Pioneering cultural historian Johan Huizinga’s short chapter on puerilism, featured in his interwar essay In the Shadow of Tomorrow, famously highlighted what he considered the mutual “contamination of play and seriousness in modern life.” “Puerilism we shall call the attitude of a community whose behaviour is more immature than the state of its intellectual and critical faculties would warrant, which instead of making the boy into the man adapts its conduct to that of the adolescent age” (Huizinga, 1935 [1936, p. 170]). The puerilist condition degrades the serious to the superficial, true and ritual play to boundless childishness. It is a dangerous and decadent symptom, a “bastardization of culture,” a semi-seriousness and appetite for the sensational and the trivial appealing to obedient masses and small minds. Modern man becomes a slave to his comforts. “In his world full of wonders man is like a child in a fairy tale. He can travel through the air, speak to another hemisphere, have a continent delivered in his home by radio. He presses a button and life comes to him. Will such a life give him maturity?”
Introducing a Special Issue on Boyish Temporalities
Diederik F. Janssen
Masochism in Alan Hollinghurst's "The Folding Star"
This article reads Hollinghurst’s The Folding Star through a synthesis of Freud’s theories of transference and the death drive and Jean Laplanche’s theory of infantile masochism. My reading traces the role of masochism in the formation of the gay male subject and in this way contributes towards an understanding of the repressed masochism which is central to psychic life, and more specifically to an understanding of its role within masculinity and gay masculinities. Through this reading I attempt to shed light on the problems of such an identity both for the subject and for a relationality at work within Hollinghurst’s novel which is consistently dependent upon a melancholic preservation of heterosexual masculinity.
Karl Frerichs, Peter Kuriloff, Celine Kagan, Joseph Nelson, Dwight Vidale and John Thornburg
"Reinventing Leadership Training Using a Participatory Research Model" by Karl Frerichs and Peter Kurlioff
"Reading for Masculinity in the High School English Classroom" by Celine Kagan
"Helping Boys Take Flight: A Peer-Mentoring Program for Boys of color at the Riverdale Country School" by Joseph Nelson and Dwight Vidale
"A Relational Approach to Teaching Boys" by John Thornburg
The representation of adolescent same-sex love in Daniel Ribeiro’s Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (2014) and Aluizio Abranches’s Do Começo ao Fim (2009) stands out from other treatments of adolescence and homosexuality in Brazilian/LatinAmerican cinema. The movies’ setting within an urban upper-class environment allows for a conception of adolescence as a prolonged period of carefree exploration. By intertwining the experience of adolescence with the discovery of emergent sexuality, the movies develop a model of sensual, gentle masculinity and a reciprocal concept of homosexual love, thus undermining the paradigmatic juxtaposition of active masculinity and passive femininity that has dominated cinematic representations of homosexual characters and same sex-encounters in Latin-American cinema.
Demographic Decline and the Public Response in the Late Soviet Period
Muzhchin!” revealed a “crisis of masculinity” in the late Soviet period, in which the declining health of men was a multivalent symbol for male victimization, biological weakness, and the dangers of modernization, as well as a shorthand warning for the
Elizabeth J. McLean, Kazuki Yamada and Cameron Giles
Michael Anesko. Henry James and Queer Filiation: Hardened Bachelors of the Edwardian Era. (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 111 pp. + xv. ISBN: 978-3-319-94537-8. Hardback, $54.99.
Jane Gallop. Sexuality, Disability, and Aging: Queer Temporalities of the Phallus (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019), 137 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4780-0161-4. Paperback, $23.95.
Rob Cover. Emergent Identities: New Sexualities, Genders and Relationships in a Digital Era (Abingdon: Routledge, 2019), pp. 164 ISBN: 978-1-138-09858-9. Hardback, $129.
In this article, I reconsider the early work of artist Rebecca Horn as situated at the threshold of complex new theoretical, political, and artistic movements. Horn’s performance pieces of the late 1960s and early 1970s formally echo this social upheaval, vibrating with tension between intimacy and isolation, pleasure and pain, human and machine. Horn’s prosthetic sculptures gesture toward a continuity between body and world reminiscent of the Radical Freudian concept of Eros, echoed in the body art and sexual liberation movements of the 1960s, in which the body becomes a fluid expression of polymorphous, nonbinary desire. The sinister backdrop of postwar Germany, however, haunts the artist’s work to the extent that silence becomes a motif of its own. Through her work, I ask the question: can the oceanic vision of a genderless Eros be realized, while the wounds of atrocity and of patriarchy are still inscribed on the body, or must polymorphous fluidity remain a fantasy, a utopia deferred?
Perceptions and Realities of Black Men in Heterosexual Porn
Darryl L. Jones II
Black men are an integral part of the American pornographic industry, but their participation requires confronting and navigating a variety of simplified categorizations and assumptions that favor their sexuality over their humanity. Utilizing interviews with twelve prominent heterosexual black male figures (also known as “talent”) currently active in the industry, this article seeks to offer insight into the realities that the men face while participating in an industry viewed as taboo by mainstream society. Among the issues explored are their reasons for joining the industry, interracialism and racism, and moral and ethical dilemmas. Also employed are Lewis Gordon’s concept of “epistemic closure,” or the cessation of inquiry, and Frantz Fanon’s concept of the “phobogenic object,” or “stimulus to anxiety.”
Our longitudinal studies of boys over the past two decades have revealed that boys have and/or want intimate male friendships and that these relationships are critical for their mental health. Yet as they reach late adolescence, boys become wary of their male best friends even as they continue to want emotional intimacy with these peers. As the pressures of stereotypic manhood intensify, boys disconnect from the very relationships that support their mental health. The numerous challenges faced by boys in school and at home are in part a reflection of this disconnection.
There is a strong relationship between the cultural practices of competitive, organized youth sport and compulsory physical education. The hyper-masculine, violent, and homophobic culture traditionally found within boys segregated sporting spaces is mirrored when youth are compelled to participate in physical education. However, cultural homophobia is on rapid decline in Western countries. Recent research shows high school and university sport to be an increasingly inclusive environment for openly gay male youth. I explore this cultural shift among high school (sixth form) physical education students in England. Using three months of ethnography, and conducting 17 in-depth interviews with 16-18 year old ostensibly heterosexual boys, I show an absence of homophobia and homophobic discourse, the abatement of violence, the absence of a jock-ocratic school culture, and the emotional support of male friends. Thus, I show that while the structure of sport education has remained the same, the hyper-masculine culture surrounding it has changed.