A History of Virility
In these original essays, an international group of scholars, including Arlette Farge, Jean-Paul Bertaud, Christelle Taraud, and Fabrice Virgili, follow the socio-historical evolution of virility, as opposed to masculinity, to unsettle popular accounts of politics and culture. The book begins with ancient conceptions of the male gender, which persisted, with significant alterations, for centuries. While virility was challenged during the Enlightenment, its preeminence was restored by social forms of male bonding in the nineteenth century. Models and codes of virility are chipped away by pacifist, feminist, and gay rights movements during the next hundred years; twentieth-century conceptions of maleness embody a "virility on edge," which adds a fascinating new dimension to our understanding of history.
A major contribution to the nascent field of masculinity studies, this history consults painting, sculpture, literature, philosophy, film, and cultural and sociological critique. It involves fascism, nationalism, liberalism, classicism, colonialism, and war. With the twentieth century delivering one blow after another to hegemonic virility, this book also explores where manliness might be headed next.