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Wake Forest to host conference on men

March 20, 2008

The 16th annual American Men’s Studies Association (AMSA) conference will be held in Wingate Hall at Wake Forest University April 4-6.  The conference, titled “Masculinities and Institutions:  Mapping the Connections,” will present a wide-ranging view of the evolving role of men in educational, interpersonal, cultural, religious and workplace settings.  The conference includes pre-conference workshops and presentations by more than 50 presenters.

AMSA’s conference is the largest annual men’s studies conference in the United States, and draws an international group of participants representing a broad range of academic disciplines and interests. Men’s studies programs emerged in the 1980s alongside the growth of women’s studies and feminist analysis.  The conference is co-sponsored by the Wake Forest Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Department of Religion.

Steve Boyd, professor and chair of the religion department at Wake Forest, is a founder and current board member of AMSA.  Boyd says that hosting the interdisciplinary conference at Wake Forest is a great opportunity to include these topics in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.  “Current studies on the effects of masculinity on men’s health, education and violence prevention are increasing, as are cultural analyses of its pervasive social and institutional influences,” says Boyd. 

Three pre-conference workshops will be held concurrently at 1:30 p.m. April 4 in Wingate Hall on the topics of at-risk black males, teaching men’s studies and organizing men on campus.  The workshops cost $25 and are open to the public.  For more information about the workshops, contact Sara Hof at

The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. April 5 with a session featuring Raewyn Connell, University Chair at the University of Sydney and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.  She received the American Sociological Association's award for her study of sex and gender.  Her books include “Gender,” “The Men and the Boys,” and “Masculinities,” the most cited book in the field which has been translated into Italian, Swedish, German, Spanish and Chinese since its original publication in 1995.  Boyd says he is pleased Connell will be speaking at the conference, because “her social analysis of masculinities has helped create and shape this international research field.”

Presentations throughout the weekend will focus on wide-ranging topics about men and their roles in education, on campuses, in religious settings, their portrayal in literature and their relationships with fathers, sons and women.  The full conference schedule and registration information is available online at

Note to editors:  Members of the media interested in covering the conference should contact the Wake Forest News Service at 336-758-5237.

Press Contacts:

Audrey Fannin
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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