A panel of three scholars who served on the Board of the American Men’s Studies Association opened its Twenty-Fifth Annual “Men and Masculinities” Conference Thursday evening, March 30, 2017 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The topic was “Twenty-Five Years of Men’s Studies: A Panel and Discussion About Roots and Branches in Our Field.”
Panelists included past AMSA presidents Robert Heasley and Mark Justad, and past AMSA recorder Vicki Sommer. The three led a discussion about their own historic and recent experiences and their implications for the future.
The field of men’s studies has roots in the feminist movement and a history of challenges that include defining the field, representation of the subject, and integration into the academy. Men’s studies has advanced to be an interdisciplinary area of study representing a diverse range of interests in the critical examination and “meaning” of men and masculinities as these are influenced by culture and social forces represented in literature, religion, and the arts, and informed by science in such fields as medicine and psychology.
The ensuing discussion included session attendees creating an AMSA timeline and significant events that affected the development of AMSA’s 25 years.