News & Politics

Feminist Academic Launching Masters Program in 'Masculinities'

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Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York, will soon become the first college in the nation to offer a master’s degree in the emerging field of “Masculinities.”

The Master’s Program in Masculinities will be a 30-credit online program offered through the school’s Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities, which aims to “disseminate research that redefines gender relations to foster greater social justice.”

The center counts feminist icons such as Gloria Steinem, Eve Ensler, and Jane Fonda among its Board of Directors, and it is led by Michael Kimmel, a feminist academic who most recently wrote a book on “angry white men” suffering from “aggrieved entitlement.”

Speaking to PJ Media, Kimmel said Thursday that the degree will likely launch September of 2019, pending state approval. The proposal for the degree is “now working its way up the SUNY ladder to Albany having passed all Stony Brook screens,” Kimmel explained.

“The curriculum of the course is to study masculinities through the lenses of the social sciences and humanities,” said Kimmel, adding possible courses could be on “literary representations of masculinities” or on “male development from within the framework of developmental psychology.”

Kimmel was quick to note that he doesn’t use the phrase “toxic masculinity.” Instead, Kimmel says he takes an “intersectional” approach to the study of masculinity.

“As to our approach … we  focus on a life-course perspective, are sensitive to variations among men, and adopt an intersectional approach, as would be the norm in Gender Studies programs today,” said Kimmel.

Target audience? Well, that depends. Kimmel anticipates that students will come from a variety of backgrounds. Some likely will have just graduated college. Others, he believes, will be teachers and counselors looking to deepen their understanding of boys and men.

If Kimmel’s proposal is approved, it will become the first master’s degree in “Masculinities” ever to be offered.

While most universities offer some classes on the subject — and at least one college offers a full Men’s Studies department — none yet offer a full graduate program dedicated to exploring how masculinity hurts men.

Stony Brook University did not respond to an inquiry on how much the new degree would cost to earn.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen.