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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellows' Seminar - Women Studying Masculinities: from death row to the Dojo

17th December 2018, 13:00 to 14:00, Seminar Room, Institute of Advanced Study, Professor Tamara Kohn (University of Melbourne)

Abstract

Two ‘fields’ that for many years have most deeply occupied Professor Kohn’s time and commitment appear from the outside as ‘masculine’ spaces of encounter dominated by groups of men who frequently demonstrate their physical power and aggressive potential if not danger to others. These are: martial training environments, and high security men’s prisons. Professor Kohn has been a dedicated practitioner of the Japanese martial art of aikido for 25 years and has been a friend and correspondent with several long-incarcerated individuals on Death Row and Life without Parole in the US over the same number of years. These human fields overlap through the relationships she has built in both worlds (initially with no interest in writing about either of them!), and in both she would appear from the outside to be matter out of place. As a female practitioner (in the martial arts) and friend interlocutor (of prisoners), and with the help of many shared insider views, Professor Kohn is interested in how popular constructions of masculinity may be challenged through a more embodied and personal focus on creative bodily practice and senses of personal growth. She also wishes to think about methodological practice in anthropology as well as some ethical issues that her work in these ‘fields’ has raised for her

Places are limited and so any academic colleagues or students interested in attending a seminar should register online in advance to reserve a place. Places will be confirmed within 48 hours of receipt (subject to availability). Alternatively please contact the Institute in advance to reserve a place..