Monday, April 11, 2016 Conference Promotes Exploring Masculinity
For the second year in a row, the Men at Nebraska Conference invited conversation around the roles masculinities play in men’s’ lives. Held April 8, the conference included a short film screening, breakout sessions, a poster exhibition and a keynote address by Dr. Eric Lueshen. A Husker football alumnus, Lueshen shared his story of defying stereotypes as the first openly gay Division 1 college football player.
“We chose Eric because of his reputation of being a captivating speaker and his involvement with the Huskers,” said Felipe Longoria, men’s programming coordinator at the Women’s Center. “Being in hyper-masculine areas such as Nebraska Football and engineering while being an openly gay man (which many people viewed as un-masculine) provided an interesting experience. Eric’s story highlights the need for increased understanding and a contrast with dominant masculine norms, which connected well with the purpose of our conference.”
Through the breakout sessions and discussion, participants explored research related to men’s’ roles and how masculinity affects those roles in higher education, religion, violence prevention, marriage and friendship.
“These issues are not often discussed openly and broadly. Literature on masculinities acknowledges that men are more likely to listen to other men, so it is important to have men describe research and experiences on masculinities,” said Longoria.
He and other conference planners listed inspiring further research on men and masculinities as a primary conference goal.
“We’ve received positive feedback indicating that students, staff and faculty are eager to learn more on these subjects and are interested in conducting research – so the conference appears to have been a success.”