Enabling Men in Literature: Teaching Male-Positive Masculinities in a College English Class

By Dennis S. Gouws.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Recent concern about the education of boys and men is certainly justified. Masculinities; those various, sometimes competitive, masculine identities; are often misrepresented in American culture leaving many boys and men feeling alienated and excluded from their learning and living communities. A new acute attentiveness to discourses about boys, men, and masculinities and how they are inscribed without question in our culture is timely and auspicious. Teaching a male-positive literature class can intervene in and contribute positively to the education of boys and men by enabling them to become embodied literate learners and leaders, to become men in literature. Sustaining this male-positive strategy of acute attentiveness and positive intervention, my research answers four interrelated questions: Are American boys and men poorly served by education? What opportunities for undertaking a male-positive approach to education and literacy are evident in current scholarship? How successful was my Men in Literature course in enabling male literacy? What male-positive strategies might better enable men in literature and literacy?

Keywords: Male Positive, Masculinities, Men in Literature, College

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp.147-158. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 594.979KB).

Dr. Dennis S. Gouws

Associate Professor of English, Humanities Department, Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. Dennis Gouws is an Associate Professor at Springfield College and a Lecturer at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. His research and teaching interests include masculinities, Victorian literature, and the education of men and boys. He has published essays on men’s issues and is writing a book on masculinities in George Eliot’s novels.


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