The American Men’s Studies Association is deeply saddened by the news that one of the pioneers of men’s studies and past board member of AMSA, Harry Brod, Professor of Sociology and the Humanities at the University of Northern Iowa passed away on June 16, 2017 at his home in Cedar Falls, Iowa of cardiac arrest. In 2012, Brod was the keynote speaker at AMSA’s 20th Annual Conference on Men and Masculinities, his lecture entitled: “Masculinity Studies and Men’s Lives: An Historical Overview.”
Professor Brod received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of California and his Bachelor’s degree from New York University. Having held positions at the University of Southern California, Kenyon College, and the University of Delaware, among others, he came to University of Northern Iowa in 1999. He served the university community and the state of Iowa in many ways – as Director of the Iowa Regent Universities Men’s Gender Violence Prevention Institute, on the Boards of Directors of Humanities Iowa and the Family and Children’s Council of Black Hawk County, and as a member of the Iowa Governor’s Task Force for Responsible Fatherhood.
Harry dedicated his life to teaching and social justice causes. Both commitments stem from his history as a child of Holocaust survivors and a child of the 60’s. He is recognized as one of the founders of the academic study of masculinities and has acted as a spokesperson and advocate for the pro-feminist men’s movement. He was also a leading figure in the field of Jewish Studies.
His books reflect his range of interests and commitments. His most recent book is Superman Is Jewish?: How Comic Book Superheroes Came to Serve Truth, Justice and the Jewish-American Way, published by Free Press (Simon & Schuster) in 2012; his earliest book, based on his dissertation, was Hegel’s Philosophy of Politics: Idealism, Identity and Modernity (Westview, 1992). He has edited innumerable volumes on masculinities and on Jewish masculinities in particular, including a volume co-edited with Rabbi Shawn Zevit, who will preside over the funeral. Additionally, he has published works on anti-racism and co-edited The Legacy of the Holocaust: Children and the Holocaust (Jagiellonian University Press, 2002). A DVD of his lecture “Asking For It: The Ethics and Erotics of Sexual Consent” is produced by Media Education Foundation and used internationally by colleges, universities and other institutions, including the US Air Force, for sexual assault prevention education.
Harry is survived by his two children, Artemis and Alex Brod, the mother of his children, Maria Papacostaki, his sister, Jeanette Lazer, and his life partner Karen Mitchell. He was 66 years old.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of the Harry Brod Masculinities Studies Collection at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin or to the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center. A celebration of his life will be held Sunday, June 25th at 2:00 in the afternoon with visitation beginning at 1:00, Hagarty-Waychoff-Grarup, Funeral Home, 300 West Ridgeway Ave. Waterloo, IA. High tea will follow at 3:30, Waterloo Center for the Arts, 225 Commercial Street, Waterloo.