ENGL 103 A19: Men and Masculinities

Men and Masculinities” is a course that delves into the complex and multifaceted world of masculinity. In this course, students explore the various aspects of what it means to be a man in different cultural, historical, and social contexts. From examining traditional notions of masculinity to exploring how masculinity is portrayed in literature, media, and popular culture, this course offers a comprehensive exploration of an often overlooked and yet critical subject. This essay will provide a comprehensive overview of ENGL 103 A19: Men and Masculinities, analyzing its key themes, curriculum, and the importance of studying masculinity in today’s world.

I. Introduction

ENGL 103 A19, “Men and Masculinities,” is a course that offers an in-depth analysis of the concept of masculinity. In recent years, the study of masculinity has gained prominence in academia, reflecting a growing awareness of the need to critically examine the ways in which men construct their identities and navigate societal expectations. This course provides students with a unique opportunity to explore the fluid and multifaceted nature of masculinity, unpacking its cultural, historical, and social dimensions.

II. Course Objectives and Themes

The course objectives of ENGL 103 A19 revolve around understanding masculinity as a concept, its evolution throughout history, and how it is portrayed and constructed in contemporary society. Several key themes are explored throughout the course:

Historical Perspectives

The course delves into the historical construction of masculinity, examining how it has evolved over time and been influenced by changing societal norms, power dynamics, and cultural shifts. By understanding the historical context, students gain insight into how past perceptions of masculinity continue to shape contemporary expectations.

Cultural Variations

ENGL 103 A19 investigates how masculinity is defined and practiced in different cultures. This comparative approach highlights the diversity of masculine experiences and challenges the universality of certain ideals and stereotypes.

Media and Pop Culture

The course analyzes the portrayal of masculinity in literature, film, television, and popular culture. It encourages students to critically assess how media influences and reflects societal notions of masculinity.

Toxic Masculinity

An important aspect of the course is the exploration of toxic masculinity, which is characterized by harmful behaviors, expectations, and stereotypes associated with traditional male identities. The course aims to raise awareness about the negative consequences of these behaviors and the importance of dismantling them.


ENGL 103 A19 acknowledges that masculinity is not a one-size-fits-all concept. It explores how race, class, sexuality, and other intersecting identities influence the construction of masculine identities.

III. Curriculum and Course Structure

The curriculum of ENGL 103 A19 is design to be comprehensive, covering a wide range of topics related to men and masculinities. It includes lectures, readings, discussions, and assignments that encourage students to engage critically with the subject matter. A typical curriculum might include the following elements:

Introduction to Masculinity

The course begins by providing a foundational understanding of what masculinity is and the historical context in which it has developed.

Historical Perspectives

Students examine historical texts and narratives that have shaped traditional concepts of masculinity.

Cultural Variations

The course explores masculinity in various cultures, considering how different societies construct and perceive masculinity.

Media and Popular Culture

Students analyze how masculinity is portray in literature, film, advertising, and other forms of media.

Toxic Masculinity

A significant portion of the course dedicates exploration of the concept of toxic masculinity and its effects on individuals and society.


The course delves into how different aspects of identity, such as race and sexuality, intersect with masculinity, resulting in diverse experiences of manhood.

Contemporary Issues

Students engage with current debates and challenges related to masculinity, including discussions on changing gender roles, #MeToo, and the evolving landscape of masculinity in the 21st century.

Class Discussions

The course encourages open dialogue and discussion among students to share their perspectives, experiences, and insights on masculinity.

Research Projects

Students are often requires to conduct independent research projects or write essays on topics related to masculinity, allowing them to deepen their understanding of the subject and develop critical thinking skills.

IV. Importance of Studying Masculinity

The study of men and masculinities is vital for several reasons:

Gender Equality

Understanding masculinity is an essential component of achieving gender equality. By challenging traditional stereotypes and expectations of men, we can work towards a more inclusive and equitable society.

Mental Health

The study of masculinity is closely tie to discussions on men’s mental health. Traditional notions of masculinity often discourage men from seeking help for mental health issues, which can lead to significant problems. Exploring these issues in an academic setting can help raise awareness and reduce stigma.

Violence Prevention

Toxic masculinity has been link to violent behavior. By studying and addressing the root causes of toxic masculinity, we can work towards reducing violence and promoting healthy relationships.


Recognizing the intersections of different aspects of identity with masculinity is crucial for understanding the diverse experiences of men. This knowledge can help us address systemic inequalities.

Media Literacy

Analyzing how masculinity is portray in media and popular culture equips individuals with the critical thinking skills necessary to navigate a media-saturated world and challenge harmful stereotypes.

Personal Growth

For men and people of all genders, studying masculinity can be a journey of personal growth and self-discovery. It can help individuals better understand themselves, their values, and the societal pressures that influence their lives.

V. Conclusion

ENGL 103 A19: Men and Masculinities is a course that offers a deep dive into a subject that is often overlooked in traditional academia. Its curriculum is rich and varied, providing students with a well-rounded understanding of masculinity’s complexities. By studying men and masculinities, students gain valuable insights into societal expectations, gender dynamics, and the potential for positive change in an evolving world. The importance of this course extends beyond the classroom, as it contributes to the ongoing dialogues about gender equality, mental health, and the broader project of redefining masculinity for a more inclusive and equitable future.

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