chapter  20
10 Pages


ByBrian Baker

In the fields of film and literary criticism, the last 25 years have seen a major development in studies of masculinity. The analyses of gender produced by the rise of a feminist critical practice in the late 1960s resulted in a renewed focus upon what might once have seemed a monolithic male subject, aligned with discourses of domination. From the pioneering work of Richard Dyer (1992) and Steve Neale (1993) in analysing the male screen icon; through the rise of queer criticism and such illuminating (and indeed revolutionary) works by Jonathan Dollimore (1991), Judith Butler (1990) and particularly Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (1985) (whose use of the concept of ‘homosociality’ has been massively influential, and who has also written directly on the Gothic); to analysts of constructions of ‘hegemonic’ and subordinated masculinities in post-war fiction and film, such as Lynne Segal (1997), Steven Cohan (1997), Robert J. Corber (1993) and David Savran (1998), it is now a commonplace in critical works on masculinities to assume a fragmented, plural, performative or anxious subject (or range of subjectivities), constructed (incompletely) by contemporary cultural discourses.