Do You Know What It Takes to Be A Man?
Spanning over 500 years, the works on view complicate our ideas about gender, biological sex and the inadequate binary of feminine and masculine. Through time and around the world, the definition of a “real man” has varied dramatically. This installation explores many of the ways masculinity is, and has been, performed and defined. Some works fall in line with current traditional definitions of masculinity, while others challenge stereotypes about the ideal man. Together, they reveal the multifaceted and occasionally paradoxical realities of gender, specifically the construction and deconstruction of masculine perfection.
This exhibition was curated by professor Ann Marie Rasmussen’s Fall 2013 Rivalrous Masculinities class, including graduate students Christian Straubhaar and Steffen Kaupp, and undergraduates Ryan Elizabeth Bennert, Sarah Kristin Filter, Mary Bourke Hagan, Indrani Saha and Kelly Noel Waldorf. Special thanks go to the Humanities Writ Large initiative at Duke University; the Link staff at Perkins Library, especially Andrew Frantz; and the students and professors from the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, and the University of Hamburg, Germany, with whom the class participated in an international teaching experiment fostering intellectual exchange.
We are featuring an on-going series of blog posts to accompany this student-curated exhibition.
Visitors are sharing their personal definitions of “a man,” to accompany our student-curated exhibition Rivalrous Masculinities: Mainstream to Margins. We’ll share visitor responses in the gallery and on Facebook during the run of the exhibition