Silver Screens: Ageing Masculinities in Anglophone and European Cinemas (March 12th)

On Friday, 12th March, the Irish team of MascAge will hold the webinar Silver Screens: Ageing Masculinities in Anglophone and European Cinemas. Members of the project and other guests will share research results and insights on ageing masculinities in contemporary cinema and modern life. You can register for the event and see the final programme here. Looking forward to see you there!

Virtual Workshop at the University of Rostock: 22.-23. April 2021: Masculinities Aging Between Cultures: Methods and Concepts in Dialogue

Mobility is one of the crucial, perhaps even the prototypical experience of our time. In the current context of an “economically fashioned global society” (Jürgen Habermas) mobility has become an aggregate of individual and collective, real and imagined processes. Millions of migrants, refugees, exiles, diasporans, are representative of this principally endless, global mobility, they even seem to embody it. “Embody” is a keyword here because it reminds us of the oftentimes overlooked fact that migrants bring with them not only their customs, traditions, values, in short their culture, but also bring with them their bodies, which come to represent what “they have left of their home continent […]: their hands, their eyes, their feet, shoulders, bodies, what they wear, and what they pull over their heads at night to sleep under” (John Berger). These bodies are impacted by the experiences of dislocation, especially as they are growing older. And gender is a crucial factor here.

Focusing on migration and aging masculinities in the context of European and Anglophone cultures, this workshop intends to investigate different generations of migrants and the ways in which they have shaped cultural practices in the societies into which they have moved. Beginning in the postwar years with labor migrants mainly from Southern Europe and Turkey, the so-called ‘guest workers’ were predominantly male. As they are now transitioning into old age, their bodies are becoming the sites where competing political, social and cultural scripts of masculinity are being played out. In reaction to the shifts in Eastern and Western European countries after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, a different kind of migration has taken place with its specific cultural and gender implications. The most recent movement of refugees from non-European countries all over the world has again introduced its specific political and social repercussions with a focus on young and educated male migrants.

With reference to the aging male migrants, and also the younger and middle-aged writers among them, introducing cultural difference into European societies, we intend to explore mobility between cultures and generations from the joint perspectives of age and masculinity studies. The structure of inquiry follows different concerns: We want to address methodological issues of these different areas of cultural research in order to explore their connection with postcolonial and transcultural approaches, environmental studies and ecocriticism, genre theory and gender/feminist studies in a comparative framework.

In order to bring these different methodological concerns into critical dialogue we invite contributions related to the following conceptual themes:


As an alternative to binary constructions of subjectivity that foreground the autonomous, rational self, relational approaches have been developed in many different disciplinary contexts in order to highlight, instead, attempts to come closer to the other person (Paul John Eakin), the reversibility of subject positions in narratives (Mieke Bal), the ethical codes for narrating and representing ‘vulnerable subjects’ (Thomas Couser) and performative notions of selfhood or personhood. These alternative conceptualisations of the self can serve as a reference frame for exploring aging masculinities between cultures.


The gendered relationship structure of care has been widely recognized. Historically encoded as feminine, care has been reconceptualized first in a feminist ethic of care as a “mode of thinking that is contextual and narrative rather than formal and abstract” and that conceives the activity of care as centered around “the understanding of responsibility and relationships” (Carol Gilligan). In the related contexts of ageing, masculinities and the environment, care becomes a crucial issue that subverts traditionally gendered reference frames.


The notion of kinship brings up the context of familial and generational relationships. More broadly, kinship refers to relationships traditionally accepted in a culture and the rights and obligations which they involve. In cultural gerontology, the term ‘fictive kin’ describes living arrangements of older people, where spatial closeness becomes a substitute for ‘blood relations’ highlighting the potentialities of ‘inventing generational models’ (Kathleen Woodward). When the British poet John Burnside writes about “kinship of flesh with flesh” he acknowledges relationships within the natural world. Kinship, then, can be explored further as a configuration of shifting relationships within different conceptualizations of the ‘cultural’ and ‘natural’.

