Toxic Masculinity Symposium

Toxic Masculinity
Date and time
12 Sep 2018 (9:00am - 5:00pm)

Curzon Building

4 Cardigan Street Birmingham B4 7BD United Kingdom

Map and Directions



Booking Information

Coming soon.

Symposium description

Hegemonic masculinity, its idealised form (heterosexual, male, physically and socially powerful, cf. Connell 1995), and its marginalisation of women and other men has been under academic scrutiny for some time, especially as a locus for Feminist and queer critique. Fewer men are afforded the full benefits of the “patriarchal dividend” (Connell 1995: 97) by virtue of approximation to hegemonic masculinity, which may relate to factors such as widening acceptance of gay sexuality, downward pressure on income and economic opportunities for working-class men, increasing critique of traditionally defined gender relations/identities/roles, and greater mainstream coverage of gender-based issues (cf. #gamergate, #metoo, #everydaysexism). Many high-profile, heterosexual men have also published works critical of hegemonic masculinity, notably Grayson Perry’s The Descent of Man (2016) and Robert Webb’s How Not to be A Boy (2017), which examine how aspects domestic violence, physical/emotional abuse, and addiction are related to performances of hegemonic masculinity.

Toxic masculinity is gaining favour as a label for those constructions and performances of hegemonic masculinity that cause harm both to men themselves and those around them. Toxic masculinity aligns with those aspects of hegemonic masculinity as may be expressed in, for example, acts of violence and aggression, the (condoning of) manipulation and violent subjugation of women and other men, misogyny and homophobia, and self-harm as a result of emotional repression (e.g. substance abuse, engaging in high-risk behaviour).

The aim of the symposium is to bring together scholars and interested parties to present and discuss current work across disciplines on masculinity/masculinities, specifically the under-theorised notion of toxic masculinity. The programme of activities will include invited talks, posters, a panel discussion, and integrated networking opportunities. We especially encourage emergent scholars (postgraduate students and early-career researchers) to attend. A buffet lunch will be provided.

Call for Participation

The first call for papers seeks research contributions which may be ongoing but should present findings or provisional findings. Oral presentations will be limited to 30 minutes in total and will include five minutes for questions. Presentations should be relevant to the following broad themes:

  • Representations of toxic masculinities in the media (print and television).
  • Men and toxic masculinities in social media and online contexts
  • Psychological approaches to toxic masculinity
  • Linguistic investigations of toxic masculinity
  • Ethnographic work on toxic masculinities
  • Domestic abuse and violence against women and girls
  • Masculinities and intersections (sexuality, women, transmasculinity, queer approaches, etc.)

Expressions of interest (400 words, inclusive of references) should be sent to the symposium contacts listed below in .doc/.docx format. Please indicate in your abstract whether you would like your submission to be considered as an oral or poster presentation.


The symposium will close with a panel discussion on the work presented and will discuss future directions. We intend for an edited collection (as part of the Routledge series Masculinity, Sex and Popular Culture) and/or special edition of The Journal of Gender Studies to emerge from this event and we would encourage panellists to express their interest in publication.

Deadline for abstracts

June 1st 2018.


Enquiries, proposals and suggestions for panels should be sent to the symposium organizers:
John Mercer:
Mark McGlashan:
You can follow the event on Twitter: @BCUToxicMasc#BCUToxicMasc