ELLA KIRBY | NEWS EDITOR
St. Norbert College is honored to receive visiting scholar Dr. Harry Brod, who will be teaching the college’s first-ever semester long courses on Masculinities, for this academic fall semester. His presence on campus ties in with the Masculinities theme that the Cassandra Voss Center has chosen for the 2016-17 year.
Dr. Brod has written eight books and has also received a diverse range of awards both for his academic accomplishments and service to the wider community, including the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence from the State of Iowa’s Board of Regents in 2010 and the University of Northern Iowa Center for Violence Prevention Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
Karlyn Crowley, Director of the Cassandra Voss Center, stated, “We began this conversation two years ago when he suggested that he might come here, and, because of the vision and innovation of several people at the college, it’s been made possible.” She went on to say, “It feels like such an enriching and profound experience for our college to have him, and for the region to have him, too.”
Dr. Brod will be teaching both SOCI/WMGS 289 C-DD: Men and Masculinities and LIST/MLS 589: Special Topics- Men and Masculinities throughout the fall semester. Alongside his classes, Dr. Brod will also run six faculty and staff Masculinity Study Groups during the semester.
“I think it’s important if you’re doing a class in masculinity studies […] to validate the courage of men who are willing to walk through the door, because there is a lot of pressure to demonstrate knowledge and confidence,” stated Dr. Brod.
On Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m., the Walter Theatre will host Dr. Brod in dialogue with Masculinities founders Michael Kaufman and Michael Kimmel in the opening of a two-day Masculinity Summit.
On Thursday, Nov. 8, Bemis International Center will be providing the opportunity for the community to attend workshops and engage in breakout sessions, including topics on Jewish Masculinity, LGBTQ Masculinity and Mentoring Young Men of Color.
Special guests that will be attending these workshops include Rob Davis, Packers Director of Player Development, and Jesse Steinfeldt, masculinity and sports scholar.
In response to the question “Why is teaching masculinity so vital?” Dr. Brod responded, “You’re missing half of humanity if you don’t look at the whole picture, and you can’t understand one gender in isolation. There are mutual processes of engenderment that affect all of us.”
“You can’t say everything at once, so it does make sense to pull out and say ‘now we’re going to talk about women’ […]. But you’re missing an understanding of anybody’s experience if you study in isolation from other people’s experiences.”
It is also understood that Dr. Brod is in the process of donating his collection of masculinities studies to the Mulva library for the St. Norbert community to access, with its launch scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 2.
“In terms of books, I have a very extensive library that will end up here at some point. And then I have papers and correspondents, local news letters and leaflets and conference proceedings that go back 30 years in pro-feminist men’s movement and men’s studies.”