry’s first major collapse in 1983. She traces the formation of the “technomasculine” during that period, as the arcade became… Read more →

Andrew Jackson’s Love Letters

In our era of political “bromances” between leaders who value aggression and belittle sensitivity, it’s easy to forget that expectations as to how men should interact with other men are always changing. In the 1820s, President Andrew Jackson, whose legacy Donald Trump has embraced, fashioned himself as one of the most virile men of his… Read more →