Please see the program below for more detail. We invite students to participate. Please register by 16th April 2021 at 

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Video: Online Seminar (session 1)

On 24th February we held the first session of the online seminar 'Analyzing social constructions of ageing masculinities and their cultural representations in contemporary European literatures and cinemas'. You can watch the whole session here. It includes the following presentations and the later discussion:

Male directors in the second half of life: Israel and beyond
Shlomit Lir & Liat Ayalon, Louis and Gabi Weisfeld School of Social Work, Bar Ilan University

Aging Men and Masculinities in Contemporary Spanish Literature
Raquel Medina, Aston University, Josep M Armengol, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

Dementia and Masculinity in Recent Irish Literature 
Michaela Schrage-Frueh, NUI Galway


The next session will be held on 15th April.


MASCAGE online seminar: 'Analyzing social constructions of ageing masculinities and their cultural representations in contemporary European literatures and cinemas' (Spring 2021)

This online seminar series presents ongoing research within the European research consortium MASCAGE, a project which analyses social constructions of ageing masculinities and/through their cultural representations in contemporary European literatures and cinemas. During three events in the spring of 2021, researchers from the six national teams of MASCAGE, Austria, Ireland, Estonia, Israel, Spain and Sweden, will present studies on ageing and masculinity in different regional contexts of Europe.    

MASCAGE is funded by a grant from ERA Gender Net Plus. The series is co-organised with the Department of Gender Studies, Södertörn University, the Research Group on Critical Studies of Men and Masculinities, Örebro University and the Research School on Successful ageing, Örebro University.

Th seminars are free of charge and open to all. All seminars are held in Zoom. To register please sign up here:


February 24th 13-15 pm (GMT+1)

Male directors in the second half of life: Israel and beyond
Shlomit Lir & Liat Ayalon, Louis and Gabi Weisfeld School of Social Work, Bar Ilan University

Aging Men and Masculinities in Contemporary Spanish Literature
Raquel Medina, Aston University, Josep M Armengol, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

Dementia and Masculinity in Recent Irish Literature 
Michaela Schrage-Frueh, NUI Galway

April 15th 13-15 pm (GMT+1)

The road taken: Aging man’s final journey representations in contemporary Israeli literature 
Danielle Gurevitch, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Reading/Being Ove: cultural representations of ageing masculinity and older men’s readings of A Man Called Ove (Backman, 2012)
Karin Lövgren, University of Gävle, Linn Sandberg, Södertörn University, Jeff Hearn, Örebro University

The (Hopeful) Potential of Old Age and Caring Masculinity in Estonian Films 'A Friend of Mine' (2011) and 'Tangerines' (2013)
Teet Teinemaa, Tallinn University


June 7th , 13-15 (GMT+1)

Older Men’s Resistance to Stereotypes of Ageing in Ireland 
Maggie O’Neill,  Aine Ni Leime, NUI Galway

Fear and loathing in pandemic. Researching masculinity and old age during a health crisis
Marcos Bote, Universidad de Murcia, Agustina Varela, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Josep M Armengol, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

Men 65+ in Austria: Lived Experiences and Media Representations 
Florian Pirker, Barbara Ratzenböck & Roberta Maierhofer, University of Graz

Online symposium MASCNET: Masculinity Sex and Popular Culture Network

MASCNET: Masculinity Sex and Popular Culture Network

In collaboration with

Men in Movement 5: Intersectional Masculinities and Feasible Futures


Masculinity in Times of Change

Online symposium

20th to 22nd September 2021

Call for Papers 


We are living through a period of profound change and the title of our third symposium event seems more timely than we could have imagined.

The covid pandemic and the global political and social response to it, the aftermath of the election in the US, UK leaving the EU, the climate crisis, the black lives matter movement, metoo, the growth of online extremism, so called ‘cancel culture’ all constitute a turbulent context in which ideas around gender, sexuality and identity collide with the dynamics of economics, politics and ideology.

