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Experiencing and imagining the military in the long nineteenth century

This collection explores the role of martial masculinities in shaping nineteenth-century British culture and society in a period framed by two of the greatest wars the world had ever known and punctuated by many smaller conflicts. Bringing together contributions from a diverse range of leading scholars, it offers fresh, interdisciplinary perspectives on an emerging field of study. Chapters in this volume draw on historical, literary, visual and musical sources to demonstrate the centrality of the military and its masculine dimensions in the shaping of Victorian and Edwardian personal and national identities. Focusing on both the experience of military service and its imaginative forms, it examines such topics as bodies and habits, families and domesticity, heroism and chivalry, religion and militarism, and youth and fantasy. The collection is divided into two sections: ‘experiencing’ and ‘imagining’ military masculinities. This division represents the two principal areas of investigation for scholars working in this field. The section on experience considers the realities of military life in this period, and asks to what extent they produced a particular kind of gendered identity. The second section moves on to explore the wider impact of martial masculinities on culture and society, asking whether nineteenth-century Britain can be regarded as a warrior nation. These two sections ultimately demonstrate that the reception, representation and replication of masculine values in Britain during this period was far more complex than might be assumed.

The ‘Manly Englishman’ and the ‘Effeminate Bengali’ in the Late Nineteenth Century

This book is about the processes and practices through which two differently positioned elites, among the colonisers and the colonised, were constituted respectively as the 'manly Englishman' and the 'effeminate Bengali'. It argues that the emerging dynamics between colonial and nationalist politics in the 1880s and 1890s in India is best captured in the logic of colonial masculinity. The figures of the 'manly Englishman' and the 'effeminate Bengali' were thus constituted in relation to colonial Indian society as well as to some aspects of late nineteenth-century British society. These aspects of late nineteenth-century British society are the emergence of the 'New Woman', the 'remaking of the working class', the legacy of 'internal colonialism', and the anti-feminist backlash of the 1880s and 1890s. A sustained focus on the imperial constitution of colonial masculinity, therefore, serves also to refine the standard historical scholarship on nineteenth-century British masculinity. The book traces the impact of colonial masculinity in four specific controversies: the 'white mutiny' against the Ilbert Bill in 1883, the official government response to the Native Volunteer movement in 1885, the recommendations of the Public Service Commission of 1886, and the Indian opposition to the Age of Consent Bill in 1891. In this book, the author situates the analysis very specifically in the context of an imperial social formation. In doing so, the author examines colonial masculinity not only in the context of social forces within India, but also as framed by and framing political, economic, and ideological shifts in Britain.

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Urban versus rural in City Slickers and Hunter’s Blood
David Bell

This chapter builds on my previous interests in the cinematic countryside and in constructions of urban and rural masculinities (Bell, 1997 ; 2000 ). It seeks to make a modest contribution to the growing body of work on gender and the rural, and more specifically on the relationships between rurality and masculinity (for an overview, see Little, 2002 ). My aim (to borrow from Rachel

in Cinematic countrysides
Wilde’s Art
Andrew Smith

Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), and Dorian Gray. As already suggested, one principal issue at the time which relates to masculinity and desire concerns visibility and invisibility, it is one which is addressed through Wilde’s particular construction of Camp. Camp Thomas A. King has persuasively argued, in historicist terms, that the performative aspects of Camp

in Victorian demons
Sherlock Holmes, Count Dracula and London
Andrew Smith

Sherlock Holmes’s association with an abstracted, instrumental and superior gaze has suggested to critics the presence of a specifically masculine intellect, one which is contrasted, in the tales, with images of feminine irrationality. 1 Joseph A. Kestner in Sherlock’s Men: Masculinity .; Conan Doyle, and Cultural History (1997) suggests that rationality was

in Victorian demons
The Public Service Commission, 1886–87
Mrinalini Sinha

reform in India. Indeed, the Public Service Commission did more than simply ignore native claims to higher employment in the public administration in India. Rather, by reorganising the civil service along the lines of a specifically sectarian definition of colonial masculinity, which simultaneously provided a provincial and religious context for native masculinity and an imperial context for ‘English

in Colonial masculinity
Philip Proudfoot

sum, now begun to break down. In what follows we will examine the material impact of these worsening socio-economic predicaments through the lenses of masculinity and rebel populist politics. 10 I argue that, in the absence of any coherent hegemonic revolutionary ideology, masculinity and its contradictions was, for those with little prior former political experience, a central component through which

in Rebel populism
The 2011 ‘riots’ in context
Adam Elliott-Cooper

figure lurking in the cities, that enables politicians, the police, the press and eventually ‘common-sense’ racism, to legitimise the policies necessary to ‘police the crisis’. 7 This chapter analyses political rhetoric, the conservative press and the policing of Black men to unpack the ways in which Black masculinity is framed as deviant, dangerous and alien to Britain. It is contrasted with legitimate white masculinities that manifest themselves through success in the market economy, state power, or the nuclear family. Building on the previous chapter, I argue that

in Black resistance to British policing
Lisa Downing

career to date (the 1980s and 1990s), focus thematically and generically upon male relationships and foreground certain male actors (Jean Rochefort, Alain Delon, Jean-Paul Belmondo) in such a way as to contribute to, exploit or skew their existing star images. In his choice of generic mode, cast and subject matter, Leconte puts masculinity relentlessly on display. It is my contention that Leconte’s films demonstrate ways

in Patrice Leconte
A history for the present

This book offers a striking and pointed reflection on what histories of masculinity in modern Britain have been and where they might go next. Addressing the constant contemporary talk of crisis around men’s lives, Men and Masculinities argues powerfully that we need histories of masculinity which are present-centred and politically engaged. In so doing, it sets out a new agenda for the field. Ranging over the past 130 years, a series of engaging and original essays trace how men, like masculinity, were made. In exploring that process, contributors demonstrate the radically different ways in which men made sense of the world and their place in it. The book provides compelling evidence of how individual life stories can transform how we think about the time- and place-specific formation of men’s experiences and ideas of masculinity. Through vivid case studies that include trans men’s encounters with the welfare state, the experience of wounded Jamaican servicemen, and the social world of the public librarian, the volume interweaves histories of masculinity with wider histories of society, culture, economy, and politics. It is on that basis that the work shows how thinking critically about histories of masculinity also provides new ways of understanding the making and remaking of modern Britain. Men and Masculinities both provides a critical genealogy for contemporary gender politics and the persistence of patriarchy and male power and establishes new ways of understanding how men’s lives and ideas of masculinity have (and have not) changed in modern Britain.