The Men’s Studies Association (MSA) was founded in 1982.
This interdisciplinary division of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) serves to link together a diverse group of scholars, students, teachers, practitioners, and others who study issues of men and masculinity. Our goal is to make significant contributions to the field of Men’s Studies through a feminist-informed perspective. In so doing, we seek to understand ways in which the lives of men and women may be enhanced through the critical study of men and masculinity and analyses of the social, cultural, and historical constructions of masculinity and male identity formation. Over the years, the MSA has influenced the field of men’s studies primarily through the publication of a journal and, since 1989, an annual MSA meeting. The journal, which presents cutting-edge scholarly research and theory, began as The Men’s Studies Review. It then evolved into Masculinities, published by Guilford Press. The current journal, Men and Masculinities, made its debut in July 1998. This widely available quarterly is published by Sage under the editorship of MSA co-chair Michael Kimmel. Although the MSA no longer publishes its own journal, our perspective and mission are currently represented by Men and Masculinities, and BROTHER, the NOMAS journal, which publishes the abstracts of the annual Men’s Studies Association meetings.
The Men’s Studies Association is an association of scholars with an interest in the interdisciplinary field of men’s studies. Our membership includes some of the pioneers of this field (e.g., Robert Brannon, Michael Kimmel, Joseph Pleck) as well as many graduate students and early mid-career scholars. Our refereed scholarly journal was orginally titled “Masculinities” and was published first by us and later by Guilford Press. The journal, now titled “Men & Masculinities” is currently published by Sage. Michael Kimmel of SUNY Stony Brook is the editor (and also co-Chair of the MSA). The MSA is affiliated with NOMAS -The National Organization for Men Against Sexism (for more info. see https://www.nomas.org). For the past 20 years, the MSA Annual Meeting has taken place at the site of, and just prior to, the yearly NOMAS conference (33rd this year). Thus the audience for the MSA meeting, in addition to our own scholars, is often joined by activist scholars from NOMAS and some faculty and students from the host university.
The MSA has held annual meetings in conjunction with the NOMAS Men and Masculinity conferences since 1989. The annual meetings have provided a place where men’s studies scholars, students, teachers, and activists can share their current work. Our intention in these meetings is to be open, inclusive, and collaborative. Thus presenters typically include a mix of well-established figures in the field; those early in their careers; and those just starting out graduate students presenting aspects of theses and dissertations. In the past, the MSA meeting has featured papers and presentations on a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to men and feminism; racism; homophobia; fathering; men and spirituality; prostitution and pornography; men and violence; men in the arts and history; constructs of gay masculinity; men in prison and more. In these gatherings we seek to replace the competitive and patriarchal atmosphere of many academic meetings with a more relaxed forum for the constructive exchange of ideas. We do, however, apply two basic criteria in selecting presentations for the annual meeting. First, proposals are reviewed for the soundness of their content and method. When feasible, authors may be given feedback and asked to submit revisions. Second, and most importantly, proposals are reviewed for their consistency with the NOMAS principles of pro-feminist, gay-affirmative, anti-racist and dedicated to enhancing men’s lives. The content and format of these meetings have varied widely. Sometimes we have used concurrent sessions where a large body of work is available. In other years, we have used only a few papers and spent the bulk of our time in a workshop format. Sometimes the program has been built by inviting some of our more highly skilled and prolific members to conduct workshops and present their current research. But, regardless of the particular format, we endeavor to elicit conversation and exchange of ideas, information, and resources, and people have an opportunity to get to know one another. Participants have found value in each of the seventeen annual meetings and each of these meetings has served to further the teaching, research and application of men’s studies Abstracts from past MSA Meetings are available on the MSA resources page.
There are no formal programs that grant graduate degrees in Men’s Studies anywhere in the US. It makes sense for students to put effort into foundational work first in a discipline such as sociology, psychology, history, literature, etc. and/or the interdisciplinary field of Women’s and Gender Studies. For academics, job placement usually requires applicants that are solidly grounded in fields represented by the university’s departments. This then provides one with a base from which they can do work in Men’s Studies. In the social sciences, there are many programs that excel in “Gender Studies. They include Sociology depts. at Berkeley, Stony Brook, NY, University of Texas, Austin, University of Florida Gainesville, Florida State, USC, Rutgers, and UC Santa Barbara. Women’s and gender studies departments may be accessed through the National Women’s Studies Association and the women’s studies database. There is one minor in men’s studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in NY State, and an on-line program in men’s studies through Akamai University.
The historical collection of the National Organization for Changing Men (NOCM) now known as NOMAS at the Michigan State University Libraries, Special Collections Division.
The Changing Men Collection began as a result of a donation of 18 boxes of materials documenting the early history of the NOCM from approximately 1975 to 1985. The donor, Art Stawinski, was the organization’s former archivist. There are major holdings of the Chicago Men’s Gathering, the National Organization for Changing Men, National Conferences on Men and Masculinity, miscellaneous files of articles, magazines, papers, bibliographies, and course outlines for men’s studies. Currently there are 20 linear feet of research material in this collection.
The Men’s Bibliography: A comprehensive bibliography of writing on men, masculinities, gender, and sexualities (15th edition)
Please note: The archive of articles described in this list has been transferred to the Michigan State University Libraries and is preserved in the Changing Men Collections under the call number MS 217. November 1979.