What sense can we make of masculinity in these contexts?

Following on from the success of our two previous physical network events in Birmingham (May 2019) and on masculinity and body image and Berlin (January 2020) our third symposium event will be held online to enable as many people as possible to engage with the work of network.

The symposium is designed to share a breadth of scholarship and set an agenda for future research and collaborations. We intend to address some of the following themes:

  • Masculinities under pandemic conditions
  • Masculinities and economic and social crisis
  • Masculinities and the environment
  • Reconfiguring hegemonic masculinities
  • Queer masculinities, queer temporalities
  • Oppositional and anti-normative masculinities
  • Neoliberal masculinities
  • ‘New’ masculinities
  • Digital masculinities
  • Masculinities and sexual violence
  • Trans masculinities
  • Masculinities and the TERF wars
  • The future for masculinities

We invite individual papers, pre-constituted panels, poster presentations, video presentations, or short performance pieces that address the theme of the symposium. We very much welcome imaginative alternative modes of presentation, the presentation of creative works, performance and screenings.

These are topics that relate popular debate and media reportage, educators and policy makers and we are keen to involve practitioners and non-academics in our discussions and events.

MASCNET is a 24-month AHRC funded research network explores the pervasiveness of sexualized masculine embodiment across contemporary popular culture, and sets an ambitious agenda for subsequent research. The network steering group includes Begonya Enguix, Joao Florencio, Jamie Hakim, Mark McGlashan, Peter Rehberg and Florian Voros.

Please send a 300-word abstract and short bio (max. 100 words) to Professor John Mercer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Professor Clarissa Smith This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deadline for proposals Friday 7th May 2021

Attendance will be free.

Berliner Festspiele launches the exhibition "Masculinities"

Berliner Festspiele has just launched an interesting exhibition titled Masculinities: Liberation through Photography, which explores the diverse ways masculinity has been experienced, performed, coded and socially constructed in photography and film from the 1960s to the present day. You can access the exhibition guide and all the information here.

Simone de Beauvoir’s famous declaration that “one is not born a woman, but rather becomes one” provides a helpful springboard for considering what it means to be a male in today’s world, as well as the place of photography and film in shaping masculinity. What we have thought of as “masculine” has changed considerably throughout history and within different cultures. The traditional social dominance of the male has determined a gender hierarchy, which continues to underpin societies around the world.

In Europe and North America, the characteristics and power dynamics of the dominant masculine figure – historically defined by physical size and strength, assertiveness and aggression – though still pervasive today, began to be challenged and transformed in the 1960s. Amid a climate of sexual revolution, struggle for civil rights and raised class consciousness, the growth of the gay rights movement, the period’s counterculture and opposition to the Vietnam War, large sections of society argued for a loosening of the straitjacket of narrow gender definitions.

Set against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, when manhood is under increasing scrutiny and terms such as “toxic” and “fragile” masculinity fill endless column inches, an investigation of this expansive subject is particularly timely, especially given current global politics characterised by male world leaders shaping their image as “strong” men.

Touching on queer identity, race, power and patriarchy, men as seen by women, stereotypes of dominant masculinity as well as the family, the exhibition presents masculinity in all its myriad forms, rife with contradictions and complexities. Embracing the idea of multiple “masculinities” and rejecting the notion of a singular “ideal man”, the exhibition argues for an understanding of masculinity liberated from societal expectations and gender norms.

Video: MASCAGE project presentation

You can watch José María Armengol Carrera, principal investigator, presenting the project here. In the video, José María introduces us to Gender Net Plus' "MASCAGE" project dedicated to the analysis of social constructions of ageing masculinities as well as to their cultural representations in contemporary European literatures and cinemas. The interview was conducted (05/06/20) through Zoom by Nawal Aït Ali (CNRS), project manager of Gender-Net Plus. You can explore the Gender-Net Plus' community of projects through