Columbia Global Centers | Paris, 4 rue de Chevreuse, 75006
How has the meaning of manhood changed over time? A History of Virility proposes a series of answers to this question by describing a trajectory that begins with ancient conceptions of male domination and privilege and examining how it persisted, with significant alterations, for centuries. While the mainstream of virility was challenged during the Enlightenment, its preeminence was restored by social forms of male bonding in the nineteenth century. Pacifist, feminist, and gay rights movements chipped away at models and codes of virility during the next hundred years, leading to the twentieth century's disclosing of a "virility on edge," or virility as an unstable entity dispossessed of any automatic claim to power.
To celebrate the publication of L'Histoire de Virilité by Columbia University Press, the Paris Center is excited to present an evening with two of the original authors and editors: Alain Corbin and Georges Vigarello. The discussion will be moderated by Chrystelle Taraud, a contributing scholar to the original work, and will take place in French.
Alain Corbin is a French historian and specialist of nineteenth-century France. His publications include Women for Hire: Prostitution and Sexuality in France After 1850; The Foul and the Fragrant: Odor and the French Social Imagination; Village Bells; and The Life of an Unknown.
Georges Vigarello is one of Europe's best-known historians of the body. He has published prolifically on topics ranging from Concepts of Cleanliness and the cultural history of sports to The History of Rape and The History of the Body. He is research director at the École des hautes etudes en sciences sociales (EHESS), and the author, most recently, of The Metamorphoses of Fat: A History of Obesity.