Non/independence and transformations. On a century of male anxiety 1918–2018 Cover Image
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Nie/podległości i transformacje. Szkice o stuleciu męskiego niepokoju 1918–2018
Non/independence and transformations. On a century of male anxiety 1918–2018

Author(s): Wojciech Śmieja
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Language and Literature Studies, Gender Studies, Polish Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: Polish Literature; men; masculinities; gender; biopolitics
Summary/Abstract: The work constitutes part of a lively current in contemporary humanities research — masculinity studies. In the theoretical chapter, the author introduces and maps the latest international research in this area. In the analytical chapters that follow, he demonstrates the possibility of using these methodologies in the area of domestic literary studies. Applying the new concepts discussed in the introduction to the analysis of literary texts enables the author to demonstrate the unconscious and often difficult-to-express tension that the unstable limitation of gender categories — not necessarily related to our “here and now,” but, as it turns out, quite common and transhistorical — introduces in the discussed texts. The analyses of selected works expose the tensions that are at first glance invisible, unnamed, but fundamental, thus opening up the field of further inquiry for subsequent researchers. All the discussed plots demonstrate how changes in political, social, cultural and economic conditions have modified the definition of what is “masculine” or “non-masculine,” and how the characters have confronted these changes, sometimes attempting adaptation, at other times contestation. Between the lines of these texts one can find uncertainty, anxiety and a desire to establish an (imagined) ontological foundation for the male gender, which, however, is lacking in the secularizing, fluid reality. Moreover, almost every one of these changes resonates in the male bodies.

  • E-ISBN-13: 978-83-226-4214-6
  • Print-ISBN-13: 978-83-226-4213-9
  • Page Count: 391
  • Publication Year: 2023
  • Language: Polish