Difficult Men: Images of Masculinity

Golden Ages: Styles and Personalities, Genres and Histories
The 2014 Film & History Conference

DEADLINE for abstracts: 1 June 2014

Brett Martin’s recent book, Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution celebrates the rise of male anti-heroes in television post-The Sopranos, but stops short of considering any reason for their rise in popularity. One answer might be found in Susan Faludi’s book Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man, which discusses the collapse of traditional masculinity during the same time period. How might we account for the success of these predominantly male anti-hero characters and dramas in the post-2000 period? What is it about these characters that make them “difficult?” What is the relationship between today’s “difficult men” and those of film’s Golden Age? How do we better understand representations of masculinity?

This area invites 20-minute presentations dealing with all aspects of masculinity in television and film, in particular, critical analyses of the contemporary rise of complex, and often difficult, characters that give such texture to dramatic narratives.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome. All proposals must include an abstract and contact information, including an email address. Panel proposals should include information for each presenter. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting see the Film & History website (

Please email your 200-word proposal by 1 June 2014 to the area chair:

Simone Becque
Southern Illinois University

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